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Only Child...input needed.

Discussion in 'Community Board' started by dismom22, Oct 1, 2013.

  1. dismom22

    dismom22 Mouseketeer

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    DH and I are in discussion of having our second child. DD will be 4 in February and I *thought* our plan was to take out my Mirena when we got back from Disney...so, uh, now. What I thought was our plan has quickly changed and become more of a debate. I realize this is a serious decision that only DH and I can make; I was just hoping to get some insight from a variety of people. Some things I'm trying to consider:

    1- If you only have one child, why did you decide to (assuming you had the choice which I know is not always the case)? How is it raising your only?

    2- If YOU are an only child, how was your life affected both as a kid and as an adult? (This is one thing I struggle with...DD being alone as she gets older and we do as well...)

    3- If you have more than one child, did you ever have this issue, debating #2? How did you handle it?

    4- Is more harder than just one? We have our hands full with DD, she's a spitfire that's for sure. DH is concerned that having #2 will not help and possibly cause DD to be "worse" (I hate that word but for lack of better...)

    5- What's the age difference between your children along with the pros & cons?!

    Anything else you'd like to add, I would certainly appreciate. I would love brutal honesty. I am on the fence but leaning towards DD getting a sibling. I don't want to fight with DH about this. I respect his opinion and do understand his concerns because I have them too, I suppose I just see the bigger picture. For instance, he's concerned with finances, being "stuck" for the next 3-5 years, normal stress of baby (late nights), DD's current behavior and future, our lack of organization around the house, and the fact that our relationship could use some work, nothing terrible, just typical married life stress, etc...

    Whew, that's a lot. Sorry so long...just something constantly on my mind lately and need input. Thanks!!
     
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  3. Aladora

    Aladora DIS Veteran

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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.
     
  4. shortbun

    shortbun <font color=green>Peacenik<br><font color=purple><

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    My son likes being an only child. I was 1st in a family of three kids. Everyone I've ever talked to about a 2nd child said it was MUCH more work with two, but wouldn't change things. This is such a personal choice and one you'll have to work out at home, eh?
     
  5. Cupcakey78

    Cupcakey78 Earning My Ears

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    My only is 10. I would like to have more, but his father and I divorced 4 years ago, and I am not in a place, nor would I like to have other children by myself.

    Sometimes I do worry about him being by himself as he gets older, but then again, I am the oldest of 4 and I am not particularly close to any of my siblings. I do hope that he meets someone who is close to their family so he has that sense of belonging. He does have lots of cousins and 2 step siblings, although they are much older, so he does have some family.

    Having one isn't what I planned, and sometimes I get really sad/upset about it, but it is what it is, and you just have to keep on going on.
     
  6. superme80

    superme80 DIS Veteran

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    I am expecting #3 at the moment. It is a very personal choice for parents. DH and I knew we wanted more than 1 child. We agreed on a number before we started having kids. DS #1 loves being a big brother. We will have all boys when DS #3 shows up. My oldest and middle are 2 years apart. My oldest will be almost 5 years older than his little brother and my middle will be 2 1/2 years older than his little brother. The best part is DS #1 and DS #2 really are best friends. They love to play together and have a lot of fun. Both are VERY stubborn and like to have their own way. Having a sibling helps with having to share time and toys. Good luck with your decision!! :goodvibes
     
  7. SLP958

    SLP958 DIS Veteran

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    Good luck with your decision. I completely understand where you are coming from.
     
  8. The Mystery Machine

    The Mystery Machine Sunrise at my house. :+)

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    I have 2 dd's that are 5yrs apart. They are 22 and 17. Pro is that each kid is sort of an "only child", which is also a negative. My dd's are not close but then again my oldest is also a "spitfire". ;)

    We wanted kids closer in age and more than 2 but we had fertility issues.

    That is a tough spot to be in.
     
  9. Randi

    Randi <font color=purple>Don't you dare dangle my meat i

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    As the only child of parents who were also onlies (all by choice), I can honestly say that at my age (69) I have never once been disappointed in not having siblings. Life is much less complicated. Decisions concerning my grandparents & parents were straight forward with no squabbling, resentment, etc. Inheritence issues didn't exist. We were a very close knit family & I know I had opportunities that some of my friends did not.

