Post # 31
OP, I agree that you should not force yourself to have a second child for the sake of having a second child.
I grew up happy with siblings and I cannot imagine my life without them. But there is nothing wrong with not having siblings and I have cousins who I am very close with who are singletons and who grew up happy as well.
It seems like you are a great parent who is going to do what is best for your child, so your daughter will be fine no matter what you decide regarding siblings. Maybe reading research about singletons would put your mind at ease?
duchessgummybunns : ~90% of people in this world do not have sibling issues. I also understand that you are not claiming that they do, but mentioning this as some sort of pseudofact about your life is meaningless to anyone else. It seems like you gravitate toward people who have sibling issues. Good to know.
Post # 32
samanthasmama : I’m an only child. I had no issues with that at all (and I’m dealing with the aging parents thing right now). There’s no guarantee that siblings will diffuse caring for aging parents (not saying this is your reasoning, but it’s a common one) – my mom is 1 of 4 and they all don’t speak to each other and only one really looks after their own mother. I have one child. We are currently undergoing IVF to have #2 (we both decided we wanted to have a second) but we are now coming to terms with the fact that our son may be an only child. And there’s a lot of benefits to that. He’ll want for nothing, whereas we’d definitely have to make more choices if we had 2. And it’ll be easier on us with our time and schedules. I think ultimately you have to be okay with whatever you decide – but given my own position I think it’d be hard to not have a little wistfulness one way or the other. Be kind to yourself. Giving your daughter all the love in the world is the only thing that mattes – not giving her a sibling 🙂
Post # 33
samanthasmama : Honestly my thoughts on ‘one and done’ is if you are unsure in anyway about having number two then don’t ever try!
It would be bearable to regret having just one as it will be your burden alone to carry but if you have a second child, they will most likely absorb some of your regret in having them. I think something as big as that will always filter through unintentionally into your relationship with them. That can seriously screw up a person and also cause issues in how siblings interact with each other if one feels the other was the preferred one.
Having said that I’ve heard from lots of parents that it gets easier with each child….don’t know how true that is? I wonder sometimes if they are trying to convince themselves or me!!!!
Post # 34
pierce : Lol – what, are you going to follow me around and harrass me now?
I know plenty of people who 100% have fine relationships with their siblings. But yeah… I’d say closer to 90% that didn’t or don’t. Granted, I grew up very poor and in terrible “circles,” and I tended to date fellow mal-adjusted people in my early 20’s, so clearly it’s largely to do with those things.
Just sharing that while yes, siblings can be a wonderful thing, there’s also the potential for strife. I’d say MOST of that 90% was on the lower end of sibling drama – they always felt like the other child was favorite and so they have low self-esteem partly due to that, etc. Only a few were more hadcore instances where, for example, the older sister would bully the younger brother constantly – close him in the dryer, or lock him in closets, pinch him every chance she got, etc. That one particular guy still has a lot of anxiety issues that he thinks stems from that treatment.
Post # 35
I think having a second baby so your first won’t be alone is naive and somewhat selfish. They may hate each other, so any burden of your death will only be compounded by having to deal with someone they dislike. Older siblings will also want to grow up and have their own life away from their sibling. Then what? By all means have multiple children if you want multiple children, but if you fear your kid will be lonely, get it a pet.
Post # 36
smoocheepoo : I love the way you worded this. I think it’s normal to worry about having enough love. When we were making our decision, I looked at the benefits for everyone in our family and for us, 2 makes sense. I hope all the vacations and family experiences and outings will help bond my kids so they grow up close.
Post # 37
I’m a teacher and I have only children students who I can pick out of a line up as having “only child syndrome”, spoiled and bossy and having to have things their way. I also have only children students who are cooperative, kind kids who get along with everyone. It’s how you raise them, how you set your expectations, what you expose them to. So I don’t believe siblings are a necessity.
Post # 38
duchessgummybunns : Not following you around at all. Just noticed the comment.
I agree that there can be bad things about having siblings (abuse, bullying, etc) but there can also be bad things about being an only child (loneliness, spoiled, etc). Both of those things are extreme and honestly more dependent on how the parents treat their kids and family dynamics than anything else.
If a parent favors a child over another or doesn’t step in when there is conflict to teach appropriate behavior, then yeah the child that doesn’t get their needs met will feel terrible and there can be a setup for abuse/bullying. Likewise, if a parent doesn’t let their only child socialize with kids their own age, that kid can be lonely. Or if the a child always has their way and doesn’t learn to share or compromise, they can be spoiled.
Post # 39
I have some only-child friends who are some of the most stable, together, kind and happy people I know! Their view of family is certainly not ‘dysfunctional’ just because they are an only child. I have heard they tend to mature faster due to spending more time with adults, but that’s not necessarily bad and of course they will have friends at school etc. And because you will only have one you’ll be able to organise plenty of play dates and activities and give her experiences you may not be able to if you had more (e.g. you’ll be able to travel more).
Post # 40
There is absolutely nothing wrong with having an only child. I feel like plenty of people have a second one more because of the societal pressure to give their child a sibling. Let people say what they want…people will always say things. Like if you have two girls people will then ask “arent you going to try for a boy next?” Be confident in your choice if it feels right. You may want more time to decide though!
Post # 41
My guess is that whatever you choose will be the right decision. I don’t think you can go wrong either way.
As an only child, who is married to an only child, I can however offer my experience. For me I went my whole life desperately wanting a sibling. However, my best friend is also an only child and we’ve grown up as sisters and are so incredibly close. So close she’s asked me to be with her during labor and delivery when she has her first baby in a couple months. We always say we both got to choose our sibling and we chose each other. She is also married to my husbands best and oldest friend and the four of us do everything together.
On the other hand my husband is also an only child and he grew up so normal and happy and never cared that he didn’t have siblings. When I ask him if he ever minded, he acts like it’s something that’s never crossed his mind.
As adults we have a really close friend group and we know our child/ren will grow up with our friends’ kids as “cousins”, so it no longer bothers me that I didn’t get the “traditional” sibling experience.
Post # 42
My DH had the coolest answer when I asked him why he had one. He said when the first one is perfect why would you risk a second?