What If We Only Want To Have One Child?

A year and a half.

It’s a decision that only my wife and I can make for ourselves, yet we’re open to hearing input from the free world.

For the past several months now, we have been leaning towards the decision to only have one child. It’s not the stress of parenthood getting the best of us. After all, at 18-months old, our son is pretty low-maintenance.

He’s the best son we can ask for and we’re so blessed to have him. So… why overdo it and have another kid?

I love the idea of only having our son. We can pour all of our energy and time into this one special person.

Whatever interests and passions he wants to pursue, we can support him fully.

No conflicts with our other kids’ schedules. No fighting in the back seat on the drive to Florida for family vacation.

Less financial worries. Less stress on our marriage.

As we’ve talked to couples who decided to only have one kid, they share no regrets about it.

I admit: I want to be part of the cool “One Kid Only” club.

As I try to sort through this, I gather reasons why we should consider having another child:

Who will take care of us when we’re old? What if something happens to our son and then we have no children at all? Wouldn’t it be sad for our son if he had no siblings to grow up with?

While I can continue to think of more Debbie Downer questions like these, I really don’t see how answering them will change how I feel:

I want to raise an only-child. I believe I will be feel completely fulfilled with just one kid.

Right now I am 31 years old and my wife almost is. Biologically, we’re still good for several more years.

So how long do we wait before we know to go ahead and make it official? How long before I go “get the surgery” and I can move forward as the proud parent of one child?

Yes, I know: If my parents would have made the same decision then my sister wouldn’t be here. Neither would my wife, who is 9 of 10 kids.

I want my wife to get her “mating’s worth” out of me. That’s important. And it would be one thing if I was simply telling my exclusive thoughts on this, but I’m not.

In fact, though I’ve been kicking this blog idea around for months now, I didn’t actually plan to write or publish it.

But my wife convinced me otherwise. This is something we both feel the same way about, yet want to be sure about.

This can ultimately only end in one of three ways that I can think of:

A) We delay up to about 4 more years before I get the surgery.

B) We choose to have another kid.

C) We surprisingly get pregnant as we try to figure this out.

Okay, passing the mic to you now. The two of us want your insight. Any advice and direction you’re willing to share?

 

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  1. by Hannah

    On June 5, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    I thought I was surely finished having children when my first was about a year old. Little did I know, the Big Guy had other ideas. Sometimes everybody can wear everything they’re supposed to wear and take all the pills they’re supposed to take and it. Just. Happens. I wouldn’t change a thing about my version of parenthood, but it took me a LONG time to come to terms with being the mother of a large family. Without sounding too Duggar, sometimes the number of children you have just isn’t up to you.

  2. by Amber

    On June 5, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    As an only child I can tell you that I often felt lonely at home. I missed out on so many sibling situations. My BFF is also an only child and she agreed with me and wants several children. While this is only a choice between you and your wife, I recommend talking to a few only children friends of yours to get an idea of what life is like without siblings. Good luck with your decision making.

  3. by Amanda Hutchinson

    On June 5, 2012 at 10:23 pm

    I can not IMAGINE life without my younger sister. She’s my very best friend. Thats the main reason for wanting more than one kid for me. I want Lorelei to have someone to grow up with and play with. Being a sibling never means being lonely. BUT I can agree with all the points you made as well. Esp the being able to pour all your time into one kid.

  4. by Alisha

    On June 5, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    It’s a tough decision. And I believe as our children get older we may change our minds. My son will be 4 in September and if you were to ask me when he was 18 months old if my husband and I wanted more children you would have most likely heard the answer to be, No. But as time went on and certain responsibilities in our lives were finishing (I started graduate school when our son was 1 yr.) we decided we did want one more. We are due with our second in less than a month and at this we KNOW we are finished having children. We like the idea of a family of 4 and it seems to fit our preference. But, unless one of us gets “the surgery” then we all know there is that possibility of The Man Above deciding otherwise. It’s great you want others’ opinion but in the end you and your wife will know what is going to be good for you. I can understand your feelings on your son, my son is definitely low maintenance and a pretty darn good kid. I fear what this little girl inside me is going to be like! Ha ha. Good luck with your adventure and I’m sure the two of you will figure out what is best for you.