    I fully planned to have an only, his father was oldest of 4 & hated it. But lo & behold 5 yrs later, I went to the ER with back pains & left with a 9lb son! Surprise! Because they were far enough apart, we were able to give each one the attention we felt we should. And yes, they were as different as night & day. My oldest was as you say a "handful", but the youngest was so laid back sometimes it drove me nuts!

    Life does go on, & I eventually divorced. I raised my sons within my close family & they had the priviledge of knowing their great grandparents who loved them unconditionally.

    However, neither one was able to find a wife so the line ended with the death of my oldest in 1994 and his brother in 2007.

    I am totally alone now. Does it bother me? No because I have learned to enjoy my own company. Of course I miss my sons terribly & the rest of my family too. But I could be more alone & have more stress if I had siblings who didn't get along.

    I also find it somewhat laughable when a young child sees his friends & asks for a baby brother or sister. Looks like fun but the reality is far different. So parents, I think you should get over the idea that another child is some kind of a gift for the child you already have and have a 2nd or 3rd child for yourself because you really want one & have the resourses to raise them.

    Good luck in your decision. It won't be "wrong" no matter what!
     
  10. Christine

    Christine Would love to be able to sit on

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    Only child here...and lovin' it!!!:goodvibes

    I never, not once, wished for a sibling. OK, maybe once. But I really, really wanted a puppy...

    Seriously though, I have never felt lonely, my parents were never hovering and cloying, I have lived a normal life and most people are surprised when I tell them I am an only child because I apparently don't fit the mold. Even when I was younger, I remember my parents going to teacher conferences and several teachers remarked that I didn't seem like an only child. I am always surprised, though, at the prejudices and preconceptions of what an only child is like.

    As long as you don't cloister your child, have access to playmates, etc, your child will be fine as an only.
     
  11. mom2AidanAndEli

    mom2AidanAndEli DIS Veteran

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    Obviously, this is something only you and your husband can decide. We have two boys who are 2 years/2 months apart and for us, it's perfect. After DS#1, we were debating having another and really weren't sure. Well, nature kind of made the decision for us and it was the best one ever! We're lucky that my guys get along great and always have. Even at 13 and 11, they choose to spend time together and have a very special bond.

    As for two being a lot more work, I never really thought so. The adjustment to the first one was much, much, much harder than the adjustment to the second. With a second, you already know what you're doing. And all those jokes about not worrying as much are definitely true! You know the joke. For the first you sterilize everything, pack everything, scrutinize everything, babyproof everything and then for the second it's just grab and go. Yep, that's the way.

    I do marvel at families with more than two, though--where the adults are outnumbered!

    Good luck with whatever your decision!
     
  12. mrsklamc

    mrsklamc <font color=blue>I apologize in advance, but what

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    Nothing wrong with just one. Lots of great people are only children.

    I think you can make zero predictions about sibling relationships based on how far apart they are.

    Why does DH think another child would make DD "worse"? If she's used to being the center of the universe....well, that shouldn't continue, whether she's an only, or not.

    There are no financial guarantees in life, you can plan and prepare the best you can, but there just aren't.
     
  13. DawnM

    DawnM Dawn

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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

     
  14. anniemae

    anniemae Either she is eating a delicious

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    We struggled with this as well. We were so happy with just one, but felt we wanted to give dd a sibling. They are almost 4 years apart. I think it's a good age gap, but wouldn't want them too much more apart.

    For me, I talked with a few adults who were only's and they all said they wished they had a sibling growing up. One was very bitter and said he would never do that to a child, he felt it was cruel, not sure why or what happened to make him feel that way. Another was dealing with her mom being sick and in a nursing home, dad passed away and all responsibility was on her. She said she wished she had someone to share the burden. Now we all know just because you have a sibling it does not mean they will get along or help each other. The other is one of my best friends. She is happy being an only but did say she wants one more child, so she will have 3!

