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s/o on decision about number of children thread - only children


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If you have or are an only child, do you often get "comments" about this? I am an only child, and I have an only child. Most comments I receive are not directed to me, but I am always surprised at how many people have, for one reason or another, a negative view of only children.

 

I have a friend who has four children. She had two and then no more until she turned 40. There is a twelve-year age gap between #2 and #3. They had wanted more but had not had any "success." So, #3 was a delight and a blessing. However, ASAP after #3 they started working on #4 b/c they thought it was imperative that #3 have a sibling close in age. Now she complains about the stress of having two littles. It's none of my business, but I don't get why it would have been SO horrible if #3 hadn't had a sibling close in age.

 

I had a friend whose daughter had a bad experience with a college roommate b/c "the roommate was an only child" - her words, not mine.

 

And there is the usual, spoiled, selfish, etc. Why are there so many stereotypes about only children like this?

 

No point to this. Just curious if others kind of get their feathers ruffled about only children comments.

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I don't seem to get them. Maybe I'm not hearing them, but really my family size is none of their business. We have one child because my body couldn't handle pregnancy and we're quite fine with one child. I know some people really mourn for more children, but we were never those people. Our siblings family size ranges from no children to three so we get no comments from them.

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I have to say that my brother and I are almost 6 years apart. I really wanted a brother, and there was interaction as children. As adults, I'm not sure my life it very enriched for having him. Kinda sad... I love him.. but we're just so different. And, it just makes me remember that you have kids because of what YOU want to do with them... not so they can have each other. On that.. there's really no guarantee...

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Dh was an only child and is one of those people who says things about how having two children is better than one and recommends that people have another if they can. He was lonely a lot growing up.

Amoung "only children" that I knew growing up, this has been a feeling I've heard a lot (about being lonely while growing up). I'm not an only, so I can't say.

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We hardly ever get comments. Like Paula, due to medical issues during pregancy James is my one and only. If people do say anything, I always say something to the effect that "Yep, he is my miracle child " rather than get into the whole story of why I could only have one. That usually shuts them up and besides it isn't their business anyway. You truly know if they aren't listening when they say 'that's nice' and move on. It seems to be one of those programmed questions like the socialization question. An issue that's not really an issue. KWIM.

Edited by Mytwoblessings
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My daughter is an only and unless God sends some glaring sign to us, she will remain an only. I'm sure there are times when she is lonely but she really seems to be well adjusted and quite pleased about being an only. People ask her if she wants a brother or a sister and she says no.

 

I grew up with one sister and we were VERY different. I used to wish I was an only and to be honest, I still do at times. She is VERY difficult. My husband has a very similar story with his one sister.

 

We don't worry about our Ava being an only and when we start to second guess ourselves we sit down and discuss our sisters. All worrying ceases and we go back to loving having an only!

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I am an only with an only -- my brother died (on my birthday, actually)when he was 3 months and I was 3. I do get comments but not as many as I used to. Being Catholic, ppl would actually comment about birth control, et c. I found this both hateful and woefully ignorant. FWIW, I wanted lots of children and spent some time grieving when we began to think that my girl wouldn't have siblings.

 

I'm over that, though. Mostly.

 

Another thing I wish is that ppl who have several but with large gap b/t some and one would realize that having one at home is not having one. A parent with multiple children just comes with a different perspective than one who has one.

 

One of the reasons for the negative stereotype is a fellow, don't remember his name, from maybe the 50s who did a study that "showed" how defective only children are. It has all or mostly all been debunked now but that isnt' exactly getting around. And it doesnt' help that tons of studies of only children being "better adjusted," et c. are flooding out of China. Even if it's true, who wants that kind of backing?

 

It does seem American studies show that only children make happier adults and tend toward success (but I have no idea how that was defined) but that doesn't go far toward dispelling the old "only child syndrome" myth.

 

I love having an only now. At first it was emotionally hard and I think I needed to grieve that large family I didn't get. Now, I'm happy and enjoy have the one and all the things we get to do. Some days it's hard but some days would be hard anyway.

 

I like it!

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My dd is an only. Occasionally, I have gotten comments, but it's not a constant thing. You know, people tell me she needs a brother or sister etc etc.. I just know that other people are NOT experts on what I or my family need.