  5. by Diana QH

    On June 5, 2012 at 10:41 pm

    I’m on the same boat as you. I only have 1 awesome son who will be turning 1 pretty soon. Me and hubby have been talking about other kids. And our son has been really good but … to do it all over again. I don’t know. Hubby wants more, I’m more eh I can deal with just my son. I don’t know what we will do. We have the pros and cons just like everyone else. The family all say have another so my son has someone to play with. But they aren’t the ones who will have to take care of the baby. I would rather give all my attention to my son. But to have another baby… more stress. Good luck in making the hard decision. But I must say I LOVE (((LOVE)))) that you (male) are willing to do the procedure. That’s another subject me and hubby are talking about. I”m having difficult time convincing my hubby that it’s better for the male to do it. (He is such a guy) so I just wanted to say kudos to you for doing that with your family. best wishes

  6. by Joakim

    On June 6, 2012 at 4:30 am

    I grew up with a twinbrother, and have more siblings as well. We fought, wrestled, but were the best of friends. It’s tough to say what the difference would be without him, but it would definetely not be the same.

    I am now 27 and have two girls, two and a half and three and a half years old. A lot of whining and nagging, but what the heck, the drama is our entertainment. They miss eachother when they are apart, and that says a lot. But I fully respect everyone who settles with one child, it’s everyones choice. 

  7. by Wendy

    On June 6, 2012 at 6:09 am

    Your thoughts may change once your son is old enough to actually ask for a baby brother or sister! This will generally happen when they enter preschool or k-garten and all their other playmates are having babies in their families! HaHa (it happened to me) Seriously, we have two boys (both happily intact). They are 12 and 6 and while they argue sometimes like siblings do, they are each others’ best friends and always playmates. I know with the age spread, that will wax and wane over the years, but there’s nothing like a sibling for familial closeness. Think about it, our parents are our parents and our children are our offspring. We can also choose our friends throughout life. But there is no one more closely related to you that a biological sibling. When they are older and facing the care and ultimate loss of their parents (us) I do not want them to be alone. Sure, having only one is advantageous in many ways. But my personal opinion, the benefits of having an only child do not outweigh the greater benefits of a sibling for your son. Finally, I would just say that 31 is far too young to make an irreversible choice in this regard. There are other birth control methods, that are very effective, but are not permanent, I would recommend for at least another 10 years.

  8. by Michelle

    On June 6, 2012 at 10:47 am

    I don’t think you should ever have another child because you think you should. I think what is right for you is your decision. We have an almost 2 year old and even before he was born, I knew I wanted several kids and as a result, I am currently 6 months pregnant with #2. However, there are times that I mourn the loss of my only child but I know that even though a part of me can’t imagine sharing my love and time with another baby right now, in the long run, I want a big family. I would recommend looking back to what you wanted before you had your son – if you wanted a big family before he was born, then I wouldn’t immediately close the door on that just because you can’t imagine life being better than it is now. But if you were never certain that you wanted a big family even before your son was born and thought that you might just want one, go with your insticts. Don’t let yourself feel pressured to go with the societal norm of having more than one child. But I guess it is good to remind yourself that in the end, we have no control over it!

  9. by Victoria

    On June 6, 2012 at 11:19 am

    Thank you for posting this article. My husband and I are going through the same thing right now. Our little boy is almost 2. Still not quite sure, but we’re leaning towards one child. Also, sibling closeness is not guaranteed.

  10. by Kath

    On June 7, 2012 at 1:29 am

    I have one younger sister and I always imagined that life as an only child would be a bit boring but ok. I also look after a little girl who is 3 and has no siblings, and I believe all the adult attention in her life has brought her far ahead of her peers in terms of life and language skills.

    But.
    Recently a friend of mine lost her mother to cancer. She was an only-child and my heart went out to her. I cannot imagine going through something like that without my sister. We are not that close (in fact we live in different countries) but noone else could possibly take her place in that situation. It made me so grateful that for any future difficult times or decisions in our family, I will always have a friend who understands in the same way I do.
    Priceless.

  11. by Robyn

    On June 7, 2012 at 1:49 am

    We have a daughter who is 3 and have no desire to have another. One and done! I think some people just know automatically that they want more than one child and others know deep down they don’t, but grapple with the decision simply because we are told something is wrong with it. Or worry it won’t be best for our child’s well-being, even if it is for ours. A happier parent is a better one.

  12. by Sam

    On June 7, 2012 at 2:17 am

    Its a personal choice in the end. For me, well, we are well on our way to having a big family. 3 boys already & pregnant with our fourth child, I have a feeling even once number four is born we still won’t be done. I am one of four children & I love that I always had people to play with as a child & now as an adult my brothers are always there for family functions, birthdays, holidays or just simply to have someone to spend time with. I like that my children will be part of a big family. Friends come & go, but family is forever. I know the feeling of being content when your first child is young, but the way your heart grows with the exact same love for each subsequent child is amazing! We are given an amazing gift to reproduce, so why not? I feel that our children are our legacy, it’s our mark on the world. I know that when my time is up all of my children will have each other for support & they will all share special memories of the times we had together.
    In the end though, if you are happy with one child, so be it. Large families are not for everyone. Being different is what sets us all apart.
    Enjoy the time u have with your son while he is an only child, who knows, like you said, it might just happen that you become a family of four! :)

  13. by Sam

    On June 7, 2012 at 3:39 am

    In Africa, particularly in Nigeria, it is considered abnormal to have just one child. We have a girl who’s about three months old and we knew, even before she was born that we would have at least three kids. I’m third in a family of seven while my wife is fifth among her mother’s children, being from a polygamous home of at least four wives and over 20 children. I’ve known several only children who became so as a result of infertility following post-natal infection. We think it’s better to have more than one child but every couple have to make their choice.

