Now that my daughter is 10-years-old, I’m reflecting on what it’s been like to have an only child. A bit more personal than most episodes, I share my experience with miscarriages, infertility, IVF, and ultimately how we’ve settled into a very happy family of three. I bring in the guest of the hour, my daughter, to answer a few listener questions at the end. I hope this episode helps those of you who really need to hear it. 

here’s a glance at this episode:

  • [1:56] Reflect back on a previous episode where I share my experience with miscarriage and infertility and how I found body acceptance.
  • [2:41] Learn more about my family and our journey to parenthood
  • [21:15] Gain understanding from community questions
  • [32:31] Hear from special guest, my daughter Elle, as she answers listeners’ questions from her perspective.

links mentioned in this episode

Body Acceptance After Miscarriage & Infertility

The Feel Good Effect Book

read the transcript

Robyn Conley Downs: (00:01)

You’re listening to The Feel Good Effect. I am sharing my thoughts on having an only child. Let’s make it happen.

Robyn Conley Downs: (00:11)

Radically simple and ridiculously doable. The Feel Good Effect will help you redefine wellness on your terms. Hi, I’m your host Robyn Conley Downs. And I believe that wellness isn’t about achieving another set of impossible standards, but instead finding what works for you, drawing from cutting-edge science on mindfulness, habit and behavior change. This podcast offers a collection of small mindset shifts that allow for more calm, clarity, and joy in everyday life and allows you to embrace the idea that gentle is the new perfect. I invite you to listen in as we cut through the clutter and find the small shifts that create huge changes in your life. Less striving, more ease. It’s time to feel good.

Robyn Conley Downs: (00:59)

Well, Hey, Feel Good, fam. I am so glad you’re here. This episode I am sharing thoughts and reflections on having an only child. My daughter just turned 10, so it seems like kind of a good time to take stock, and reflect. I am well past the point where we are gonna have any more. And this was a listener request. I actually have one of the most common questions I get over the years is about having an only child and kind of how I’m dealing with it and how I dealt with the transition of thinking I would have more, so definitely a different episode than those we normally do. And if you’re not interested in this topic, it’s the only one I’m gonna do. So we come back next week and we’ll be back to our regularly scheduled program. But because so many people asked, I wanted to pause and offer, um, some thoughts if you’re in the middle of this journey at the beginning, or, um, even kind of at the point, I am some reflections and thoughts on being the parent of an only child.

Robyn Conley Downs: (01:56)

I’ve done one other episode, that’s similar to this. And it was how I learned to accept my body after miscarriage. So that was several years ago. If that is part of your story or journey, you’re welcome to go look for that one as well. That one is actually way back in the archives. It’s episode 87. So let’s rewind. And I kind of tell you how we got here. Growing up I definitely assumed that I would have children. I don’t think that’s everyone’s story. I think every has a different story. Maybe they never thought about kids. They know some people who were convinced and committed to not having children. I was probably in the didn’t think about it all that much, but just assuming camp of people who thought, yeah, maybe I’ll get married. Didn’t think much about that either.

Robyn Conley Downs: (02:41)

I’ll add that I grew up in a family of five, so I have two younger, sisters there’s, three of us. Um, my mom was able to get pregnant easily, had very healthy, easy pregnancies by all. if you can call pregnancy easy. So it just seemed like an obvious thing. Like you wanna get pregnant, you get pregnant, pregnant, you wanna have kids, you have kids. So fast forward to my early twenties fun fact, I got married very young. I was 22, so I was not interested in having children at that time. My partner was not interested in having children. And I think it was just an assumption again, that we would have kids in that when we decided to we would have them, I wanted to finish grad school. He, we both wanted to work and just enjoy our lives together. We traveled, we, we worked, we finished school, various schools for me, various jobs.

Robyn Conley Downs: (03:32)

And when we finally kind of felt settled, we thought, okay, let’s try. And we were actually able to get pregnant pretty quickly within the first six months, but then I had a miscarriage and then another miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy. And then eventually we were, I think, I don’t know how many years, maybe four years of this five. Um, I kind of blacked it all out we were able to get pregnant with my daughter and it was a very difficult pregnancy. I was really, really sick, all kinds of issues, but ultimately had a beautiful, healthy 10-pound baby. And I was definitely not one of those people who has a baby and then says immediately that they want another one. Both my sisters said that they wanted another one with than like the first few months of having a child. Not me. I was like, no, I don’t even know why we asked people that question right after they have a child join the family. But like, let’s not ask that question. .

