Single parents with only children…

by singlemomseeking on March 31, 2008

m-with-girlfriends-easterDo you ever feel that your child is missing out because he/she is an “only child?”

I always had my little sister as a playmate. She’ll tell you that having me as a big sister wasn’t easy. I was relentless. But at the end of the day, we shared a bunk bed (yes, I always slept on top) and giggled in the dark. At family reunions with strange relatives, my sister and I always had each other to cling to.

M doesn’t seem to mind being an only child. She’s center stage, in the spotlight. She has her mama all to herself.

To be sure, I’ve worked extra-hard to encourage M’s friendships with her girlfriends. Although they might not be blood-related, she and her friends have slumber parties, dress their dolls, and celebrate birthdays together. They also bicker like sisters.

Share your thoughts about being the single parent of an only child:

Do you dream about having another baby in the future? Or, are you satisfied with your little family as it is?

Photo: M with her girlfriends at Easter. Notice the “Girl Power” T-shirt?

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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

jeanie March 31, 2008 at 5:47 pm

Um – all the time? I was more than willing to have more than one with my ill-fated partner, but he was not in the mood (or the bed or the house) and I suppose it is for the best that I only have the one.

Now I am repartnered there is the potential – but I am so much older and often wonder if I have it in me to do it all again 8 years later.

And yes, every single afternoon I wish she had the built in playmate that a sibling entails – and every single day I am glad that I have the one on one time with her that I would never get had she not been a single.

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Nikki March 31, 2008 at 6:34 pm

I really hope in the future that JL will have a few little playmates. I think about it all the time actually.

I’ve always wanted to have lots of children but as silly as it sounds I’m afraid I might never love another child the way I love him.. or that the fact that they would have different fathers would be a big problem between them.. or that if I were to marry the father of my next child that JL would feel left out.. or unloved by him..

It just feels so complicated..

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Cara March 31, 2008 at 7:59 pm

If I was an only child but had the option to see how my life would evolve with siblings, I would choose to have siblings.

It was great to have people my own age to play with before falling asleep and bounce ideas off each other.

And ESPECIALLY to get into random mischief together. In my humble opinion, every child needs a full time partner in crime, not some friend they see once in a while or ‘organised visits’.

My goal is to have lots of children so they can enjoy the type of group kiddie fun I enjoyed and even took for granted as a wee lass.

x

Cara

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Amy Nathan April 1, 2008 at 3:41 am

You have great memories of growing up with your sister, but there’s a window for that. I have a brother who is 7years younger than me — and we do not share a lot of childhood memories at all. When I was in high school – he was a little kid! I think there are pros and cons to everything – but giving a kid a sibling when he or she is past 4 or 5 is totally different than having them closer together. My kids are 3 years apart – and until about 4 years ago – they did “play” together (they are now 16 and 13, son/daughter) and I’m hoping as they grow they will find new common ground.

Think of it this way – no siblings for M – but family close by. Many don’t have that – mine never have.

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Legal Editor Mom April 1, 2008 at 5:05 am

In the past I always wanted a son. But now, both my daughter and I are content with her being an only child. If I had married the right man (and started earlier), I would have been open to having more children. But it turned out for the best, and when I pose the question to her if she wants a little brother or sister, she consistently responds with an emphatic NO!

I know she likes having me all to herself, and I see how she admires me since we’re so close and spend so much time together. If she notices that I need something, she “shops” for it at my parents’ house and if I’m sick, she cares for me just as I do for her.

She’s also at the point where she often models herself after me (wanting to wear lipstick, jewelry, and she often parades around the house in my heels.) She’s even asked if she’s going to have big “boobies” like me when she’s older! We take Mother-Daughter baths, have “Girls’ Night” on the weekends, and enjoy each other to the fullest. While children are definitely a blessing, we’ve made the best of a bad situation and at this point I couldn’t imagine how another child would fit into this cozy lifestyle. So no, I don’t dream about another baby. I enjoy having only Mini Me. ;-)

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Legal Editor Mom April 1, 2008 at 5:06 am

P.S. I was an only child and I turned out just fine! ;-)

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Rhiannon April 1, 2008 at 6:01 am

Well we just recently added two new people to our odd little family. My dad has recently married the woman he’s been dating online for the last year and she’s here with her 5 year old daughter.