  14. by Ashlee

    On June 7, 2012 at 7:04 am

    My opinion is that it’d be wrong to have a second (or third or fourth…) child just because you feel some sort of pressure from society or family or what-have-you.

    Having said that, it really disturbs my own sensibilities to hear parents talking about “pouring all their time and resources” into this one special child. No question that each child is special. It’s just ridiculous to me how many parents are giving their children the false impression that the world revolves around them.

    Actually, this is possible with more than one child (I’ve seen it WAY too often!), but as the author points out, easier with just one because there are fewer conflicts about whom to spend time, energy, and money on.

    Personally, I have four kids ages 2-5. I love them dearly and each one knows they are special to the family, to God, to society. But they’ve also had to learn patience and how to love the seemingly unlovable (like a toddler who doesn’t have enough words yet to express anger, so he hits instead). They have had to learn how to share– toys, rooms, time with mom and dad. They have had to learn the difference between needs and wants and that just because they want something does not mean we are obliged to provide it for them.

    But most of all, they’ve had to learn that siblings mean love in a context like no other. I read an article in Time magazine once that talked about how the sibling relationship is the MOST influential in a person’s life — even moreso than parents. They are cohorts in those developmental years. (If I didn’t have a sister to complain about my mother to, how would I survive?? Lol)

    I started off with twins, though, so I never had this decision to make. However, it was sad each time I was about to give birth and break up the old family dynamic to head into the unknown.

    But it’s been worth it. Oh so worth it.

  15. by Dre

    On June 7, 2012 at 9:41 am

    I am so in love with my first born. She’s a dream child and poster child daddy’s girl – polite, sensitive and lovable. I thought I’d never have anyone else. I invested too much love and emotions on her I didn’t think I can have enough for the next one. But eventually, it was my daughter who made it known to us she wanted to have another sibling. She had this playmate who had a younger brother and she just adores him. So my wife and I thought, why not? We had 2 siblings each in our respective families and we cant imagine a life without them. The decision to whether to have a boy or a girl was easy to make – all 3 of us knew we had to have a boy.

    Like that decision and the rest of them which concerned us as a family, we include our daughter in making choices. She felt she had a responsibility like us and it made her feel important. It also took away any chances of her feeling envious of a new addition in the family.

    As for those emotional investment I mentioned earlier? I got over them. I make sure my boy gets the same love I gave and give my first born. Some people will say it will never be the same but I’m making sure it IS the same. It takes a conscious effort to making it work. And I’m enjoying every minute of it.

    So maybe instead of just deciding between you and your wife, why not include your first born in the thought process? It will turn this difficult concern into one of the easiest one you’ll make.

  16. by Lexi

    On June 7, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    My two cents… it’s true that there is no guarantee of sibling closeness. My parents had me because they didn’t want my sister to be alone later in life. However, she never really got over me being born, and we are very very different people. While we are close, we don’t like or understand one another very well. She lives on the far side of the world and, even since I’ve gotten pregnant, is rarely in touch. So, here I am with aging parents to care for and I’m the one who has to manage everything — albeit with her constant input.

    In spite of my experiences, though, I hope that we have more than one child and here’s why. My husband is an actual only child and now his father is fighting a very difficult and likely fatal cancer diagnosis. And he’s in it all alone – and it’s terrifying. He has to be sole counsel and comfort for his mother. If someone is going to relieve her of hospital/chemo duty, it’s him. I help as much as I can, but I’ll never know his parents as well as he does. Only a sibling could do that. My father, another only child, also speaks about how, with his parents gone, he feels lonely in the world – even with a 45 year marriage to my mom. Nobody else understands or remembers his childhood, etc.

    While my sister has never been there for me, I know she loves my parents as much as I do. I hope my own kids will have the kinds of close and loving relationships other commenters describe — and that hope is what motivates me to plan for a larger family. Because going it alone can be really really hard.

  17. by Ashley

    On June 7, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    One comment mentioned sibling closeness is not a guarantee. And well that’s so true when it actually happens it’s amazing. My three-year-old son will do just about anything for his one-year-old sister and to see that bond between two people start so early it is awe-inspiring. You and you wife know exactly what’s right for you and your family, but don’t discount a bond between two siblings. Wish you the best, what ever the choice!

