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Totally nrr: thoughts on being an only child

 
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Scuba



Joined: 01 Jul 2005
Posts: 3574
Location: Arlington, VA

PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2013 10:51 pm    Post subject: Totally nrr: thoughts on being an only child Reply with quote

Traffic is slow on TM these days, but it's still a "safe" place to ask odd questions and almost always get great thoughtful answers. So, here you go.

As most of you know, we were overjoyed to have our fabulous Scuba Baby in February. I waited a long time for a baby, so we were thrilled to have her. For some reason - maybe the craziness of my still uneven hormones - I am recently really focused on what life as an only child will be like for her. I come from a big family and FZ has two siblings, but lots of extended family. We both thought we'd have at least a few kids (well, we thought that long ago, before we met). So, I'm curious about what life as an only is like. If you are one, please share. If you have only one child, what do you think the benefits and drawbacks have been?

I think if we were younger and lived closer to family, this might not be such a prominent thought for me. It might not be tomorrow when a new baby-related obsession takes over my brain. Wink All of our baby's cousins and extended family live far away, so she won't have a lot of family to lean on. She will, however, have a lot of friends who are like family to love her, I'm sure. But, family is family, and I worry she'll feel lonely. Anyway, feel free to share your thoughts.

To make this thread remotely running related, I can report that Scuba Baby and I took our first jog (shuffle) together last weekend. I am SOOO out of running shape, but I look forward to pushing her and all of the weight of that BOB stroller on many runs together.

Thanks, friends!

Christine
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Julio



Joined: 23 Jul 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 1:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As an older brother I had someone to blame things on when I was a kid..

As I grew older and my litter brother grew tired of being the fall-guy he grew stronger and bigger than me. Eventually, I was who he blamed things on..
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kent



Joined: 23 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 2:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can't help you with the only child thing (I'm the youngest of four and don't have kids) but I can say CONGRATULATIONS on the run with Scuba Baby!
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Doctor F



Joined: 24 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 7:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I took me awhile to think of anyone I knew who is an only child. I finally thought of my cousin's son, who is now married with 2 kids of his own. He is a successful NYC lawyer. No problems there (except the lawyer part Smile)
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GBN



Joined: 27 Jun 2006
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Location: Lynchburg, Virginia

PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My wife and I have just one child, and my wife grew up an only child. The bottom line is that your daughter will be just fine. But naturally her formative years will be very different than her peers who have siblings.

My daughter often says things like "I wish I had a sister", and I know she is often lonely. This is difficult. It has also been a challenge not to spoil her as an only child. She does well in school, but sometimes I feel like kids with siblings (especially the younger siblings who have learned from their older brothers/sisters) have an advantage.

As far as benefits, I cannot imagine having to save for college for more than one child.

I think the best thing is to make sure she develops close friends early in life and let the rest take care of itself.
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Andrew



Joined: 29 Jun 2005
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Location: Arlington, VA

PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2013 11:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Go for #2. Natural or Adoption - it doesn't matter. You and Fran are two loving parents, and will give your best to your family. That's all that is required - to love you child(ren) and give them your best.

And if #2 doesn't come along. That's God's will, and that's fine, too. Scubette will have an excellent life - with or without siblings.

1, 2, or 20 - You won't have any regrets. Just take what you are blessed with, and love them with all your heart. Don't worry about what you don't have, rejoice it what you do.
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Scuba



Joined: 01 Jul 2005
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Location: Arlington, VA

PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2013 5:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andrew wrote:
Go for #2. Natural or Adoption - it doesn't matter. You and Fran are two loving parents, and will give your best to your family. That's all that is required - to love you child(ren) and give them your best.

And if #2 doesn't come along. That's God's will, and that's fine, too. Scubette will have an excellent life - with or without siblings.

1, 2, or 20 - You won't have any regrets. Just take what you are blessed with, and love them with all your heart. Don't worry about what you don't have, rejoice it what you do.


Thanks, all. Smile

Andrew, I do rejoice in having this little miracle every day, believe me. She's just amazing. I'm not worried about #2 for my sake. I just don't want her to ever feel lonely, especially after we are gone. Like I said, my hormones are probably just messing with me. Everything made me cry last week (sending her to a new daycare was the opening of the flood gates).

I'll do as Mike suggested and do my best to make sure she has many friends who love her. Heck, I have a big family, but the people I'd choose to vacation with or live next to don't share my blood, so I know the value of great friends. I want that for Scubette more than anything.
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Bob



Joined: 23 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2013 8:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Keep her busy in lots of activities. She won't be lonely.
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1L



Joined: 23 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 10:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As you know, my daughter is an only, and I know she has mentioned once in a while that having a sibling would have been nice, but for the most part, she is a great, well adjusted young lady (can you believe that she is 20 and a sophomore in college?). I never treated her any differently and she always has had tons of friends, make friends fast, and gets along great with pretty much anyone.

