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In praise of only children - the great things about having just one!

(297 Posts)
flobbleflobble Mon 04-Jul-05 18:54:53

Just wanted to start a positive thread about how fab it is to have an only child! In reaction to all the threads worrying about how sub-optimal some folk find it not to have more than one...

So here goes - to start off a list in praise of only children :

- you can take them to stuff appropriate to their age group without having to drag along a disinterested sibling

- peace and calm at home with no sibling rivalry and squabbles/ violence

- you can do something with another family without involving 2 cars/people carrier

- far easier to combine one child with work/social committments

- easier to provide financially for 1 child

UserThenLotsOfNumbers Thu 14-Sep-17 15:10:11

I really like this thread, thanks OP.
I'm an only child, I'm 34 and have one daughter who will be an only child.
It makes me happy because when I was young, I got stick for being an only child, mainly along the lines of only children are spoilt and horrible etc.
Nowadays there are more only children so I'm hoping my daughter won't experience the same stereotypes as me!

All our focus on one child, not having to split our attention
Financially better off, so more opportunities for my daughter
Just happy to be blessed with a child tbh
Don't have to go through the newborn/no sleep stage again! wink

cheeseandbiscuitsplease1 Mon 11-Sep-17 21:45:00

Lovely thread!

OatmealMum Fri 21-Oct-16 12:00:30

-Don't have to save (and have space for) the stuff that the firstborn doesn't use anymore, e.g. clothes and toys.

-Eating out is very easy with just one child.

-Don't have to make compromises in what you do with your kid daily. Just one child's wishes to fulfill.

- Your family fits into a smaller house or has more space for hobbies & visitors.

-Travel destinations & culture activities can "grow" with your child. Don't have to wait for the other child(ren) to be old enough, too. (For example sleeping in tent is easy with one 5-year old, but would be harder with 5yo and 1yo, for example.)

Thanks for this great thread! It's really helping me to cope with the likely fate of having only one DC.

Mindthebanana Tue 20-Sep-16 12:17:33

I can't have anymore children and although I love having one Dd I sometimes(like today) wish I could have had two children.I need to try and stay positive by being thankful that we are very close and enjoy each others company.
My second child was stillborn and although this happened along time ago I still sometimes feel floored by the pain of it all.I know it is something I will never fully recover from I just have to learn to live with it.I am very lucky to have my daughter and I must focus on how lucky I am to have her.
She is a happy girl and has never said that she wishes she had a sibling.She has lots of friends and I think she is having a much better childhood than I did and I have lots of brothers and sisters!

mrschatty Sun 18-Sep-16 12:47:31

Op thanks for the update!! I have read this thread through a few times.
I have one dd and she is still a baby. I always said I only wanted one and went through my pregnancy, labour and now the baby days knowing that this is never going to be repeated and enjoying every moment of it. I love watching her grow and I know I will be a fantastic mother to her. I think 2 would push me to a limit I wouldn't feel happy with

Arcadia Sun 18-Sep-16 12:40:56

Love this thread! Thank you for updating OP. Although I know we are happy as 3 I question it sometimes because of the assumptions other people make. DD 6 nearly 7. One big pro is being able to help other people. For example, DP had a friend who sadly died last year after a horrible illness leaving behind a wife and baby. We were able to give them lots of time and as a result I have become close friends with the wife.

HorridHenrietta2 Sun 18-Sep-16 12:30:29

Plenty of time, attention and money to go round.
No squabbling.
Easier to arrange a babysitter for one.
Nice peaceful bed time routine.

Terrifiedandregretful Sun 18-Sep-16 12:24:45

Love this thread! Dd is 2.5 and lots of her little friends are having little brothers and sisters arriving. I can see how traumatic it is for them (although no doubt they love their new siblings too). My brother still resents my existence 40 years on so I know sibling resentment isn't always just a phase. Dd will never have to go through this.

