Feeling guilty about only DD(20 Posts)
She is 3.5. Since she was born I've been fairly adamant we weren't going to have another....did not enjoy baby phase one bit & have enjoyed retraining for a new career. DH and I are happy and balanced and in a good place.
However the past few weeks particularly during the summer holidays I've been feeling sad for her & guilty. We are out and about a lot but it feels wherever we go / park / farm / activities everyone else has a sibling to play with and she's just with mum. No cousins in the picture. She love love loves playing with other children. I feel so cross now I didn't just get on with it and have another one quickly. We have Lots of friends we see but again they all are families of 2/3+ DC.
DH is open to having another (I don't sense desperately keen as he loves our life now but agrees he thinks DD would love it) but for financial / practical reasons we would be silly to try now, needs to be at least two and more likely three years away (I was only 24 when I had her so we do have time on our side) but By this time DD could easily be 6/7 so whilst it will be lovely to have a sibling for her they won't be playmates as such will they ?
If anyone could offer some words of wisdom, particularly if you have happy large age gaps / only children & you are pleased it worked out that way would love to hear from you. Thank you.
Don't worry or overthink so much I was just like you. DS1's endless energy and need to explore put me off having more than one for q very long time. It was only when he was 4 years old that DH got broody again and DS2 was born when our eldest was 5 and a half. They were lovely together, the age gap not an issue. We had DD when the boys were 10 and 3.5 and whilst they don't always get on (normal!) they love each other, look out for each other, and still find lots of ways of having fun together. They each have different and lovely relationships with each other. Being siblings is usually enough.
Equally, I know some very happy and balanced single children so not having more kids is hardly going to to damage your DD
Correction - we both got broody
or was that some sort of Freudian slip ha ha
Good username by the way Always applicable!
We have just DD (not out of choice) but we are happy with where we are. DD is 6 now, and attending a local primary has been great, she's seen two friends from school this week already. Having just the one is great in many ways, you have loads of options as you only have to consider what'll work for them. Yes, she's had phases of wanting a sibling (not for a while, though) but life is pretty happy for our little family most of the time!
I felt similar with dd1 so cracked on and had dd2 when she was 2.5. I can honestly say I don't think the ever played together as kids they were chalk and cheese. They hated each other as teens and are only friends now at 18 and 22! There was a 10 yr gap between dd2 and dd3. The older ones adore her. She wishes she had a sibling the same age but I keep pointing out that she doesn't know what her sibling would have been like!
wellies thank you so much, that's so nice to hear how close your DC are. I am definitely a massive over thinker ! Glad you like the name it's the only characteristic of my parenting that's been consistent since day 1
River I think that's the trouble in a way, I have seen just how lovely and happy life with one DC can be and I think there are so many benefits. This morning we went to a tennis lesson then out for lunch, it was so lovely no nappies or faff to contend with, I wasn't all anxious about a crying baby / arsey toddler.
Neither DH or I are massively close to our siblings (varying age ranges) so it's not like it's a given they would get on either! I am really looking forward to DD starting full time pre school in Sept as I think it's just what she means and hopefully make a few more local friends who's parents are happy to loan them out for holidays !
For what it's worth my dd constantly bemoans the fact she's not an only child! There is no right or wrong here. If you want guilt, have another and then assess how much time and attention you smothered on dc1 compared to dc2!
If you only want to create another person to be a potential playmate for your DD on days out, could I suggest a big friendly dog instead? There is probably also a higher chance of them getting on well, no time delay before they can play together, and no university fees!
OP my dd (nearly 3) sounds very similar to yours and I often go through phases of guilt that she's unlikely to ever have a sibling. It's a choice we've made for a variety of reasons and whilst I know I could probably be talked into having another, dh has always said he only wanted one, and though he adores dd and being a dad, has never shifted his position. Unlike you I dont have time on my side (late 30s) so I think it's very unlikely it'll happen now.
I think there are many positives of only having one child. I hope we'll be able to give dd a rich and fulfilling life (not saying that people with multiple DC's can't or don't, it's just different) without overly "spoiling" her, and that she won't resent us for choosing not to give her a sibling. I came across a thread on here a while back entitled something like "the great things about having an only child" which makes a nice and quite reassuring read for anyone with a single child, so may be worth trying to find that.
