Jump to content

Parents of an ONLY child....
Do you sometimes feel different?


  • Please log in to reply
90 replies to this topic

#1 Almost

Posted 17 December 2012 - 12:15 PM

As a mum of an only child I sometimes feel like I'm treated differently by other mums (not always).  Almost as though I'm only half a mum.  Am I being ridiculous - as in, is it just my imagination, or have any of you parents of only children felt similarly?

#2 Maple Leaf

Posted 17 December 2012 - 12:18 PM

I am an only child (but have 2 kids myself) and have experienced people telling me that I'm not part of a real family as I had no siblings.

Complete and utter idiots. Try to rise above it.

#3 TillyTake2

Posted 17 December 2012 - 12:25 PM

I'm currently a parent of an only child but we do plan to have more.

I can only give the perspective of what I think when I see parents of only children... I don't think they are "half" parents or look down on them or anything but I do sometimes wonder if they had an only child by choice or circumstance original.gif

#4 Mishu

Posted 17 December 2012 - 12:37 PM

QUOTE
I can only give the perspective of what I think when I see parents of only children... I don't think they are "half" parents or look down on them or anything but I do sometimes wonder if they had an only child by choice or circumstance


And therein lies the assumption that there is something odd/wrong about only having one child, that there must be a reason for it.

I have one child, by circumstance. I would have loved more. But I don't look at parents with 2 or more kids and wonder, did they choose to have that many or was one of them an 'oops'. It bugs me when people question why I have only had one; I don't ask them why they had two or more. A parent is a parent, regardless of whether you have one, a dozen or look after a child not born of you.

OP, I think I understand what you are saying. I have received a few 'oh, it must be easy with just one' from some I meet. I think I was far more tolerant of these comments when I was younger, I get shirty now that I am old and grumpy lol.

#5 MarigoldMadge

Posted 17 December 2012 - 12:43 PM

I'm a mum of only one child, and I'm not happy about that, would love to have more but am slowly working towards accepting this is it.

I have felt some things etc from others, everyone I know has 3+ kids, but I'm also realising that I'm seeing that through my own prism of not being happy.

I think I'm over-interpreting/amplifying what is really not there, and it's my negative thoughts that I'm actually hearing, not other peoples.

Not saying that you are unhappy with having an only child, that's just my experience.

#6 Brrrroooce!

Posted 17 December 2012 - 12:50 PM

I have thought at times that people view having only one child as "Parenting Lite"

Comments like "how can you be tired" and "wait till you have another one" (especially when you're not having another one).



#7 lucky 2

Posted 17 December 2012 - 12:50 PM

I have one child (and no more for me) and I did tend to feel this more when dd was more dependant (she is 8 now) as I could see the heavier work loads of my friends who have more than on child and feel the comparison with myself, less of a workload.
I did get some comments (one child is a hobby!) but I really think it was mostly me who was doing the comparision and finding myself wanting.
I don't think of it much now.
Actually, I did think of it this morning in school assembly,
I was thinking of how the parents of 2 or more kids tend to be more prominent at the school, they can be more visible, be more active across many areas.
I supposed this was because they are often at the primary school for longer than 7 years (with 2 or more kids moving through) and get more contact with different teachers and parents.
It made sense to me.
I know less of what is going on probably because of this but I'm ok with that.
I think it is quite different having one to having more children in all sorts of ways, obvious and subtle.
I try to enjoy my lighter workload (though that doesn't mean it is always easy, I wish it was) rather than feel "less".

#8 Almost

Posted 17 December 2012 - 12:50 PM

Thanks for all the responses so far.  I just wanted to add that I often feel that people want an explanation as to why I've only got one.  I've actually been asked why.  I agree with Mishu, I don't ask others why they've had 2, 3, 4 or more kids.  I guess I'm being a bit precious over being asked why.  I just don't like talking about why.

#9 Harlekijn engel

Posted 17 December 2012 - 12:56 PM

I get a lot of comments about how selfish I am and how much damage this is going to do DD.

I wish I were imagining it!

#10 TillyTake2

Posted 17 December 2012 - 12:59 PM

QUOTE (Mishu @ 17/12/2012, 01:37 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
And therein lies the assumption that there is something odd/wrong about only having one child, that there must be a reason for it.


No my assumption isn't that it is odd/wrong. Just that it is unusual.

For example, if I meet someone who tells me that they have a 16 year old, a 14 year old and a 6 month old I may wonder if the 6 month old was a surprise. It isn't "wrong" that they have a large gap, just unusual. I'm not "judging" having one child (or a large gap) as right or wrong, good or bad, I'm just observing. FWIW I would obviously never actually ask or say anything!