The girls are getting along great so far. I’m getting along with the new wife as well. The problem is adapting from having time to myself (and her to herself) to having two somewhat clingy “others” wanting both of our attention and us wanting each others attention and time for ourselves and not having any time for any of it. …. ugh.

I’m certain we’ll be able to work things out, it’s just a matter of time. At least that’s what I keep telling myself.

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avigail74 April 1, 2008 at 9:41 am

Prior to having my one and only, ahem, princess, I had dreamed of having four girls. When the princess came along–I wondered why any mom in their right frame of mind want to go through pregnancy four times, change four different diapers, nurse four children for a minimum of three years–whew!

I did fluctuate going back and forth on whether or not I wanted more children. I finally decided that I love just having her.

I have a sister 13 years younger—we have nothing in common–no shared moments of secretiveness—and she’s slowly starting to enter my world of womanhood.

Now that the princess is 6—I think the age gap is too wide. Above all, I love just having her to raise.

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Crazy Computer Dad April 1, 2008 at 10:46 am

I am the oldest of four boys. Really the oldest of two boys, and two step brothers. My father remarried right after his divorce from my mom when I was seven, and my step mother had two children from a previous marriage too. Complicated, but the four of us are very close in age. My brother is a year and half younger than me, the next is two years younger than him, and the fourth is a year younger than his older brother. My step mom is not very good with children. I am often amazed the four of us all made it to adulthood. If our parents weren’t going to kill us for something they caught us doing, they certainly would have for the things they didn’t catch us doing. I’m amazed we didn’t kill off each other…cause there were moments we tried. It was always 3 on 1, 2 on 2, all for themselves, or four against the neighborhood. We’d play, we’d fight, chase/catch animals (snakes lizards, frogs, and one alligator). When you see movies like the sandlot, that was us and the other neighborhood kids. I do miss it. When we get together now we kind of revert back to the way we were back then. We joke, play sports, wrestle, etc. The yard isn’t big enough any more though. Let me tell you, it takes a whole grocery store of food to feed four teenage boys for a week. It may sound kind of funny, and we have lot of stories to tell, but there were things we missed out on. It takes a lot of time and money to raise four children. When other kids and families were out taking trips, etc…the four of us boys were usually doing chores and then getting out of the house before our dad could think of something else for us to do.

Do I think my son is missing out? I do. However, his life is his own experience, I can’t try and put him into my mold. He has his own. This is the way things are for us right now and it has it’s own benefits and rewards. If I wish and wish that things were different, then I miss his uniqueness and the opportunities that are right in front of us. It isn’t what I had planned, but it isn’t necessarily a loss either. He’ll have a life and life experience all his own. I found a story called “Welcome to Holland” that is about raising and living with a disabled child. It really applies to all of us though. It seems that even the most meticulously laid plans can go awry. Sometimes it is better that things don’t work out like we planned.

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Leah October 5, 2009 at 7:21 pm

thanks, I found your post very helpful.

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Kara September 2, 2011 at 8:01 pm

Great post!

judy April 1, 2008 at 11:08 am

This is way too an emotional issue for me to respond to with so many variables, predictions, regrets, joys, fears, controversies; all lacking a glass ball revealing the truth or at least the sordid outcome of my decision.

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Ms Single Mama April 1, 2008 at 4:42 pm

I am on of six. And I the idea of my son never having a sibling drives me nuts…but I’m no where near ready to have another one.

If I ever do…I’m going to tell the potential father – alright, I’ll have one – but you have to wake up every night and do all of the hard work or at least split it with me 50/50 because there is no way in hell I’m doing this again by myself.

Don’t get me wrong – I wouldn’t trade being a single mom for the world but, it’s not easy.

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Leslie April 2, 2008 at 5:21 am

Very much. I’m still relatively young so I’m sure I’ll have more kids some day but even thinking about the soonest that’d be if I met the man of my dreams tomorrow- my kid would be at least 11. They’d never grow up together. My closest sister is 9 years younger so it’s all too familiar to me. But at least maybe when they were adults they’d get on okay.

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Rebs April 2, 2008 at 8:54 am

I grew up with a brother just 22 months older. We were best of friends and best of enemies. The greatest example of this would be scrapping with each other at school, but then getting home before our parents to (together) erase the message the principal had left on the answering machine.

