January 22, 2018

Having An “Only Child”

Only ChildI never intended on becoming a parent. It’s a long story for another time, but having children was not in my plans.  Then at 40 years old I became pregnant, not planned, and my world came crashing down.  My husband and I weren’t married at the time.  All that ran through my head was “how awful!”

When my husband, Robert was excited about becoming a father again, I was shocked.  But becoming parents would be every bit as challenging as I had thought.

When our son was born, we were trying to be parents, work full time, plus additional part time jobs, go to school, and try to keep some kind of household going. It was impossible.  One month our child care costs soared to a thousand dollars.  I hurried with getting through the rest of my college so that I could concentrate on being a mom.  My husband was in the air force, and many times, deployed somewhere far away for weeks or months.  I lost work hours due to this sudden thrust into parenthood.  I had to quit my teaching job.  I had to give up a pet that I had for over 20 years (my parrot, Pancho).  My dogs that I had for ten years passed away. I went through a major depression requiring medication.

My relationship with my husband was strained due to the short time we knew each other before having a baby.  My husband’s children from his previous marriage had jealousy issues.  I had suddenly came into their lives, and they no longer had their dad all to themselves.  They also had to share him with this new baby and it was very hard for them.

But with each passing year, things fell into place, sometimes gently and sometimes not so gently.  Time has been healing the gaps in the disjointed relationships that were so suddenly flung together.

Also, because of the timing of Gabriel’s birth, he is, and will always be, an only child.  I often worried about his upbringing, because having siblings is so important to children’s development.  But no matter how important it is, he will never have a sibling close to his age.

But he does have his older siblings, and over time, his relationship with them has grown.  We feel more like a family with each passing year.  His older sister had a baby, who is now four years old, and they are the best of friends.  Even though they’re four years apart, they play together as if they were the same age.

We have been blessed with wonderful new neighbors who have four children, two of which are close to Gabriel’s age, and they play together.

We have other friends and neighbors with children and grandchildren too.

One thing time has taught me so far is that its okay that Gabriel is an only child.  Our job is to concentrate on giving him the best upbringing possible, and thanks to my wonderful husband, family, our neighbors and friends, things are going well!

Could you use some parenting help?

One tool that we’ve used is Total Transformation by James Lehman. It’s given us a lot of solid, common sense ideas for parenting our challenging children.

About the author: By

Kris is wife to Robert and mom to Gabriel, a wonderful little boy. She enjoys animals, especially horses, and likes to write about children, pets, and other things close to her heart!

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Comments

  1. Having a child is a blessing but it accompanied by full responsibilities and sacrifices. I don’t see any problem of having one child only. What important is, i were able to sustain the needs of the kids.

  2. Having an only child leads to additional responsibility as a parent. You need to make sure they still get social development and don’t feel guilty for not having more kids or you might spoil the one you have.
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