Robyn Conley Downs: (04:32)

but if you’ve experienced loss or difficult pregnancy, you probably know exactly what I’m talking about. That it’s this beautiful result that took a lot of pain to get there. Um, and the journey to have a child, whether it’s, you know, through the way that people typically think of it while you get pregnant, have a baby, whether it’s through adoption, whether it’s through, I IVF, whether it’s through surrogacy, all the ways that you can have a family join, uh, or have a I’ll join your family, that path can look so different. And for some people it’s full of joy and for some people it’s full of pain. And so you can look at them on the outside and see that they have a child and make all these assumptions about what that experience was like. And most of the time we actually don’t really know anything about what they went through to get there.

Robyn Conley Downs: (05:22)

So now we have this beautiful, perfect baby. I talk about this time in my life, in my book, The Feel Good Effect, where, uh, I tried to go back to work, full-time, be in school full-time, hadn’t really, uh, learned how to take care of myself in that equation and ended up, burned out, exhausted and miserable. And it was at that point that I made this, these small shifts that created the big change in my life, where I was able to find myself again, take care of myself, prioritize what mattered, which was really my family while still working and creating like this beautiful world that we are in now, The Feel Good Effect and Real Food, Whole Life and the book and the coaching certification and all the things that we have.

Robyn Conley Downs: (06:04)

And during that transition, uh, it did not make sense for me to try to get pregnant again, my body wasn’t ready for it. I didn’t feel healthy. And it was really, really important for me to be able to, to take care of myself, to find my health again, before even considering that. Um, and we are just enjoying our, we’d worked really hard to have that baby, um, and experience so much pain and loss that I just wanted to soak it in and enjoy her. Um, and as you know, if you’ve had like an infant, when they get out of the infant phase, it’s really wonderful. you’re like, wow, like we can do stuff. We can go places. This human is developing and we can learn what their personality is. And I just wanted to soak that in.

Robyn Conley Downs: (06:46)

And as you also know, if you have had children and people immediately start asking you when you’re gonna have a second kid, which I just wish that we could re flip the script on that narrative in our society, that we don’t ask people immediately when they’re gonna have another one or why they haven’t had another one, because frankly, it’s none of your business. Number one, and number two, you really don’t know what someone’s going through, why they may or may not have more children. So maybe we could just learn to not be asking that question. We don’t need to ask people when they’re gonna have their first kid or why they haven’t had children yet. And we don’t need to ask them when they’re gonna have more or why they haven’t had more.

Robyn Conley Downs: (07:28)

At any rate, when our daughter turned four, we started having our own internal conversations in our family about wanting a second child. And the thing is, it really wasn’t about like checking a box or, you know, having another one. It was very much when you have a child and you see their personality and how fun they are and how much they’ve added to your life. It is a very natural instinct to say, like, I want, I want this again. I don’t necessarily, for me, I didn’t necessarily wanna go through the process of pregnancy and loss again, but I did like the idea of someone else joining our family. Who’s amazing as her is like almost kind of felt like a no brainer. So we went for it. I was hesitant, like I said, because it had been such a hardship, but I was willing to put that fear aside and go for it. And I did all the things I got myself in mentally prepared to like mentally welcome this person into our lives. I, I did all the physical things, the, um, like the diet and the supplements and the acupuncture and all the things I knew holistically that can facilitate pregnancy.

Robyn Conley Downs: (08:35)

And we didn’t get pregnant for six months. We didn’t get pregnant for a year. And if you have been in that world, you know, that, that doesn’t like count quote, unquote, as infertility. I didn’t even know there was a term called secondary infertility, cuz it’s definitely not a club that people wanna be in. And I don’t think it’s shared about nearly as enough. And I nearly enough, I think when it is shared, it’s usually in the context of, of like having secondary infertility and then the happy ending of having another child. And maybe that’s why people have been asking for this episode, cuz I am definitely a person that had secondary infertility and the happy ending is that I have one child and our family is complete, and we’re really happy. So we tried for like a year and a half, two years and did not get pregnant. Didn’t have any, so therefore, no miscarriages, um, nothing, just no, no pregnancy. And at that point we started having conversations about what to do next because after two years and I, I think I was quote-unquote advanced maternal age at this point, there’s a lot of pressure to do IVF.

