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Tell the best bits about having an only child, really struggling tonight.

45 replies

LillyLeaf · 08/11/2022 20:10

We went through ivf and had miscarriages before we had DS, I feel beyond lucky to have him, I really thought it would never happen for us. We don't want/can't afford more ivf, I don't want more miscarriages, they are brutal and I'm trying to be at peace with 'just' my little miracle and be content with one child. I did always hope we would have 2 though. Most of the time I can convince myself I'm OK with this. But tonight at nursery pickup I was bombarded with newborns in slings and pregnant women rubbing their bumps and have come home feeling like utter shit. It just feels so unfair. Infertility will never leave me.

Please can anyone tell me and remind me how amazing it is to have one child. Thanks.

OP posts:
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LillyLeaf · 08/11/2022 21:00

Bump anyone

OP posts:
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Knockmealdowns · 08/11/2022 21:08

You’re like the Holy family. Jesus, is my solace and saviour to me. A Catholic, and he was an only child. And maybe it hasn’t happened for you but your only child might have 4 or more kids.. so you might be blessed with many grandchildren yet.. or maybe not now but maybe you might have room for a foster baby in the future… I hope you’ve named all your miscarried babies, They say each soul chooses their mom, and even if they didn’t stay very long.. those little souls loved you.. and I’m truly sorry for your losses.

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BooseysMom · 08/11/2022 21:11

@LillyLeaf Hi, I just wanted to say sorry to read about your experiences. This feeling you're having will pass..it really doesn't feel like it right now but it will. I went through exactly the same feelings when DS was a toddler. I had him at 40 and we never had any more and it was like I had to go through a grieving process. This sounds like what you're experiencing. The other really important thing to say is that having one child is the best thing ever..and there was a point when I thought I'd never say that! There are so many positives..you can get loads of friendly advice on the One Child Families topic. I used to be there on a daily basis. Fellow "one childers" were a massive help and support.
So I hope you find some support and feel stronger for it. Good luck

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SpottyStripyDuvet · 08/11/2022 21:11

When DS says "who is your favourite person in the whole wide world?" I can say it is him without any guilt whatsoever.

I don't need to say no to any activities that he wants to do because of time/money/need to take other children somewhere.

Me, DH and DS are all naturally quiet people and we like our peaceful home.

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Toomanysleepycats · 08/11/2022 21:11

Ok I’ll give you a really good one. When your little one gets old enough for a play date or even a sleep over, you’ll be completely child free. If its at the weekend, you’ll be able to go out with your DP, you can drink as much as you like because you’ll be able to have a lovely lovely lie in. You will be able to have lazy morning sex (if that rocks your boat) and because you only have the one - you’ll be super pleased to see them come back.

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Turquoisa80 · 08/11/2022 21:15

A couple of my friends have one child and will probably not have anymore. Those kids are some of the most funny, smart, Confident kids that I know. You can give more energy to one and teach them more stuff

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SwayingInTime · 08/11/2022 21:20

we have a slightly crazy house and my kids really gravitate towards the homes of their only child friends, I miss them! They all seem to have great relationships with their parents and be generally more balanced and calmer.

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Squirrelsnut · 08/11/2022 21:20

My DS is a truly kind, perceptive and emotionally intelligent person. I am very, very proud of him.

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beachsandseaicecream · 08/11/2022 21:20

Having time as a family of three, being able to have time to myself and time with my husband. No one is stretched too thin.

Grandparents happily take just one overnight.

Being able to do things with him without thinking about any other children. Fun holidays and day trips, after school activities, play dates without babies and toddlers in tow.

Enough money.

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Miriam101 · 08/11/2022 21:23

I was (am) an only child and honestly it was great. I had such a bond with my parents. Never had to worry about their love or affection as I was so secure. Never had to compete with anyone else. Got lucky with friends so that was obviously a big factor but I was never lonely, and educationally benefited a lot from the attention that my parents gave me. And I guess money too- I never wanted for anything though that is very much a secondary concern. I'm sure your DS will grow up happy and very loved, OP, and that is all that matters.

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HeddaGarbled · 08/11/2022 21:23

Career back on track quicker, more money and time and emotional energy to spend on the child and yourself, can do days out, holidays etc you know they’ll like instead of having to compromise, just generally easier and less tiring.

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Marghe87 · 08/11/2022 21:28

More time and energy to focus on DC, more money and resources available for the family, no more sleepless nights, less stress, less mess, less couple/intimacy issues and probably more time to focus on DP too, more time to yourself… and the list goes on and on😊

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EwwSprouts · 08/11/2022 21:30

I was told that only children are far less likely to be rebellious teenagers as they do not need to compete for attention. A generalisation and while DS had the odd moment it was never a long phase.

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LillyLeaf · 08/11/2022 21:30

This is exactly what I need to hear. I know deep down practically that one child is best for us. I'm nearly 40 and recently started my own business so it will be a while before money is coming in. I try to remind myself that life is actually easy with our little guy and I'm not sure he would cope well with a baby. He's very much a mummy's boy.

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ncforyetanotherone · 08/11/2022 21:32

Ahhhj it's amazing!! Dc is 4.

