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We have a beautiful son who is 5 years old, he is an IVF baby. We’ve been trying to conceive again since he was born but have realised he will be our one and only. I’d love to know what life is like for families with one child? If their little/big one is okay/sad/lonely/happy. How do you handle being judged by mums at school and justifying/explaining their family? I would love to hear about your experiences. Thanks!


Posted anonymously, 25th May 2020


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  • Due to circumstances over which they had no control there is a gap of 7 years between a family’s two children. The elder one resented it a lot when she wanted to go somewhere and the Mum didn’t want to risk waking the baby for a legitimate reason. I know of other “only” children who are very happy and contented. They seem to use their imagination more when playing. It is good if they have the opportunity to socialise with other children their own age before they start school. They learn to be around other children rather suddenly having to have to cope with a group of children with no previous experience at all.


  • You should not feel the need to justify or explain your choices to anyone. This is between you & your husband and no one else business ! If you want to ope up about it with a close family member or friend to receive understanding and support that’s of course good and totally your choice.
    Your child won’t be disadvantaged being an only child as long it’s loved and has plenty of opportunity to socialise.


  • My daughter was an only child till she was 7 and she missed having a sibling and was always asking for one


  • Not sure why you think you would be judged by other mothers and I hope you won’t be. No one ever said anything negative to me about having an only child. Single children are no different to those who have a sibling/s. They’ll have friends at school, other family children to play with, they’ll join different groups along the way and have interests they share with those in their groups. We joined two mother and baby groups very early on and continued on with them until school age, in the meantime she joined sporting and other activity groups, friends at school and so on. Relax, it’ll all work out fine with one child. And NEVER EVER feel as though you have to justify how many children you have, that’s your business. All the best x


  • I have many friends who are single child and are wonderful people , focus on giving him a balanced approach and I think because he is alone getting his way all the time should not be encouraged


  • I am an only child and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. With loving parents and grandparents I never felt lonely or sad. It is just normal for me. You should not feel the need to justify your choices to anyone.


  • definitely Not, if anything more advantaged, as you will have more time to spend with the child to love and spend time with homework and just general life, I have 3 kids and love them all dearly. I think it doesn’t matter if you have 1 kid or 6 you make the best with what you are blessed with.


  • I don’t think he will be disadvantaged. There are advantages and disadvantages to any family size. And although I have more than one child, I have never judged anyone who has only one, nor questioned them. Their business.


  • I also have just one child: one daughter born with IVF. We would have wanted more kids, but that’s it. It wasn’t possible. The next IVF’s didn’t function and so we decided to let it go, to stop trying and just live with one child. She’s 17 now, a very happy girl. Since she was born she always loved the fact of being the only child. She loves her quiet moments, her time with us parents, the calmness in our life.
    Never thought for a moment about what other people would think. And I personally don’t care anyway.
    Probably she would be different if she’d had siblings. But different for the better or the worse.. well… I guess you’ll never know. But being an only child brings a lot of advantages too. Less financial problems for example. And less struggles with time.


  • It doesn’t matter if you have 1 child or 10 children. As long as you love them that’s the most important thing of all. One thing you don’t need to do is explain to other people why you only have the one child.


  • He can have good friends and lots of attention from parents.


  • He may feel it but it could also help if he’s surrounded by other kids his age or just stay engaged with others. Don’t feel bad!


  • You don’t have to explain anything. Your child is loved, that is all that matters.


  • Childhood is what you make it, spend lots of time for family, cousins, friends.


  • My daughter is 2 and it’s looking like she’ll be a only child, she was pretty happy as she had just started play group and swimming, and loved seeing kids at the park. But now unable to do those things and having no friends yet I’ve seen a big change she is wanting to play with and mix and interact with kids calling out hello to every kid she sees, she doesn’t understand why she is kept away from kids. I think she’ll be fine as a only child once able to do activities and interact with other kids, to make friends.


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