Kennington Fri 16-Sep-16 19:48:51

She gets to go on lots and lots of day trips and there is little prep!
She will be financially secure.
I am able to help her with homework a lot and work full time.
No money worries.
Cousins, grandparents and friends are sibling substitutes and that works nicely for us.

Stitchosaurus Fri 16-Sep-16 19:43:01

Lovely update OP! I have visited this thread quite a bit since having my DS in 2011 so it's lovely to hear from you again.

My DS is 5 next month and has never asked for a sibling, but he did say "how about someone grows up somewhere else and then moves in with us when he's Daddy's age?" grin I have just given away all the baby stuff to my brother so it's kind of on my mind a bit but I am very pleased with our choice to just have 1. Our life together as a 3 is just fab.

maloryt0wers Sat 10-Sep-16 20:01:46

Thank you for your lovely update OP. I can see how time for your own interests etc is so much easier with one, I'm quite introverted so time on my own is important to me, I can see this would be hard with a bigger family.

Wellhellothere1 Fri 09-Sep-16 16:00:31

What a lovely update OP! My DS is only 6 and I just hope I can report a similar story to yours when he is older. He has certainly never expressed an interest in having a sibling-quite the contrary actually. There are many, many benefits to a small family (3 in our instance) and I feel sad there are so many ingrained stereotypes against only children. It's really not warranted.

Snog Fri 09-Sep-16 15:52:50

I am the OP, a few name changes on, and I last updated 3 years ago. There are so many awesome posts on this thread from so many lovely people, it's definitely by far the best thread I ever started.

My dd is 17 today so I'm gonna provide some updates!
Did she ever wish for a sibling - nope.
Has she been a lonely child - nope.
My dd has a great friendship circle but also needs alone time and even appreciates time with her mum, not really much different from when she was younger although there's now less of the mum time! We still go on holiday and on city breaks as a family and enjoy this time.

My dd has met with a few big challenges in her life and I feel glad that I didn't have another child competing for my attention and support at the same time.
We have been able to really get behind her interests and support them whilst dp and I have both been working and also enjoying our own interests and friends.

Teens can be a real pain at times and completely delightful at other times; Whilst she can sometimes drive me bananas I have nothing serious to complain about with mine.

As dd becomes more independent and closer to flying the nest, the balance of my own life becomes more about me and my own interests and relationships which I am really enjoying.....although sometimes part of me wishes I could travel back in time for a few days to revisit the simplicity and cuteness of my dd in her younger days!

Dd can be herself without being compared to a sibling or needing to forge a separate identity to her siblings. And she is very independent and used to adult company which serves her well both in the world of work and in interactions with teachers.

Three is an adorable family size, it gives an awesome ability to balance parenting, work, individual interests and friendships for all three of us. My dd wouldn't have changed it.

maloryt0wers Thu 25-Aug-16 22:15:23

Thank you for this thread! My DH doesnt want any more children, this thread is helping me come to terms with that. I'd love to hear some updates/tips from the original posters.

sophieemily Fri 03-Jun-16 19:15:46

Love this post, as someone who is feeling pressured to have a 2nd and only wanted one all the post's are of great comfort.

BertieBotts Tue 03-Nov-15 14:04:47

Oh I love this thread - not seen it before. Nice bump smile It can be easy to get down about having just one sometimes. Definitely good to think about the positives.

SunnyDays1987 Tue 03-Nov-15 13:56:39

I can afford to stay off work and look after my only child for a while longer. This wouldn't be an option if I had another or was planning to have another.

We don't have to move house any time soon and can stay in our 'cheap to run' 2 bed whilst I'm not working.

We can afford more luxuries for ourselves and for our son.

We won't have to worry as much about being unable to retire if we only have one child.

I don't have to put myself or my family through the horror of another pregnancy and birth.

I can always do age appropriate things with my son, instead of having drag him along to things he thinks are boring!

He won't end up in counselling because he had a psychologically damaging relationship with his sibling (dramatic!!)

I'm sure there are loads loads more!!