  18. by Brandy

    On June 7, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    i was an only child and loved it, and i wasn’t “spoiled” either. luckily i grew up around plenty of friends, and never felt alone.
    now that i have an only child, i plan on keeping it that way! hoping he will have the same awesome experience as me.

  19. by Nidzee

    On June 9, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    We have two boys, an almost four year old and a 9 month old baby. Both my husband and I always knew that we wanted two kids and now I would not change a thing. It was really great to have an only ‘one child’ and there are times when I have mourned or felt sad about not having an only child anymore. I loved doing activities with him and taking him to the park etc etc. now with two kids, it’s difficult as you new to prioritize and consider both kids needs. I also worried if I could have the same bond with my second son, although i loved him like crazy at birth.
    But now I know differently. Now that my second son reacts, demands, is more playful and interacts with my older son, I know the same bond is possible with all your children. It’s true that you would need to select, prioritize and choose, when you have more kids, but I think that’s the best life lesson you can give to the children- ‘ that is you need to consider other loved one’s need too’ . It’s a joy to see how much my older son has changed since his little brother’s birth. I can’t be more proud of him sharing his stuff with his brother, comfort him when he cries in the car, or sing to him during tough diaper changes etc etc. their relationship is the best thing to happen to our family( touchwood)

    I know that sibbling closeness is not guaranteed but preparing the child early on before the new sibbling arrives helps a lot. My son had some tough times when the new baby arrived but he was alders warm and lovig towards his sibbling. He only needed some extra attention from us. Still happens.

    Sorry for the long note, but hope it helps you make a decision. Although the first Six months after the new baby is very tough, in the long run its best for the kids and for the family to have at least two kids.

  20. by Kristine

    On June 15, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    “Being a sibling never means being lonely.” That’s simply not true. I’m three years older than my sister and I remember frequently being lonesome. And as adults, we’re not close. Having a sibling doesn’t guarantee anything.

  21. by Crystal

    On June 17, 2012 at 8:19 am

    I would suggest waiting before making a permanent decision. I have two girls who are four years apart. We thought our first hung the moon. It took us a while to decide that we wanted more children. When our second arrived she hung the moon too. My biggest worry was that I would not love a second child the way I did my first. I was worried for nothing. It is a funny thing how the heart opens up and makes room for more.

    You are right. Only you and yours will know what is right for you. Good luck with whatever decision you make.

  22. by April

    On June 18, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    I am a mother of any “only”. My husband and I decided when my daughter was about 4 that she would be an only child.
    We are able to give to our daughter the world, literally. When my daughter was 5, we were given the opportunity to live abroad. We jumped at the opportunity because we love to travel. We have been able to give her opportunities and experiences that would not of been possible if we had more children. People always bring up the issue of loneliness. Everyone is lonely at some point. Really, not all siblings like the same things. So who’s to say that they would even form a deep bond. We all define family differently. It’s important for the child to be surrounded by people who love them. That’s what is important. We have been able to surround our daughter with a network of people who love her. She knows that she is loved. She has a network of people she trusts and she’s will always be there. I could not ask for anything more.

  23. by Nick Shell

    On June 18, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    Thanks April! I really value your input.

  24. by Sarah

    On June 21, 2012 at 8:36 am

    Hi there. I’m new to your blog, and I just had to comment on this post as it hits so close to home for me. I’m a mom of a one-and-only. She’s seven. My husband and I both come from big families and have close relationships with our siblings. But for us, one child feels right and has always felt right. Our discussions on whether or not to have another echoed many of the things you brought up in your post, and the thing I struggled with most was not wanting my daughter to miss out on the support of a sister/brother. But as much as we adore our daughter, we did not have a desire to do the baby phase again, or buy four plane tickets on every vacation, or have to choose between one child’s ballet recital and the other’s spelling bee. For us, a family of three is just right. We are careful to make sure she spends plenty of time with friends and cousins and builds a “kid support network” that works in many ways like sibling relationships. She knows she’s loved and supported and some day she may also appreciated that the college fund has only her name on it. :) Good luck with your decision!

  25. by Candice

    On July 12, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    After reading this blog the one thing I noticed right away is that almost all your reasons for having an only child are about how this affects you and your wife. I really think it is important to really consider how this major decision will affect your son, now and for the rest of his life. I have to say I have considered having just one (I also have a 18 mos old) but when I look at him I think that he deserves the bond of a sibling. I have 2 younger sisters and I have really close great girl friends, but my bond is closer and completely different with my sisters. one more point is that I really don’t think you would ever regret having one more but you could possibly regret not.
    But of course this is you and your wife’s decision and it is a difficult one! Good luck.