My mum likes to remind me that one day, when our parents are gone, we will, at least, have each other. While we don’t always get along, he took me and my kidlet in for 2 months when I left my ex. Yes, friends would do this too, but there’s something about the blood ties and history that siblings share.

My daughter is 2 1/2 and I’m not quite 30 and I absolutely want her to have siblings. This is my main mission in dating right now – I want a man who has a similar parenting style and perhaps his own kid(s) and the want for another child, either biologically or adopted.

I love 1-on-1 time with my daughter. SHe’s my partner in crime and I will always cherish this time we have together, but adding more kids to the dynamic would be a blessing.

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Kelly April 2, 2008 at 11:16 am

Sometimes it seems like my daughter and I act more like sisters than mother and daughter, so it’s almost like I take the place of her having that built in playmate. Which is good in some ways (we’re very close), but not so good in others (like when it comes to respect). Fortunately she’s come into her own now that she’s in middle school and has a lot of girlfriends her own age to relate to. I worry about how lonely it’s going to get for me when she reaches that stage where she no longer wants to hang out with me. I do have plenty of grown up friends and family that I spend time with, but I know I’m going to miss that bond we share when the evil teen years arrive and she starts hating me!

I would like to have another child, but I’m not sure if it will happen for me. I really need to get married or somehow make a lot more money if I want to really do that, and I’m nowhere near either of those things at the age of 33. It’s too late for Casey to have a silbing she can really relate to since she’s already 12, but at least if I did have more she could help me out with them.

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neha April 4, 2008 at 2:22 am

hi,

thats a good post on parenting.

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Indeparent April 5, 2008 at 9:13 pm

Hi, this is something very close to my heart. As the youngest of four kids in a large extended catholic family, a lot of my rage around the divorce was that my daughter would never get to be a big sister. Will not have that sibling support, especially when I am too old to understand or dead. I had a bit of a catharsis last year, when I finally grieved for the other children I would never have – she was 9, I was 41, I had to realise it wasn’t going to happen. It truly felt like a death. Now I just need to make enough money to adopt!

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shereen April 20, 2008 at 9:21 pm

I too am conflicted by the thought of having more children. My daughter in 9 years old, to me that seems too big of a gap for another one. But my biological clock continues to tick for just one more. Am I ready to do it all over again

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Sara October 13, 2008 at 1:12 am

Hi, i am an only child myself and i have always felt lonely since i had no one to share my feelings and secrets with or no one to play with at home except for the days i had my friends over, so when i got married i wanted more than one child so they won’t experience what i went through of loneliness, things didnt work out with my Ex but am still 24 and i might have another child from another partner but am still worried if this never happens how can i make her live the best of her life avoiding all the bad feeling i had because i grew up an only child.

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Leah October 5, 2009 at 7:19 pm

These posts have helped me a bit, Unfortunately my ‘marriage’ is coming to an end for many reasons. So I guess my 2 year old daughter will be an only child which is something I had never planned. I would love to have one more child soon, but can’t.I’m finding it hard coming to terms with that, but I have a wonderful little girl and need to focus on her and her needs and stop dreaming about the child I didn’t have.

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Samantha October 25, 2010 at 12:55 pm

Only child here. I’m 20 now and I have to say that in my entire life so far, there hasn’t been a day where I seriously mourned the lack of a younger sibling. There were times when I was younger that I may have wanted a sibling around because I was bored, but then I’d curl up in my mom’s bed and be happier than anything that I had her all to myself.

It’s rare for me to meet anyone (especially at my age) who has as close a bond with their parents as I do with my mom. She’s the most important person in my life and I respect her opinion more than anyone else’s.

I especially learned to appreciate it this summer when my friends would crash at my house every day because theirs frequently got too hectic for them to handle. Having a space to myself has saved me a lot of stress in my life that they have, though I know I’m missing out on some things as a result.

For those of you with an existing child already over the age of 5, I would highly recommend asking their opinion and taking it very seriously. After all, it’s their family too. Some might be excited at the prospect of a sibling, but if they’re not, you need to bring them around. Disregarding them because they’re a kid will not endear them to a much-younger sibling.

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