Robyn Conley Downs: (09:43)

So I went to uh, a regular OBGYN. Then we did a consult at a fertility clinic. Interesting thing is that all this time I had never been diagnosed with endometriosis. I didn’t even, I had started learning what it was. I think around somewhere in there. I think you, if you’ve listened to the podcast a long time, you probably had it’s occurred to me over the years that maybe I haven’t. And then recently was actually diagnosed when I had surgery, but there was some like whispers from my doctor. She never said it out loud or even talked to me about it that maybe I, uh, fertility, um, clinic wouldn’t take me because of the issues that I’ve had in the past. So again, the assumption that some people have from the outside is that if you want IVF, you can get it. False. If you have any kind of quote-unquote condition that they don’t like approve of, then a lot of, a lot of centers won’t take you because they want to have success rates that are really high.

Robyn Conley Downs: (10:42)

So if they take on someone who maybe has endo or, or, um, P C O S or some other kind of issue that can get in the way of pregnancy, this is not all of them, but some of them, they could just flat out reject you not to mention the cost, right? So I wanna address the IVF thing. And then I’ll talk about adoption in a second, but we kind of went down the road like a tiny bit. We took a few steps down and I have to say that it’s all of the things that we teach here that are in my book that we do in the certification, all of these tools around mindset, around self-compassion, flexible thinking, gratitude, asking how you feel and how you want to feel and the gap in between. Those tools, like however you get them, whether you read the book or listen to the podcast or you’re part of our other programs.

Robyn Conley Downs: (11:33)

That is the difference for me. Cuz when I look at that time in my life, I was able to pause and pay attention and ask what is really the best choice for me and my family. You know how, when I tuned out the shoulds and what everybody else wanted and all these other expectations and got quiet and asked what was best. I knew the answer, it was super clear and the answer was we’re complete as a family of three. I knew that in my bones, I knew that in my soul and it made me sad. And I’ll talk about the grief in a second too, but I actually knew. And I think that knowing we all have the knowing. So wherever you are in a journey around parenthood, you probably have a knowing too. And you can cultivate these skills where you can tune in and know, be aware of that knowing quickly and trust it.

Robyn Conley Downs: (12:33)

That was my experience. So after many weeks of discussion with my partner, you know, I told him, I think my body’s saying something. My body is saying it’s not really interested in being pregnant and we can keep going down the road of trying to convince it to, to be pregnant. And I’m I like have no judgement, let me be clear. However, you find your way to parenthood or don’t, that is the right choice for you. And I support you 100% and that’s what we need to do in this journey together of parenthood just, or not parenthood. Just your choice is your choice. I support you. You do you. But for me, my body, my body’s been through so much, I just wasn’t interested in doing IVF. And so then we had a conversation around adoption, which is also a beautiful choice. We’ve had many people on the show who have adopted and come to their family through adoption.

Robyn Conley Downs: (13:30)

But again, it’s interesting how judgemental people are of only child parent of why we didn’t adopt. I’m like, why didn’t you adopt? like, why are you asking me these very personal judgmental questions? That was not the right choice for us either. And so after reflecting and talking and using the tools and skills that we teach here, we both together. And I know like not always the case, cuz if you have a partner or where you don’t agree, like that’s a whole nother conversation that I probably can’t address as well for you. But I think because we’d been practicing these skills and tools together as individuals, me and my partner together in our marriage and as a family, it was just there. The answer was there. We knew it, there was a knowing, and there was an acceptance. And so when I say acceptance, I don’t mean that it wasn’t sad or a feeling of loss or grief, but it, I knew it was the right thing for us.