  26. by Meredith

    On July 16, 2012 at 8:00 am

    This is a conversation that my husband and I have and we are still expecting our first (due in sept). He’s cool with being done after our son is born but I’m not. He’s the oldest of 5 and they often didn’t have a lot as kids. It also upsets him when his siblings fight with each other so I think he worries about our kids fighting with each other. For me I look at the relationship I have with my sister. We aren’t close, we don’t talk all the time, she’s not my best friend. I love her, I even like her most of the time, but we have never been super close. But she is the reason I believe siblings are important. Because there are certain things in this world that she is the ONLY other person who understands how I feel. Sure our childhood experiences were different and we are different people but there are some things no one else can understand the way she can. I want my kids to have that.

    Ultimately the choice is up to you and your wife. No one else can tell you what is right for you. I just wanted to give my reason for having more than 1.

    Good luck with making this decision.

  27. by John

    On July 27, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    It’s unfortunately that being around too many siblings sometimes (negatively) affects the way women feel about having children of their own. Often stress from childhood spills into decision making in adulthood. If you were to have more children, your wife would definitely have to be ready emotionally and psychologically. Whatever you decide to do in the end, you should consider avoiding invasive surgery to mutilate your genitals.

  28. by Mary

    On July 29, 2012 at 10:12 pm

    My husband and I have a 2 1/2 year old son and we are 100% we are sticking with one. Our reasons are many of the same that you have mentioned, but the main reason is there isn’t a nagging need for another child. Our family feels complete with our son and that’s really all that matters. Sure, I sometimes feel a little strange when I think of my son not having siblings, but that doesn’t mean his life will be any less meaningful. Siblings are not guaranteed friends and loneliness depends on the life you provide to your child. You can provide them interaction with other children and good friends can more than make up for a lack of a sibling. I would suggest that if you only want another child to provide your son with a sibling then you are doing it for the wrong reasons. If you truly want to raise and nurture another child, then go for it. Only you can decide what’s right for your family and I respect anyone who chooses what they really want, not what’s expected of them.

  29. by Melanie Bianchi

    On July 29, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    We have an almost-six-year-old son, a mild-mannered, optimistic child, just a joy. He has triplet cousins his same age, a great blessing, but even though he enjoys visiting them, he’s always glad to be back home to have his daddy and his vast collection of matchbox cars to himself. Ask him if he wants siblings and he shudders at the thought. The downside: having an “only” means the parent becomes the playmate to a sometimes exhausting degree. As your child grows, make sure there are plenty of friends around to avoid hearing “Mommy (or Daddy), play with me!” round the clock.

  30. by Marie

    On July 29, 2012 at 10:52 pm

    “Finally, I would just say that 31 is far too young to make an irreversible choice in this regard.”

    Yes, coming from the woman who needs the world to know the state of her sons’ penises. This article has nothing to do with circumcision and it is just completely bizarre that you would bring it up unprompted. News flash lady, no one cares about your kids’ penises and I am sure they would be mortified to find their mother posting about them online.

    Back to the subject at hand, my husband and I made the decision for one permanent 6 years ago at 25 and 26 and have ZERO regrets. Honestly, it is one of the best decisions either of us have ever made.

  31. by Alex

    On July 30, 2012 at 4:19 am

    I think you should listen to your heart. Do you want to raise another human being? I don’t think it should be based on (1) giving your child a sibling; (2) not wanting your child to be alone when you die; (3) wanting a back-up child if something happens to your first or just the other child; (4) giving your child sibling. Have one because you long to have another child. There is no guarantee in life.

    One of my friends has a brother who was killed in a car accident. Now, it’s just her and her parents. She told me that her parents have never been the same since, and she feels like she lost them when she lost her brother. Thus, just because you have a back-up child doesn’t mean that the devastation of losing a child will somehow go away. It may for some, but it may not for others.

    The death of a parent is going to be emotionally hard. I don’t know why people think they should do things to prevent more pain. “Oh, I’ll have another child so X isn’t alone.” For all you know, child #2 won’t be a doting child and may not care, and child #1 may be taking care of a parent all by him/herself. Or, they are fighting over the inheritance.

    I babysat for a family with a husband and wife and 3 kids. They were in a terrible car accident, and the wife and 3 kids died. So maybe they had at least one of those children for back-up purposes. Where did that get them? That was one of the more painful experiences I have watched someone undergo. I wonder if that was harder than an only child whose parents have died.

    I have plenty of friends who “giving a sibling” has not worked. Two of my friends were molested by their older brothers. My husband’s older sister (his only sibling) boycotted our wedding because I am not the same religion as them. That was in 1998, and they still don’t speak.

    We never know what life with throw at us. I think people should choose having any child because they long to raise a human being and not for any other reason.

