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Moms of only children or those debating the issue - Page 3

Poll Results: Is it okay to have only one child

  • 87% (95)
  • 4% (5)
  • 7% (8)
    Under some circumstances only
108 Total Votes  
post #41 of 51


I'm an only raising an only. May I say how WONDERFUL it is to read of so many others who feel having an only is OK! (I feel like so many parenting boards out there are jammed with women who would never have just one child.) DH, btw, is the youngest of 4 and is 100% in favor of DD being an only child. He's more for it than me sometimes.
post #42 of 51

Another zero-pop member.

Our pixie is an only and I was an only and my husband is the youngest of four. I had cousins and friends around most of the time. He had four years of lonliness when a kid because his friends had moved away. I love large families, but I do notice that frequently the kids all have their own friends and don't necessarily hang with or pay much attention to the siblings unless the parents make an effort to unite the family. My idea of a large family is a large e x t e n d e d family. I think that is much better than a large nuclear family.

On the specific side, I am definately NOT having another birth, even if it was predicted that the next one would cure cancer and bring world peace. The birth was too traumatic. Husband has gotten a vasectomy. Of course, we may adopt. I have lots of friends who were adopted and while there are special issues about it, I think it is a nice thing. Some of those friends have adopted children, too. But, we wouldn't be adopting to 'give' ours a sibling, we just think it would be a good idea and fun. (For those who think that you need siblings to learn how to share, that could be the best way of learning that lesson.)

Lunamon & others: Yup, I've heard that cruel not to have siblings crap. I generally try to be polite. It is so obviously untrue. It is also no one's business.
post #43 of 51
I come from a family of mixed numbers. I have 2 older step-siblings and 2 younger 1/2 siblings. The older ones are 6 & 9 yrs older than me & the younger are 7 & 9 yrs younger than me. They're also in different families (step sibs are my step-moms, half sibs are my step-dads). This means that I'm the oldest in one family, the youngest in another, in between both and the only from my mom & dad. It also means that for our family, we've achieved zero pop growth from one gen to the next, which I value. I'm not quite an only child, because I have been partially integrated into each family, though it's hard to say that it's ever or always been a complete integration into either. I really do value having siblings and I think to a degree it's a method for learning the value of cooperation and individual responsibility, though certainly not the only method. Having siblings can also cause a lot of tension, but it seems to be that being in the same room with another person can be tense.

I've been debating whether to have other children a good deal. Sometimes I hear of people spacing their children fairly closely together (2 years or less), and I think I definitely DO NOT want that. My son is great and I think that it's fabulous that it's just the three of us for now. I know that because I grew up with a lot of people and my extended family is large, that I really love having a busy house - people always talking, making noise, activity everywhere - but I know that this can be had in other ways that are not so constant (having lots of close friends & doing things with them). This debate has not made me feel any more strongly about having more than one or not, but it's peaked the debate in my head a bit.

DH put it this way - we've bitten off a chunk & we're chewing it, that doesn't mean that we need to hurry up & bite off another just 'cause it's going okay.
post #44 of 51
Well, I have a brother who is 2 years older. And although we get along now, we walk on tiptoe and don't talk about anything important. We fought like cats and dogs growing up. He hated me and never missed an opportunity to let me know that I was ugly and stupid. Consequently, his approval became the approval that I sought - my parents couldn't give me enough because I felt that if I didn't get love from my brother, Iwas not love-worthy.

As a consequence, I only want one. My brother now has 4 kids, but he purposely spaced them 4 years apart so that they wouldn't be in high school at the same time - I guess he only remembers the fights during that time, but it started WAY before that. And I am happy to report that, for the most part, his kids seem to care about each other and get along great. I've seen a couple things I didn't like, but not a lot.

I think my parents were largely at fault for our relationship - but I also honestly think that they did the best they could with what they knew and they honestly didn't know what to do. (I remember my dad pulling me aside when my brother had made me cry and saying "I saw that honey and Iwish I knew what to do about it." It comforted me at the time but now it makes me go "SO WHY DIDN'T YOU TRY SOME STUFF???" lol)

Anyway, when my mother died my brother came out at her memorial with all these negative memories of her. So, he has never been a comfort to me about that - I loved my mom dearly and it seems like we had very different relationships with her.

My husband has 3 sisters and they all get along pretty well at least now. He also is happy to just have 1, though he doesn't feel that way as a result of his sibs - I think it's just what he thinks he can emotionally handle and be a good parent. That's how I feel about it, too, ultimately.