 

I do not get offended and my dh and I are perfectly happy with our family as it is.:) The way I figure it is that people will always comment no matter what. If you have one child, they tell you you need to have another. Have a couple of boys, they will ask if you are going to try for a girl. All girls-they ask if are going to try for a boy. Big family-they ask if they are all yours and tell you they dont' know how you do it etc etc.:D

 

As far as an only child being lonely. I guess she will decide that as she looks back on childhood. By the same token, I know grown children from large families who have some issues with how their childhoods were for them. Life is not perfect for anyone.

 

Oh, and I get constant compliments on how well behaved, polite and helpful my dd is.:)

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I think people's different experiences color this. I am extremely close to my brother and sister and I really wanted that for my daughter. She and her sister are very close. My brother has one son. It took them 15 years to have him and SIL required a hysterectomy very soon after his birth. I know my brother wishes that his son had a sibling but it is what it is. Fortunately, he has 4 cousins and they are all growing up very close. I do know that my nephew gets very lonely though. This was how we felt about ourselves though. I would never presume to say anything to anyone else about their family size.

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I was an only, and I don't think I've received too many comments about it, except for when people asked, "Weren't you lonely?" I wasn't. I was a very happy only child, and I was a bit spoiled, but you probably wouldn't know it now (if I do say so myself :D). I'd say that the chief drawback of being an only was that I'm very introverted and can't handle too much going on at once. For example, when both kids are trying to talk to me at once, especially if I'm trying to do something else, I get completely overwhelmed and snappy. But I think the benefits outweigh the drawbacks, and I would have been happy to have an only (not that I'd send DD5 back...most days).

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I sometimes hear things, but they don't bother me. So what.

 

I love having an only and that is how I intend to keep it! He gets all my undivided attention. That may be seen as a negative to some, but I count it as a huge plus. I missed having my Mom's undivided attention growing up, so it is something I really wanted my son to have.

 

In my homeschool group (now it's more of an alumni group, since all of our children are older) the 4 core families are all of only children and we all have sons on top of that. It's a great group! It's a liberal-secular group, so I guess the "being fruitful and multiplying" doesn't really apply to us. :D

 

I don't have any problems with large families, so I guess we should all just live and let live.

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I'm not an only and I don't have an only. I just wanted to say that people say things regardless of family size. If you have a large family it's, "You *do* know what causes that, right?!" or "So, you guys must be Catholic." If you have just one it's the spoiled/lonely/are you going to try for more comments. If you have all of one gender it's the, "Are you trying for a boy/girl?"

 

I don't think most people mean anything by it.

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I'm definately an introvert.

 

The only thing I really wanted for my daughter was a large and bustling holiday table. We always had that when I was a kid (extended family) and I wanted it again for my family. We don't have extended family anymore, everyone is gone or, you know, the other gone.

 

I wonder if that has something to do with being a happy only or an unhappy only. I've always thought I was an introvert BECAUSE I was an only child. Maybe I was a born introvert, so that made being an only child easier? I would certainly come by it honestly, since I'm so much like my dad.

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Dh was an only child and is one of those people who says things about how having two children is better than one and recommends that people have another if they can. He was lonely a lot growing up.

 

There were two kids in my family. I was still lonely. My sister is polar opposite of me and we still don't get along, never did as kids. I loved it when she went to college. Two children does not negate a lonely feeling.

 

No me! I loved being an only!

 

I was an only, and I don't think I've received too many comments about it, except for when people asked, "Weren't you lonely?" I wasn't. I was a very happy only child, and I was a bit spoiled, but you probably wouldn't know it now (if I do say so myself :D). I'd say that the chief drawback of being an only was that I'm very introverted and can't handle too much going on at once. For example, when both kids are trying to talk to me at once, especially if I'm trying to do something else, I get completely overwhelmed and snappy. But I think the benefits outweigh the drawbacks, and I would have been happy to have an only (not that I'd send DD5 back...most days).

 

I'm glad to hear this. My ds loves being an only, from what he has said and what I've observed. He gets spoiled a little (can you be broke and spoil a child?), he has the cat and dog to annoy him and get into his stuff and he never has to share a room with anyone.

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There were two kids in my family. I was still lonely. My sister is polar opposite of me and we still don't get along, never did as kids. I loved it when she went to college. Two children does not negate a lonely feeling.