    I think the key to having an only is to keep them busy and in activities. You have to work harder and arrange play dates etc. since they don't have that built in play mate. I have a friend who has an only and she is so well adjusted, polite etc. She is in many activities like soccer, spanish, gymnastics etc. I think the only children who grow up bitter are those who spent a lot of time alone. That's just my guess.

    Either way, there is no right or wrong, there are many advantages to having one child, and I think it is becoming much more common now a days. Good luck in your decision.
     
  15. glammadiva

    glammadiva DIS Veteran

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    I grew up an only child and hated it. When I was in my late teens, my parents blessed me with two siblings. Both our parents have passed and I am so happy I am not alone! Yes, I am married and have children and grandchildren, but its not the same.
     
  16. jodifla

    jodifla WDW lover since 1972

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    I'm an only child with an only child.

    I was fine being an only child. I have a lot of friends who aren't particularly close to their siblings, and there's a ton of family drama I got to skip without all those sibling relationships.

    My son didn't come along until I was 40. If it had just been a few years earlier, like 37 or so, I probably would have had a second, but as it is he has some special needs, and it's good we can devote all our resources to him.

    You mentioned some issues in your marriage. The thing about having a second child is that for many, it is exponentially harder. I know more than one marriage that a second child sank, just because the parents couldn't handle the workload and maintain their relationship. Sad, but true.
     
  17. Poohforyou

    Poohforyou DIS Veteran

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    We have an only child(didn't plan it that way), I'm 1 of 4 but the only girl, dh has a much younger brother. Dd says she likes being an only child but would have been fine with a sibling. I love my brothers and would do almost anything for them and I know they feel the same. We were close a very young children but grew apart as we started school and made our own friends.

    I do feel a bit sad about dd being alone when we're gone. I hope she has her own family or a close network of friends before then. One thing to consider seriously is that just because people are related doesn't guarantee they'll be close or even like one another. Your 2nd could be the polar opposite of your 1st.
     
  18. quandrea

    quandrea DIS Veteran

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    We thought we'd have an only and were at peace with that after years of infertility. Then five and a half years later my twins showed up by accident. I'm glad my oldest has siblings and that I have the larger family I always wanted but she would have been fine in her own. There is no perfect number. More is more work and more chaos. It's also more fun. There is less time day to day for the couple but mine are in bed at eight and that keeps the marriage alive.
     
  19. lizabu

    lizabu Disney Maniac

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    I tend to think somehow you just know if you're done or not. My sister is my best friend. When we were growing up we had our typical fights but as an adult we are close. We're only 2 years apart. I think age makes a big difference. I alway knew I wanted a busy, crazy house. I ended up having 4 kids.
     
  20. WDWJDS

    WDWJDS Mouseketeer

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    I have an only girl.

    I am the youngest of five and before getting pregnant, I assumed I would have two or three children. During the pregnancy and for three years after, I said I would only have one, and that's the way it stayed. DH and I agreed on it.

    DD has asked for a sibling several times over the last 17 years. We make light of it with her and then she goes on with her normal routine.

    We have lots of family on both sides that she is close with. DH, DD and I make a very nice threesome, but we don't hover (my mom smothered me and was very strict and I didn't want DD to feel the way that I felt).

    DD has many friends her age, participates in various activities, has a job, already has a few college acceptances and can handle herself quite well in adult situations.

    If the time comes that she has to take care of one of us, or make decisions for us, I believe that our extended family would be there for her.

    As for empty nest, well I had a peak of that this summer while she was away at camp and I must say that it was sweet!
     
  21. Mkrop

    Mkrop <font color=coral>I just cant go on demand<br><fon

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    I was an only child for 10 years and I hated every second of it. I was the oldest cousin by 6 years, so I was constantly with adults. I am closer to my aunts and uncles than my cousins. Then my mom had an ovary removed and she got pregnant with DBro #1, 10 years younger, and DBro #2, 14 years younger. It was a tough adjustment at first. My brothers are much closer to each other and do lots together. It was hard for us to join them bc we had kids. I love my brothers, so glad they are in my life. Dealing with health issues with my mom, they have been a tremendous help but I wish we were all a little closer in age
     

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