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Only child - tell me about it!

(21 Posts)
Mouette Fri 28-Aug-09 10:43:56

After 3 years, fertility treatment, one late mc, and a very difficult pregnancy and birth, my DS was finally born last April. Due to my age (38) and all the medical pbs (infertility, weak cervix...) we will probably not have another child. I would like to hear from other parents who only have one child. Was it by choice? Did you find yourself having to explain why you only have one child? I worry that DS will lose out from not having any siblings. Did you have similar worries? How did you deal with it? We've already thought about putting DS in a nursery when he is 18 months old for a day or two a week so that he can mix with other kids, and he has a cousin who is only one year older than him. Would be good to hear from other people in the same situation. Most of our friends/relatives have either no kids or two. Thanks!

chuckeyegg Fri 28-Aug-09 10:51:18

You sound similar to me I had DS after 10 years of trying and then ICSI. I was 39 he is almost 3 now and I know I won't have another. We're off to the zoo in a minute so can't write much now, but will pop back.

leisurely Fri 28-Aug-09 10:51:20

Same situation as you exactly. PCOS finally diagnosed at aged 34, treatment which resulted in pregnancy. Enter weak cervix and loss of contents at 20 weeks. Move abroad and fell pregnant immediately. Stitch in cervix at 16 weeks, delivery of baby at 37.
I feel that she has missed out by not having to share things too often (although she is very good at this), she is quite mature and comfortable in the presence of adults. She can't amuse herself except for reading. It is bloody annoying when someone asks you when you're going to have the next (I still get asked this and I'm now 44). occasionally she'll ask for a sister, but I've pointed out that I'm too old and she' wouldn't want a baby. DD has been at school since she was about 16 months old. We have lived out of the UK all her life and I think she benefitted from the company of other children. I really wouldn't worry about it. Mine's fine (more or less)

Mouette Fri 28-Aug-09 11:02:26

Thanks chuckeyegg, hope you have a good time at the zoo!
Thanks leisurely - great to hear from someone in the same situation, I thought sometimes I was the only one, as PCOS is common (that's what I have too) but a weak cervix is not. I lost my first son at 17 weeks last year. Which country do you live in? I come from France where children go to school from the age of two. Sounds like nursery will be a good idea for our one! People are already asking me about having a second one - I'd better brace myself for a few years of this. Good to hear only children do turn out fine. Mind you there is a 6 year gap between my sister and me so we never played together much as children. I do have concerns that when he is an adult he won't have siblings to rely on - but not all siblings get on anyway, my 3 cousins (brothers) only seem to get together for weddings and funerals!

skyblu Fri 28-Aug-09 11:05:29

For the first 3 years people were on my case constantly about whether he was going to have a little brother or sister. From close family through to complete strangers. From snidey/sarcastic remarks to out & out asking.

It felt like I was justifying having one to everybody all the time!

At that time I didn't actually want another one so I found it really annoying.

When DS was 4-5 I got asked less frequently, but in a different way - sort of pitying, sorrowful looks and 'do you think you'll ever have another'..in a 'poor you' sort of wway.
At this point I was starting to waver and wanted another one but knew I couldn't have one, so still stuck with the same answer as first 3 years - although it grated because that wans't actually the full truth anymore.

Then after 6-7 years people stop asking and write you off as 'it's too late now anyway'.....which is really annoying because now I actually really, desperatley want another one!!

Pesky people and pesky hormones!! grin

JennyWasAFriendOfMine Fri 28-Aug-09 11:16:58

I have a dd, never had to explain to anyone that she's an only because it's none of their business

I would like another, but too old and tired to go through all that again

skyblu Fri 28-Aug-09 11:29:50

When I was growing up my mum had 2 best friends.

Both of these women were 'only' children.

One of them was the most spoilt, bitchy, unsharing cow you could imagine. Could be great fun when everything on her terms, but even as an adult if she didn't get her own way she couldn't share or see others points of view, would sulk, ruin everyone's time, throw tantrums.

The other was/is, one of the nicest, kindest, most selfless ladies you could ever wish to meet! never a bad word to say about anyone, always puts others first, cares, shares and is great fun.

I don't think 'only' child or not makes any difference - It's the parenting that counts every time.

Mouette Fri 28-Aug-09 12:33:43

To tired and old is exactly how DH and I feel. DH is adamant he doesn't want to go through all that again. I agree it must be the parenting that counts - I know people who do have siblings, and they're spoilt and selfish!

JustAsWelliLikeLego Fri 28-Aug-09 12:39:49

I have one DS 3.4. This is through choice and I know lots of people (well at least 5 play dates) that are the same. Well I've never asked their reasons TBH.I also have friends with more children.
IMO you just need to do things with your kid if this concerns you, it does not need to be nursery. Mine starts nursery/preschool soon but has been a regular at playgroups etc since a baby as well as lots of day trips and playdates.
I probably imagined I'd have more if I'd ever thought about it but having one seems fine to me now.

JustAsWelliLikeLego Fri 28-Aug-09 12:41:28

oh yes - and I come from a very large family grin

HappyMummyOfOne Fri 28-Aug-09 14:48:25

We have an only by choice and cant see us changing our minds re any more. Growing up with lots of brothers and sisters meant there was never any one to one time, never enough help with homework or projects, never enough money etc and I didnt want that for my own family.

