(Closed) (NWR) I think we made a huge mistake

posted 8 years ago in Babies
Post # 3
Member
5262 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2012

I think you did the responsible thing for your family. You put your daughter’s well-being first, and she will understand that. 

I’m an only child and I have had times where I’ve resented it. Most of my issues came because my parents moved us to 8 different houses (and 8 schools) and I had no one to be with me every step of the way. That was very lonely. But honestly, most of the things I disliked about being an only child could be easily remedied with paying special attention: helping your daughter get involved with other kids her own age, etc, to give her confidence. I’ve found that throughout my entire life I’ve migrated towards adults because that’s who I felt comfortable with. I never related to kids my own age, even all my friends were about four years older than me until I was about 16 or 17. 

I do love the sense of independence being an only child gave me. There are pros and cons to it, but by no means did you screw up your daughter’s life! Don’t be hard on yourself for being a caring, responsible parent.

Post # 4
Member
1565 posts
Bumble bee

Don’t feel guilty about this! It sounds like you’ve been through so much financially, and honestly I think you made the right choice by not having a second child when you couldn’t afford it. 

I am not an only child, but my Fiance and one of my best friends both are. They are both very independent and socially well-adjusted…being an only child does not mean that she’s going to have a miserable life! Fiance actually liked being an only child so much that he wanted to have 1 child himself. 

If she’s lonely, can you put her in more activities, arrange playdates with other kids, etc? 

Post # 5
Hostess
18641 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

I was an only child too.  Honestly, I didn’t hate my parents for it, but I did end up spending a lot more time with adults than most kids my age and was able to mature faster.  This really has helped me now to interact with people in my classes or coworkers that are older, since I was interacting with my parents at a young age.

Post # 7
Member
732 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2010 - The Tower Club

Why the guilt? Why would you feel bad — you’ve done all this and raised a healthy daughter, despite all the challenges. Why would you feel bad about your circumstances? Besides, if you had another child, there are no guarantees. What if she & your daughter fought constantly and had a destructive, acrimonious relationship, would you blame yourself? What if you had another daughter who also ended up so sick that it compromised your way of life? Of course it could end up happily, too, but my point is that you just can’t know.

I’m an only child, and it was great for me. I don’t resent my parents, in fact I was super close to them; I’m very close to my mother and always grew up with a more “adult” perspective. I would not have had this same relationship with her if I’d had siblings. My mother made sure I was not one of those “spoiled only children” (she was loving but strict! ๐Ÿ™‚ so there was no issue there. 

We’re fine about it, but I wonder if it’s a cultural imperative. I have had many people from other cultures who tell me they think being an only child is a weird thing. It just depends on your point of view. 

Sure, it would have been fun to have a sister, but my mom made sure I had plenty of playmates and social interaction as a kid. My mom also wanted more but couldn’t have them, but she’s thrilled with our close relationship. I can’t imagine life any other way. ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 8
Member
523 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2009

I am an only child.  I asked my parents for a brother or sister only once.  They told me I’d have to share my toys.  I didn’t ask again and I’ve been very happy as an only child ever since.

But seriously, my parents aren’t loaded and the fund that I used to pay for part of college and part of law school wouldn’t have stretched to 1/4 of what it did if I had a sibling.  And that would have really negatively impacted my freedom to attend the best school I could.  Use your energy to give your one child the best you have.

Post # 9
Member
137 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I’m an only child, and it is an experience in itself. I honestly can’t say that my childhood was more or less lonely for the fact. I did want a brother or sister desperately, until I was about 12.  What I do know is I had a never wanted for anything.

Having my parents attention and love was far more important than having a sibling, because a sibling would distract from me, and possible have caused financial strains on my parents.

If you want to have another child then you should try, but not for fear of your child resenting you. If she’s that kind of kid she’ll just end up resenting you for something else (j/k).

 

Post # 10
Member
2867 posts
Sugar bee

I don’t think you made a mistake.  You did what you could in your situation, there isn’t anything you could have changed!

If you feel strongly about having another child, could you consider being a foster parent or adopt (I would suggest doing this when your daughter is older)?  You could always be a court appointed special advocate (CASA).