FishenNuggets Thu 29-Oct-15 19:31:52

A truly great thread

Our house is big enough for a family of 3 (too small for 4) but won't feel too big once DS has left home.

Smaller houses need less cleaning??

And less opportunity for falling out over inheritance (since dad died, my siblings don't speak to each other)

lizabeth0607 Wed 22-Jul-15 06:08:57

Eating out is a calm, enjoyable experience.
I can give DD all of my attention.
We have an amazing bond.
I love doing things together.
Everything is much cheaper.
She appreciates time with her friends/cousins and is able to share etc so well.
Easier to get babysitters.
Can spend all my money on one and buy her more expensive clothes.
We get creative daily and cleaning up after one is so much easier!

I love this thread.

GingerDoodle Mon 01-Jun-15 17:00:53

Our king sized bed fits us all in
My sanity is (relatively) intact
Private school fees may be affordable
Massive parties that are the envy of our / her friends.
We still have a spare room for visiting family
No juggling bedtimes.

I was effectively an only and think I'm fairly well adjusted. Me & DH recognise the importance of given DD her own space (we're big fans our it ourselves!) and I like to think I'm actually pretty relaxed when it comes to parenting.
DH has a sister and they are not close as adults.

Bishopston Mon 01-Jun-15 16:17:54

In many ways they HAVE to be independent and self reliant (as do many people with siblings of course)

Lonz Tue 12-May-15 13:08:09

- Don't have to have a stupidly big/expensive car just for me.
- Easier to get baby sitters.
- Um...I don't wet myself..? >.>

Taytocrisps Sat 09-May-15 14:09:52

I would have loved more than one child but life doesn't always go according to plan.

The pros of only having one child are:-

Less work - only one set of clothes to wash, only one child to bathe, only one child's toys to tidy up etc.

Less organisation required - I only need to keep track of one child's afterschool activities, play dates, uniform/tracksuit/afterschool activity clothing etc.

Sickness - I only have to deal with one vomiting child/child with diarrhoea. I can only imagine how horrible it would be to be tending to multiple sick children at once <shudders>. My bosses are fairly understanding if I have to take the very occasional day off work if DD is sick. They would be less understanding if I was taking twice as many days off (or three times as many etc.).

More peaceful - I don't have to deal with siblings fighting over toys or a TV programme.

Less expensive - childcare, school books, afterschool activities, days out, college fees etc.

Travel - a lot easier packing for one

DD gets my undivided attention. If she's upset I have the time and energy to find out what's wrong and try to resolve it. I come from a big family and my mother was always tired and stressed. When I was getting bullied at school, I never told her because I figured she had enough on her plate.

DD gets to do activities that are suitable for her age and interests. She's not dragged along to places or activities just because an older or younger sibling is going.

These are the main ones I can think of. There are cons too obviously but I'm sure you all have plenty of judgemental people in your lives to point them out. Like the mother who told me that she wouldn't want her son to date DD when they're older as DD (being an only child) will be a spoilt princess and he'd never be able to make her happy shock. Or my male colleague who told me that an only child is a lonely child etc.

Lonz Fri 27-Mar-15 14:35:25

Don't have to deal with silly sibling squabbles every 5 minutes!

So... the house is much more quieter.

Blondiewoman007 Wed 18-Mar-15 12:53:40

I love this thread too. It really helped me when I felt guilty at times at not providing a sibling for my DS. Not that he is remotely bothered at the moment.

Lovely calm house, calm mealtimes and bedtimes (most of the time)
Friends can come to play easily
Only one sick child to deal with at the time
DS will hopefully benefit academically from the time we spend with him doing homework etc when he starts school in the summer
Our lives don't completely revolve around child centred activities. DH and I still have a little time for ourselves which I think makes us less stressed and more relaxed
Housework more manageable than households with 2+ DC
IMO having a child/children is wonderful and lovely but it's tough at times. I feel having only 1 DC allows us to really enjoy the benefits of one and not be overwhelmed with the extra work another would bring.

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