Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Only one

As you all know a possible future outcome for us is we never have another living child and M continues to grow up as an only child. I have been wondering about this. How would I feel if this happens? How would S feel? How would my parents feel? How would S's parents feel? And most importantly how would M feel?

I'm going to concentrate on the how would M feel question right now.

Obviously I think it is best for M to have a brother or sister. If I thought it was a bad idea we would never have started trying for another child. S has an older brother. I have a younger brother. As a child we would play together, we got on well. To me life seems very lonely as an only child. I know M can have friends to play with but he can't do that every evening and every day of school holidays or weekends. Will he be okay playing on his own? Will he be okay interacting with other children? His friends already have siblings and he is not yet four years old. Will he feel different being an only child?

There is so much more to consider. And truthfully I am not sure I am ready to think about it all yet. I still hope to have another child one day, but I think I will look into this more. If only to try and reassure myself that we will be okay if it happens. So you can exect more blog posts on this in the future.

In the mean time I wanted to share this interesting article about only children with you. It made me think.

I am interested in your views on this. If you are an only child do you think having no siblings has disadvantaged you in any way?

1 comment:

  1. Interesting topic, indeed.

    I have two children. Before we had our first, I thought we would have two also. And for all the same reasons you shared. We obviously went ahead and had the 2nd, but I definitely felt a shift in opinion on this and no longer think a sibling is required for the 'complete' experience, or to keep one grounded (not spoiled) as if often mentioned in this conversation.

    To be quite honest, I wavered on this decision for quite some time. 1) Why 'ruin' a good thing? We were so happy as 3, what if 4 wasn't as good? 2) I don't see sibling'ism (made that up)as one's only chance to grow up closely with a peer, nor do I believe it is the only way to raise a well-rounded and thoughtful child. 3)My husband & I were starting to enjoy the freedoms of having a child who was closing in on self-sufficiency. More time as a couple. I love my husband. Why would I want less time with him? 4) A medical scare after R was born had me, honestly, very afraid to do it again (my own personal health, and the child I already had who depended on me) 5,6,7) Time, finances, energy, etc. etc. etc. My point is, there is a lot to consider and all of the above are valid reasons to wonder if your family is complete at three.

    I also had to put up with a lot of unsolicited advice on how I HAD to give R a sibling or I would be handing him a huge injustice (#2 didn't come until #1 was 5.5yrs, so that was a long stretch of outsider advice). It's funny. Scratch that. It's sad: It seems as though there is more external pressure on a couple to produce #2 than there is for #1. Why? What is with this conventional wisdom that dictates 2+ is somehow so much better than 1? Because, again, I really feel like my above list is pretty solid (and the tip of the iceberg on why 1 is perfect).

    To comment on some of what you've said:

    As far as how would everyone feel, it really is just about you, S & M. I'm not sure grandparents should be part of the equation. What really matters is that M feels complete. How can he miss what he doesn't know? Yes, his friends will have a different experience, but that is the case with so many issues. Plus, surely he would not be the only only-child in your town.

    And then there's you and S. An area I can't really offer anything on. J (my #2) was born two days before Orson was delivered. Sharing a similar pregnancy, I could just as easily be you right now, still with 1 living child. Throughout the pregnancy, we were determined to give it our all, to fight as hard as we could for that baby. While simultaneously discussing, and agreeing, that if J were to not survive, we would not try again. Just too painful. Too much fear. And honestly, too hard on our marriage. We would have to accept that we were already 'complete' when we had R, and then move forward with our life as 3. Now, what if J hadn't survived? How would I feel then? Would I be asking myself these same questions? Could I ever accept less than a foursome when the foursome was within my grasp?

    Loumary, you are a wonderful, nurturing, devout mother. THAT's what M really needs. His world is complete with his mum and dad by his side. It is your completeness that is at stake here. And with all my heart, I hope you find it.