#11 Mishu

Posted 17 December 2012 - 01:03 PM

Sorry TillyTake2, I wasn't actually having a go at you (tho I can see it may have read like that). It was more that having just one child is often questioned, whereas having more is not questioned. Well, until you reach that point where people think you are having too many. It wasn't directly at you personally original.gif

#12 robot sm

Posted 17 December 2012 - 01:03 PM

I'm still pregnant with our first child, and already I get the 'wait until you're pregnant with the second!' type comments.

We only plan on having one child for a few reasons, and people tend to assume that we will automatically change our minds and have heaps of kids because it's what they've done.  As if there would be something wrong with me if I don't want to have another child after meeting my first.  I'm sure we will both absolutely love our child, but that doesn't mean we have to have more.

My belief is that it's nobody's business to pressure you or make you feel inferior about the number of children you have, regardless of the reasons.

#13 alphamummy

Posted 17 December 2012 - 01:28 PM

I completely understand where you're coming from. I've been told to "have another one" and asked multiple times when the next one will be due. (One person asking even asked if we'd been "hard at work" trying for another already!) My child is only 5 months old! Personally, I don't even want a second one. I would rather focus my energy on perfecting one child than spreading myself thin over two or three and never having enough time for all of their needs like I see so many other families do.

#14 casime

Posted 17 December 2012 - 01:32 PM

I get it a lot.  People seem to like to tell you about how you're damaging your child by making them an only child, or the "you'll change your mind" comments.  But don't you DARE question someone with a large family for their choices.  That's none of your business of course.   glare.gif

I have a standard response now to the "when are you having the next one."  It's "oh, gosh, I'm not.  This one's perfect, so the next one would probably be a turd."  Cue walking away.  



#15 Llama in Pyjamas

Posted 17 December 2012 - 01:34 PM

Yep, I understand this feeling, the "yes, it's so much harder with two" and kinda wonder if those with 3 or 4 or 5 etc look down on those with two...
Or even being told "oh you wouldn't understand, you've on,y got one" - even if my one had the same issue.

#16 aztecblue

Posted 17 December 2012 - 01:38 PM

I'm an only child, and have a DS and not planning any more (by choice).

Although only child families are alot more common in Australia nowadays, we're still in the minority. I don't think I've been treated differently yet because DS is not yet 2 and everyone probably just assumes that I'm going to have another one. It will be interesting though to see if I am treated any differently once DS is older and is obvious that he'll be an only.

For me now, the problem is more about how I feel about the issue - I am always feeling extremely guilty about not wanting a second especially as DH wants one badly.

I also dont like people asking if or when I'll have a second, probably because I"m so touchy on the subject. When I stop to think about it they're probably just asking cause they're curious. I have a hard time explaining why I don't want a second one though - a huge part of the reason why is because I had very bad PND with my first to the point where I was hospitalised and was considering taking my own life. I dont really feel like divulging that to ever person who asks me when I'm having my second. but if I tell them that I"m not having another because I don't have much parental support and love having the freedom to be able to work (also true), then they think I'm being selfish.

#17 Liz Lemon

Posted 17 December 2012 - 01:39 PM

QUOTE (casime @ 17/12/2012, 02:32 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I get it a lot.  People seem to like to tell you about how you're damaging your child by making them an only child, or the "you'll change your mind" comments.  But don't you DARE question someone with a large family for their choices.  That's none of your business of course.   glare.gif

I have a standard response now to the "when are you having the next one."  It's "oh, gosh, I'm not.  This one's perfect, so the next one would probably be a turd."  Cue walking away.


Lol lol lol. Must use this one myself!

Another child would really stretch me emotionally, financially (and vaginally!) and I don't want to do it.

I tend to say I love my daughter but do not love being a parent - hence I won't be doing it again ...

Edited by Liz Lemon, 17 December 2012 - 01:39 PM.


#18 VintageEyes

Posted 17 December 2012 - 01:41 PM

I think you get asked about the number of kids regardless of how many you hsve. I got asked when I only had DS if we were having another and I get asked again now I have two. The only ifference is that before the answer was yes, now it is no. People are just curious.

#19 maurie

Posted 17 December 2012 - 01:45 PM

Yep and add to that that you had that only child by choice and she is now an easy-going quiet well-mannered self-sufficient 11-year-old, then you really get dismissed as having it way too easy and what would you know about parenting - your kid has never given you any trouble!


#20 wish*upon*a*star

Posted 17 December 2012 - 01:46 PM

My DD will be an only child by choice.
Do I feel different? Without a doubt, I know very few people who have only one child and it is often expected by people the we must be planning a second soon, if not now.
Is it the right decision for us? Absolutely, and everyday I am happier with the choice we are making.
I do get asked 3-4 times a week about the next one and it does not worry me unless someone is rude and questions me about my selfish choice and lectures how I "have" to have another one. Most people are just making conversation or curious.
However, it did hurt when someone said to me that I must not love my daughter much if I don't want another. What a seriously dumb thing to say.