Robyn Conley Downs: (14:27)

So there wasn’t like a day. I can’t remember that there was like one day where we’re like, okay, I think it was a gradual kind of releasing of, of that dream. And I think that’s what it is. So, you know, you have a dream of what could be. And when that, if that dream dies, you have to grieve it. Um, and especially if you have other people around who care, you know, my parents are very involved grandparents and Andrew’s parents very involved grandparents and um, they, both of our parents had three children. So was there a little pressure, like to have more, yes. Like they want more grandchildren. There’s no question about that. And luckily we have supportive parents who could like understand where we were coming from and there were, weren’t further guilt trips, but they had to grieve that too. Um, they have other grandchildren from other, uh, siblings, but, um, they weren’t gonna get anymore from us.

Robyn Conley Downs: (15:25)

So I’d say there was then a period of, so that was like, Elle was probably between four and six. I would, I, I would guess this was going on. So when she went into kindergarten, I think we were, we had already made that decision and all along people still ask you whether you’re gonna have more, why you don’t have more, why you haven’t given your child a brother or sister? That’s my favorite. So she went into kindergarten and I remember walking, um, out of the school and, and crying. And Andrew, my partner was like, why are you crying? And I’m like, cuz this is the, this is the first and the last. And I think that’s one of the most like painfully beautiful parts of only of having an only child is you just are so aware that everything is a first and everything is the last.

Robyn Conley Downs: (16:13)

And actually I think that’s one of the greatest gifts of having an only child is your presence and awareness of what’s going on with your kid. So during those like maybe kindergarten, first-grade years, I was still really sad about it. There was a lot of grief. I think what happened was again, employing the skills and asking and this knowing and then making a decision and then taking, we had one foot in one world and one foot in the other, we had the foot in the only child world and the foot in the, maybe we can have another child world and anytime you’re faced with something like that in life, a decision, a, a transition and you have one foot in and one foot out. I think that that’s where a lot of the suffering can come. The second that we took the foot out of the only, the, the having second child and put both feet into the only, it really changed things and allowed me to start letting, releasing, letting go and focusing on the beauty, an amazing like miracle that our family is.

Robyn Conley Downs: (17:19)

And I have friends who have, I have several friends with only children and they knew right away that they wanted and only so I think they still deal with like kind of the questions and, um, maybe disappointment from people in their lives. Um, but I don’t think they have the same grief, uh, that you might have if you were hoping and wanting more and that just didn’t work out for you or, and or if you have a partner that isn’t supportive of the decision. So when we took, when we put both feet in, I think it really, it really helped.

Robyn Conley Downs: (17:51)

And I’ve had moments every time my sister, either sister has had a child it’s been really sad and I know some people won’t understand that and judge me, but, uh, that’s okay. you go on with your judgemental self? I of course was happy for my sisters and of course, like couldn’t love my nieces anymore. Um, but it was also just when they had babies, it made me remember that I didn’t have anymore. And that’s, you can feel grief and happiness at the same time. So those were days where I felt tremendous happiness and tremendous grief at the same time. Similarly, when we, um, actually decided to get rid of all the baby stuff, cuz we had kept it all those years while we were deciding. And then the years while we were trying and there came a day where I said, okay, that having this stuff is like physically, I’m physically holding on. I need to physically let go in order to mentally let go. So getting rid of her, all her baby stuff obviously kept a few things. I’m not a huge keeper, so I don’t have boxes or bins. I just have one little box, um, of things.

Robyn Conley Downs: (18:57)

But the rest when left the house, um, her baby rocker, all of the things that I kind of kept thinking, maybe I’ll use these some days. And that was a really sad day too. But here’s what I want you to know. Now I have a 10-year-old. I don’t, it’s not that I don’t remember that grief, but I don’t have it anymore. It’s pretty much gone. And I don’t think that’s everyone’s story. Like you may carry that forever, but for me it really was a slow acceptance and a stepping into this life. And what we’ve been able to see is all the incredible benefits of having an only child, which I think people don’t talk about because, uh, there’s many reasons , but we are so happy as a family of three and who, you know, people are like, well, if you could go back and change things with you, would you, I don’t, I don’t know.

