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Old 06-17-2011, 08:24 PM   #31
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Re: Attention Only Children, & parents of Onlies!

I am an only child, as was my father. I always really loved being the only one. I am 35 & have never wished for a sibling, not even once, not as a child or now as an adult. I have very close girlfriends who are like sisters to me (one who is an only child as well & I've never heard her wish for a sibling either). As a child, I enjoyed having my own room, my own toys, etc. My father died when I was 5 & my mom never remarried so me being the only one wasn't exactly a choice. It just kind of happened that way.

I have seen friends fight horribly with their siblings so I've never felt that sibling=instant friend. Sometimes my mom drives me nuts since she doesn't have other children to focus on but I've just wished that she'd find a hobby.

I do have 4 children myself but just because I like being a mom. I never thought "oh well I was the only one, I don't want my child to not have siblings like I did" My children are very spaced apart (there's 7 years between my youngest dd & ds) so there will come a day when my little guy will be the only one here, like an only child & I am very okay with that.


Mom to my girls ('94), ('99) & ('02)
And my little guy (12/09)
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Old 06-17-2011, 08:41 PM   #32
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Re: Attention Only Children, & parents of Onlies!

Do what is right for your family. You are right when you say that having a sibling will not protect one from being bratty, selfish or spoiled

I have two cousins who are both onlies. They are also both the same age.

Cousin #1 is super duper smart, very "adult" in her behaviour/demeanor. She will be attending a top ranked university in the fall on a full ride academic scholarship. With a double major.

Cousin #2 is the most caring, down to earth kid you have ever met. She is a total hippie, save the world, vegetarian, tree hugger She advocates for those less fortunate, and was just voted valedictorian at her HS graduation. She is a great kid. Very independent, very outspoken, a very free thinker.

Both of these cousins are relate better to adults IMO than most girls their age. TBH, neither fit the stereotype of only children. They are both extremely well spoken, extremely focused, and IMO both destined for great things. I don't think being an only robbed them of anything at all. Both sets of parents were sure to ensure that they belonged to groups and had lots of sports etc for that peer involvement

GL mama
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Old 06-17-2011, 08:49 PM   #33
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Re: Attention Only Children, & parents of Onlies!

My bfs dd is an only. My bfs sister also as an only that is 4 yes younger. The cousins are really close, like siblings.

I have 2boys but with my 2nd being severely autistic and non verbal they not be like the brothers I envisioned. I am so glad I have both boys but just bc u choose to have another doesn't mean it will be what u think
Suzi, working mama to my ODS(2004) , YDS(2006), DSD(2004) and married to the love of my life
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Old 06-17-2011, 09:05 PM   #34
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I'm an adopted only child, so in theory, I could have half-siblings out there somewhere (I know of at least 1). But for all intents and purposes, I'm an only. I liked it when I was growing up, but now I don't. My parents both died relatively young (both gone by the time I was 25), so were it not for DH and DD, I'd have no immediate family left. I get envious of the relationship that DH has with his 3 older sisters. I feel like things are...unbalanced sometimes, you know? Looking at our wedding photos with family members drives that point home as I got married after both my parents passed away.

At the same time, though, I look at my MIL's feud with 3 or 4 of her 9 siblings brought on by their Mother's and stepgrandfather's deaths, and part of me is thankful that I didn't have siblings to squabble with over estate settlements.

DD is an only child thus far, but we hope to change that before too long. But that's what works for us. Do what feels right for you all and do your best to ignore the naysayers.
K & B since 10/2003
Added our sweet little C 4/2008 and our baby boy I 12/2012
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Old 06-17-2011, 10:14 PM   #35
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Re: Attention Only Children, & parents of Onlies!

I am not an only, and obviously I have lots of children... I just wanted to chime in though.

I do think this is your personal decision of course, and you shouldn't worry about what anyone else thinks. In my mind, all the reasons for only having one child are totally up to your dh and yourself as to what you can handle/want. However, I did want to throw out something that someone else mentioned.

My dad is an only, as is my mom. My dad went through HELL for years trying to care for both of his aging parents. Yes, there were nursing homes, and retirement homes along the way...but the traveling, bills, caring, etc etc. just wore him completely out. It aged him greatly actually. He said he wished he'd had a sibling or two because the burden was just so much for one person to bear. I only have one brother and I am afraid between the two of us, it won't be enough in the future when our parents really need us.
Anyway, just something to think about.
Kim ~ Wife to Michael and SAHM to Hannah (14), Aidan (13), Brighton (9), Oliver (6) and Ephraim (3) 8/10/101/12/11
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Old 06-17-2011, 11:20 PM   #36
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Honestly, thinking that a person with siblings will share the load when taking care of aging parents is kind of silly. As a pp noted, the responsibility is still often passed to one person. My mother is one of three, and had to do everything herself (with the help of my father). Her older brother passed away a long time ago, and her younger brother has Down Syndrome. There are never guarantees that things will work out perfectly when you have more than one.

I am also one of three, and will likely be the one saddled with caring for my parents - and my siblings and I get along better than most.
Amanda - happily married wife to N and mother to B and C
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Old 06-18-2011, 07:00 AM   #37
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Re: Attention Only Children, & parents of Onlies!

As an only child, my biggest advice would be to take care to keep appropriate parent/child boundaries.

I'm an only child and mostly enjoyed it growing up. I can say that I do feel sometimes a bit socially awkward (or maybe underconfident), but I don't know that I am any more so than my father who had a sister. I tend to be at least as comfortable with people a generation older than me as with my own peers. At the same time, I've always made one or two very close friends my own age at each stage/geographic location of my life.

The thing that was toughest for me about being an only child was being caught between my parents during their conflicts. My impression is that this doesn't happen as much with multiple children. I would feel like my parents would be playing tug-of-war with me emotionally: "Oh, your father..." or "don't tell your mom....". My husband who has a brother and sister says his parents never fight and the family dynamic has always been parents vs children. While I doubt it's true that his parents never had conflict, they seemed much better at not getting their children wrapped up in it.

This became even more of an issue after my father died unexpectedly, when my mom wanted to process all of their marital troubles with me within a few weeks of his death. It was very difficult for her to understand that I didn't want to talk about such things. She'd say "but I see you as a friend" or "but I'm perfectly justified feeling the way I do" and not understand that I wasn't negating her, just that I couldn't deal with it (I was mourning the loss of my father and had my own stuff to deal with). I think this crossing of emotional boundaries tends to happen more with daughters than sons and more with only children than multiple children.

As long as you expect your child to be your child, and not your friend, ally, or counselor, I don't think your child(ren) will be better or worse off with or without a sibbling. I have friends who say they feel closer to me than their own sibblings and friends who are incredibly close to their sibblings---it just depends on personalities.

As for me, I'm only pregnant with my first, but for most of my life thought I'd only want one. I'm surprised at how much I'm enjoying being pregnant (even at 38 weeks!) and could presently be easily convinced by my husband to have another....but we'll see how I feel after he is out

Good parenting matters more than having or not having sibblings.
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