 

 

 

Absolutely. I'm 9 years older than my sister and frankly, I'd have been fine staying an only. We've never really gotten along and we pretty much just ignore each other.

 

I agree that some people seem to find it necessary to comment on your family whether it's large or small, boys or girls or a mix. :glare: Annoying.

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We have an only and it was planned that way. I would have been okay having twins, but that's the only way we were going to have more than one! It's just how we wanted to do it.

 

When I lived in the south, and he was younger, as in closer to the ages where you'd be purposely spacing sibs apart, I'd get questions from southerns/bible belters (it was military area so you had a lot of NON southerners/bbers living there too) about having more. I'd oh no, he's our only one. Often I'd get this look of pity, a pat on the shoulder with a head shake and something along the lines I'm so sorry/ you just never know what will happen/something like that. :eek::thumbdown:These people couldn't imagine planning to only have one!:glare:

 

Now that he's 8.5 I think people are pretty clear we're done. Of course up here people would never dream of asking you that. One is pretty normal. So is two. Three starts to get a little extreme. Or actual completely practicing catholic.

 

From the begining I was big on busting all the only child sterotypes. It's made clear when needed that it's not all about just him. And wanting something doesn't mean you'll get and yes life is sometimes boring and it would be more fun with someone else around at that moment. But I'm pretty sure we'd be raising many in the same fashion.

 

But like others said, having sibs around doesn't necessarily mean anything. My brother and I are only 2 1/2 years apart. But by the time I was 6 and he was 4 we were pretty much done playing with each other. We were already so different. We didn't play or think alike. We could both be in the same room, but we certainly weren't in there together.

 

As the years went on we had less and less in common. I'll see him this weekend when I go down to NC. Once we get past the weather and the kids there isn't much left to talk about. Except my mom. She's usually good for a laugh or two. Blood and DNA does not a relationship make.

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We hardly ever get comments. Like Paula, due to medical issues during pregancy James is my one and only. If people do say anything, I always say something to the effect that "Yep, he is my miracle child " rather than get into the whole story of why I could only have one. That usually shuts them up and besides it isn't their business anyway. You truly know if they aren't listening when they say 'that's nice' and move on. It seems to be one of those programmed questions like the socialization question. An issue that's not really an issue. KWIM.

 

I always go straight into defense-mode when getting to know a new friend if said friend has an only b/c I always hear comments about how many, how young, how close ours are. I never thought that parents of onlies would hear comments as well until I met a friend in a similar situation to yours - it really opened my eyes!

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No me! I loved being an only!

 

:iagree:

 

I loved being an only child! My only problem with it is that every now and then I think it would be nice to have a sibling to reminisce with (my parents seem to remember some things differently than I do, :lol:). But I have always had very close relationship with both of my parents, and I don't get bored very easily, even when I'm alone. (Not that I think these are just only child traits, but I do believe that it comes naturally to a lot of only children.)

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I was lonely too.....

 

Dawn

 

Dh was an only child and is one of those people who says things about how having two children is better than one and recommends that people have another if they can. He was lonely a lot growing up.
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Guest CarolineUK

I'm an only child (my mother developed a fear of childbirth after having me). I was never spoiled, and never heard any criticism suggesting that I was. I do have mixed feelings about it myself though. On the plus side I never had all the fighting and bitterness with siblings that I witnessed my friends experiencing (and my mother with her siblings), I got a fair amount of attention, and I really don't think my mother could have ever coped with more than one child. However, my father died when I was eight years old, and my relationship with my mother was thereafter always incredibly intense, she only had me to worry about and only me to look after her; she wasn't an easy person, prone to depression and bouts of violent temper. It was damaging.

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I'm another only with an only. I never planned on more than one, and dh agreed with me by the time ds was about 1 1/2. Two of us to one of him just seems like a better ratio to us. I do get a lot of comments, usually 'so when are you going to have another', although ds is 7 now, so hopefully that will stop soon. I have also heard many times how onlies don't play well with others, though that is not the case for me or ds. Actually, his most difficult friend is the youngest of three and has been spoiled as 'the baby'.

