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Grans who had an only child...

(107 Posts)
LondonGal87 Tue 26-Jul-22 12:35:43

Did you ever regret you decision or would you do anything differently (if you could) I'm thinking of sticking with one but wondering if I'll regret not having more in the future...

Thank you x

FannyCornforth Tue 26-Jul-22 12:42:57

Hello. I’m not a gran, or even a mother, but I am an only child. How many siblings do you have?

Ruby28 Tue 26-Jul-22 12:51:10

I think the fact that you are thinking you might regret it could be a clue. I suppose it depends what is important in life to you as well, though children may be different characters to what you might imagine. I have 3 very different young adults who needed different parenting styles. I have a career but being a mother and having a family has always been the most important thing to me. I guess it depends what you value most and not having any preconceived idea of them. Also they can be expensive which might be a factor…

BlueBelle Tue 26-Jul-22 13:30:39

I m an only child my Dad bless him was being sensible and didn’t believe he and mum could afford any more but I had a lonely childhood very adult orientated I would have loved a sibling Dad apologised to me in his old age and said he thought that was the right thing to do although mum wanted more children( and dad normally gave her everything she wanted) I told him not to worry everything was fine I never told them I was lonely
I then had 3 and 7 grandkids who all moved away from U.K. so back to me again one did move back so that was lovely

So Londongirl you may not regret it but the one child may well

Blondiescot Tue 26-Jul-22 13:33:02

I am an only child and genuinely wouldn't have had it any other way. I can never once remember wanting a sibling - and it wasn't that I was spoiled in any way - if anything, I think my parents went too far the other way for fear of spoiling me. I was never ever lonely and even now, I'm happiest in my own company. My grandson is an only child and quite honestly, I'd be more than happy for that to remain the case.

nanna8 Tue 26-Jul-22 13:34:23

I am an only child. I made sure I had four children to make up for it because I consider I missed out . That’s just me. Our children are not that close to each other now but they are family and they are always interested in each other and wish each other well. I am really,really happy on the rare occasions when we get the whole lot together, plus children and grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren.

Dianalou Tue 26-Jul-22 13:36:02

I was an only child- and both my parents were only children. So as well as no siblings I had no aunts, uncles and cousins.
It did make for a lonely childhood, apart from having one very close friend.
And in adulthood it would be lovely to have a brother or sister, neices and nephews.
My husband and I have 4 sons between us, and eight grandchildren, and it is just joyful to see the family together.

So guess I agree with BlueBelle, it can be sad for the child to be an only one.

Gillycats Tue 26-Jul-22 13:36:31

I was like an only child, my DB had a serious learning disability and was 21 years older than me. I have little family, my 3 children have busy lives far from me. I’m grateful to have a wonderful DH but I do wish I’d had other siblings. It must be so lovely to have close family I’ve always thought. After I had my 1st baby 40 years ago I was determined to have another so he’d never be alone like I’ve been most of my life. As it happens I had twins 16 months after their birth and happy to say they all get on really well and are very supportive of one another. An only child is a lonely child in general.

PollyDolly Tue 26-Jul-22 13:42:47

I felt like an only child - I have two siblings who were born a year apart and I am a lot younger. Family holidays were rather lonely as they would go off exploring etc and didn't want me tagging along; they resented looking after me during school holidays too.

VB000 Tue 26-Jul-22 13:44:03

My mum was an only child, but her mother always encouraged her to have lots of friends.

My DH was also an only child, and he spent a lot of time in his room with books - I sometimes tell him he wasn't properly socialised as a kitten - he is always more content in his own company than I am!

