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Article for those MNs who worry about having an only child

(24 Posts)
Mulanmum Thu 02-Oct-08 05:19:26

Been lurking for a while and, as the mum of one lovely DD, I feel sad reading threads where people are worried about their child being an only. This article might offer some reassurance. It's written in response to some know-all child-rearing "expert" from Australia who has apparently been criticising small families. e.html

dalu Thu 02-Oct-08 13:21:48

Thank you for that[grim] it was just what I needed

coochybottom Thu 02-Oct-08 13:47:02

People who make you feel guilty for having only one are only jealous!!! I know that now I have 3 children!! It took me ages to conceive DS2&DS3 and in the meantime I got so many comments from people about only having one child. It was especially hurtful as they didnt know my circumstances. I also hadnt wanted another one until my DS1 was 5yr old.Another bone of contention!! Do what is best for * you*!! Once you have more than one child any peace and quiet goes totally out of the window. As long as an only child has plenty of contact with others they will soon be off making their own life for themselves so there is no need to feel guilty about a few years where they dont have a sibling. A lot of the time they fight like hell anyway!! grin

squeaver Thu 02-Oct-08 13:53:44

Do any of you think their should be an "only child topic"? Just like there's a larger families one?

Anna8888 Thu 02-Oct-08 14:01:19

I think it's all silly. My daughter isn't strictly an "only" as she has two stepbrothers; she is clearly far less "pampered" than her stepbrothers because I don't parent her the way her stepbrothers were/are parented by their mother.

My partner's parenting has evolved hugely since being with me, and he is quite aware of the massive difference between our joint parenting and the parenting that went on when he was with his ex.

Nothing to do with number IMO and everything to do with beliefs and personality of the parents.

clouisem Thu 02-Oct-08 14:41:10

I get this all the time as I only have one DS, we dont want any more he is happy we are happy.
As you say people dont know your personal circumstances, our DS has CF so to have another child the risk would be too high. Luckily we only ever wanted one.
People drive me mad going on and on how he NEEDS a sibling, NO he does not he has his cousins he sees all ther time, he has friends. He is lucky we have lots of time to give him and not have to compete.

teafortwo Thu 02-Oct-08 14:51:28

squeaver - I like the idea of an only child topic - or at least thread. There are things that we think about and need to find solutions for that people with more than one child perhaps don't need to.

Also with EVERYONE in real life saying things like in the past week alone - "I think you should have another child for your dd. To have one just one is being unfair!" or "Oh you have a headache - maybe you're pregnant. Wow! That would be nice for you all!" and "I think it is brave to have decided on just one child." it is good to talk to some like minded people!

And p.s The worst one so far was a few months ago from a group of Mummy friends at my daughter's baby school. One said - "We are all trying for our next baby now so they will all be about the same age at the same time. We all think you should join in too!" shock

Blu Thu 02-Oct-08 14:51:37

Aaargh! The ^only problem I have with having an enfant unbique is the presumptions and prejudices of knobheads like Mr Grose. How effing patronising! His comments in that article have me almost demented with fury! ALL parents take circumstances into account - as far as it is thier control - in the way they parent thier children - does he think parents of one child also have one brain cell? People spout such prejudiced crap about one-child families, it's edious, boring and insulting, and this 'expert' just gives validation to it. So - we all now need to expect more of same.

GRRRRR I'll give him effing 'resilient' - bet he wouldn't be so calm and philosophical about having 18 metal pins right through his leg for months on end like my (spoilt? cosseted? micro managed?) ds is - GRRRRRR

Mulumum - good for you...but I have become distracted by that blodoy man!

<<stomps off to aim metal pins at Mr Grose>>

batters Thu 02-Oct-08 14:58:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Tolalola Thu 02-Oct-08 15:09:49

yes please a thread for onlys would be dithering about trying for another (don't feel like i really want another) and would love to know more about the experience of parents with just one...

clouisem Thu 02-Oct-08 15:13:45

I would like to see a thread for 1 child families too. Great help to hear others experiences.

Blu Thu 02-Oct-08 15:15:15

Batters - I have exactly the same problem with those moments...have you tried Asti?

teafortwo Thu 02-Oct-08 15:17:48

LOL about the party batters!!!