As others have said there's no right or wrong, though, and whatever you end up doing you're bound to feel guilty at some point - it's part and parcel of being a parent!
Hi best that could be an idea
Ana thank you for that. I genuinely do think DH would be happy to stick at one and I must admit sometimes I do think it would be easier to just put the idea of siblings to one side and focus on our lovely DD. definitely in our case as an only DD would have a lot more opportunities open to her than if we were to have another. Yes I do think whatever you do there will be an element of "argh did I do the right thing involved"!
Thank you very much everyone for contributing it's good to know we're not the only ones who've had this dilemma - not exaggerating when I say everyone we know in real life either has two or more or is pregnant / planning to be pregnant in the near future. So it's lovely to here all these stories.
I am an only child and hated it ! I now have 11kids and am trying to mentally prepare myself for just how many grandkids I might end up with!! Def won't be lonely in my old age like I felt as a child!! Did like the dog idea tho - we got a dog when I was 18 months and she died when I was 20! She was indeed my sibling and best friend.
I am an only child and it never bothered me. Always had loads of friends to play with.
Dd is also an only as I couldn't have anymore. She's 8 and life is great. She's super sociable and we have loads of playdates. She does several after school activities she loves and weekends are always busy seeing friends. We have more money to spend on her.
Only time i think a sibling would be good now is when she wakes up early and wants to play with us!
We try to go on holiday with friends so she has an automatic friend to play with. Otherwise, we go to family friendly places.where there are other children around for her to make friends.
cassie that sounds lovely. I like to think that is how DD will be if we don't have any more.
I have a few thoughts here. As others have said, there's no guarantee siblingscwill be friends any way. I don't think having only one is intrinsically better or worse than having several children.
Secondly, if you and dh are not particularly wanting another child, it would be quite wrong IMO to have another child just so your dd isn't an only. Children need to be wanted for their own sakes not because of what they can provide for someone else.
Thirdly, your dd is still quite young. As she gets older and is at school she will naturally have more children that she plays with.
Fourthly, if you offer some play dates with other children to keep your dd company, other parents will really appreciate it.
Fifthly, as she gets a bit older you can let her join whatever clubs etc that suit her interests and provide another opportunity for her to connect with and build relationships with other children ( eg Brownies or Cubs, Forest school activities, young archaeologists' club, any activities where there are social aspects rather than just a lesson)
Thanks "educating* to be honest I change my mind daily ! Some days I feel like I can't believe how far we've come from the screaming baby phase & how much I enjoy her now I'd like to raise another child & add someone else to our little family for all of us, other days I look at mums with two DC and think how much easier my life is & I could never do that & the only reason to go through that again would be for DD to have a sibling
I do like your point about the opportunities, friends & clubs she will be hopefully able to join once she has started school though. I'd quite happily have a friend over every day for her as she gets so excited & love playing with other children so much.
You seem to focus on how glad you are that you don't have a baby.
The thing is, the baby phase passes. And then you have a fully fledged human. No doubt equally as lovely as your DD.
And whilst you look at mums of more than one and think their life is hard, I look at mums of one and think their life must be hard. With two, I often sit with a mag at a coffee shop whilst they talk, or I'm outside in the garden painting my nails and they're having a water fight.
But the upshot is, if YOU don't want another child, don't do it. You sound happy
Yup that's right enjoying - I am truly atrocious at the baby stage!! DD cried and cried, didn't sleep & I was very lonely . But like you said another lovely little person would be as equally lovely as her once that was over & I think it could be quite nice to have two older children eventually.
DH and I had a long chat last night about it and we've decided to try in about 18 months so DD will most probably be nearly 6 or so by the time baby comes along and this time we will be in a bigger house (was in small flat before top floor no lift!) will have a job to go back to (SAHM definitely not for me) & have more friends and family around. Who knows I might even enjoy it a bit !!
Hopefully the age gap won't be too much of a problem & like you I'll eventually be able to sit and do nails outside (like the sound of that ) while they play .
I've four DC but I don't see anything wrong at all with having one DC if that's what you prefer. There are so many opportunities for them to mix with other DC that I can't see that it's a problem.
I know quite a few single children and they are all lovely, happy, fun loving kids. I find them a little more mature than my kids as I think they are more used to being with adults. It's not a bad thing though just an observation. I don't find any of them to be spoilt.
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