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Positive only-child stories?

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lilies21 posted 6/22/2018 10:08 AM

I'm trying to snap my brain out of negative loop it seems to have lately. Telling myself things doesn't seem to be helping so it might be time to hear from others.

If you were an only child, what were your positives?

If you have an only child, what are some of your positives?

If you have an only child and he/she is grown, do you have a good relationship with that child?

DS is an only child with me but he's one of a pack at Asshat's. Does anyone else have children in the same situation? How well do they transition from one place to the other?

Just any positives notes or stories to send along about having an only child? I know my positives but they don't seem to be sinking in right now. I was an only child until I was 13 and then I was just a babysitter when my mom popped out four more. Those four are extremely close to each other but three out of the four don't talk to me for one asinine reason or another. I was always more of the mom figure anyway, not so much of a sister. I'll admit being an only child was lonely for me, and it's a bit lonely as an adult too, but I think it's at least a little different for DS because I actually spend time with him and he's not left on his own for hours at a time. With everything happening lately, just reading some positive stories about only children might help. Thanks!

Pass posted 6/22/2018 10:38 AM

My siblings were all a lot older than I was, so I was basically an only child - with parents who were really done with parenting. I was left to my own devices to do what I wanted, on a farm in the middle of nowhere.

The biggest benefit was that I don't need someone else to entertain me. While I love my kids, friends, and girlfriend, I am totally contented if I end up having to spend some time on my own. I don't feel anxious about going to movies, restaurants, bars, concerts, on my own. I've also learned how to just be in my home by myself.

That's not saying I never get lonely, or never want companionship. But I always know I can manage without it.

SallyShrink81 posted 6/22/2018 11:16 AM

I wasn't an only child and have two children BUT since my children are almost always together they already at 3 and 7 cherish one on one time with me or their dad. Tonight Little Miss is having a sleepover at my brother and sister in law's so me and my little buddy are going to have a mommy son party. Probably play don't break the ice, read books, watch mind numbing youtube videos..... you get the idea.

It's probably similar for DS. You are setting a FANTASTIC example by not settling to be in a relationship just to be with someone. You enjoy others company and you enjoy down time as well. DS probably enjoys being in a large family when he's with asshat but we know it's dysfunctional as heck... so then he gets to come home and be with mom and have quiet and stability. Sounds like a fairly good balance minus the sociopathic father part....

In any case you are doing AMAZING!! I wish either of my parents had been as caring and thoughtful as you are with DS.

Newlease posted 6/22/2018 12:09 PM

I echo the post Pass made. Same circumstances - 12 years younger than the youngest brother in my family, so raised alone by older parents who were pretty much done with raising kids.

Besides being very independent and having a really good imagination, I also benefited from having more family resources, monetarily. We were on the lower end of the economic scale, but my older siblings had to share those resources 4 ways.

I got a lot of complaining about how spoiled I was in this regard - not my fault.

I have always been ok on my own - in fact if I don't get some alone time regularly, I get a bit tense. I love people but they tend to exhaust me if that makes any sense.

I know your DS has a sh*t show at his dad's but maybe you can look at it as he is learning to share and cope over there and getting 100% attention at your house. He's pretty lucky to have you for a mom.


lieshurt posted 6/22/2018 12:27 PM

If you were an only child, what were your positives?

I'm very independent and self-sufficient as a result. I also never get bored when alone as I know how to keep myself occupied. I must admit I always wanted an older brother, but after growing up and seeing all of the dysfunctional drama that a lot of people have with their siblings, I'm just fine never having one. My bff fills in as a brother just fine.

If you have an only child, what are some of your positives?

I was able to support my son on my own (no cs) just fine and all of my time could be focused on him and his activities.

If you have an only child and he/she is grown, do you have a good relationship with that child?

I do. We had a few rough times once he got older, but most parents go through that no matter how many children they have. He is now 21 and just graduated from Navy boot camp. After graduation this past Friday, he gave me a Navy coin that said "Strong moms are Anchors". Yes, I cried.

Phoenix1 posted 6/22/2018 13:10 PM

Xhole and my father are both only kids. Neither has ever expressed any sadness at not having any siblings. My father, specifically, has said he just found a handful of really good friends that filled any gaps in those kind of sibling relationships. Neither has ever thought it was a negative in their life.

My SO is the youngest and only kid from a second marriage for his dad. His dad has four daughters from his first, but the youngest of those is 20 years older than him. So he grew up essentially as an only kid because his half-sisters were grown and gone by the time he came along. Out of the four, he actually only somewhat likes one. Otherwise he thinks they are all a bunch of nosey old ladies always trying to stir up trouble (his words) and he prefers being away from them. He said growing up alone taught him to be independent and able to entertain himself. He was never lonely because of that.

I can somewhat relate, having older brothers. They never wanted their little sister tagging along with them so I often felt like an only child, left to my own devices. Like SO, it taught me to be independent and able to entertain myself. I was never lonely and enjoyed my own company, or time spent with friends.