  32. by E

    On July 30, 2012 at 9:26 am

    Alex, loved loved loved your response!!

    I am a Mom to a 6 year old boy who is an only child. My husband was the one who decided we were “one & done” and while the journey for me to get to a happy place has been a tough road, I can now say that I am so happy that we only have one. My child completes me, he’s all I need. Good luck with your decision but please do not let society dictate how many children you should/should not have. They’re not the ones raising that child.

  33. by Nick Shell

    On July 30, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    Alex, I think your comment just inspired me to write a sequel to my original post. Thank you. I believe you are a wise man!

  34. by Melissa

    On July 31, 2012 at 6:14 am

    I have a wonderful, smart little girl. She is so perfect, but I can’t imagine doing it all over again. I come from a big family so she has a lot of cousins and aunts and uncles. I feel very very guilty about this, and actually when people ask me if I’m having another, I say maybe. When I say no, people give me this look like “why did you even have a child in the first place”
    Good luck on your decision. I completely agree with all your points. In this day and age I think less is more!

  35. by Bree

    On August 7, 2012 at 11:23 pm

    I am very close with my siblings, as is my husband and we can’t imagine life without them. But we both feel very strongly that us having positive relationships with siblings does not inform whether our son should have a sibling. We are one and done and feel at peace with it because we feel it will increase our quality of life, be a better financial decision, and be better for our marriage. My husband and I both being from divorced families, we want to chose each other and our life together over some currently non existent child. We want our child first and foremost to experience parents who love each other and have time for each other. For us that trumps ideas about siblings. There is no guarantee of sibling closeness, and no guarantee of anything actually. My mother died young showing me we never know how much time we have on this planet. Getting through the stress of another child you may not want for some imagined future in which your children get along and take care of you into your old age may be sacrificing your current happiness with your wife and child for some myth we have all been sold of what families are and what they should be. Enjoy now, and whatever that means to you. And let the answer come to you rather than be told to you. Its always easy to suggest a second child once you have one, because once that child is born you love them. But it is just as valid of a decision to decide to make choices based on the people in your life who already exist.

  36. by Only Children - Page 9

    On August 30, 2012 at 3:52 am

    [...] Only Have One Child Choosing to Have Just One: Dispelling the Myths of the Only Child – ParentMap What If We Only Want To Have One Child? | The Dadabase Mom of One—and Done! Reply With [...]

  37. by Brenda Newsom

    On September 3, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    What a nice article. I want to first of all say that you and your spouse will make the decision that is right for your family. Let me offer my two-cents: I am a proud mother to my one and only son who is 5 years old and just started Kindergarten. My husband and I are just thrilled with him, he completes us, I had a hysterectomy last year at the age of 29 and I have never EVER looked back. We never have really longed to have another child, yes siblings are a blessing but I know of so many siblings that have caused each other a great deal of pain as well as their parents. I agree with the statement that a sibling is not a guarantee for a friend for life. My little man is very secure and knows he is well loved. My husband’s brother lives 6 houses up from us and our nephew is only 7 months older than our son, so they are more like brothers. But even when we are over at their house, my son will come to me after some time and tell me that he is ready to go home. He loves playing with other children but at the end of the day, he loves loves loves having mommy and daddy to himself and having his own bedroom, bathroom and playroom. Also, having one child is the best of both worlds, you know the most amazing love of all and that is that of a child, and you can still go on nice vacations, have time as a couple (my parents beg to keep my son all the time since he is the only grandchild on my side of the family), and you can enjoy a nice, peaceful home as a family of three without all the chaos of fighting children and stressed out, exhausted parents. I work evenings as a nurse and my husband works most mornings as a grocery manager, so I am able to pick my child up from school as well as take him to school, I do get time off during the week and we just love family nights and we are able to go out to eat for just about as cheap as we are to stay home and cook. I pack my son’s lunch and snack bag as I come in from work each night, we love our morning rides to school just him and I and I love picking him up from school and having a nice snack for him and a little chat before I go to work to earn his money as he says. My little man knows he is the center of mine and his daddy’s world and he is such a happy, well-rounded and polite little man. He has been to Disney World twice already and is going a third time in May at the end of school, that is his kindergarten graduation present from mommy and daddy, if we had more than one we couldn’t afford those nice vacations. I have friends with 3 and 4 kids and they are always exhausted with the messes, noise, chaos, never-ending laundry and dishes and always having to stay home because it’s too much and too hectic to get out, not the lifestyle I want, NO THANK YOU. But most of all, go with your instincts, you will never be wrong with that.

