From no squabbling to only having to go through the teething phase once (hurrah!), here’s what mums with one child have told us (including the irritating ‘when are you going to have your next’ question).
Any you’d add to the list?
You don’t have to be a referee
With no one for your child to argue with about whose turn it is on the tablet, or who gets the last biscuit, you don’t have to be a peacemaker/referee.
Until her friends come round, that is …
You have (slightly) more money
Raising a child is always expensive. But only having to buy toys/ clothes/ food/ mobile phones for one child is MUCH cheaper than shopping for a whole brood.
Which means you can usually find a way of affording a nice holiday or a family day trip.
You only have to throw one birthday party a year
It seems like your friends with lots of kids are constantly stressing over the next birthday party – from who to invite through to what theme to choose.
You, on the other hand, only have to do it once a year.
And you know you’re likely to need a lie-down afterwards.
You get asked when you’re having the next one...
When your child is little, you lose track of the number of times people ask when you’re going to have your next baby.
… and when your child is older, why you stopped at one
Maybe you suffered with secondary infertility.
Maybe – shock, horror – you only wanted one child.
Whatever the reason, you’re not planning to discuss it with a complete stranger at the supermarket.
Your child REALLY wants a pet
Dog, cat, hamster, fish … it doesn’t matter what it is, she wants something to look after. Except you know after the first week, the pet care will be your responsibility.
Your child gets lonely at times
Sometimes she talks about feeling lonely with no one to play with at home.
Yet when you have her cousins over for the day, she LOVES the peace and quiet when they’ve gone home.
You never get a break from playing
With no siblings to entertain your child, you are expected to play with her and her toys. A lot.
Which can be pretty exhausting.
But at the same time, she is increasingly independent and self reliant – great life skills which make you very proud of her.
You only have to go through the hell of teething once
Not to mention weaning, toddler tantrums, teenage meltdowns …
You have a LOT of playdates
Your child has loads of friends and a social life you can only dream of.
Your child has an imaginary friend
It can be slightly alarming when your child starts talking about her friend sitting next to her … when there’s no one there.
But research shows it’s quite common for only children to have imaginary friends.
And on the plus side, at least there’s no rowing about sharing toys.
You love the attention you can give your child
You’re full of admiration for your friends who have two or more children.
But you really love having one child and being able to focus your attention on her.
You sometimes feel guilty your child doesn’t have a sibling
No matter how much you love having one child, you have moments of guilt that she doesn’t have a sibling to play with.
Until, that is, you see your friend’s kids furiously arguing with each other and your child whispers that she’s so happy she doesn’t have an annoying brother or sister.
Your child is confident around adults
Lots of kids are shy around adults. But when you’ve got an only child, she’s super confident and used to chatting to your friends.
In fact, you’re pretty sure they prefer her to you …
You can have a favorite child
Yep, with just one child you can be unashamedly open that she is your favorite.