Don't sweat it, lilies. With the passel of kids now at Asshat's, your DS may be very relieved to be away from them at your house. Your house may very well become his refuge. His sanctuary away from the madness. Having you spending quality time with him is all he needs...or may even want. As he gets older, his friends will fill many gaps in his desire for company. But you will always be "home."

sparkysable posted 6/22/2018 14:04 PM

If you have an only child, what are some of your positives?
She gets my undivided attention and with only having 1 child, I have the means to do really cool things with her and my finances are not stretched too thin.

wildbananas posted 6/22/2018 14:44 PM

Another one echoing Pass's post (minus the farm ). I'm the only one my parents had together; my step- and half- siblings are much older (the surviving ones are 18 and 26 years older than I am), so I was pretty much an only child growing up. I too am extremely independent and have zero problems entertaining myself or being alone. Growing up solo actually prepared me to handle a lot of what life threw my way in my adult years. I really believe that.

And I echo this 100%:

I know your DS has a sh*t show at his dad's but maybe you can look at it as he is learning to share and cope over there and getting 100% attention at your house. He's pretty lucky to have you for a mom.

josiep posted 6/22/2018 15:48 PM

lilies, your DS is resilient and fine. He'll thrive in any environment. It's not our circumstances that turn us into the type of adults we become, it's whether we have support and love and security or not. Some only children are great, some are awful.

YOUR DS IS LIVING THE LIFE THAT'S PERFECT FOR HIM. Others might look at it from the outside and think all sorts of minor tweaks might make it better but they're wrong. It's perfect for him just the way it is.

Those of us who try to mold the world to our liking don't ever find happiness. Those of us who try to mold ourselves to our circumstances always find happiness because we create it within ourselves.

Accept it the way it is and make the best of it. That's the perfect life.

Adlham posted 6/22/2018 20:05 PM

As an only child, like others, I am capable of entertaining myself.

In many ways, only children tend to show more maturity at a young age because they hang out quite a bit with adults. That doesn't mean that we actually ARE more mature, we just present well as kids.

My oldest was an only child until she was 8. Over the past 13 years, there have been times where she has been closer to her siblings and others where she could have cheerfully smothered them (though she would rain down hell on anyone else if they dared to look cross eyed at them).

I have a great relationship with my daughter. My relationship with my mom is complicated, but not because I'm an only child, but because my mom has serious FOO issues that she refuses to acknowledge, let alone get help for. But in many ways, I would consider us fairly close.

homewrecked2011 posted 6/22/2018 21:17 PM

One thing I would like to touch on is the transitions on Sun nights.

When my sons were younger, they would go to Dads new family where they had a new 1/2 brother. They got zero alone time w their Dad. Over there it was a whole family (dad, OWslut Wife mother and her son.) dad bought a 5 bed house,,new cars and a boat. I thought they would want to be in that family.

But, they had to act all happy over there bc you can only have the thoughts/feelings Dad thinks you should have. So by the time Sunday night got here, they were horrible!!!! The fought each other, me, itís was terrible!! I thought they wanted to live w their Dad. But I realized their situation was so f****d up was why they had all this pent up rage. Itís just so wrong that this other kid got their Dad!

They have moved on from all tható I tried to do really fun things with them every single chance I got. They rarely see their Dad. I went to every practice (1 in marching band, the other sports) supported them 100%. They r now 21 & 18 thank me for being there for just them. they are kind of like only children bc they are complete opposites. They do nothing together, different friends, etc. the only common thing is last name.

[This message edited by homewrecked2011 at 9:33 PM, June 22nd (Friday)]

IceThee posted 6/23/2018 02:17 AM

I'm an only child and pretty awesome so there's plenty of hope 😊 I have a continually close relationship with both of my parents. There's really positives and negatives of being an Only and not... i have friends that are like sibs and many that "adopted" my parents as their own... so it is all in what you say and encourage your kiddo with. Sorry you've had loneliness, I can relate!

sassylee posted 6/23/2018 04:03 AM


Iím a teacher. Iíve had numerous ďsingle childĒ families come through my classroom. What Iíve noticed is they are very mature. They have enormous vocabularies and are emotionally quite stable. They are often good leaders in the classroom. Sometimes they do struggle with sharing but they learn that skill quickly by the end of grade 1. They donít act out for attention - lol - they are so wise and introspective.

Just a few of my observations from the nearly 15 years of teaching K-grade 3 children!

Jls0320 posted 6/23/2018 14:28 PM

Me! Only child here, I donít remember ever wishing I had siblings as a kid. My parents always let me have friends over if I wanted, they were able to afford activities and vacations they wouldnt have had they had more children. Iím very independent, donít get bored easily, enjoy my alone time, yes I can be stubborn and set in my ways (could just be me though lol) The only time Iíve wished I wasnít an only, was after my divorce. The reason being, when my parents get older or pass on, it will now just be me dealing with it alone. I wonít have a spouse or siblings to lean on for support, yet my parents have zero relationship with their siblings so that support could always not be there also. He will be great as an only, but I get your feelings

lilies21 posted 6/25/2018 13:17 PM

Thank you to everyone for the stories! I know there's not a one-size-fits-all-family and it's comforting to know small families have still turned out well for others. I'm good with just DS and I've said before that I won't have any more children but I've only really completely felt that final this-is-it feeling this past week. My birthday probably had a lot to do with it since I'm definitely closer to 40 than 30 now, no potential SO is significant too, but picking DS up at Asshat's the last two Sundays is the other part (normal weekend this last Sunday and Father's Day last weekend). The now two-year-old girl (DS's half sister) stares out at him from the living room window when DS walks to my car and she just looks so sad that he's leaving. I can't do that. And I don't want to have to explain to a child why it stays and DS has to leave for weekends, holidays, etc.... I guess even though my place is quiet, stable, clean, etc... a part of me worries that DS will end up with Asshat's mentality and quantity and chaos will become preferred.