  38. by Susan

    On September 10, 2012 at 10:49 am

    We are one and done. Our home is a peaceful place:)I ensure my son has lots of time around kids who have big families. We would love to have another child-but over and above giving our son a sibling we know its better to give him the gift of happily married parents who are in love, have lots of patience and lots of energy. I know with 2 our marriage would be strained. Your heart will tell you the right thing-don’t listen to anyone else. Have two, have one, have six, just listen to yourselves!!!!! This is coming from me-an only child who at age 30 lost both her parents. I thought I would want a garden of children ( or at least 2) but, no thanks. I am too busy enjoying my son and my husband to stop and do it all again!

  39. by Steph

    On October 5, 2012 at 11:53 pm

    I have a 3 year old son right now and have a stepson who is 8. My husband is a truck driver over the road so I’m like a single mom. I do get to stay home with my son which is what I always wanted. I had a hard time getting pregnant and am for the 2nd time. I’m not sure though if this is really what I want. I love my son dearly but it’s stressful being a parent. Yes I think it’s more the desire to be pregnant again and go through the baby stage but that doesn’t last forever. My husband is happy with what we have he also has 2 children and I only have one. His son doesn’t live with us and we only see him about a couple days a month when my husband is home. So mainly the wanting another child is so my son can have a sibling here all the time. I honestly think he needs it. He may do better once in school right now he’s just in a strange stage. I was thinking of just trying some more see what happens if it’s mean to be to have another child. I thought it’s what I wanted. Being a mom is harder then I thought though. I came from a family of 2 children so I thought I want 2. In some ways I do with my stepson and at least my son has some kind of sibling.

  40. by smb0621

    On November 1, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    I was raised as an only child and I have to say I never really felt like I missed out on anything. I really enjoyed the close, intimate relationship I got to develop with my parents and grandparents not only as their child, but also as their friend. I was healthy, sucessful in school, had wonderful friends, had strong self esteem, and am now a well adjusted happily married adult. I say that only to let you know if your desire is to have only one child, then go for it!!

    Some people are called to have lots of children–and good for them!! But some people like my mom (and my grandma too) are blessed with one child–and good for them too! You never know how things will work out, but do whatever you all feel is best! If you’re happy and content with only one child, you’ve got my blessing. I certainly wouldn’t want you having another child out of guilt or the judgements and expectations of others (though I’m sure ultimately you would love that child too), but out of the joy of your heart. So make the decision you think is best for your family and don’t worry about the rest. For every family having 1 or 2 kids, there’s a family having 5, 6, or more! It’s all good! :D

    And don’t sweat the sugery. If you decide to go through it, but then decide you really want another child, there are TONS of kids out there who need a good home. That’s my family strategy right now. If God so allows, we’d like to have one of our own (so we can figure out what we’re doing, lol), then if we decide we want more, we’re thinking adoption may be the way to go! I love adoption. I think it’s so beautiful and is such a testimony of compassion and goodness. So don’t worry! Surgery or no surgery the opportunities to be a parent abound!

  41. by Good Idea

    On January 4, 2013 at 11:31 am

    I loved being an only child, I still do. We are considering making our first an only. Only kids get a bad rap, bad behavior is displayed by members of families of all sizes. “Only child” is just an easy go-to explanation for that bad behavior. Love and fun is all that matters, regardless of family size.

  42. by It Happens

    On January 5, 2013 at 1:47 am

    If you want an only. Have an only.

    I’m an only. My father was an only (adopted). My mother was the oldest of three. She was 13 and her brother was 9 when her sister was born. None of them are particularly close, at all, Despite playing together as children and sharing all those “sibling memories.” Once my grandmother dies they probably won’t see each other anymore.

    My mom and her siblings have all been rather unsuccessful in their lives, even though they had loving and intact parents up until my grandfather died a few years ago, (go figure!). My father has also been unsuccessful in his life (despite intact parents. Loving? I don’t know). I don’t speak to that side of the family anymore.

    Growing up as an only, I missed having siblings to play with but the neighborhoods I grew up in weren’t conducive to playmates which I think would have greatly reduced that “lonely” feeling.

    As an adult my best friends all have siblings (some they are close with and some they’d rather never see again). They are my family and when my mom dies they will be my shoulder to cry on. They were with me for the important times in my life and will continue to be there in the future.

    When my grandfather died, neither of my mom’s siblings really “cried on each other’s shoulder.”

    When I see people say “my children know how to share and that the world doesn’t revolve around them because they have siblings.” I think those statements are very ignorant. My 3.5 year old son (an only) knows about sharing and that he doesn’t get what he wants whenever he wants it. He’s respectful, says please and thank you. Offers to share his toys and treats with just about everyone. I do sometimes wish I had twins so the two could be the same age and play together but other than that I’m not really interested in having another kid.