Robyn Conley Downs: (19:55)

Probably I don’t know. like, this is how it is. So I that’s, I don’t entertain that question, but if you have experienced secondary infertility or you know, someone who has, and you want to hear from someone who they’re happy, who they’re happy ending is having a family of three. I I’m your person. We can, you know, just having the three of us, we’re so close, I’m able to be an incredibly present parent. We can travel together. We haven’t obviously the last couple years, but like in theory and going forward, we can travel together. She is so loved. She, she knows that. And so I guess to wrap this part up and then I had some questions from our community to answer at the end, but to wrap things up, I do not wake up sad. I do not have sad days and I feel so at peace and so happy to be a parent of this amazing child.

Robyn Conley Downs: (20:52)

And, um, the gratitude there is, is not lost that I know we almost didn’t. And so the fact that we did it is just incredible and being a family of three is great. , it’s pretty awesome. It’s probably, um, not like not talked about enough, but, but we’re really happy and there’s happiness and acceptance on the other side.

Robyn Conley Downs: (21:15)

So I’m gonna answer a few questions that we had, and I will also say that again, there’s PE outside world has all these assumptions about only children that they’re going to be lonely and that they’re going to be spoiled. I have never seen any validated research on only children being any more spoiled than any other child or, um, I think the loneliness question is probably more valid. One, Elle is not lonely. In fact, I maybe we’ll have her on here at the end, the chat about her experience, but we’re lucky that we have a great school that she’s in and she has lots of friends and we’re also lucky that we do have family nearby. She has three cousins on my side and five cousins on the other side, they live across the country. So I don’t see them as much, but her two or her three cousins on my side are, um, we see them very, very frequently and really has a sister-like relationship with her cousins. Um, so I don’t, I don’t think she would describe herself as lonely.

Robyn Conley Downs: (22:16)

So let’s, um, answer some questions that I got, um, from our community about this. Question number one, where, what are the steps to mentally decide to stop trying for another one? Oh gosh, I wish I had a step-by-step. I think it’s really a matter of getting quiet and that doesn’t mean sitting alone in a room necessarily, but finding a pause, whether that’s on a long walk or if you are a spiritual person, you know, in church or in prayer, if you, you find that you do your most connected kind of thinking in nature, but getting quiet and asking yourself, what is the answer? Do we wanna keep trying, do I wanna keep trying, cuz obviously this is a decision that you typically happens with a partner, not always, but before you even bring your partner into the conversation, asking yourself, what do I want? And then listening to that answer. Cause my guess is you probably know if you’re ready to stop. And you’re probably just scared that if you stop you’ll regret it or that other people will regret it or that your child will be lonely or spoiled. Um, it’s not funny it’s these are real, very, very real fears that we have. But if you ask yourself, uh, am I ready to stop trying? And especially, am I ready to stop trying if I let all those shoulds go? Like if I know if I know that I’ll have a child who’s not spoiled, who is not lonely, who is loved, would I stop trying? And if the answer is yes, then I would say those are the steps. And then you can involve your partner. I think, into that as well in, um, kind of that discussion of, of the knowing and the trusting that you can have an only child and that can be really positive, happy experience. Um, and hopefully that the two of you can be on the same page for that, uh, for that decision, which brings me to my next question.

Robyn Conley Downs: (24:23)

How do you deal with people who pressure you for more when you made it clear you’re done. Okay. It probably depends on who the people are. If the people are your parents, um, verses I don’t know your partner versus random general people in your life, I would probably handle it slightly differently. And it also depends on your relationship up with those people, but I will address the parents first, cuz I think that’s where the biggest pressure can come from. And you know, we understand why a parent might pressure you for more, more children. But if you have a relationship where you can find a time to sit down and talk with that parent or those parents, um, not in the heat of the moment, right? But in a, a time where you can say, Hey, can we talk? And it, you don’t have to give a whole like soliloquy, you can just say, Hey, I want you to know that we’re done. We are very happy with having an only child. And I need you to understand that we’re are happy with that and I need you to respect that decision. And that would mean not pressuring me to have more children. And if you’re not used to speaking clearly that might feel uncomfortable. But I think addressing it with compassion and kindness and truth is so much better than like passively-aggressively getting mad it all the time. Obviously, if you don’t have that kind of relationship, you could just be very direct in the moment and say, Hey, you know, I noticed you keep trying to pressure us to have more kids or me to have more kids and we’re, we’re done. So can you please stop saying that? I always try to assume good intent that people are trying, you know, people love you and just, they think they are doing what’s best for you. And, and since that’s not the case kindly, but directly letting them know that we have made this decision, it’s not open for discussion. And please stop saying it, I think is perfectly appropriate to do. And whether you do that like a as a side conversation or in the moment, either way, I think it is your right to not be pressured about that decision once you’ve made it.

