C.S. asks from Royal Oak, MI on March 01, 2007
Child Only Child
Parent of only child. Often feel excluded by those with multiples. My daughter is lonely, I am lonely. Husband doesn't understand. So much to talk about on topic of 'Only Child'. Any other only child parents feel the same?
So What Happened?™
Some touching and funny responses. Painful to read antyhing that says be grateful -my gratitude for the child I have is not precluded by my desire for another. Daughter is active, is busy, does have friends...still doesn't help me from feeling excluded by moms who turn their back on me at "get to know you" events when I say I have only 1. In my area, I am definitely a minority in this category. I suppose it is only exacerbated by the fact that I am a working mom, too - majority in my area are not. My issue because I want to be like those other moms. Just wanted to hear someone say, "I feel that way, too, and I am sorry." My circumstances cannot be fixed, I just want my feelings validated. Thanks to all that even took time to respond. Still sad and lonely and wish I could do it all over - differently.
S.N. answers from Saginaw on March 01, 2007
I have only one child. He's only about to turn five. So we could have another. But, I'm honestly thinking I'd be perfectly happy if he turns out to be an only child forever. There have been times that I am lonely. And sometimes, my son gets bored, with noone around to play with. We just try to get him involved in playing with other kids as much as possible. Some playgroups, or play dates have helped us out alot. I guess I understand more about being an only child than I should too. Because my sister is considerably older than I am. I never had anyone to play with at home, so I spent alot of time outside playing with friends. I always considered it to be a happy childhood, though. So, I try not to worry about my son too much, because I turned out okay. Just try to look on the bright side of things, and they'll work out okay in the end.
N.I. answers from Detroit on March 01, 2007
i feel the same why you do. my son is eight and the only child and he is lonely. i understand to a point because i have a older brother i grew up with but before i turned a teen he was gone. my finance doesn't understand because it's five of them and they are all close. my suggestion is the pray for the ones that don't understand and try to help our childs not be so lonely.
D.M. answers from Detroit on March 04, 2007
Have you checked with your local community center or library? Often times these places offer different activities for children and parents, for instance maybe a local story time, or in your case (since your child is older) how about a swim class. It would be a great way for you to meet other parents and for your daughter to meet other kids.
If your daughter has friends from school, invite them, along with their mothers over for a mother daughter tea party or movie. Just a thought of the top of my head.
A. answers from Detroit on March 02, 2007
For the longest time I only wanted one child (I was 1 of 7 and we had to sacrifice alot growing up), but after many years decided to have another. My daughter will be 9 in a couple of weeks and my son wont be 3 until July. There are advantages and disadvantages to every situation. I know when it was just my daughter she would get bored and wanted to play with us. After working all day there were days that I just wanted to sit down and watch some T.V. Now she can play with her brother (sometimes they love each other, sometimes they hate each other). My daughter also plays soccer. Her coach is a praticeaholic so when soccer time is here she plays 3 days a week. She has met some new girls doing this. I agree that you need to get her involved in some activities with other kids her age. In our subdivision there are not a lot of girls my daughter's age, she plays with a lot of kids that are younger. It is great that she plays with everyone, but at the 8-9 age I feel that they need to play with kids there own age too.
So, if another child is not an option look for other activities to keep your daughter busy.
T.H. answers from Detroit on March 03, 2007
My older brother had an only child and he died leaving her and her mom. With other members of her family passing away she only has an uncle and her mom left on her mom's side. My sister and I both live out of state with our adult children. She is now 19 but was only 13 when her father died. Katrina did a lot of damage in their area, phone lines were down and none of our extended family would check on them. It was weeks before I heard from them. Perhaps you should talk to your husband about the importance of supportive siblings because at anytime something could cause her to be alone in the world. I'm so happy to have the support of my sister since we lost our brother and father about 18 months apart. Our mom died when we were 8. We are only 10 months apart. I hope for the sake of your daughter your husband will change his mind and find a way to bring a new child into your home naturally or by adoption. If you adopt you might want to get a child over 5 years old so that there will not be such a large age differences. Children of this age are hard to place. There is also fostering which is always needed for children without a good home or no home. Your daughter is old enough to set down with as a family and discuss as a family all of the options. Good luck.
P.R. answers from Saginaw on March 06, 2007
I have a 9 1/2 year old daughter who is an only child. We are perfectly happy with just one child. I don't feel like we should have to fit into a "norm" of what society feels like our family size should be. She has friends and playdates. Sure, she does get bored when her friends are out of town, but siblings often get bored, too - they don't always want to play with each other. Don't feel guilted into the notion that you HAVE to have another child for your daughter to be happy, or to have a balanced childhood. Do what's best for YOU and YOUR family.
S.P. answers from Detroit on March 02, 2007
Hi C., I'm an only child, and to be honest there are times that I wish I had a sibling growing up, but I also am thankful for being al only child, my parents financial situation woulnd't have allowed for me to do the things I did growing up if there had been another sibling to support.
I also look at my family, my grandparennts between the two of them have 7 children, with marriage and my cousins there are 35 of us! It's so much fun being around all that family, and because I married into a smaller family, by husband has 1 sibling, my son won't get to experience that big family that I had except for my extended family. Except that I have found out that my friends really have taken over that Aunt and Uncle thing, they spoil my son as if he was a part of their family! I have a few friends who are only chidlren and we treat each others children like our nieces and nephews sure it isn't "blood" but we love them all the same!
I think you have to look at yoru individual lifestyle, if you can afford anotehr baby and also your time, as our childrenget older they also demand more of our time with dance recitals, soccer, football games, etc... I see to many families not spending quality time as a whole family beacuse dad is running off to soccer practice while mom is running off to dance lessons.
A far as being lonley goes, be involved with things that your child will enjoy, because I was an only child and my mom was stay at home mom, she was able to go to my shcool outings, which to this day I have memories of, she was also involved with PTA, Girl Scouts, and as an only child I also made friends very easily because I had too, and as I grew older I would have sleep-overs, be involved in sports, band, dance, an other thinsg besides a sibling to occupy my time.
If your child is "bored" offer play dates instead of a baby if you are unsure!
D.F. answers from Grand Rapids on March 02, 2007
I'm sorry you feel excluded. I have a 10 year old, and a 1 yr old, and one on the way. If I hadn't gotten remarried, I would have been fine with the one. I know the difference from my experience. I never felt excluced, just envied or snubbed. I feel a lot of parents of multiples feel jealous of the only child family, and sometimes act like you couldn't possibly be as busy or have real parenting problems. Like they are supermom and your "playing house". Husband usually don't understand.
I would check the library for books on only children. Its normal to feel lonely and like your missing something. There should be books that point out all the positives.
the whole back seat to yourself
no one taking/wrecking/borrowing your stuff
can always find a spot next to mom/dad
no poopy diaper smell
more household money, diner out, movies, theme parks, etc
more one on one attention
easier to find a sitter, night out
no waiting for the bathroom, lack of hot water
parents don't have to choose between your game and theirs
I'm the oldest in my family the youngest is 14yrs behind me and the next is 7 yrs younger than me. I know my brother and sister missed out on many things with my mom. I feel like i got her best years. I had more energy, more projects, more learning, just more than they did.
I think both family types are perfect.