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Are only children harder work and ultimately less happy?

(9 Posts)
hobbcat Fri 17-Aug-07 12:08:11

I'm expecting baby no. 1 at the end of December. Of course I'm being totally premature in asking this, but DH and I have alreadly had a long theoretical discussion about the pros and the cons and I'm interested in hearing from folk in the know. We both have siblings, but we're not massively close due to age gaps. I also plan to return to work full time to a job which I find very fulfilling on a lot of levels. I'm 34.

gess Fri 17-Aug-07 12:10:13

I'm an only child, am happy, and was immensely easier to look after than my 3! (my mum and dad did used to cart a friend along on holiday from about the age of 11 though),

Blu Fri 17-Aug-07 12:16:48

Much is made of the fact that only children will have a lone burden of care and funeral arrangement once we are all ancient and dead. However as the eldest of 3 i am currently gnashing my teeth at the fact that every time I am desparate for some childcare or other help from my parents they are busy helping my siblings and their children. Only children stand a better chance of getting help from grandparents when they grow up and are parents themselves!

DS is an only child - and is not at all hard wotk and is very happy, relaxed, sociable and 'normal'. We will start to do hols with children of the same age or take a friend along from now on, I think. I sometimes wish we had another child, but the sheer logistics of childcare for having more than one child for working parents seem v daunting to me.

See how you feel once your baby is a year old. Whatever you think now, you will think and feel differently then, either way!

Congratulations on your pg.

Marina Fri 17-Aug-07 12:20:21

Balancing full-time work with more than one child is definitely incrementally far harder work IMO, especially once they are both at school and liable to have outings, assemblies and plays/concerts on different days
I think you have to rethink after your first baby is born, about what suits you and your dh, and also the personality of your child.
I don't think only children of my acquaintance are harder work, or less happy - they vary, just like people from 2 plus children families.

Hulababy Fri 17-Aug-07 12:24:17

The only children I know are very happy, both as children and those who are now in adulthood. Siblings don't necessarily mean happier childen at all, and infact siblings can't be a major cause of family upsets, especially in adult lives.

DD is not hard work at all.

Do what feels right for you and your family. All children and all families are different. What works for one doesn't work for another. Just enjoy your little one!

KerryMumbledore Fri 17-Aug-07 12:24:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Surfermum Fri 17-Aug-07 12:32:30

I have one dd and a step-d who doesn't live with us, so I get a feel for both situations. I find it much easier when it's just dd on her own in some respects, ie I only have one child's needs to worry about. On the other hand if dsd is here she will play with dd and keep her amused so I can get on with more jobs. It's swings and roundabouts and I think it will boil down to what you're happy with.

batters Fri 17-Aug-07 13:04:48

It's whats right for your family that counts, hobbcat. As soon as my dd was born I knew that our family was complete, with "just" one child. But I am know that this isn't what everyone wants, and feel desperately sad for people who want more than one child but for whatever reason can not have any more children.

RedheadBaba Fri 17-Aug-07 14:05:18

I've no children of my own yet but can comment from the view point of an only child.

My father is fighting multiple tumours at the moment, meaning lots of time in hospital and a mother (who has health issues of her own) needing a lot of support. I'm getting my support from DP and can't say that the situation would be made an easier by having siblings around.

In fact I have a close friend with 3 siblings and elderly parents, her brothers have been no help at all and are actually causing more stress as she has to deal with family rows about their lack of help on top of the stress of caring for elderly parents!

Have more children because you see your family as having more children, not because you are worried about your caring needs in future years. You never know, you could be climing Everest in your 80's!!

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