Post # 11
Member
7082 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2009

It’s not like you had so much control over the situation.  You did everything you needed to do to help your daughter thrive, and that is a beautiful unselfish sacrifice that you made.

She will certainly understand (at some point) that having a biological sibling wasn’t possible for you (so far).  I second the idea of adopting if that is at all interesting to you, but you don’t need more than 1 child to have a beautiful and loving family for your daughter.  Please don’t beat yourself up about this!

Post # 12
Member
792 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

I have two half siblings that are waaaay older that me, and we never lived or did much together, so I consider myself an only child. My mom had four miscarriages, two before me and two after me. She eventually gave up and had her tubes tied. I don’t remember being too lonely, but my parents were really good about making sure I always had a social life. I was always hanging out with friends, having slumber parties and involved in lots of activities. Don’t feel guilty! She’s going to be just fine and no, she won’t resent you. Just make sure she gets lots of social interaction with her peers.

Post # 13
Member
3979 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 2012

There is a ten year age gap between my brother & I, but we’re very much siblings. He’s 14 & we bug each other & bicker like we would have if we were 2 years apart! If you do get pregnant or adopt a child, I think your daughter would be even closer to her baby sibling because she’d get to play “second mother”. She’d help you take care of him/her & she’d teach the little one lots! ๐Ÿ™‚

I don’t think you’ve done your daughter a disservice by waiting. Like others said, you’ve been responsible & she won’t resent you! Don’t feel guilty… you’re a caring & loving mother who wants the best for her child. That’s more than a lot of children have!

 

Post # 14
Member
99 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

i say keep trying, you never know what will happen. i know tons of couples who were “trying” for YEARS and they just gave up and then it happened…

 

as far as the only child thing, im one and i honestly dont like it at all. the way i look at it is that when my parents die, im left alone in my family. i do have a step brother, but its not the same, i have no one to be upset with and cry with and spend time with about my dad or mom dying but me. yes i have my FH and he is closest one to them besides me so it will be very upsetting and i will have him, but if i had a sister or brother, they would understand.

since i was an only child i matured A LOT faster than most. i was always hanging out with my parents and their friends so i just grew up faster ya kno?

good luck!

Post # 15
Member
2512 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2009

Don’t worry! I don’t think your daughter resents you at all. I know it is upsetting to hear her say she is lonely and to see her playing by herself, but you really did the responsible thing by getting back on your feet and going back to school! That is very honorable and by doing that you are going to be able to give her a better life. Having a brother or a sister for her to play with is not as important as being able to provide for her needs. I’m sure she will be able to understand that someday, even if you don’t have another child! BUT you said she is only 7 years old, right? I’m not trying to pry but are you still able to have children? If so, then eventually she might be able to have a sibling. Either way, as long as you give her the love and affection she needs, she is going to love you regardless.

Are there any activities outside of school that she can do to be around other kids her age? Maybe a playgroup that meets somewhere or gymnastics or a summer camp or program at the library for children? That would be an idea and a way for her to interact with other kids so she won’t feel so lonely.

I am the youngest of 5 kids AND I am the only girl. All of my brothers are older than me by at least 10 years (I was a late-in-life baby for my mom). My mom was a single parent & I always felt lonely but she did the best she could for me and would always let my friends come over to play, etc which helped me to feel better.

I don’t think you made any mistakes. It sounds like you are right where you should be in life!

Post # 16
Member
1079 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

I am an only child and I’m fine ๐Ÿ™‚ even though Fiance jokes about how only children turn out. My mom had an awful, painful pregnancy with the potential for not being able to walk afterward, and then I was an emergency c-section. You can imagine she didn’t want to go through that again.

Definitely get your daughter involved in activities. I did gymnastics and dance and music lessons and never felt lonely. I also don’t think I had any social problems. Your daugher will be fine and you absolutely should not feel guilty. To the contrary you should feel good for making the huge sacrifices you have made and still considering possibly going through that again for her. My mom and her sister were 11 years apart – they were still quite close – if you happen to get pregnant again your children will still be siblings and have that bond.

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