Robyn Conley Downs: (26:35)

Next question. Did you feel like you always had to entertain her? No, I will say when she was young, we, we had daycare. I work full-time, my partner works full-time so having childcare was a necessity, but having her in daycare early was really such a gift because the responsibility of keeping her entertained and educating her and nourishing her brain and her spirit was shared, and I know that that’s the privilege not everyone has, but um, I’ve always loved to share that responsibility of entertaining her with other people starting when she was really young. Uh, I will say the pandemic hit everyone in different ways. So whether if you had one kid, it hit you in a different way than if you had multiple kids, we don’t even need to compete about who had a harder time during the pandemic. Having an only child during the pandemic was hard, especially at the beginning, from the perspective of, of needing to, to do a lot more entertaining than we normally would’ve done. Um, but we made that work and outside of that experience, I would say we’ve just, you know, put her in school, put her in daycare, signed her up for activities. When, when they were appropriate, we do a lot of time with my family, with, um, my sister has kids. And, um, I also am just a big proponent of teaching kids to be self-sufficient and not relying on adults to entertain them from an early age, whether we had one or multiple, we’ve done a lot of work to teach her. She was in Montessori when she was little, which was same idea, like teaching kids to kind of direct their own attention and learning and not be reliant on adults. And so she kind of learned that there and at home, and even now she knows not to come to me and tell me she’s bored. like we have special time that we spend together every day after school when she gets home and on weekends. Um, but then if she has downtime, she knows that there’s a lot of choices. Like we have, she knows what her choices are and she takes them so that I do not always have to entertain her and neither does my partner.

Robyn Conley Downs: (28:43)

Okay. Two more. So, does she ask for a sibling and how do you respond? This is probably the most controversial answer I’ll give. And it’s just my honest answer. You don’t have to do it this way, but she did not ask for a sibling when she was younger. And then when it became pretty apparent that we were not gonna have anymore, we started having, you know, an, an age appropriate, honest conversation with her and letting her know that we weren’t gonna have anymore kids. And again, age appropriate conversation around why that mommy’s body was able to have her mommy’s body was pretty much done. And we’ve done a lot of talking about the benefits of being an only child with her. So we, you know, we talk about like how, how great it would be to have a sibling and what like what the pros and con pros of that would be, and also how great it is to be an only child and the pros of that. So we do not do like, we don’t bash other people who have multiple kids, but we just highlight for her, like here, here’s what your, the benefits are. You are an only child, which are many, like you get a lot of attention, you get to be around, you know, you get to have kid friends and you get to spend a lot of adult time. Like we get to travel more and we did get her a dog. I feel like that’s the, like the only, the, the, the thing that the only child parents do is to get the pet. So we made her kind of earn the pet. And we told her when she was eight, if she could show us, she was responsible, we could get her a dog. So we did get her dog. And I think that curtailed any, any additional asking, but she’s pretty aware. And I think we’ve had those conversations, a lot of like, here’s how our life worked out. And our life worked out that you don’t have siblings, but like, here are the things that you do have that are really amazing. And you also have your friends and you have your cousins. And so if you ask her now, like she’s very, very happy happily and only child. And, um, and that’s what worked for us.