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Quoting myself from the other thread as this might have been one of the things written that irritated you:

 

Plus, I had to question my motivation for 4...we have a history on one side of several generations of only children, and then that started on the other side of the family in this generation. I guess I felt like I had to make up for everyone else. When I took a good look at how complete and great our family was with two children, I realized that I wasn't responsible for fixing the lack of siblings in our family.

 

First, I'm sorry if it did irritate you. That was not my intent. My intent was to help the OP see that sometimes we have subtle motivations that take on a life of their own, when it isn't truly examined.

 

Secondly, I cut off the rest of my response because it wasn't relevant to that thread, but it is here, so I'll add it in:

 

In the end though, by doing the right thing for us, I did end up "fixing the lack of siblings," as my college age nephew is incredibly close to both my children. If we had more children, we'd have never been so mobile and able to do things with him and his family which has allowed these relationships to blossom.

 

I think the bad part about being an only (from being only 1 of 2) isn't until the end, when the parents are gone, and one person is solely responsible for figuring out the entire estate. While my sister and I weren't close growing up, it was a huge help to have one another to try to wade through that difficult process. There were many :confused: moments! I'm hoping my nephew would feel that close to my children to call on them to help, and not shoulder that responsibility entirely on his own. So my seeming prejudice against onlies has nothing to do with spoiled/adjusted/etc., but simply how hard it is to be alone, grieving, and having to be Houdini to make all the decisions that comes at the end of a life.

 

I certainly don't think it is any of my business how many children anyone has, nor do I consider my reasons above as a reason to have more than 1.

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I had three miscarriages before ds was born. We didn't start "trying" until I was 30. I was 33 when he was born. I wouldn't have minded having another, but dh did not want anymore. I enjoyed being an only child. Dh has a sister who is only 14 months older than he, and they were not close growing up nor are they close now. So, I think our life experiences played into the decision not to try for a second child. My parents died when I was 24 years old, and I don't have much extended family at all. So, there are times when I kind of have a pity party about that, but for the most part I have no regrets about being an only or having an only.

 

I try to be very conscientious about what I say about family sizes to people. If I see a large family at Wal-mart who I engage in chit-chat, I ALWAYS try to say something positive about large families. But, I am sure like most people, I have sometimes said the wrong thing.

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I think people just need to say something, and usually it ends up being a real eyeroller. I don't think they (usually) intend to be belittling or unkind.

 

Frankly, whatever the make - up of your family, someome says something. :glare:

 

If one grew up a happy only, they probably will be more likely to want only one. If one grew up a lonely only, they may want more.

 

If one grew up in a happy bustling large family, they may want several. If one grew up in a poor, stressed, fighting large family, they may not want any. ::shrug::

 

We do (I hope!!) make our choices based on our own desires, spurred by our own experiences. I grew up with a sister 11 months older than I am. We fought like cats and dogs and were closer than any 2 best friends. That is true to this day. But she lives on another continent now. :( My dh and I decided that we wanted a lot of dc so our dc would always have family, lots of it. We don't want them ever to be "alone" in the world. It may very well not end up that way at all. They could all go to separate corners of the earth and hate each other. But the hope for closeness was certainly *one* motivating factor in our family size. :001_smile:

 

I am good friends with an only. He cracks me up. He always tells me he is "too selfish" to procreate. He believes being raised an only made him selfish and spoiled. (And he doesn't bemoan it or even say it like it is a bad thing. He doesn't think it is a bad thing at all. He sees it just as it is.) Anyway, he had the Big V before he got married to ensure his only responsibility would be to his dogs. And he owns that even they tax him more than he cares for! :lol: But the point is, he is happy. He is happy he is an only and he is happy he doesn't have any dc. And as much as we all get "grilled" about our family size choice, so does he! ;) (No one is exempt, apparently!)

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I've gotten comments about how I'm not a real parent because I have only one child. I've gotten questions about how can I consider myself a good Catholic with only one child. I've gotten the "when are you going to have another," comment that make me have to explain our undetermined infertility because people just don't like the short answer.

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Dh and I are both only children. We both hated it because of how lonely we were. I hated the comments because my parents were older and financially secure people assumed I was spoilt. I had what I needed, but the main thing I had was all if my mum's attention and patience. That is a big thing.

 

We have four children. My rebellion against being lonely. Now I realize some of the things I didn't have: no one to break my things, no one to share with, no one to take my things, no one to fight with, no one to play with.