Gossamerbeynon1945 Tue 26-Jul-22 13:47:40

I am an only child, and so is my daughter. I was told be medical proffessionas to only have one child, because of an inherited disease.l

BlueBelle Tue 26-Jul-22 13:47:53

Totally agree Gillycats a lonely child there was no one to go to play with, no one to giggle at night with, no one to even fight with, or share secrets with, gang up against the world, and because my dad was very much younger than his siblings and mum also a ‘lonely only’ there were no cousins to play with, the ones I had were teenagers when I was born so long gone when I was a young child
I loved school as I was with other kids We lived on a main road so no where to meet and play with other kids, so school was my salvation
I know mum was well looked after but lonely as a child and I have a best friend who was also a lonely only

Nothing going for it at all

GagaJo Tue 26-Jul-22 13:50:21

I only had one child. My marriage broke down and therefore I had no more. BUT I think life is quite lonely for my DD as an adult, because she has no siblings and hence will have no nephews or neices.

As a child, I think it was fine for her.

Kim19 Tue 26-Jul-22 13:59:08

I was an only child. Loved to bits. All the toys and no one to share them with. Had two children for that very reason.

NotSpaghetti Tue 26-Jul-22 14:25:11

I was an only child and so was my father. My mother had a brother and I had cousins who I didn't see.
I can honestly say was really, truly happy. I was fortunate in that I was well loved and very much wanted.
Being an only child was all I knew so
obviously I had friends with siblings. It was always a relief to be home after visits though I did enjoy the visits and sleep-overs too.

One of my daughters has an only child. I do not think she is "missing out" anymore than I think I did. I would not worry if she has decided one is enough. If you have no siblings that is "normal" for you. If you have 10 siblings that is normal too. Being an "only" child is not being a lonely child (though some here say they were lonely). My friend, one of 3 was often lonely. I think, in retrospect, she needed "things going on" around her in a way that I did not.

I'm sorry some people grew up wanting siblings but I didn't. I have known one person as an adult whose sibling they could clearly have done without - and I also know someone (my age) who was basically "guilt tripped" into a second child who struggled with mental ill-health afterwards- they knew they shouldn't have had him. It didn't mean they didn't love him because they did, but really they were a much happier person for all the years I knew her before than she ever was after. She had found baby 1 hard work and I think baby no2 was much harder.

You shouldn't really be looking to others I think. I'd say, listen to your heart of hearts. Talk honestly and openly to your partner.
Good luck whatever you decide. I know how blessed I was to be so completely loved by parents. So long as you have a loving home, being a singleton is not an issue.

LondonGal87 Tue 26-Jul-22 14:29:06

Thank you for your replies! I have three other siblings who I'm very close to but I'm thinking about it for my daughter. I'd made sure my daughter will be very close to her cousin (less than a 2 year age gap) and only lives down the road!

For me I feel I'd be the best mum to her if she's an only child as I sometimes struggle with anxiety and I've never really wanted a big family, I've always said just one. But now shes here I do wonder. at the same time I don't want to bring someone into the world just so my daughter isn't lonely (as I don't think she would be) It's such a hard decision!

Kate1949 Tue 26-Jul-22 14:31:25

We only had one. Sometimes I wish she had a sibling but then she went
on to only have one herself so she must have been happy enough.

Kate1949 Tue 26-Jul-22 14:34:10

There's no guarantee that siblings will get on.

Kate1949 Tue 26-Jul-22 14:41:06

I was one of 7 and remember being very lonely at times. Just because you have siblings, doesn't mean you won't be lonely.

SusieB50 Tue 26-Jul-22 14:41:12

My DH was one of eight and the family were very poor and really dysfunctional. He always said “never more than two” and he struggled with them tbh. I would never have wanted just one child. His siblings that are still alive are less than close and never see each other . I am one of three and we are close. So I think it depends on family dynamics . My two AC have almost 4 years between them so as children they tended to play with friends rather than each other but now they are closer and are very supportive of each other despite the very different personalities and geographical distance, and their children enjoy seeing each other .

PinkCosmos Tue 26-Jul-22 15:06:41

I am an only child. I don't think mother wanted any children but my dad did.