#21 Lagom

Posted 17 December 2012 - 01:47 PM

I totally don't belong in this thread but I have to laugh at people who say, 'Oh, just wait 'til you have another one.'   I've found two sooo much easier than one 'so there!' to them.  DD1 is so full on and having a sister gives her someone else to annoy other than me.  ph34r.gif
I have a 3yr 3mth gap between my two and would often get asked before I was pregnant with DD2 when we were having #2.  It is a little annoying but I think it's often small talk.  It's so hard not to offend people these days.  wink.gif

Maybe they are just jealous of the perceived easiness of your life compared to theirs?  Maybe you are paranoid?  Maybe they are judgey cows?  Don't over think it OP.  happy.gif

#22 pinkcupcakes

Posted 17 December 2012 - 01:47 PM

QUOTE (hoppingllama @ 17/12/2012, 01:34 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Yep, I understand this feeling, the "yes, it's so much harder with two" and kinda wonder if those with 3 or 4 or 5 etc look down on those with two...
Or even being told "oh you wouldn't understand, you've only got one" - even if my one had the same issue.


yes, that's something i noticed before we had ds. there also seems to be ... a difference, with those whose kids are going to school and those whose arent.in real life at least. and i think it's mostly unintentional. its just that they are in a different genre, if you like, and have had different experiences, that mostly those in the same genre can relate to. of course, now that i have had my second child, i can understand that it does add a different dynamic to daily life, but having said that i dont feel superior to those who chose to have one child and not more.

for myself and dh, we chose to have 2 kids and no more. i am in awe of ppl who have more than that, simply because i imagine there must be soooo much work involved and i wonder how these supermums fit it in their day. i admire them. but i would never ever want more, simply because i feel that 2 kids is right for our family.for me personally i couldnt cope with more, although i love kids.

but whether you have 1 child or a hundred, there are still experiences and advice to share with others. you are still a parent, going through the same stuff as everyone else.

#23 *Lib*

Posted 17 December 2012 - 01:48 PM

I have an only child. Never ever have I been questioned as to why....or made to feel inferior for only having one child.

#24 dolcengabbana

Posted 17 December 2012 - 01:51 PM

I often get told I don't realise how difficult it is having 2, 3 or 4 children as I have it so easier with DS10 being an only child and being a really great kid at that.

It breaks my heart !!

#25 pinkcupcakes

Posted 17 December 2012 - 01:57 PM

aww, d&g you poor thing. ddown.gif i  dont really belong in this forum either, just wanted to be understanding. hhugs.gif




1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

The day my daughter almost drowned

We had six adults standing there, so I felt like I could relax a bit. After all, what could go wrong with so much supervision?

Sydney siege survivor names baby after victim Katrina Dawson

A Sydney barrister who survived the Lindt cafe siege has named her newborn daughter after her best friend who died in the tragedy.

Banishing bloat

How to avoid a bloated tummy

Here are some foods to eat in order to escape feeling ghastly and gassy.

The great new picture book for anxious kids

My son is a worrier by nature. I learnt long ago that it was completely pointless to say to him "Don't worry about it!".

Budget stripped more than $15b from families

The combined impact of the two budgets for low and middle income people was "devastating", new analysis by the Australian Council of Social Service shows.

Pregnant women urged to get flu shots

As the winter chill starts to arrive, NSW Health is urging pregnant women to get their flu shots.

65-year-old gives birth to quadruplets

A 65-year-old German woman, who already has 13 children, has given birth to quadruplets.

What you need to know about pregnancy and health insurance

It's not just waiting periods that couples need to consider - there are other factors to consider when thinking about health insurance.

Yummy mummy

Nicole Trunfio breastfeeds baby on Elle magazine cover

Australian model Nicole Trunfio has taken the concept of multitasking to a fashionable new level for Elle Australia.

Warnings after baby girl died while sleeping in bouncer

Parents have been warned about the dangers of letting babies sleep in bouncers and swings following the death of a three-month-old girl.

Coping with fatigue as a parent

Sleep deprivation is a real hazard of caring for a baby. But there are ways to manage the challenges of fatigue better.

A very 21st century issue: parents, parks and smart phones

It's not all the parents, and it's not all the time, but there is often at least one doing it. And sometimes, that 'one' is me.

Appliances

Faulty washing machines linked to house fires

More than 80,000 faulty Samsung washing machines pose a fire threat in homes throughout Australia despite a nationwide recall of the machines.

'I had a lotus birth and I loved it'

Lotus birthing is not all that common, but for a number of women it feels like the most natural thing to do.

7 things you might not know about postnatal depression

Despite its widespread nature, there is still a great amount of mystery surrounding PND - and it's important to try unravelling as much of that as we can.

Is your family's car part of the world's biggest safety recall?

More than 50 million vehicles recalled for potentially lethal airbag fault - is your car affected?