 

I still maintain that being an only child is lonely and I'm pleased to have four. But I can see now that I was spoilt: I had so much of my mum's time and attention.

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I've gotten comments about how I'm not a real parent because I have only one child. I've gotten questions about how can I consider myself a good Catholic with only one child. I've gotten the "when are you going to have another," comment that make me have to explain our undetermined infertility because people just don't like the short answer.

 

:grouphug:

 

It is a very different situation when one wants more than one child.

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I've watched several people in my husband's family go through terrible fights with their siblings over estates and ill relatives. Not every family provides help when help is needed. Just because there is more than one child does not mean that those children will choose to participate in elder care or estate disposal.

 

And, it crosses ALL boundaries - wealth, education, faith, etc.

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I've watched several people in my husband's family go through terrible fights with their siblings over estates and ill relatives. Not every family provides help when help is needed. Just because there is more than one child does not mean that those children will choose to participate in elder care or estate disposal.

 

Yes, I watched this happen within my family before I turned 10. I still say I think the end of the prior generation the worst part. But, that isn't saying that having siblings is going to guarantee a better outcome, which is why I said it wasn't a reason to have more than 1. ;)

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I'm an only child. My best friend in elementary school used to comment about my being spoiled because I was an only child. I really resented it b/c she was the one with all the cool toys that my parents thought were too extravagant to buy.

 

I did wish I could have siblings, but spending the night at another friends house (who had 2 little brothers) usually cured me of such yearnings.

Edited by bonniebeth4
forgot a word
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I'd say that the chief drawback of being an only was that I'm very introverted and can't handle too much going on at once. For example, when both kids are trying to talk to me at once, especially if I'm trying to do something else, I get completely overwhelmed and snappy.

 

THIS!! I'm an only child and I have this problem while my kids are ALL trying to talk to me at once. It.drives.me.batty!

 

I *was* lonely as an only child, *but* I think it built a strong character in me in a way. I have no problems being alone now (well, maybe not for more than a day but...).

 

Let me back up...I *do* have a half brother but he's 23 yrs YOUNGER than me, so I grew up an only. I rarely see him now that our father died and we moved 3 hrs away. I just don't have that relationship with him. Good or bad, that's how it is.

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I've gotten comments about how I'm not a real parent because I have only one child. I've gotten questions about how can I consider myself a good Catholic with only one child. I've gotten the "when are you going to have another," comment that make me have to explain our undetermined infertility because people just don't like the short answer.

 

I am so sorry. Wow. That's awful.

 

:grouphug:

 

My boys are five years apart, and when I only had one, I had subtle comments. I remember once asking a friend, who happens to be a nurse, about the chicken pox vaccine, because it had just come out. She listed cases where it would be recommended, and my situation, with only one child, wasn't a one of them. She said something that I heard as: we only give it to the children in real families, where if lots of kids came down with the illness, it would really stress the mom. She wasn't mean about it, but the underlying message was that if you only have one child, you have it easy.

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I've gotten comments about how I'm not a real parent because I have only one child. I've gotten questions about how can I consider myself a good Catholic with only one child. I've gotten the "when are you going to have another," comment that make me have to explain our undetermined infertility because people just don't like the short answer.

 

I have gottenI that comment too. And the sad thing was I believed them. I felt like I could never offer advice or be proud of myself as a parent. It wasn't until just recently I realized how I had heard this and internalized it.

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I got comments sometimes -- a few standouts like "how disappointing it must be for your dh (who grew up Catholic in this very Catholic town)" and "only children are so sad. When are you having another?" Mostly, I heard these things in the first few years we were married, but far fewer now that I'm older and people here know better than to make snide comments to me. If you knew me, you'd know that I have absolutely no problem shutting those people down with a hale and hearty "Bless your heart for being so curious!" and then some rather unprintable snotty comments to follow that. I will not hesitate to shred people who ask questions that are none of their g.d. business.

 

I don't think my ds is spoiled at all. He doesn't get everything he wants, although he probably does have more Lego than most kids I know. I'm a meanie mommie, too, and he has to do not only household chores, but farm chores, too. He is a polite boy and he impresses me greatly in his ability to speak up for other people who can't speak up for themselves. Despite the "handicap" of being an only, he is remarkably compassionate and generous.

