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Old 10-02-2013, 08:34 AM   #76
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Re the idea that you have to have siblings to care for aging parents, in our case it's made that whole thing much harder.

Even though most of dh's many siblings live in town, we end up doing 95% of what MIL needs. We both work full time and we are the only ones actively raising kids at the moment, but still it all falls on us. The other siblings second guess us and tell us how we are doing it all wrong, but are supremely unhelpful. The out of town siblings can never come for the holidays, but arrive a week later and then expect to be entertained rather than doing anything to help.

FIL died last year and again the sibs were worse than useless. One of dh's brothers insisted that FIL have a funeral with all the bells and whistles, including a wake and a church service. FIL for as long as I have known him (35 years) expressed that he absolutely didn't want those things. MIL ended up being guilted into forking over many thousands of dollars for a service that left FIL rolling in his grave.
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Old 10-02-2013, 08:47 AM   #77
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I am sure parents would never admit it becuase it isn't fair to the child to air it out, but based on my observation I know many parents who realize they should have stopeed at one or 2. They are overwhelmed, stressed, and not enjoying thier kids anymore.
That might be what you perceive, but I seriously doubt it. You have to realize, that as much as you love your only, people with multiple children love each one of their children at least that much.

When I found myself pregnant for the fourth time, I was hoping it was a mistake. I wanted three kids, I loved having three kids, I was ready to get out of diapers/cribs/sippy cups/etc. and move on. Those feelings stayed with me for a few weeks, before my first u/s, and then I fell in love with my twins.

Our lives are hectic - multiple activities every day, tons of groceries, unlimited amounts of laundry. It was just as hard when they were all little, with sleepless nights, illnesses, cranky days...

On our worst days, I think about how our life would be if we didn't have our bonus babies - and my heart crumbles. I would take a lifetime of our bad days than a lifetime without our twins. Each child means more work, but each child brings even more in joy and happiness, enriching the family.

So, if one hears parents of multiple children vent about the struggles, don't assume they'd rather not have a couple of their kids. Most of our friends have three kids (some two, some four, a couple one), and all vent.
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Old 10-02-2013, 10:16 AM   #78
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Originally Posted by mjkacmom View Post
That might be what you perceive, but I seriously doubt it. You have to realize, that as much as you love your only, people with multiple children love each one of their children at least that much.

When I found myself pregnant for the fourth time, I was hoping it was a mistake. I wanted three kids, I loved having three kids, I was ready to get out of diapers/cribs/sippy cups/etc. and move on. Those feelings stayed with me for a few weeks, before my first u/s, and then I fell in love with my twins.

Our lives are hectic - multiple activities every day, tons of groceries, unlimited amounts of laundry. It was just as hard when they were all little, with sleepless nights, illnesses, cranky days...

On our worst days, I think about how our life would be if we didn't have our bonus babies - and my heart crumbles. I would take a lifetime of our bad days than a lifetime without our twins. Each child means more work, but each child brings even more in joy and happiness, enriching the family.

So, if one hears parents of multiple children vent about the struggles, don't assume they'd rather not have a couple of their kids. Most of our friends have three kids (some two, some four, a couple one), and all vent.
Very well stated.
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Old 10-02-2013, 10:19 AM   #79
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Only children are generally confident, strong willed individuals able to hold a conversation. An only child's level of spoiled depends on how the parents raise them. Stress levels can't be determined by those without / without siblings.
I don't believe in stereotypes, I have 3 that blow them all the theories out of the water. I also know only children that disprove your statement. So as a whole, NOT buying it, at all.
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Old 10-02-2013, 10:40 AM   #80
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I don't believe in stereotypes, I have 3 that blow them all the theories out of the water. I also know only children that disprove your statement. So as a whole, NOT buying it, at all.
I was actually pointing out the same exact thing to this statement.

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As a teacher...in most instances in my classroom (and I teach over 500 kids weekly at my school)...those with siblings get along better with other kids, can let things roll of their backs more easily, are less shy/stressed out, and are more enthusiastic in general. :
I'm an only. I'm not shy. I get along with people. I'm confident. I don't stress out. So, I can only speak from experience.

People come in all shapes, sizes and types including mannerisms which can't be generalized.
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Old 10-02-2013, 12:09 PM   #81
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As a teacher...in most instances in my classroom (and I teach over 500 kids weekly at my school)...those with siblings get along better with other kids, can let things roll of their backs more easily, are less shy/stressed out, and are more enthusiastic in general.
Wow, my only child has all those positive qualities and many, many more. Way to generalize.
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Old 10-02-2013, 12:16 PM   #82
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My best friend growing up was an only child, and everyone in the neighborhood felt vaguely sorry for her. It was good for me though, because I got to go on a lot of cool trips and adventures with them as the "invite a friend" so she wouldn't be "alone" for rides, etc . lol. We got along great and she would sometimes introduce me as her sister, or want to pretend we were sisters to people we didn't know.

