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Being an Only Child

It's been a long standing decision whether or not we should try for another baby. But, being an only child too, I think my little girl has it sweeter than she knows

24/07/2015

 

I'm an only child. So I have first-hand knowledge of the pluses and minuses of not having siblings.

One and done

When it came to our family, my husband and I thought long and hard about whether or not we were going to have more than one child. There were a few things from the get-go that had us leaning towards 'one and done'.

Oldies but goodies

The first one was our age, I was 39 when our daughter, Izzy, was born. While I know that women can, and are, safely having children in their forties, to be honest, I'm just not feeling it. Even though I had an insanely easy and healthy pregnancy, I was still labelled 'geriatric' for my first pregnancy in my late thirties - yeah, it's true, over 35, look it up!

My husband Scott, a very practical man, pointed out that with one, we can give her the best of everything, send her to private school, and still take nice holidays. With family in both America and Australia we have expensive trips home. Then he said, "I know this is going to sound selfish, because it is, but while your life has totally changed with one, mine really hasn't and I know with two it will." No kidding...

Too pooped to pop

To be honest, I was enjoying my baby and didn't really feel the need to complicate things with another one just yet. Then of course, the next thing I know Izzy is five, I'm 45 and she's begging for a sibling. Are you kidding? I'm exhausted with one fairly well-behaved kid.

But I get it. As an 'only' myself, I know what she's missing out on and I feel bad. I make myself feel better by thinking much of my desire for a sibling was to have someone to commiserate in the insanity of not-amicably divorced parents. Scott and I aren't divorced and we mostly get on pretty well.

Tea party for two

I know that siblings are great, they're usually a built in playmate, or at least a way to alleviate boredom by fighting with them. Then when you get older, they can be invaluable, especially when dealing with parents who are getting older.

One is the loneliest number?

While not raising Izzy Jewish, it turns out she inherited some of the stuff my forebears are really good at - guilt. She would sit at the table, and with a heavy sigh way beyond her years, say, "It's so lonely being an only child." Then she'd forlornly take a bite of food and peer at me with big blue eyes.

I'd then go down the 'you are so lucky route'. "You know, Honey," I would say, "You are the only one who can call me 'Mommy,' isn't that special?" Big blue eyes stare back.

So we got her a puppy...

Sharon, Working Mom and Native New Yorker

 
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