 

I grew up with a brother close in age to me, but wishing I was an only. We fought like cats and dogs all the time. Verbal fights, fist fights, incredibly long and drawn out wars of stealth attacks and revenges -- almost anything mean you can do to a sibling, my db and I did to each other. We knew how to push each others buttons and we did it every chance we got. My mother must have been a saint not to have smothered us in our sleep. FWIW, I do love him now, but we have zero in common and we only keep in touch out of a sense of familial responsibility and because we think our deceased parents would have preferred it.

 

Just because you have siblings doesn't mean they're going to "get along" and just because you have an only doesn't mean they're going to be spoiled.

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I've gotten comments about how I'm not a real parent because I have only one child. I've gotten questions about how can I consider myself a good Catholic with only one child. I've gotten the "when are you going to have another," comment that make me have to explain our undetermined infertility because people just don't like the short answer.

 

 

Close to this...Dd was an only child for 8 yrs due to our infertility. Ds was just added in Nov. I had gotten comments about how having one was a cake walk and really doesn't count until you've tried it with two :001_huh:. And now that we have added ds, this person waned to know how it felt to be playing in 'her league' :cursing:.

 

I didn't really ever mind the questions about how we do/deal with xyz since we only have one. But, I hated the insinuations and comments about onlies not knowing how to share, being spoiled, undisciplined, and bratty. They were not usually frontal attacks, more like "oh, it is nice to see that your dd is not_____, like most only children." Once I did get a "your dd had some trouble sharing crayons, but I know that is hard for you since she is an only child."

 

I have also hated comments about how laid back, and unstructured we keep our life because it is just dd. This was almost verbatim back in October "Do you guys keep any sort of consistent schedule? It seems like your dd is always up when I call at night. You wouldn't be able to do that if you had more kids. You know, though, I noticed that's a problem with you homeschoolers......" :banghead: That's me! Giving all homeschool families a bad reputation. And, guess what? Adding a second child has not really altered our schedule, yes we do have one! :glare::001_smile:

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I was an only and I never was lonely- I was a bit spoiled and usually got to take friends with us on vacation, etc...

However, I knew if it was in my control I would never have an only myself. All was well until my parents died and you realize how alone you are and have to do everything alone. Though I had my husband and some of my kids when my dad died (my mom had died 5 years prior), I never felt so alone. I so wished I had siblings to share memories, etc. with. Still, there are times when I still feel like an orphan. I have 1 cousin I kep in contact with and that is it- my family is gone. I so wish I had a sibling now, even though I didn't miss having one growing up.

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If you have or are an only child, do you often get "comments" about this?

It's not only parents of "onlies" who've gotten this comment because (unless you have twins) everyone started off with "just" one -- I got my first suggestion to have another one when my first was 3 or 4 weeks old.

 

I was aghast.

 

Given that it came from the mouth of a newly married and childless man, my husband immediately suggested he should get going himself.

 

Conclusion - people talk too much when not required.

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I was an only and I never was lonely- I was a bit spoiled and usually got to take friends with us on vacation, etc...

However, I knew if it was in my control I would never have an only myself. All was well until my parents died and you realize how alone you are and have to do everything alone. Though I had my husband and some of my kids when my dad died (my mom had died 5 years prior), I never felt so alone. I so wished I had siblings to share memories, etc. with. Still, there are times when I still feel like an orphan. I have 1 cousin I kep in contact with and that is it- my family is gone. I so wish I had a sibling now, even though I didn't miss having one growing up.

 

It's particularly challenging around holiday time. It's always about dh's family. Like you, I have one cousin that I stay in contact with, but that is about it. My family is gone, too. That part is hard, isn't it? But, I agree with you about not really wanting a sibling when I was growing up. You summed up all my feelings quite well.

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Conclusion - people talk too much when not required.

 

:lol: I love it!

 

I wouldn't dream of criticizing someone for having one child. However, I have heard lots of complaints about only children, from only children. A roommate in college was distraught over being the only child to handle her aging parents, who were also only children. She was consumed with this fear.

 

I also have a friend who blames all of her perceived character flaws on being an only child.

 

Maybe some people draw their opinions from hearing only children complain about their situation. It really doesn't excuse the rudeness of them sharing their thoughts though. :glare:

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:lol: I love it!