[This message edited by lilies21 at 1:17 PM, June 25th (Monday)]

latebloomer45 posted 7/12/2018 05:51 AM

No personal stories...I am the youngest of seven and definitely lacked attention (dad died when I was an infant and mom was overwhelmed and depressed).

But statistics and even brain studies have shown only children are more likely to be creative and to be successful in the world. There are not any more or less likely to be happy. I see no downsides in being an only child.

josiep posted 7/12/2018 08:28 AM

Last time I saw my counselor, she said I was the most introspective, soul-searching person she'd ever dealt with. When I see her next, I'm going to tell her that my twin introspector is alive and well several states away.

But darling Lilies, YOUR family will be perfect regardless of how big or small it is. YOU are the key ingredient and YOU have what it takes.

I'm reeling from the results of my DNA medical gene testing results and am so fascinated by it, I wonder if there's a testing company that will test your son? You'll find out what markers he has and then the report indicates tendencies that can occur from those markers. You could do yours, too, and compare and then you'd have a bit of a clue as to which of asshat's personality and lifestyle preferences might be in your DS's genetic makeup. And then you can mother him with that in mind and let the life lessons reflect the direction you're hoping he'll take in life.

I use to put articles about people hurt or killed in car accidents caused by people driving while under the influence on my son's bed, starting at about age 12 until he went away to college. It worked in a way. He's still an alcoholic (binge style alcoholic) but he never, ever drives if he's had a drink. So he learned a lesson that has maybe served him well.

josiep posted 7/12/2018 08:34 AM

P.S. to answer your questions, at least the last one: DS is young, therefore, he learns to adapt. That's what humans do. Your DS is young and smart, he'll work it out.

This is a fact of his life. You cannot change it or cure it. All you can do is find a way to live with it in the best way possible.

So, to go further, how does he do in school? Does he behave and have friends? Does he ever get invited to birthday parties or play dates? When he's a park or somewhere with just you and there are other kids around, does he play with them?

If the answers to my questions are positive in nature, your son is adapting perfectly and your job now is to work on you being less anxious about all this.

Lisa Romano podcasts, YouTube videos might help you understand better what I'm telling you.

You're fine, DS is fine. You need more guidance than he does at the moment. You've provided him with everything he needs to be a happy, healthy kid. Wanna keep doing that in the future? Then work on you. Not that there's anything wrong with you but finding out where all these misgivings and doubts are coming from will set you free. And if I had to make a guess, I'd say maybe one or both of your parents grew up in a dysfunctional home or their parents did, likely alcohol involved. Adult Children of Alcoholics is a great resource. I encourage you to read about it all.

lilies21 posted 7/12/2018 13:08 PM

Thanks, everyone. I'm doing much better about this now. When I posted this, I think it was a combination of finding out Asshat and AF are expecting again, me turning 36, seeing DS's half-sister so sad to see him getting picked up, and the anniversary of my dad's death and no family to commiserate with just all tackling me at once. That and the continued worry of Asshat's household and mine being so different that DS could end up with Asshat's mentality of wanting quantity and chaos over stability and peace.

When I see her next, I'm going to tell her that my twin introspector is alive and well several states away.

A sister!

Thanks, josiep, reflecting on your questions helped as well. DS is really doing well. Teachers at daycare and school can never say enough good things about him, he makes friends everywhere he goes, and he already reads at a level several grades above his own. The more I think about it, he really is fine and I need to figure out how to stop worrying. Maybe I need anxiety meds, seriously, because it always seems like I need something to worry about. I can never truly relax and shut off my brain.

As far as a dysfunctional childhood for my parents, I never met my dad but a 29-year-old man who knocks up a 16-year-old child isn't someone I care to ever know anyway. My mom's childhood...she never really talked about it but I know she moved around a lot since her stepdad was in the Army and her mother was verbally abusive. She's an alcoholic though, which didn't make my childhood a barrel of fun....

ETA: And DNA medical gene testing sounds interesting! I think I'll look into that for both DS and myself.

[This message edited by lilies21 at 1:13 PM, July 12th (Thursday)]

josiep posted 7/12/2018 16:54 PM

Please listen to Lisa Romano and/or Ross Rosenberg. It'll take such a weight off your shoulders.

You've got this, kiddo. And I'll be so happy when you finally realize it.

My son did the 23AndMe test and included the health part. It's really fascinating.

I'm going to send you a PM about it.

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