Robyn Conley Downs: (30:40)

And the last question is just, how do you deal with the undercurrent? That, that we’re a little less of a parents than those with multiple kids. Um, and that’s definitely true. Like, I feel like I get a comment like that all the time about how I, especially on Instagram, like how I don’t really understand. Cause I only have one kid or of course you can do that. Cuz you only have one kid. I don’t know. I think we probably just need to stop the parent wars and the mom wars and stuff like judging each other and competing against who has it harder or easier. But I think, you know, again, the work, The Feel Good Effect work, um, that I’ve done in my own life. I feel very confident in the fact that I am a parent great parent and I am no less of a parent than anyone I else. And I think people that make those comments, uh, obviously feel a sense of insecurity in their own lives about something or else you wouldn’t project that onto someone else. So maybe it’s, it’s definitely all the work that I’ve done, but it’s also being a person of the internet that I have learned. The things people say to you are really, they have nothing to do with you and are very much a reflection of them or what they’re going through. So if someone gives me a compliment, I kindly accept and reflect that right back at them. Someone says, you’re such a great parent. I say, thank you so much. I’m sure. Like, so are you, and if somebody judges me or tells me that, I, I don’t really know what it’s like. Cause I only have one kid I’m like, okay, maybe I don’t. I mean, I don’t know why you would even need to say that to me. So I think it’s just kind of having that sense of, of confidence in your own choices and knowing what’s right for you. When then when people say things to you, it’s just not that impactful anymore. Um, and I just send them a little bit of compassion cuz I’m sorry that they, you know, feel like they have to be competing.

Robyn Conley Downs: (32:31)

Okay. So as we end this episode, I wanted to invite on a special guest with me today. I have the only child Elle Conley Downs. Do you wanna say hi? Hi. So Elle wanted, well Elle agreed to come on to say a few words about being an only child. Okay. So Elle, we had a few questions about being a parent of an only child, but I wanted to ask you a few, few of those as well. Do you feel like you’re missing out on anything because you’re an only child?

Elle Conley Downs: (33:02)

No, not at all.

Robyn Conley Downs: (33:03)

No. What’s your favorite part about being an only child?

Elle Conley Downs: (33:07)

Hmm. I don’t have to share Obbie with anyone else.

Robyn Conley Downs: (33:12)

you don’t have to share your dog with anyone else. Do you wish that you had siblings?

Elle Conley Downs: (33:17)

No. No, not really not really.

Robyn Conley Downs: (33:21)

Okay. And what would you say to someone who feels like they wanna have an only child, but they’re worried that if they just have one child that, that, that child will be missing out on something or maybe not as happy?

Elle Conley Downs: (33:32)

Well, I’m fine. And just like maybe do what you wanna do.

Robyn Conley Downs: (33:38)

Mm-hmm listen to yourself.

Elle Conley Downs: (33:42)


Robyn Conley Downs: (33:43)

Yeah. And do you feel like you’re missing out in life?

Elle Conley Downs: (33:47)


Robyn Conley Downs: (33:47)

Nope. So the moral of the story is do what you wanna do.

Elle Conley Downs: (33:54)


Robyn Conley Downs: (33:54)

Any other advice?

Elle Conley Downs: (33:56)

Not really.

Robyn Conley Downs: (33:58)


Elle Conley Downs: (33:59)

Well actually I do have one more piece of advice. If you feel like your child is gonna miss out on like a play, like a playmate for your child, um, you could adopt a dog.

Robyn Conley Downs: (34:11)

Like of course you would.

Elle Conley Downs: (34:12)

Well, I play with Obbie and I don’t and he’s not really a sibling, but I like him and we can play together. And uh, yeah.

Robyn Conley Downs: (34:23)

So you’re here to campaign for everyone getting more dogs?

Elle Conley Downs: (34:29)


Robyn Conley Downs: (34:30)


Elle Conley Downs: (34:30)

And if you’re allergic to dogs, you can get a hypoallergenic dog.

Robyn Conley Downs: (34:34)

Okay. So basically what Elle’s more focused on is dogs. So yeah, that’s her last parting words. If you’re unsure, .

Elle Conley Downs: (34:43)

adopt a dog.

Robyn Conley Downs: (34:45)

and that wraps up this much more personal episode on our experience of having an only child being an only child and more importantly, whether you should adopt a dog. So hopefully it was helpful. Again, come back next week. We will not be talking about this anymore, but for those of you who needed to hear it every once in a while, I do an episode that I hope reaches the person who needs to hear it most. So hopefully with this is helpful. As always, I want to thank you for being part of this conversation and this Feel Good movement and giving this time for yourself until next time. Here’s to feeling good.

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