*Has the best relationship with her dad and I.
*Amazing holiday companion - and very easy to travel with
*I get me time when DH has her and vice versa
*Family very happy to babysit whenever - easy for them
*She doesn't push, shove, etc her peers - she loves to share her stuff (not territorial as she doesn't have siblings to guard her stuff from)
*very easy to just go anywhere with her - had a last minute play date invite today and we were out the door within 10 mins
*very good at playing on her own, inventing stories etc, likes her own me time
*can give her all our attention
*preserves my mental health
*as my attention won't be divided, I am hoping I can support her in any way she needs

And so many more. I had 2 years of pondering over whether it was the right decision to stick with one and I am 100% happy we have.

Oh - I'm one of 4 and was one of the most territorial and selfish kids Blush

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Pallisers · 08/11/2022 21:34

My children were friends with loads of only children. There were times I really envied their parents. They could completely focus on their one child and really enjoy them - even as they got older. Their kids were lovely too and very sociable.

My husband's grandmother was an only child. She was one of the most charming women I ever met. She went onto have 5 children herself and more than 15 grandchildren.

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Bepeaceful · 08/11/2022 21:35

Adult only child here!

I do miss a bit of sibling advice but I’ve lots of great friends and colleagues who I have great relationships with. I hear all their family dramas and it’s great to have a peaceful life.
When I was with my ex I had a big family of SIL/BIL and to be honest it was drama all the time, I was glad to have them but glad they weren’t my actual family.

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Dox9 · 08/11/2022 21:35

Our house is calm and tidy. There's time and money for everyone's needs and hobbies. It's easy to find a babysitter. There's only one school drop-off and collection. We fit in small holiday apartments and in one single row of airplane seats. It's easy to arrange playdates. One lot of childcare fees, sickness days, homework and school admin to manage.
Further down the line, we should be able to pay for private education and can give dc a very good leg up in life (cover uni expenses, gift house deposit etc).
There was a scientific study of 35,000 twins which found that mums of single children were happiest...

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IDontDrinkTea · 08/11/2022 21:37

My husband is an only child and is glad to have been. He says he wouldn’t have had the same advantages in life with a sibling. He’s remained close to his parents and they talk every day.

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RuthW · 08/11/2022 21:37

I'm an only child.

My adult dd is an only child.

I can't think of one disadvantage

One is fun!

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ncforyetanotherone · 08/11/2022 21:37

She's also extremely emotionally intelligent, empathic, caring and kind. She plays very well with others and we have had a flurry of play date invites lately which has been lovely. Smile

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Borris · 08/11/2022 21:38

I have an only and am divorced so it's just me and her. I did want more but now I'm happy with just the one. For me the biggest plus is that I don't have to budget for days out or theatre trips like my friends with several children.

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Parmesam · 08/11/2022 21:39

Now mine is 16, it's having her friends over for coffee on a Friday after school. They are such a nice bunch. Sisters but not by blood! The general costs are much lower, and she's much more resourceful finding things to allay boredom. When her mates aren't available our cat keeps her company, they are great friends. I think she's a bit more mature than her older female cousin who is 18. No arguments to sort out! Accommodation can be smaller (we've got 2 bedrooms, so can live in a nicer area).

I had pre-eclampsia, I had a GA during the birth because the hospital gave me a medication that was incorrect and could increase bleeding, so needed a very controlled c-section. Recovery was a bitch. After all that, I said, no more.

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bravelittletiger · 08/11/2022 21:42

My best friend is an only child. She is funny, clever, ambitious, confident and she has always had an absolutely rock solid family as a unit of 3. It's not important but she has also always had lots of material things that the rest of us didn't get as we had siblings- her parents clearly relished her being the apple of their eye and being able to spoil her if they wanted.

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AliasGrape · 08/11/2022 21:43

Oh Lillyleaf I’m sorry to read of your losses and how you’re feeling now.

It took us over 4 years to get pregnant, no losses I just couldn’t conceive for whatever reason. I’d also tried unsuccessfully previously with an ex, then spent years single and desperately wanting children but worrying I’d never have that. It’s nothing like the pain of loss you experienced but I do have some understanding of what you mean when you say infertility never leaves you.

Whilst I do feel like DD is growing up too fast and feel sad the baby days have come to an end, i sometimes also look forward to the day we age out of toddler groups and classes etc where we are surrounded by so many new siblings and pregnant mums. I actually left the swimming classes we went to because out of 6 others in the group, 4 were pregnant again mums and 2 were dads taking over whilst mum was at too pregnant/ at home with new baby. I used to come home in tears which is pathetic really.

There’s a Facebook group called my first my last my everything - I’ve found that quite helpful.

I also find it easier the older DD gets and the more her personality shines through - she’s my little mate and we have such a nice time together, I almost wouldn’t want to mess that up. Right now we have the time, money and energy to devote to her without ever feeling torn or like there’s not enough of us to go round. We don’t have to try and entertain another child of a different age with conflicting needs/ wants, we can plan our lives, weekends and holidays etc around what suits our little family of three. I’m getting my life, career and energy back and maybe one day soon we will all start getting a decent amount of sleep!

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