My mum had a brother who was 14 years younger than her. I think she was quite jealous of the attention he got as a baby, though they got on well as adults.

My dad had two much older siblings so he must have felt like an only child

Because of this I didn't have any cousins around my age when I was growing up.

I was never spoilt, in fact, it was quite the opposite.

I used to read a lot and was quite happy in my own company. I didn't have much choice sometimes.

I don't find it that easy to make friends and I think that is because (other than school) I didn't spend a huge amount of time around children of my own age. I think its a fear of rejection more than anything.

As an adult, I still don't mind my own company. In fact, I sometime dread socialising, though I will do it.

I wonder how many only children would count themselves as introverts. It is part and parcel of being a lonely only.

I have three sons. They live in different parts of the country and they are not especially close.

Juggernaut Tue 26-Jul-22 15:09:11

I'm an only child, my DM had two miscarriages and a stillbirth in the years after I was born.
My DH is an only child, his parents seemingly had a child as it was 'expected' of them. They didn't care about him as a child, and even less when he grew up.
Our DS is an only child, by choice, as his was a very difficult birth and I was really ill afterwards. We decided that another birth wasn't worth the risks involved, especially given my DM's obstetric history.
Our DiL is the eldest of four girls, and was used by her parents to basically 'raise' the younger three. As soon as she was old enough, her parents would vanish off abroad for holidays, leaving her at home in charge of her younger siblings. This was not on some 'sink' estate either, very well heeled, educated parents, they just didn't give much of a damn.
Our DGS is also an only child, by choice. DiL would probably have liked more children, but we almost lost both her and him at his birth, so there's no way that another birth would be risked.
My DH, DS and I are all perfectly happy being only children, and so far, our DGS, he's almost six, is fine about being the only one.
I'm sure that there are some very lonely and miserable only children out there, in fact my DH was one until we met. However, even if he had been one of many, his parents still wouldn't have had any interest in any of them. They were just very insular, selfish people.
I've had a wonderful life as an only child, although I suppose there have been a few moments when a sibling may have been good.
When DF died at the age of just 61, and I seemed to become responsible for DM's happiness from then on. She just wasn't interested in anyone or anything apart from me, for 21 years, and it wasn't always easy. My DH was an absolute wonder, but as his own parents were so cold and unfeeling, he'd more or less 'adopted' my DM as his own.
When DM was receiving end of life care and I had to make all the decisions by myself, that was a tough time. Perhaps then a sibling may have been nice, but hey, I grew up, as do a lot of only children, to be self reliant and strong, so it was fine really.
If I had my time over, would I choose to have had siblings?
No, I would not!

Juggernaut Tue 26-Jul-22 15:14:47

I forgot to mention in my comment above that I am not a shy, unsociable introvert, despite being an 'only'.
I'm outgoing, friendly, and astonishingly confident!
It all depends on the parents and how they raise an only child! smile

Mine Tue 26-Jul-22 15:33:25

Both my grandchildren are only ones and I feel sorry for them at times....I took my wee 6 year old GS to a softplay yesterday and watched him looking at all the children who automatically had a playmate because they had a sibling.....He just wanted someone to run around and play with...He said hes missing school and feels lonely...I could have cried for him....I'd say LONDONGAL87 to have another one if I was you...

sandelf Tue 26-Jul-22 15:34:06

I am a sole child - parents married late, was, as another poster says, the reverse of spoilt - taught always put the other person first. No regrets about that despite some very tactless remarks made to my Mum about her 'failure' - children hear and understand. Cut forward - I had one child. MIL cause of that. It became apparent from her behaviour, and her successful take over of my husband's brother's children and subsequent engineering of his 3 divorces, that I'd be able to bat her away with just one but with more - not a chance. The same thing would have happened to us. So stopped at one. If you stop at one you need a think skin - people say the weirdest things. It is your life, do what you think - don't either have or not have to please anyone else. The buck stops with you.