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Parents of onlies does anyone else feel like me

(38 Posts)
chocaddict Mon 25-Aug-08 20:41:59

Hi
My ds is 7 and an only and for some time I have felt really bad about the fact that he doesn,t have siblings, or any cousins of his own age to play with.
I live in a area where you probably just see children going past the house but not actually playing near our house that he could run out to and mix in with.
I have always been a shy mom a real curse for me and I don,t really have any mom friends, I have recently managed to pluck up the courage to arrange playdates for my ds and have gone out of my way during these 6 weeks summer holidays to have school friends over to our house and have even taken the odd one out for the day with us.
I generally have to do all of the chasing with people I usually text them as I find it easier, but nobody ever gets in touch with me and hardly ever returns a playdate or suggests any get togethers.
I feel so sad that I would have to keep doing this if my ds is to have anyone to play with at all, and I find it a strain to be the only one that seems bothered about doing it.
I have terrible regrets about my ds being an only but have been unable to have any more dc's for various reasons.
I have become aware also that many children seem to have a good network of friends whether in their neighbourhood, or within the family and I feel awful that I don,t have that for my ds.
Just wondering if I am alone in feeling like this or is this all in my head as my dp seems to think it is.
He also thinks I have gone over the top with playdates during the holidays, but its only because I am aware that if I didn,t do it my ds would basically never see another child the whole of the 6 weeks.

BlueCornflower Mon 25-Aug-08 20:48:47

I really feel for you. I have one DC age 4 and although we do know quite a few people, she has no cousins or really close friends who would just pop round. Next door have 4 kids and loads of cousins and their garden is always heaving with activity and I feel she is one day going to realise how alone she is.

I guess it's only an issue if your DS thinks it is a problem. Hopefully as he gets older he will make friends himself more and invite them round???

Portofino Mon 25-Aug-08 20:54:51

I know exactly how you feel. My dd is 4.5 and talks endlessly about how we should invite friends round to play and for sleepovers etc. Trouble is we're in Belgium and my french is still a bit limited when it comes to talking to the other mums at school.

For her 4th bday we had a princess party and they all came. But so far she has had only 1 return invite. Her "best" friend was moving to another school and as friend's mum was expecting another baby in July, I tried my best with a card saying goodbye and you're always welcome to come and play and give mummy a rest. Never heard a peep from them though over the summer hols. DD has been to a holiday club so fortunately she has not been too lonely - but is SOOOO excited abour her cousins coming to visit next week (and they're all boys).

Note to myself to try harder when school starts again in a week....

chocaddict Mon 25-Aug-08 20:55:52

Thanks blue part of the problem is that me and my dp as a couple don,t have a big network of friends.
Its the same here no one to just pop around everybody else's family seems to be heaving as you say with activity.
My ds seems okay but I do feel that he probably is lacking in company at times.

chocaddict Mon 25-Aug-08 21:02:13

I am also dreading the start of school next week my ds is starting at a new school closer to home and he is basically going to be the only new one there.
Its start all over again for me getting to know the moms, and for my ds who has to try and make new friends.

PeaMcLean Mon 25-Aug-08 21:02:32

chocaddict, I feel exactly like you. You could have written that for me. We have a similar problem to be honest, and I don't suffer from shyness (or at least I don't think so!) so I don't even have that excuse.

I don't know what to do about it and it does make me feel very sad sometimes. My DS is also 7 and he's noticed that he's an only and wishes he had a sibling. doesn't help that he knows he should have had a twin, who was sadly stillborn.

I've got this week off work with DS. I'm looking forward to it, but know I'll spend a fair bit of effort to make sure we meet up with other people. I'm sure it's not supposed to be this hard.

BlueCornflower Mon 25-Aug-08 21:04:40

It's really hard, isn't it? Does he make friends easily? Maybe he doesn't really feel the need for friends much?

I guess it's easy to feel like this at this stage of the holidays. Hopefully you will feel better when he goes back to school (is he starting a new one?). Maybe you can encourage him to ask some friends back after school??

BlueCornflower Mon 25-Aug-08 21:06:09

Oops - crossed post. I'm sure he won't be the only new one though. Could you ask his teacher if there are any other boys who don't really know anyone?

squeaver Mon 25-Aug-08 21:07:26

I have a 3.8 year old only, choc - don't know if my situation can help you, but thought I'd let you know about it.