We grew apart after high school, but I have to say, she ALWAYS said she would never have an only child. I wonder if she stuck to that.
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Old 10-02-2013, 08:45 PM   #83
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I am an only child. I hated it, hated it, hated it. I was alone with adults a lot. Vacations were usually just me and my parents. I vowed to never have only one. We have 3.

More of a spit fire? No. I think she will learn it isn't all about her in the long run.

I never debated a #2. I knew we had to have at least 2 children.

Dawn
I was an only the first 10 1/2 yrs of my life. I too HATED it. Lucky for me I had cousins around. My sister and I are close.
As we aged, cousins don't see each other often.
I have 2. I very much regret we didn't try for 3rd.
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Old 10-02-2013, 10:22 PM   #84
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Please don't feel guilty. He gets to experience all of the attention and never has to compete with anyone else. You also don't have to deal with fighting. I have daughters who fight all the time. It drives me batty!

I have read only children tend to have more friends because they are more inclined to be social. (This is contrary to some of the other posts but this is what I have read and observed with other kids).

Plus, you seem like a great mom so that is a HUGE bonus for your boy.

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We have an only child, partly by choice and partly not.

I always only wanted one and after a pretty terrible labour and delivery I was even more sure. When our son was a year, we started talking about a second and had decided to shelve the convo and look at it more when he was two years old.

Then, when he was 17 months old, I was diagnosed with breast cancer and the result of all of it is that I can't have any more children.

Had this not happened, I am pretty sure we would have had a second.

I feel bad for our son, he is 8 now and for the last year or so he has been talking about how sad it is that he does not have a brother or sister and he won't ever have one. But then I remind him that if he had a sibling, we would not be able to visit Disneyland as often as we do!

All joking aside, while I am mostly at peace with only having our son, there is a small part that feels terribly guilty that I can't give him the sibling he wants.
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Old 10-03-2013, 06:51 AM   #85
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I am the oldest of 4; we were born over a 10 year time span. I love my brother and sisters, but they each have brought their stress and drama into our relationships over the years. Nothing permanent, but at any given time I have had a sib who has stopped talking to the rest of us for months on end, or longer. (I, in retrospect, am perfect and I'm sure none of them would complain about me... they wouldn't dare! ). DH is #5 of 7 kids, youngest of the four boys, and the stories are legend! They all get along well now as adults, but were contentious as kids, to say the least. I am sure his parents' divorce when DH was 14 didn't help, but these are kids who fought with each other long and hard, and bloodshed wasn't uncommon. (Neither were threats to hang the kitten (literally) if sibling X didn't do what sibling Y wanted.) My MIL did the best she could, raising 7 kids, working full time, and dealing with a philandering husband.

Our DD is an only. I had her when I was 37, and it was a hard labor and delivery, and ended up with a 43 week pregnancy, a broken pelvis, and a post-partum infection that almost killed me. Needless to say, I wasn't interested in "trying again" right away. However, when DD was 4, I was pregnant again. I just couldn't believe it. I wasn't thrilled at all- more like in shock. I didn't want to have another child. It wasn't fear of another god-awful pregnancy or anything like that; I just knew I didn't want another child. One is a good number for me. Of course, the OB/GYN office was packed with patients, and I couldn't get a first appointment until I was 6 weeks along. However, the morning I was supposed to go for the first U/S, I miscarried. People are always shocked when I say this, but it really didn't bother me. I knew I didn't want to have another child. Don't get me wrong, I am sure I would have fallen in love with the new baby and raised him/her with endless love, but I just knew that one child was all I really wanted to have in my family.

DD20 (WOW how'd THAT happen?) is now a junior in college, dean's list student, VP of her sorority, teaches 5 dance classes a week, and dances with two ballet companies as a soloist in one and a demi-soloist in the other, so I don't think being an only has left her shy or introverted, or spoiled (can't work your way up through a ballet corps as a high schooler if you are self-centered!. Growing up she went through periods of wishing she had a sibling, but she says it was always more in passing and never really bothered her that much. She was often horrified by the mess and confusion in the homes of friends where there were 4 or 5 kids and admits that she was often happy to return to the peace and orderliness of our home. DD went on many trips with us and enjoys my company. In fact, we always offered to take friends to Disney with us, but usually DD turned us down; she was always disappointed when her friends would come with us, thinking "vacation" meant "laze by the pool all day and eat junk food." Several of those vacations weren't much fun.

