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Only child wants a sibling

(4 Posts)
rvby Tue 21-Jul-20 16:18:21

I had a DS with my H, and while I really wanted another child (we had planned to have 2), h changed his mind. It was very hard at the time, but the dynamic in our marriage very much was about keeping him happy so that he didnt kick off. So I swallowed my tears, made the best of it, etc.

The marriage fell apart about 3years later. In the intervening years my ex shoved our son to punish me for something, told ds mummy didnt want him, told me he wasn't going to care for DS because "i was the one who wanted a DC and he just went along with it". I think that last bit was actually true, and that my ex never intended to keep to the agreement to have 2 kids, he predicted that with 1 I'd shut up and get on with it. I had laid my cards on the table early in the marriage that I wanted 2+ kids and that if ex didnt, we could split amicably. I assume in hindsight that my ex took this as emotional blackmail. Maybe it was. At the time I was just trying to be fair and honest.

I left my ex when DS was 3.5. I took a couple of years to pull myself together and obviously wasn't in a position to have another child. Over time, exh has become a good, engaged father. He loves his son and does his part. I think he just really hated me, and with me gone, their relationship has blossomed.

Ds is now coming up on 8. He has started, especially in lockdown, to talk about how much he wishes he had a sibling. This breaks my heart, I'm usually very stoic and cheerful about the past/accepting things as they are. But I think because its something I really wanted as well, it just hurts to hear DS say it. All my stoicism falls away when he asks me to have another child.

It's all too late now - I have a new dp and we dont want to have a baby together. And even if we did, ds would be 8+ at minimum when baby arrived - ds would still be an only, in practice. I'm 37 and have started to skip ovulations, perimenopause definitely peeking around the corner. Just not right timing and its something I've let go of.

However I find myself angrily ruminating on how DS keeps asking me to have another baby, why I didnt have a sibling for him, etc and I want to scream "Ask you father!!" Because it wasn't what I wanted, I knew it wasn't. But sometimes things just go wrong.

I suppose I hate being blamed (strong word but closest I can come to what I mean) for something that was really a feature of my ex being horrible, basically. Something that hurt desperately at the time, and that I've continually been judged for by friends and family, as if it were a personal failing of mine that I couldn't "convince" my ex to have a second child.

Any words of wisdom before I blurt something out to DS that I really regret... what is the best way to respond to DS and deal with my feelings?

OP’s posts: |
Lochie662 Tue 21-Jul-20 16:48:56

I am late thirties , I have split with my husband who I share a son with and he will be an only child.

My son is much older than yours, when he was 5/6/7 we tried to conceive a second child, at one point I was four months pregnant and we told our son he was to have a sibling.... Unfortunately , it wasn't to be and he was disappointed for a few years at being an only child.

But now , he is a teenager and sees the benefits of being an only child. Or at least that's what he tells me. His best friend has four siblings and I know he is always complaining. My son always says he is happy to come home after being in that chaotic environment.

There's no guarantees that him having a sibling will make him happier, and every chance that he will get used to his situation, hopefully growing to appreciate the benefits of his life.

I have siblings I never liked and no longer see very often. There's no guarantees.

I do think this is made much worse because you desperately wanted that second child too, and your son voicing his sadness has just rubbed salt on that wound.

Maybe look into counselling to come to terms with this?

Lozzerbmc Tue 21-Jul-20 18:48:54

We have one child via ivf as further ivf attempt didnt work. He is 12 and a very happy only child.

I think your child raising this has picked at a scab. You need to come to terms with having just one child, but you will. Life has a habit of not working out as you planned!

Perhaps a bit of counselling - it will help to talk it through.

Hatchee Tue 21-Jul-20 20:44:54

I'm an only raising an only, and I can tell you that while there's no one "correct" number of kids to have, having one can be great.
Beyond that, I think often when a child expresses a desire for a sibling, they're asking for something based on idealised things they've seen on TV, or even the fun bits they've experienced at friends' houses, with cousins etc. He's probably not asking for a highly disruptive tiny person who takes up massive amounts of your time and largely shuffles him to the backburner.
It will pass, and he will be happy. It sounds like you've overcome a lot and are doing a great job.

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