Why drinking water can be deadly for babies

H2O is one of the necessities of life, but for babies a seemingly harmless amount of water can be fatal.

Mother-in-law faceplants during proposal

He had it all planned: a romantic proposal on a windswept beach. The whole family would be there so they'd all be able to celebrate the joyous moment together.

A preschooler suddenly goes mute - and it's not just shyness

When our son stopped talking, our sense of loss was painful and acute.

The mums who ask for a 'wife bonus'

They run their homes like domestic CEOs and work tirelessly to improve their family's social standing. And now, according to a new book, they want an annual perk from their husbands.

Woman shares photo of dimple on breast to warn others of cancer risk

A widely-shared Facebook photograph of a British woman's breast has raised awareness of a more subtle breast cancer symptom.

Starting a family despite a low sperm count

"I'd never really failed a test - how could I fail this particularly manly test?"

It's official: we must better protect our kids from toxic lead exposure

New guidelines have been released, aimed at reducing children's harmful exposure to lead. But they still don't go far enough.

Trouble-shooting toddler social skills

Chances are your toddler's behaviour is all completely normal - but here's how to tackle some common social problems.

Helping your first-born welcome a sibling

We did sigh with joy at the arrival of a royal princess - but, mostly, we sighed with pity at the sight of Prince George being taken to meet her.

Farewell, daytime nap

I've been in denial and I'm not too proud to beg, but it appears I must accept the fact that you have gone. I need to let you go.

The identical triplets who are one in 50 million

The father of identical triplets born in a Texas hospital says his three daughters, including conjoined twins, are "a miracle" sent by God.

Seven questions you should be asking about your health cover

If the last time you assessed your health cover was five years ago, there?s a chance it may no longer suit your needs. To ensure it?s still right for your family, click here for seven questions to ask.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

How to use gas effectively in labour

Many women in labour don't use gas effectively and suffer more side effects than benefits. Here's how to get the most out of this pain relief option.

'He has gastro but that's okay, right?': sick kid etiquette

We cannot place all children who are sick in a bubble till they recover, but we can give other parents a choice about exposing their kids to them.

Ada Nicodemou: 'I can never be completely happy again'

Home and Away actress Ada Nicodemou has opened up about the loss of her stillborn baby.

10 things to consider when you're thinking about trying for a baby

Before you start tracking your menstrual cycle and reading up on the best positions to get pregnant, there are a few other things you may want to consider.

How special surgery and IVF can create a post-vasectomy baby

Cricket legend Glenn McGrath and his second wife Sara are expecting their first child together, thanks to IVF and a delicate surgical sperm retrieval process that helped the couple to conceive.

Belle Gibson's mother 'disgusted and embarrassed'

The mother of disgraced wellness blogger Belle Gibson has accused her daughter of lying about her childhood in an attempt to garner public sympathy.

Doctor's mobile phone 'left inside c-section mum'

A new mum claims a doctor left his mobile phone inside her after delivering her baby via caesarean section.

I'm a mum and I'm following my dreams

I want my kids to know that no matter what happens in life, you can still be who it is that you've always wanted to be.

Those first daycare days

I had this innate 'mum' moment the other day.

'If one person had listened, my life would have been so different'

Katherine's father will die in prison for the horrifying sexual abuse of his daughter. Yet she is the one with the true life sentence.

This new plan undermines breastfeeding and baby health at everyone's expense

Mothers, babies, the health system and the wider society are going to pay the price of this new budget.

Couple to celebrate terminally ill baby's birthday in unique way

Baby Jai Bishop has lived at Starship Hospital for the past seven months, with his parents flying back and forth from Hokitika, 1100km away, to be by his side.

Life On Mars

It's men who need 'retraining', not women

We are all responsible for our own behaviour. Telling victims to harden up is wrong.

Baby Gammy's dad tries to claim charity money

The biological father of baby Gammy has reportedly tried to access charity money raised for the little boy's medical costs.

Where are the childcare places?

It?s all very well to encourage women to work if they choose to, but how can the measures lead to increased workforce participation when women are once again left holding the baby?

The pain of not having babies and not knowing why

After seven years of wishing, hoping, crying, punching pillows and shouting "why me?!", the end result is more than I ever thought possible.

Getting your family finances in order

Whether you're after a new car for a growing family, a bigger house, or are just fixing up your finances, here are the basics on borrowing.

Mum shares graphic selfie to warn against tanning

A mum has shared a graphic photo of her skin cancer treatment as a warning to others.

Does parenthood make us happier?

We can certainly gain higher levels of happiness when we become parents, but the trick is to not get overwhelmed by the pressures of raising our kids.

No, having a dog is not like having a human child

It's obvious these people dote on their pets, but they're barking up the wrong tree.

 

Top baby names

Baby Names

The numbers are in and we can now bring you the 2014 top baby name list for Australia.

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.