Ella will be fine, so don't worry about it. Just be the best parents that you can, and no worries as no one is really super Mom. We are all super Moms.
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BarbM



Joined: 28 Jan 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 3:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm an only child, my son is an only child and my grandson is an only child. I can't say what's "better" but we're all happy.
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Scuba



Joined: 01 Jul 2005
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Location: Arlington, VA

PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BarbM wrote:
I'm an only child, my son is an only child and my grandson is an only child. I can't say what's "better" but we're all happy.

Thanks, Barb, and everyone else! I know that Little Scuba will be fine. I just think of the time, decades down the road (I hope), that she might wish she had sibs to share things with. With that said, I know she'll have great friends because we will help her to create them. I can tell already that her personality is going to be outgoing and easy-going, which makes friendships easier. I'm sure people will continue to love her and support her as much as they have already in her little six-month life. I guess maybe I just want to have another version of her because she's so fabulous. I never knew I could love a baby so much. It's truly mind-blowing. I am ridiculously blessed to have her and I am aware of that every day.
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Tom L



Joined: 25 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2013 12:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now that they are both elementary school age, our two boys have a great deal of fun playing together most of the time, along with tormenting each other a much smaller part of the time. It is certainly nice for them to have a brother because we don't possess their seemingly limitless energy to play, and it's nice for them and us that they can entertain each other for hours. In today's structured world, getting two kids together to play can take a remarkable amount of effort.

Whether it's a good, better or indifferent thing to have more than one child is different from whether you can have more than one. I certainly understand that issue as it was far from a certainty that our second would arrive, and it would be much more difficult to accomplish now given the significant changes in international adoption over the past six or seven years and the longstanding challenges of domestic adoption.

You can make either work out, and whether you have one or multiple children is hardly going to be the biggest challenge in your children's lives. I hope that things work out for you as well as possible no matter what way it does.
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katie



Joined: 23 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2013 3:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Love makes a family; the size of the family is much less important. I have had to face (and will have to face) the reality that just because you have more than one child isn't a guarantee that more than one will survive childhood. Sorry to bring the mood down.
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Scuba



Joined: 01 Jul 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 1:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

katie wrote:
Love makes a family; the size of the family is much less important. I have had to face (and will have to face) the reality that just because you have more than one child isn't a guarantee that more than one will survive childhood. Sorry to bring the mood down.

Katie, I can't imagine dealing with a seriously ill child. WG is so blessed to have you and your family. He is in my prayers, as you all are. Big hugs to all of you.

Thanks for your reminder of what matters most. I know that our family is great just as it is. I just never realized how much I could love a baby, so it makes me wish we could give E some sibs to play with. If she doesn't have them, we will give her plenty of happiness in other forms. You're right, of course. It's all about love.
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Julie Jam



Joined: 23 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2013 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I HOPE TO GOD YOU'RE NOT PREGNANT YET!

Don't do it!!

One baby is the way to go!

One baby is like an accessory that you can take with you everywhere. You can travel. You can go shopping. You can do all sorts of things that you could never do with two fighting little shits. Some of my best times are spent when I just take one child out on "an adventure." You add another child to the mix, and the dynamic changes.

And if we're all being honest, the dark secret reason we have #2 is a fear that something might happen to #1. We need an alternate. A back up plan, a reason to keep your shit together if something bad happens. But lets not kid ourselves, there's no putting the shit back together. Just more people are screwed up.

One kid is just fine. My closest friend is a single child of older parents and she is the wisest person I know. (Sorry Bob.) I love my three kids and my crazy life, but I would have been just as happy with one. And so would my child. She would have traveled more by now. She would have been to another country. She would be going to a private swanky school. She'd have a dog. She now has two sisters who she loves very much, but she would have loved her alternate life too. Siblings are great, but they come with a lot of downsides as well.

So stop thinking about what she doesn't have, and start thinking about what she CAN have because she's an only child. Pack Ella up and take her on a trip. When you're eating at a restaurant, and you're happy, calm and everyone is smiling, remember, that situation is happening because there is no second child there making you 2x more exhausted and fighting with her sister because her piece of cake is bigger.
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Julio



Joined: 23 Jul 2005
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2013 10:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow. Jewie, this is why I love you so much! You've convinced me!
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Scuba



Joined: 01 Jul 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 23, 2013 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Julie. I can always count on you for the honest opinion about either side of the issue. I am over my angst about having an only child; I think it was caused by one of those damn wild hormonal surges that are so much fun while nursing. I see the benefits to both situations. My friends have an only (and a lot more money than me, apparently) and she goes to Hawaii every year and on great trips with her very awesome parents (who are my age). I also see the joys and chaotic lives of my friends with a few kids. I'm plenty exhausted with just one right now, and frankly, unless I get my old body into better shape, I won't be able to haul Ella around, let alone two babies! She really needs to start walking so Mama's back can catch a break.

I'm so over the moon about Ella that she will certainly be enough for us. If a second immaculate conception occured, I'd pass out and then be happy...I think!
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