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AIBU? feel constantly depressed about only child?

109 replies

user1494250093 · 01/08/2017 13:49

I love my six-year-old to bits. But it feels like evry second of every day I look at her and think that she's going to be unhappy as an only child. My dad was an only (and deeply unhappy) and I know that I'm projecting his feelings onto my child. However, it's really ripping me up inside. I feel guilty every second.
Me and DP are not 'natural' parents – and having dc nearly ended our relationship (we put way too much pressure on ourselves). How can I learn to live with, or get past, this guilt?

OP posts:
Ummmmgogo · 01/08/2017 13:50

go to the park. watch various siblings kicking the shit out of each other. pat your self on the back for not inflicting that on your child. job done!

scurryfunge · 01/08/2017 13:52

I don't know any unhappy only children. There's nothing to feel guilty about.

BarbarianMum · 01/08/2017 13:54

Remind yourself that your dd is not your dad. My mum regreted not having siblings but that doesn't mean that she had an unhappy childhood or an unhappy life. And given the extreme poverty in which she lived her early years she'll freely admit it was just as well there was only one of her.

BaronessBomburst · 01/08/2017 13:57

My 7 year old DS is currently romping around the park with a band of other children, most of whom are also only's. He's definitely not miserable. We'll be going home shortly and he won't have to share his iPad.
I have more time for him, and more money for treats and trips out.

RatherBeRiding · 01/08/2017 14:00

Wow don't feel guilty! I'm an only child. Never missed having siblings. My parents were able to provide things they probably wouldn't if there had been more of us.

My partner might as well be an only child. He gets on OK with his sibling but they're not close and don't seek each other out.

I know lots of only children. I don't know any unhappy only children.

applecharlotte · 01/08/2017 14:02

Sorry you are feeling so depressed Flowers I have an only 6yo through choice - he's never once asked for a sibling, being an only is the norm for him and your DD. Is she showing any signs of being unhappy or is it just total projection? If the latter I really suggest you get some counselling.

We experience so many positives from having only one - not just the amount of attention he gets but also I know I would be frazzled with two and I would be not as good a mum.

My mum is one of 5. Her brother died when she was in her twenties and after 50 years of arguments and conflict with her other siblings she is NC with all but one. I see how badly having siblings has affected her. It's swings and roundabouts.

ifyoulikepinacolada · 01/08/2017 14:02

I love being an only child. I have great relationships with my parents, lots of friends, and am also totally comfortable in my own company. Really grateful I don't have siblings and not unhappy at all!

I'm terrible at sharing food, though.

ILiveUnderYourBed · 01/08/2017 14:03

Can only speak from personal experience here but my sister and I had a fairly big age gap (6 years) and she hated me with a passion. She told me a few years ago she can still remember how pushed out she felt when I was born. We never played together growing up and spent most of our teens not speaking. Shes actually still a bit bitter about it now. She would definately have been happier as an only child!

Hissy · 01/08/2017 14:04

God bless you, you ARE ridiculous!

Your child WILL be unhappy if you project all this angst and guilt on her!

She's 6 years of age, at school, making friends and learning about life.

Look at your little girl and see how happy she IS!

She doesn't have to share you, she has all your love and attention, and (as mum of an only boy aged 11) give thanks to god you only have to FEED ONE!!

You don't have to follow any precedents with schooling, you can send her where suits her best, she doesn't have to wear hand-me-downs

Stop feeling guilty about things of no relevance at all to you!

Trb17 · 01/08/2017 14:05

Of course siblings can be great but not always. I'm an only child and I always liked it. Never felt lonely and enjoyed the benefits: attention, more money for hobbies etc. Plus I always had friends round.

My DD is now an only and she seems to thrive off it too. Likes her own space when she's done socialising with friends. Plus we are very close.

Being an only isn't bad or good. It simply is and it certainly isn't a bad thing in my or my DD's case.

Trb17 · 01/08/2017 14:06

P.S. I also know many siblings who have bad relationships so it's no guarantee either way.

TearsOnTheGround · 01/08/2017 14:08

Just because someone has siblings doesn't mean they will get on with them.