    Sucks though because I’m not with the father of my son and while my current guy wants to adopt my child he also wanted to have two kids total before he met me. So it puts me in a bind and I feel somewhat obligated to have another child, even though my guy says he’s ok if we don’t.

    Bottom line – if you do your research, only-children generally fare better across the board than their peers who have siblings. Facts are facts. That being said children who have peers don’t fare that much worse than only children. :)

    Good luck with your decision!

  43. by Bethany

    On January 7, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    My husband and I are going through this same situation right now. Maybe its because a nasty stomach virus, that got all three of us, just went through our home. Maybe the anxiety of taking care of my almost two year old son and a new baby is too much to even think about. But when I really think about it, I don’t feel like anything is missing. Right now. I can imagine a little sister for my son, not a guarantee. A “Sissy” for him. But then again, we love him to the moon and back. He has cousins, close to his age, that live close by. Financially we do alright with it just being us three, but could we with one more? My parents struggled while my brother and I grew up. That scares me, which is why at 25 I’m going back to school. But I just don’t know. My family on one side says, its up to you, don’t have more kids unless you’re sure. The other side says my son will have the saddest most depressing childhood imaginable. I guess. I’ll know by the time I’m 30. Or I won’t. But 30 is young, and we will be the happiest of families, with or without one more. Good luck and do what makes your family happy.

  44. by Andrea

    On January 31, 2013 at 7:07 am

    I’m a bit late on the response, but I’m really happy that I’ve been finding supportive only child blogs and articles. I’m currently pregnant with my first and my husband and I are already 95% certain we’ll be a one and done family.

    There’s quite a lot of arguing that children need to have other siblings and there’s nothing like the bond that they will share. For me and my sister, nothing could be farther from the truth. We never got along as children, teens, and as adults, we send messages to each other on Facebook maybe every 3-4 months. It just wasn’t like that for us. My husband is a middle child; having an older and a younger sister. He grew up in a house full of girls and also never felt the bond that is always spouted that siblings have.

    I don’t agree that only children are any more or less spoiled than any other child. This solely relies on how a parent parents their kid. Also, there’s plenty of ways for only children to interact with other children and avoid problems when it comes to socializing.

    Actually, the argument that only-children have problems in social settings gets me really thinking. If it’s said that only-children have problems interacting with their peers, who’s to say that the eldest sibling doesn’t have the same hurdles that only-children have when there’s years between them and their siblings? Case in point, my older sister was an “only” for 5 years before I came along. I also know plenty of people who have larger age gaps between their selves and their own siblings. How are they suddenly any different than an only-child? Quite frankly, there’s not that much. It’s just that they get to avoid the only-child stigma because there are siblings out in the world somewhere.

    Decide what’s best for your family. My husband and I know that we only want one child. It’s difficult to get away from the people that believe that having an only-child is the worst decision to ever make when it comes to your family and there will be many, many people who disagree with our decision. It’s what is right for our family.

  45. by Melissa

    On March 12, 2013 at 10:56 am

    My son is now 13 months old, and I have been feeling like I am content to just have him for awhile now. He is so wonderful and funny, and I love the way our family of 3 works. I think a lot of other people push their own agendas on parents that decide to have 1 child, or who are unable to have any more, that it is somehow an unhealthy thing. Only you and your wife can know what is the best thing for your family

  46. by Ali

    On March 23, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    Thank you so much for this article and thread. I am not yet a mother and I already feel pressure to have more than one child. I found my partner later in life so family and friends were all over me immediately after our wedding to get pregnant. The truth is I want to spend some time just being happily married and frankly after the wedding/honeymoon I just don’t feel financially prepared to start a family. I think it’s very likely my husband and I will decide to have only one child and for this reason I don’t want or feel it’s necessary to rush into parenthood. Special Thanks to Aiex for the comment, I will wait to have a child until I “long to have one” and want to “raise another human being.” I won’t allow societal pressures to cause me to rush into it just to make sure I have enough time to have more than one. Every family is unique and it will be what it will be.

  47. by Shima

    On April 8, 2013 at 12:16 am

    Thank you for the article.. It feels healing when I see there are others who think like me. I have a 15 months son and I even can not imagine to go all over it again.. God I just can’t.. maybe it sounds being selfish but the fact is some people are not born to be parent of many children.. I’m sure with the second child I will be disappointed and exhausted all the time.. Not enough time for my first child.. not enough time for my self or my hubby (although he likes having more than one).. I know I can give my all to my son.. better school.. better everything.. I can have plans for him not to be alone.. there are always friends and cousins there but my only concern is thinking about my son to be alone after our death.. a close friend is OK then but all knows that only a sibling can have the same feelings and relieve the grief to some extent. ooooh I’m really desperate in deciding but still can not imagine to do it all over again…