I have just finished reading the article and decided Mr Grose has made some very good points. So I have taken my daughter into the centre of our city, left her there and plan to spend the rest of the day drinking tea, eating chocolate and mning - well until the Police bring her back - if they ever do! All in the name of good parenting... Or... uuuuuurrrrmmmm.... maybe not!!!!

Ian McEwan wrote a wonderful essay on being an only child - I will try and find it for you all!

clouisem Thu 02-Oct-08 15:24:26

Blu - I LOVE Asti, its my drink of choice for my evening wind down... LOL

teafortwo Thu 02-Oct-08 15:35:50

This is the article...

'An Only Childhood: Ian McEwan Remembers Growing Up Without Brothers and Sisters', The Observer (London), 31 January 1982: 41.

I can find the reference but I can't find the article online - It was re-printed relatively recently in a special the Observer did on articles people wrote at quite timely times. This was written prior to him discovering he did have a brother so put a sort of twist on the whole article. But it is a really thoughtful and interesting article in its own right without this twist.

Can anyone else find it maybe? I need to go out now. I will look again this evening!

DontCallMeBaby Thu 02-Oct-08 15:58:40

On a trampoline with two children twice his size?! Obviously not a MNer then (writer, not her DS). wink

I just have one problem with that article (well, it is in the DM, got to be something to object to) is "An only child is more precious than if you are blessed with many children, loved as they all may be. This is acknowledged in royal and aristocratic families, where they talk about the need for 'an heir and a spare'." No no NO, not all parents of onlies think that other people's children are somehow expendable. An only is NOT more precious - the difference is that an only child is both a single child, and ALL my children. My DD is the equivalent, say, of my friend's eldest DD, but she is also the equivalent of all three of my friend's DCs, cos she's all I've got.

TigerFeet Thu 02-Oct-08 16:03:16

If you follow DontCallMeBaby's quote through, it implies that when a second or further child arrives then your love and concern for the first child somehow diminishes.

I only have one dc, but even I can see how that is utter bollocks.

teafortwo Thu 02-Oct-08 17:27:19

Sorry - I really can't find that essay.

Oh well - a big thank you to Mulanmum for starting this chat!!!

I am quite new to mn - What is the done thing...

Shall we continue to chat about only child ishooos in general on this thread or start a separate one too leaving this one for people to chat specifically about the article????

Mulanmum Thu 02-Oct-08 20:16:07

Oh, dear, I didn't post the link to cause all this upset blush - quite the opposite. Mr Gorse is clearly a prick but I thought Winifrid's rebuttal was pretty good. I didn't agree with everything she said (esp heir and spare) but was glad she put forward a reply on behalf of one child families.

Sorry if the link caused offence (esp as I've only just signed up to post after a long time lurking!].

teafortwo Thu 02-Oct-08 20:22:19

Mulanmum - DON'T be sorry!!!!

You have gathered together a group of Mums with one child who want to chat about it - be proud - you have made a new mn friendship group!!!! That is impressive for a first thread!!!! Really impressive!!!!!

Now - shall we carry on talking about this in this thread or shall we make another called something like "one child chat"???

Your thread - so me thinks your call!!!! Keep up the good mning Mulanmum - it is nice to have you onboard/online!!!

Mulanmum Thu 02-Oct-08 21:18:58

Thanks very much, teafortwo.

Have started new thread just for us lot smile

Blu Fri 03-Oct-08 12:32:49

Oh Mulanmum - I was enraged by Idiot Grose - not your posting of the article or the article itself - you did good, bringing it to our attention! I wasn't offended by ypu posting it - not at all!

I agree about the nonsense of apparantly viewing further children as if I could look at any of m nephews and neices and so "ok which one isn't needed - choose one and get rid!" .

teafortwo Fri 03-Oct-08 12:53:53

Hi Blu,
Feel free to continue to chat about the article here. It is a good catalyst for discussion! Lots to chat about - negative and positive!

Mulanmum has also created a thread for general one child chat - we would love you to join us! It is here -

batters Fri 03-Oct-08 15:19:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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