We have no close family nearby. Dd has just finished one year at nursery and is moving to a new school next week. I've spent a year trying really hard to sort out playdates/make new friends and luckily it has worked out for us. Dd and I have both made quite a few new friends and she's been kept pretty busy this summer too.

So it's been ok so far. But I do feel like I have to make the effort most of the time - not taking anything away from my friends as they all have 2 or more dcs to cope with.

Now she's moving to a new school and I know I'll have to go through all the effort again! I'm quite outgoing but even then it is a strain. So you're not alone. As Blucornflower says as the get older it should get easier.

Anyway, hope this helps.

chocaddict Mon 25-Aug-08 21:11:13

I am really sorry about his twin pea.
I hate the situation so much my ds has had plenty of interaction with children during the holidays but its only because of me continually texting people asking if their children would like to come and play.
Its hard work worrying about it all of the time knowing that if I didn,t do this he would never see another child.
I just wish I had the stream of cousins, friends, etc that so many families seem to have.
Funnily enough my ds doesn,t appear to have picked up on being an only, I am sure he realises but he has never said anything about it and he seems relatively happy enough.
However I can see what good it does him when he does have friends around.

columbolover Mon 25-Aug-08 21:13:05

choc - have no real advice for you, but I know how you feel, though my ds is too young for playdates etc yet. But dh and I are both shy and don't have any friends with children, or a large network of childless friends for that matter. Looks like ds will be an only as well, so I'm sort of dreading his school years.

But, its easy to imagine that everyone in your ds class is swamped with invitations / has loads of company during the hols and that so may not be the case. He'll make his own friends in time, when he's more at an age when he can decide, and plan himself, who he wants to spend time with. Plus I knew several only children in my childhood who grew up with plenty of friends, particularly when staring secondary school.
If your ds seems not as bothered as you about it at the moment / quite happy with his own and your company I'd try not to push it too much with playdates etc.

Minniethemoocher Mon 25-Aug-08 21:13:09

I am expecting my second child, but DD will be 5.5 years old when s/he is born and I read somewhere that if you have more than a 5 year age gap, they both function as only children, I suppose because the age gap is too large for them to really play together.

I am very shy and the one friend that I have made among the mums at school has just moved away....sad

DD has had NO play dates over the summer holidays and I feel so bad about it being my fault for failing to make friends with the other Mums... I have taken her out and tried to find things to keep her entertained during the school holidays, but it breaks my heart that she hasn't had any friends around to play....

I can cope with not having any close friends myself, more acquaintances and work colleagues who I have the occasional coffee with but not when it affects DD. I don't have two heads or anything, no BO that I am aware of but I just can't break into the school mum clique....

I have given up now saying would X like to come to play, as I always get fobbed off...and never can get a firm date fixed.

DD started in nursery in 2007, so I think that the pattern is now set, that both DD and myself don't get invited by the other Mums/children....sad

I have even thought about changing DD's school to try to make a fresh start with some other Mums/new classmates for DD....

We have no family in the UK, only relatives who live abroad, so no cousins to play with either.

BTW I am an only child myself so I know what it is like.

twowheels Mon 25-Aug-08 21:14:20

wow your post is just like how I fee. DS is 5 and this holidday has spent too much time alone, mainly as I didn't make enough effort to set up playdates and his best friend is away all summer - it really does feel like it is always me doing the asking.He has seen friends a few times that's all.

There is another family down the street with a boy who seems to be a similiar age and I feel so desparate about this that I plan to knock on their door and introduce me and DS.

I just so wish things were different for him. It is good to know I am not alone in this.

squeaver Mon 25-Aug-08 21:16:01

pea - sorry to hear about your ds's twin sad

chocaddict Mon 25-Aug-08 21:16:03

Thanks squeaver its so hard when your not the outgoing sort and the thought of trying to get to know all the other moms at his new school fills me with dread especially as they probably all know each other already

squeaver Mon 25-Aug-08 21:18:37

Minnie - that's terrible about the mums at your school. I'm a bit of a barge-my-way-in type, I'm afraid!