I am NOT worried about the 'giving him/her a sibling" thing. Personally, I think that's wierd - like a sib is a pet or something. My hubby has a HUGE family & extended family in the area and baby bean will have a billion cousins to play with!

Margo & Bean, due 12/16
post #45 of 51
havent read all the posts, but wanted to put my two cents in..... i am an only child and although i admit i never wished for a sibling as a child, i would love to have some now. i am close to my parents, but my family is so small. family gatherings consist of me, dh, ds, my parents and my grandma. personally, i would love to have at least 3 kids, however, i don't think there's anything wrong with having only one child. just think of all that undivided attention your dd will get.
post #46 of 51
I belong to the "Maybe One" environmental group. With current overpopulation and taxing of the natural resources, more and more people are choosing to remain child free (a less judgemental term than childless), or opting to have only one child.

We have a beautiful 2 year old daughter and if I think she needs a sibling, we will simply adopt a child who is unwanted, unloved and possibly from a less developed country, rather than have another baby. It will most probably be a girl since they suffer more (sexual slavery and such) than the boys, but that's not to say we wouldn't fall in love with a little boy along the way. Either way, I hope to breastfeed an adopted child also.

Another option is to live with another family with just one child (cousin, sister, etc), so they feel like siblings. The whole American concepts of nuclear families don't make sense to me. Many immigrants feel shame at having two or more generations under the same roof. The way I see it is that those too old to work take care of those too young to work (archeologists say that is why women live longer and do bot menstruate their whole lives - the grandmother factor makes childrearing easier).

Our current living situation is with the hubby's parents. If not for them we would both be working minimum wage jobs and paying almost our entire salaries on day care. Living here allows us to go back and finish college (I am done in May, hubby in Dec) and get better paying jobs.

After we get on our feet, I plan on helping my cousin and her family to move here from Romania. That will mean they will live with us for a year or two until they get on their feet (paying it forward). This will let her child and mine feel like they have a brother/sister and get it out of their systems.

I truly believe that the desire for a sibling peeters out at 10 to 14 and at that point they think the sibling is too annoying. My cousins are 7 years appart, the only reason my aunt got pregnant again was because her daughter begged for a little brother. At 14 she was like WHY had I ever asked for this little pain?
post #47 of 51
Just want to say that I debated and debated this issue in my mind. Now we have two kids--five years apart. The spacing is perfect for us and we're so happy we have them both!
post #48 of 51
I think if you are done, you will know it in your heart, or if you want more you will also know when the right time is to start trying again. Just keep listening to your heart and try not to think about it so much with your brain. :-) Good luck!

edited to add: I am a virtual only child after my handicapped brother was killed when I was 9, he was 6. I did not miss the sibling thing so much growing up except when I was having hard times, I wished I could have shared the burden with someone. As an adult I sometimes get envious of the close adult relationships people have with their siblings-- but then I have some really good girlfriends and they are like the sisters I never had.

post #49 of 51


I read a great quote once:

"Only have as many children as you can give your energy to"

Not the "cleaning house" kind of energy, but the attention and awareness kind. Some mothers have a huge capacity for children and some mothers don't, so don't listen to that crap about spoiling a child by having just one. Only have as many as you CAN.

My mother had 5 of us, over 20 years, and it makes me sad to look at how she is raising the youngest 2. They are depressed, rebellious, and out-of-control b/c mom is sapped and tired of raising kids. She just ignores them and says, "the rest of you turned out fine and they will too." What a horrible way to raise kids. They have food and water but no mother.

Who defines "turning out fine" ???????????
post #50 of 51
I agree with you!

I have four siblings and we are all soooo different from eachother. Though I love them with my whole heart, I doubt I would know them as friends if they werent related to me. And we are very close now.

I have best girlfriends who are truly sisters to me and think that is one of the greatest gifts we give ourselves.

I guess Im one of those mothers who only has energy for one. I want to do my best and I do.........one at a time.

I also believe you know in your heart when youre done, just like any life decision.

mom of 2 onlys
post #51 of 51

depends on the parents

I am an only child and my dh has 3 brothers. Both of our experiences have been, let's just say good lessons on what not to do with our own children.
If you are the kind of parent who respects, accepts, and celebrate's a child's individuality, then either way you're going to have success.
Playing favorites is a personal failing of many parents. It's human, but so preventible.
If you are going to have just one, I think it is important assure the child that you are a family of 3, not 2 adults with child. Does that make sense? An only child needs to feel just as important as the parents. An only child needs a sense of accountability, of power, of worth. An only child never needs to hear that she is spoiled.
I decided to give my son a sibling, because I would like more family to love.
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