 

I wouldn't dream of criticizing someone for having one child. However, I have heard lots of complaints about only children, from only children. A roommate in college was distraught over being the only child to handle her aging parents, who were also only children. She was consumed with this fear.

 

I also have a friend who blames all of her perceived character flaws on being an only child.

 

Maybe some people draw their opinions from hearing only children complain about their situation. It really doesn't excuse the rudeness of them sharing their thoughts though. :glare:

 

And then there are the adult children from large families that I hear talking about their problems growing up. Very little personal attention from parents, mom always busy with younger siblings and new babies, being a go-to babysitter etc.

 

Maybe people just like to "work through" their childhood experiences when they grow up and talk more about the negatives for some reason. ANy circumstance has positives and negatives and maybe people dwell more on perceived negatives and take the positives for granted.

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I was an only and I never was lonely- I was a bit spoiled and usually got to take friends with us on vacation, etc...

However, I knew if it was in my control I would never have an only myself. All was well until my parents died and you realize how alone you are and have to do everything alone. Though I had my husband and some of my kids when my dad died (my mom had died 5 years prior), I never felt so alone. I so wished I had siblings to share memories, etc. with. Still, there are times when I still feel like an orphan. I have 1 cousin I kep in contact with and that is it- my family is gone. I so wish I had a sibling now, even though I didn't miss having one growing up.

 

Yes. This, right here.

 

I'm an only that grew up happy. I wanted a sibling when I was very young, but that faded quickly.

 

I do think only children tend to live in their head a lot. I know I did. It's definitely not a bad thing. I've always been able to find ways to entertain myself and have a hard time thinking when I've *ever* been bored.

 

That being said, my parents are failing now, and I. am. alone. Thankfully, I have the most supportive husband ever, but it does not replace the fact that when they are gone, as EarleneW said, my family is gone. Facebook has actually been good for reconnecting with some cousins, but we're far-flung and will most likely only see each other at weddings and funerals. It hurts quite a bit not having a sibling at *this* age.

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I am finding this post fascinating. I am not an only, neither is DH and we have a big (not for here :d) family. I have only known a few onlies in real life, and they all said they were very lonely, and ended up having large families because they didn't want their children to be onlies, so that is what I have always thought about it, so I find it very educational to know that many onlies were happy with it.

 

I was told when I was 18 that I would not be able to have children, so we were really (to put it mildly) surprised when I got pg with DS7 and we assumed he would be our only biological child, but we talked about adopting to get him a sibling. My DH is much, much younger than all his sibs and to a certain extent felt like an only. I asked him why he did not want DS7 to be an only and he said that after both his parents died when he was young, he did not think he would have been able to cope without the support of his siblings, and he would never want to put a childof his in that position. Turns out I am very fertile with DH and so DS7 never had to worry about being an only :D

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And then there are the adult children from large families that I hear talking about their problems growing up. Very little personal attention from parents, mom always busy with younger siblings and new babies, being a go-to babysitter etc.

 

Maybe people just like to "work through" their childhood experiences when they grow up and talk more about the negatives for some reason. ANy circumstance has positives and negatives and maybe people dwell more on perceived negatives and take the positives for granted.

 

 

My dh is #6 of 7. He was sometimes called, "#6" growing up. He relates story after story of how lonely he felt growing up in a large family. He almost never got one-on-one time with either parent. The few times he did, he recalls clearly, but resents that it had to be "scheduled" as if he were just another number to attend to. I know/knew both his parents and they are/were wonderful people, but 7 kids is a lot of kids and there was obviously a lot of shuffling that had to be done to parent all 7 at once. Dh never felt particularly close to his siblings except the one younger than him because they were closest in age to each other, but even then he describes his childhood as a constant contest to "get a serving of food before it's gone, get a toy to play with before it's broken, get a hug before mom was worn out for the day."

 

When he talks about it, I can see how much he loves his parents, but I can also hear the sadness of being "#6 of 7." He never wanted a large family and was the first to suggest that we just have the one. He says "we have the luxury of being a small family -- it's the one luxury I am sure I can always offer my son." FTR, whenever ds is asked if he wants siblings, he answers with an emphatic "no!" To which, dh will emphatically agree.

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