Twowheels - re your neighbour: you should do exactly that! I'd love it if someone came to my door.

columbolover Mon 25-Aug-08 21:19:22

Sorry choc, x -posted with your further posts. Try and see the new school as a fresh start, he's bound to make some great friends there, and if nearer to home he might be inclined to bring them home. But as you say he doesn't seem that bothered about being on his own just now. I really wouldn't push him too much, just let him make friends at his own pace. Easy to say I know though, and I'll probably be doing myself when ds is your ds age, but I wonder if sometimes its more about our anxiety for them than their own actual needs.
Hope he gets on ok at his new school, and that you also make some friends smile

squeaver Mon 25-Aug-08 21:20:35

But, choc, maybe they don't! Good idea to ask the teacher if there's other people in the same situation.

chocaddict Mon 25-Aug-08 21:29:57

Its hard minnie I know exactly what you are feeling its an horrible way to feel.
I have never been able to break into the school mom cliques and I blame myslef alot because of my shyness, I can,t help but feel that its all my fault.

columbolover Mon 25-Aug-08 21:33:31

my last post sounds a bit flippant, sorry blush Was just sort of summarising in my head!
Twowheels, that's a great idea - I would love a neighbour to do that too.

Minnie - could one of the teachers help pair up your dd with one of the other girls? what an awful situation.

Pea, sorry about your ds twin sad

choc, there must be another child who will be new as well. Maybe just pretend to be confident and sort of barge your way in, as squeaver does grin. I'm going to try that anyway.

chocaddict Mon 25-Aug-08 21:45:54

twowheels I am aware of a family that live at the top of my street my ds met their 1 ds briefly at the scouts group he joined although he has given that up now.
My ds always waves to him if he sees him walking past with his mom, and has said a couple of times that he would like this boy and his brother to come and play with him,
This boy isn,t on his own like my ds he has a younger brother and sister and I have seen them all playing happily in their back garden together when I have walked past.
I would love for my ds to make friends with them but I am really not sure how to go about it.
I have thought about putting a note through their door saying that my ds and their ds met briefly at scouts, and my ds would love for their ds to come and play at our house.
I have lacked the courage to do this though as I barely know their parents and have only said the odd hello.

squeaver Mon 25-Aug-08 21:47:22

Yes, barging is fun!

Is this thread another reason why we parents of onlies should have our own topic, just like the mums of multiples do?

Minniethemoocher Mon 25-Aug-08 21:49:38

Chocaddict - that is the problem, I blame myself for being shy!

Columbolover - the teachers have suggested that DD should play with X, who is also shy and quite, but X's Mum doesn't seem very interested when I have suggested a coffee/playdate...

Sometimes I feel that I must have two heads/B.O./halitosis or something!

Squeaver - Oh I do wish that I could "barge-in" I am more a loiter at the back and smile in a friendly way type of person...

twowheels - yes, I worry that I will end up looking a bit sad and lonely and desperate. I have also noticed that I have been asked to provide lifts to social events that involve a drink ( as I am pregnant and hence not drinking but not to playdates or round for a coffee...angryI would be very happy if someone knocked on my door and introduced themselves, we have lovely neighbours, but none with children of DDs age.

I just don't know what the answer is....I feel that I am pigeon-holed as the shy quiet Mum and I don't know how to break out of that role.

BTW, I am 43 and most of the other Mums are in their 20s and 30's do you think that they just think that I am an old fogey? I am well preserved for my age, (if I say so myself) and I have often been told that I look 10 years younger, but I do wonder if being an older Mum is part of the problem....

chocaddict Mon 25-Aug-08 21:56:13

There isn,t anyone else that is new colum not in the class that my ds will be in anyway.
They have all moved up from the infants that is attached to the school.
My ds has spent a couple of afternoons there with his supposed new friends and he seemed to be okay and seems to have picked out a couple as possible friends.
I so hope it will work out okay for him next week.
To be honest I feel its going to be worse for me as although I have certianly not had a massive network of mom friends at his previous school I only really ever spoke to a couple or so at least it was better than having no one to speak to.
I don,t even know what any of the other parents look like at my ds's new school I have never seen any of them.

twowheels Mon 25-Aug-08 22:04:01

it is so nice to read this thread. I have spent a lot of the summer holiday feeling there is something wrong with me. DS has wanted me and DH to play with him so much, while it is really nice it does get tiring.

I will contact the family down the street and see what happens. I rarely see thier children atall but will try.

I too am an older mum - 40 -.

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