I was having this conversation only last week with a few people and the amount of folk with siblings that don't get on is quite common.

I don't speak to one of my siblings and the other is just a passing hello if I see them.

As an only child they will have a circle of friends who they will probably have a better relationship with then siblings anyway!

Columbine1 · 01/08/2017 14:10

Really don't project this into yr DD
I have a sole DC and would have wanted more & worried that he was missing out on the rough & tumble of siblings but he has turned out fine and very sociable
On reflection, my 'D'SIS made a lot of my childhood miserable with her bullying!

user1494250093 · 01/08/2017 14:10

Thank you! You're making me both laugh and cry a

OP posts:
FrogAndFriggit · 01/08/2017 14:10

I was one of 5 and bloody hated it! I would have loved to have been an only. Loads of siblings hate each other, it's completely over rated IMO.

PinkHeart5911 · 01/08/2017 14:11

Well my dh is an only child, as unfortunately mil had many problems after him and couldn't have anymore children. Dh was happy and still is.

Having a sibling is no guarantee of happiness, not all siblings get on just because they share the same DNA.

Your child gets your undived attention and is loved and wanted. What have you got to feel guilty for? And please don't project how your dad feels on to your child as that will be what makes them feel unhappy

LastOneDancing · 01/08/2017 14:11

I'm an only.
My husbands an only.
We have both been loved & given time, attention & opportunities that our friends haven't.
I find sibling relationships baffling - someone else that my parents would love as much as me?? No thanks.... ☺
The only bit I have found hard is when my dad was very ill. It would have been nice to have someone to share the weight with - but who's to say I'd have got on with a sib or that they'd have shared anyway?

ZenNudist · 01/08/2017 14:15

My bf is an only. Planned an only child. Did nit fancy influcting any of that sibling nonsense on her dc. I have anither friend who intends to do the same.

Only chikdren are lucky to avoid sibling fights and split parental attention and funds.

Dont feel guilty. I think you have some deeper anxiety issues to be addressed.

DancesWithOtters · 01/08/2017 14:16

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Oogle · 01/08/2017 14:16

I'm an only and I love it. I know no different, of course.

My DH is one of many and hardly speaks to his siblings - no fallouts, just nothing in common.

My mum is difficult and I'd love to have someone to sound off to, but I don't, so I just get on with life.

I always said I'd have 2 children but DS is nearly 3 and we've not started trying for the 2nd yet and I honestly don't think we will now. I don't have any guilt about that, he'll be fine as an only Smile

Youthinrevolt · 01/08/2017 14:18

Either have another child or stop complaining.

piglover · 01/08/2017 14:20

I was a very happy only child. You don't know any different, of course. I will say that now that my parents are much older and failing in health I would love a sibling to share the burden, but since for you and your child that's at least 50 years away, I wouldn't sweat it now!

JoNapot · 01/08/2017 14:23

I have two children. The first did ask for a kid brother or sister.

But ever since the baby developed a personality they have bickered.

During the holidays there is, like clockwork, a trip out where I have to separate them each to one side of me to prevent a fight. I joke that I couldn't have a third as there would be nowhere to put it.

Heroicallylost · 01/08/2017 14:27

Let your guilt speak - write it out, speak it. Get angry about it, mourn it, grieve for the family you don't have. You might find it passes.

Morphene · 01/08/2017 14:28

Gosh I could have written this!

For me the real issue is the failure of real life to match my plans.

I was going to be a fabulous earth mother type and we wanted 3 maybe 4 kids...and then we had one and it was just awful. 6 years on and DH and I nearly have our shit back together...nearly.

I think DD is very much happier as an only child than she would be with siblings (sensory issues, difficult child from birth), but my life isn't what I thought it would be. I didn't get the child I expected and I certainly didn't turn out to be the parent I expected (the latter is far more the issue than the former).

I constantly question my decision to not have another if I can change who I am by giving birth if having the number of children I expected to would make me the parent I feel I should be.

But I know rationally that is total BS and having a second child would simply compound the error of the first....and probably send me into another 4 years of depression.

I don't have any solutions OP but do know that you aren't alone.

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