Oddly enough, in the past few months I have found myself wondering about whether we should have had that second child. Maybe it's easier to consider, knowing that that ship has sailed, and I'm guessing that it's because DD is really away at school and we don't see much of her this year (college is in the town we live in). I don't know... but I don't dwell on it, and don't regret the decisions we made. It worked for all three of us!
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Old 10-03-2013, 07:12 AM   #86
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What a timely thread! Thanks for posting this, OP. DH and I are having the same discussion.

He is an only and before we had DS he only wanted one. Then his dad passed away (mom is not in the picture) and he had to deal with everything himself, which he didn't like. Then in the aftermath he had a hard time with the realization that he was alone.

He's very close to my family so his dad's death prompted him to want to move back to NH because we live in FL.

I've always wanted two but we've been trying since last fall to have a second but it just hasn't happened yet.

We've stopped for now because we want to move to NH in June. I'm hoping to find a teaching job so I don't want to be due at the beginning of the school year and if I do get a job I won't have insurance for two months and I'm not delivering a baby with no insurance!

We said we'd start trying again next fall but the year wait seems so long. I'm afraid we'll keep putting it off and if won't happen. I'm going to be 33 in a few weeks and DH is already 40. I'm concerned because at one point he said he didn't want to be 45 and having another baby so I started thinking about what it would be like to just have one.

It's been interesting to read all the replies! Thank everyone!
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Old 10-03-2013, 11:57 AM   #87
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I have to say that probably the greatest joy for me as a parent is watching my two kids interact with each other. They are now teens, and they are very different people so I wouldn't exactly call them "best friends", but I know they love each other and I get a lot of pleasure out of watching them forge their relationship. My younger son was making a birthday card for his brother and he asked me "Should I sign it "love"?", and I nearly teared up at the thought that he truly does love his brother even though they are so different.

With that said, there was a time when they were at each others' throats (well, actually the younger one was constantly harassing the older one!) and I wondered if I would survive their childhood! Luckily, it was only for a few years ("only"--ha ha--it felt like forever!). I am so glad I have two kids. I always thought I would have 3, and every now and then I wonder what it would have been like with a third, but all in all I am content with two. The major bonus with only having two is that I have been able to avoid driving a mini-van!

Good luck with your decision! Things will be fine no matter what you decide.
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Old 10-03-2013, 05:32 PM   #88
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I'm an only child. And I love it. I was blessed to be able to do a lot of things that, if I had siblings, my parents could not have afforded. One was I went to private catholic school k-12 grade. As well as my parents were able to save a Huge chunk for my college education. They both have said if they had had more kids then I would have had to pay for college by myself.
Growing up was a little different because i was around my cousins often for birthdays holidays etc. and they were often jealous of what my parents could provide because I was an only child, and treated me that way. But we grew up and I am very close to all of them as an adult.
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Old 10-03-2013, 08:32 PM   #89
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DD is an only. She was born with a birth defect that required several surgeries her first few years. By the time she was 3.5 she was done with surgery for a few years and we were getting ready to move. DH talked about having another then- no need moving all this baby stuff if we weren't going to use it. We decided one was enough. Neither really wanted to go back to the baby stage. To be honest we haven't regretted it.

DD used to asked for a brother or sister. When she was about 6 I took her to the beach with a friend of mine and her 2 kids- 5 and 3. On the way home after that weekend DD told me she didn't want a brother or sister anymore.

Having an only has allowed DD to go more places that we wouldn't have been able to afford with multiple children. She I now in college and should be able to graduate with no loans since we were able to started saving when she was very young.

And by the way, DH came from a large family, 7 children, and wanted at least 3 kids when we first got married.
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Old 10-04-2013, 08:36 AM   #90
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I have one sister who I have never been close with (and I'm still not close with her). We are 3 years apart.

DH is an only child. Very well adjusted and an awesome person!

We have been together for almost 20 years (married for 11.5) and "when we were kids" (15 and 16) and up through college we said we wanted 4 kids....

Well, I had our first at age 25 and she was perfect in every way, and I just really worried about "rocking the boat" with having another, so I hemmed and hawed about it a lot. DH was ready when our oldest was about 1. So, finally, when our oldest was about 20 months old, I decided I was ready...and BOOM, got pregnant on the first try!!! That was shocking because it took us 7 months to conceive our first, and I was just expecting that again.

So, our girls are 2.5 years apart and are best friends. They fight though too! (like only sisters can), but we are so happy to have them both. Our youngest is a firecracker for sure!!!

We have even talked about a 3rd, but we are 35 and 36 now, and quite honestly I think I now have fertility issues? We have not used birth control since 2008 and no pregnancies, so we are just kind of like, if it happens it happens, but we are very happy with our two girls, and glad we didn't stick with an only.
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