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Parents of older only kids

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Is it harder for anyone else now that your only child is older?  I'm having a hard time with feeling bad about my dd not having a partner in crime or a built in buddy.  Originally I had dreamed about my dd spending lots of time with friends, and being in lots of classes and activities.  But she doesn't have many friends, and there are no classes or activities that she wants to do anymore.  So she is home with us, alone a lot.  I think her natural tendency is to be a loner.  She really is a homebody and she doesn't like to leave the house much.  Maybe that is just who she is.  But sometimes I wonder if being an only created that yk?

post #2 of 14

I wouldn't assume it's because she's an only. I know a number of only children who are total extroverts and very social. But I think that's a personality thing that is determined by a number of factors, not just "only child" status.

 

If your daughter is happy and her needs are being met, then I'd say you don't have anything to worry about!

post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 

You're probably right.  She does insist that she is happy.  I guess I just wanted to give her the childhood that I didn't have (friends, classes, experiences, etc).  But she is a different person than me, and I need to respect that too.  And I'm sure she would enjoy a sibling if she had one.  But she doesn't, and she seems to be just fine with that.  She even says that she likes being an only and having me all to herself lol.  So I should probably just relax.  Thanks. :)

post #4 of 14

I feel that it is easier now that dd is older.

 

My dd is an introvert. She has always been an introvert. I do not doubt that she would be an introvert even with siblings. She is just happy with less social contacts. She is very good at entertaining herself and not lonely.

 

I had 2 older siblings and as we got older was exactly when they wanted nothing to do with me. They wanted to be with their friends or doing their own thing not hanging out with their annoying little sister. 
 

post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by onlyzombiecat View Post

I feel that it is easier now that dd is older.

 

My dd is an introvert. She has always been an introvert. I do not doubt that she would be an introvert even with siblings. She is just happy with less social contacts. She is very good at entertaining herself and not lonely.

 

I had 2 older siblings and as we got older was exactly when they wanted nothing to do with me. They wanted to be with their friends or doing their own thing not hanging out with their annoying little sister. 
 

 

My dd is great at entertaining herself.  Always has been, even as a toddler.  And your post made me remember my own childhood.  I had a sister who was only a year younger than me.  Yet, we rarely played together.  I was more outdoors and dirt, and she was more coloring and tv.  So I spent tons of time alone and it didn't harm me any.  My dd is happy and healthy and I just need to relax about her socializing I guess.  It's not like she never plays with other kids.  Just not as often as I had thought she would.  I think I may be guilting myself over nothing here.

post #6 of 14

It's funny, when I guilt myself over making DD an only, I almost never think about her childhood because I figure she's going to be just fine. She's only 3 but she's doing just fine thus far.

 

I think of her when she's 40 with two elderly parents and no one to help her take care of us. Actually, I think most about when we die and she has to clean out the house by herself. Yikes!

 

Which is why I picture myself retiring and living in a tiny place with almost no belongings. Not sure my DP is on board with that, but hey, we have time to figure it out!

post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 

My boyfriend is an only and he just lost his mother.  He seems to be handling the details ok on his own, but he does miss his mom a lot.  I'm sure that having siblings wouldn't change that any though yk?  He does have a lot of other family, and that seems to be making things somewhat easier for him.  I have a sister and we are going to be screwed when my parents pass because they have done zero to prepare for it.  So I guess that's why I don't worry about that too much.  It seems to vary so much by situation.  It's good that you are thinking now about how to make things easier on your dd.  I should probably do the same thing.  Not the most fun thing to think about though.

post #8 of 14

Even with siblings, I know that things can vary a lot when it comes to care giving. My DP has 3 siblings, but they are all but useless, if not downright troublesome, when it comes to taking care of business. So, siblings are no guarantee of help. I keep reminding myself of that.

post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by CI Mama View Post

Even with siblings, I know that things can vary a lot when it comes to care giving. My DP has 3 siblings, but they are all but useless, if not downright troublesome, when it comes to taking care of business. So, siblings are no guarantee of help. I keep reminding myself of that.

My mom is going through the same thing with her dad and siblings.  Siblings do not guarantee help, friendship, solace, etc.  Like you said.  I also keep telling myself that when I feel guilty.  

post #10 of 14

Yes, I do think about this from time to time, especially since we homeschool and plan to do a lot of traveling. Reading the blogs of others doing similar, it seems they always have several kids with pics of them doing fun things together. Our son has recently been asking for more playmates and it sure would be easier if there were someone here for him to play with whenever he wanted. But deciding to have a baby now would not help that in any way. It would be years - if ever - before he'd have anyone to play with and there's no guarantee they'd get along well. In fact, I think it would make things a lot harder for us. Better to keep trying to get him involved in things he wants to attend and help him seek out other people. (See, I'm always having to convince myself, too.)