I work part time and have plenty of time for DS, he has friends at school and spends some of the holidays with his cousins so he's not lonely.

Being an only doesnt mean they they will turn out spoilt, I know nice children and naughty children - its not the number of children but the parenting that shapes a child.

Had a few people ask in the past when the next one was coming along but have always just said we are happy with one.

There is no guarantee siblings will get on or be close in adult life anyway.

Mouette Fri 28-Aug-09 15:19:26

Thanks JustAsWelliLikeLego and HappyMummyOfOne (love the name!). Interesting to see that people from large families do not necessarily choose to have large families themselves. I think there are definitively advantages to being an only child (more attention, money, etc). It's probably more the parents than the children who sometimes wish for another child. But far better for DS to have a happy healthy mummy than a sibling!

catinthehat2 Fri 28-Aug-09 15:32:13

An oldie but a goldie worth a read when you have a bit of time. I always try to link to that thread when an OP like yours comes up.

Mouette Fri 28-Aug-09 18:19:29

I love this catinthehat2, thank you!

JennyWasAFriendOfMine Fri 28-Aug-09 19:20:18

I am also from a large family - I think I decided quite early on that I was only ever going to have one, there was never any peace or space or money or support from parents

discoball Fri 28-Aug-09 22:54:11

Hi, Mouette, personally I LOVE being mum to my only DS, who is now 12. I did try to have more, but after 3 miscarriages I decided to stop as I was very ill with the 2nd one and I realised that some people aren't lucky enough to even have one child. My DS is everything to me, we are very close and he is certainly not spoiled, selfish, etc.... he is very kind, considerate and has never asked about a sibling. We have friends round often, and my DS goes to his friends/his cousins as much as possible. I never justify myself to people, I just smile sweetly at them when they ask me, they soon get the message that it's really none of their business! I have nothing against large/larger families (my sister has 5!), but for me, it is great and my DS has our undivided attention and it is nice to do things just the 3 of us, or we take some of my sister's children (which she is well up for)!, or one of DS's friends. I think that (like so many have mentioned) it is your parenting that counts, not how many children you have. Also, as my mum insists on pointing out, there is no guarantee that siblings will get on later in life. At the end of the day, a family is a family, regardless of how many actual children there are!!! Make the most of it, it seems like yesterday that I was reading my son was starting primary school and now he's about to enter Y8! I do hope you find some sort of "resolve" over this , but I can assure you that there are lots of families of 3 out there that wouldn't have it any other way!! Good luck with everything. smile

discoball Fri 28-Aug-09 23:08:03

Sorry, meant to say... seems like yesterday I was reading to my son, he was starting primary school....etc... sorry! blush

lepirate Fri 28-Aug-09 23:10:49

Me and dh split, so no choice ina way as never found anyone else.

Yet, as much as i feel sad sometimes, I look at dd7, and think wow, i am lucky just to have the experience. She was a long time trying for and I feel blessed!

waitingforfanjo Sat 29-Aug-09 00:17:15

My DS will be 4 next month, and will be an 'only'. I was nearly 38 when he was born, he was the baby I never thought I would have after 10 years of infertility. First IVF attempt & there he was!

I never thought/worried about having an only child before he was born, but recently have become very preoccupied with the 5 frozen embryos we have stored. If we don't use them they will have to be destroyed in december.(you may have seen my thread in 'am i being unreasonable?) Emotionally, I really would like another child but on a practical level I know it's not really an option. My age, plus I had very bad PND which put terrible strain on all of us. The fact I feel just a bit too old and tired, the fact I don't really want to go through all the baby stuff again. (Wish I could just lay an egg, sit on it for 9 months and have a three-year-old pop out!) Lack of money & space (though i know that's the same for pretty much everyone)

I do worry that DS might be missing out in later life. I am close to my sister, & now we have elderly frail parents who rely on us both, it would be so hard if I were alone.

But I'm trying to think of the positives, that I was so lucky to conceive him at all, and that having siblings does not guarantee a happier/better life for him either now or in the future. So far he seems happy enough though he doesn't like to play on his own & demands lots of attention from me & DH.

So far I haven't had to deal with any questions about having any more as my close family & friends know the situation. To anyone else that asked, I'd probably be quite blunt and just say 'no, I can't have any more'. That would shut them up.
Anyway, an old lady in Clarks thought I was DS' grandmother a few weeks ago, so I obviously look to decrepit to still be fertile! shock

Mouette Sat 29-Aug-09 12:01:31

Thank you all. I guess my main worry is that DS being the only one I will worry about him all the time and maybe I will mollycoddle him or put too much pressure on him. I guess it's for me to manage. Because I'm sure he won't mind being an only. He is absolutely beautiful and sweet and I am incredibly lucky to have him. But I might need to do a bit of mourning for the other children I will never have. x

Katie14 Wed 02-Sep-09 23:13:44

My husband is an only child and he's lovely! Very well adjusted and doesn't ever express regrets about not having siblings.

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