Does your daughter ask to play with others more or complain to you about being alone too much? IDK if all kids would be as vocal about their preferences as ours, but I think if she was unhappy about it you would probably know.

post #11 of 14

DD is five and I have been thinking about this lately. This is all based on my own personal experiences, though, which I guess cannot be avoided. I am an only, raised by a single mom. My dad has not been in my life since I was 3 or 4 (major addiction issues) and my mom died over 15 years ago. To make matters worse, I have a teeny-tiny extended family, with whom I am not all that close. On top of that, my IL's are pretty distant all around so there is no real family connection there. Personally,  it saddens me that this is how things unfolded for me. Would I love to have siblings that I felt close to? Yep! But I don't really dwell on this. I am very, very aware that there are no guarantees in life. I see over and over again how people struggle with their sibling relationships; how siblings can  have a way of disappointing like no other. (I see the other, too- a genuine closeness among siblings, but for some reason I don't witness this as often.) I know that had I grown up with siblings things may or may not feel easier or less lonely for me. Who knows? I am grateful that I had an incredibly amazing relationship with my mother, and it is very likely that we would not have been quite as close had there been other children to share her with. (Couldn't think of a better way to phrase that, sorry.)

 

So these are the things I think about when I think about DD going through this world in this little family of ours. I worry that she may grow up to feel lonely. Honestly, this bothers me more because my IL's are almost un-interested in her. I, at the very least, had grandparents that completely adored me. DD, not so much. At times it feels like she is going to go through this world having only me and DH to rely upon. Maybe that will be fine for her, but I do worry that it won't. I feel lucky that I have really meaningful, long-lasting friendships. I hope DD is able to foster similar friendships throughout her life. I do know that she has zero interest in being a sister. She is happy and healthy and pretty much loves her life as it is now. Nothing makes me happier than that!

 

I guess I just feel like the decision to keep her an only may be one of a thousand things that may or may not have been right for her. There's really no way to know until she's grown and out in the world, independently. But it is definitely the right decision for me and DH. For so many, MANY reasons we do not want another child. Like everything else parenting related we just hope what we have or haven't given her is enough.

post #12 of 14
I think it may just be who your dd is. Mine is almost 11 and very
social and active. She hates downtime and loves to spend time with friends, to the point that I've created a life where we spend lots of time with her friends and their families. I'm lucky in that I love the parents of her bff's so it's easy to spend time together.

I do worry about when I die though.
post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by vydalea View Post

My mom is going through the same thing with her dad and siblings.  Siblings do not guarantee help, friendship, solace, etc.  Like you said.  I also keep telling myself that when I feel guilty.  

 

My mom died almost a year and a half ago from cancer. It was sudden.

I have 2 siblings and my dad left. My dh was the person who has helped me through it not my siblings.

My brother did help my dad with funeral arrangements but I felt shut out even when I offered help. They did it by themselves without any input from my sister or myself.

I don't talk to my siblings. I haven't seen them since the funeral.  We don't even e-mail regularly.

My siblings rarely visit or communicate with our father even though they both live less than 1 hour drive away. I have tried to keep up communications and visit my dad and help him go through my mom's stuff but we live in another state.

My dad is starting to date and may re-marry. He told me but wasn't going to tell my siblings until they decided to be engaged. Big headache brewing.

I think whether you have 1 or 12 kids it is a good idea to plan for your old age/death. I think it is nice when siblings are close and supportive of each other but also good to remember that you  and your child have other support in your life through a dp or friends.

post #14 of 14

My DD is almost 6 and she seems cool with being an only.

 

She told me the other day she's the only kid without a brother or sister in her class. Her tone/interest in this statement was way less than telling me about a new animal fact she learned or that a boy named Jake ate a bug then puked at lunch.

 

We have always told her that every family is different and this is what our family is. Then she asks if she can have a hamster :)

 

As for family keeping you company your whole life...not in my case, both from death and by choice. But I always keep in mind that my DD is going to make her own family someday too. Just because I can't see what that's going to be now doesn't mean she won't have who and what she needs in the future. Then again, I am pretty introverted.

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