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#1 of 30 Old 03-08-2010, 03:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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What's wrong with only wanting/having one child?

DD is 8 months old and I do not feel the need to have another child... now or ever. Maybe that feeling will change? DH and I have talked about it a lot, and he's happy with just one child as well. He wouldn't mind another baby in 4-5 years, but if it didn't happen he said he's content with our DD.

I really don't think I want another baby. DD is so high needs and demanding that even the smallest chance of getting another HNs baby completely turns me off and scares me.

I love being able to completely focus on my daughter. I love not having to divide my attention. What is so wrong with that?

People have started to ask when we are going to have a second child. We've gotten some very negative comments about how onlies are spoiled rotten and you should always have at least two children. My dad even went so far once as to lecture me on why I needed another child. I told him he couldn't tell me what to do with my uterus.

Why is it such a negative thing to have only one child?

A tired mommy to DD (7/09) and loving wife to DH (08/06)
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#2 of 30 Old 03-08-2010, 03:10 PM
 
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It's a matter of personal opinion.

I was an only until I was 17, when my mom and stepdad adopted, so really I feel like I was an only child. I hated it. I have some friends who hated having siblings. I personally want a larger family, but will probably not be blessed with as many as I dream of, as it takes us 2+ years to conceive. (Six years the first time, two the second)

There are a lot of arguments both for and against onlies. I had a very lonely childhood, and always felt a sibling would have made life more bearable. But I have a lot of special circumstances (abuse, very cruel peers, etc.) Now I wish I had a sibling closer in age because I would have someone to commiserate with. LOL.

We also have our faith that plays a huge roll in family planning. Everyone is different. And I don't think you need to make up your mind now!

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#3 of 30 Old 03-08-2010, 04:07 PM
 
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There is absolutely nothing wrong with one and done. We have a tribe here somewhere for mama's of onlies, try running a search. Found it.

I have one 3.5 yo dd and she will be my only child, barring some strange act of nature. DH has has vasectomy 2 years ago. For the longest time, I wasn't sure I wanted ANY children. Then I decided I wanted ONE. For us there are so many reasons why, only one of which is population growth. I am the happiest I can be and I love my life.

Try reading that thread and see if it makes you feel any better. There are more of us.

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#4 of 30 Old 03-08-2010, 04:20 PM
 
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There's absolutely nothing wrong with it. I'm 42 and DP is 39 so our first son (now 6 weeks) is probably going to be our only. Even that wasn't planned, though he's definitely in the "happy surprise" category :-)

My father has said he thought it would be great if we had another baby. He'd like a granddaughter as well I think ... "collect 'em all!" :-p In some ways I don't blame him: on one hand I'm an only child myself so there won't be any more grandchildren unless I do something about it. On the other hand, I'm an only child myself ...

Having a small family could be seen as being more responsible. You're not contributing to overpopulation and you're more likely to be living within your means. I don't personally think there's anything inherently wrong with larger families either, but it's a good counter argument to anyone who seems insistent you should have more.

"I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead and some come from behind. But I've bought a big bat. I'm all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!" - Dr. Seuss
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#5 of 30 Old 03-08-2010, 04:29 PM
 
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As a matter of personal character or choice, there's nothing wrong with it.

People comment on it for the same reason they say stupid things about any number or arrangement of children in a family. Many folks just tend to run at the mouth.

I have personal and religious reasons that would direct me away from intentionally stopping at one, so there would be something wrong with it for me. But your family is your business.

I just can't imagine approaching a stranger with a baby and saying "So when are you having the next?" It seems so intrusive and odd. What if the woman had just had a miscarriage, or was experiencing infertility? Even if it was just her choice, why would I want to be an annoying nosey parker?
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#6 of 30 Old 03-08-2010, 05:36 PM
 
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Well, I think that the negative views on onlies will gradually decrease in time because more people than ever are having onlies. When it becomes commonplace, as opposed to the exception, the negative perceptions on onlies will die with every other old wives tale. Think of it...we're coming off centuries if not thousands of years where the expectation was that you had as many children as you could, or at least tried. Those norms were deeply ingrained and "only" children have long been perceived as an oddity. Parents were pitied for being infertile and the children took on the negative and most likely undeserved role of being "spoiled" and "self-centered."

DH and I have not gotten any outright negative comments about having one child, but I've had total strangers ask me on the subway or bus if DD was an only. While it may be genuine curiosity (and believe me, I like to give people wide latitude), I don't understand the relevance of the question. Does it matter in the big picture? As I approach age 47, I've been pondering whether or not to start de-graying my hair. But then again, I'd sort of like to keep my grays, so that when someone asks me if I'm working on another child, I can say: "No, sorry, I've got more grays than eggs these days."

That being said, don't let your relations, friends and the occassional stranger get you down. Raising an only has a whole different set of challenges and the first hurdle is to recognize that you are doing what is right for your family.

"Lawyers, I suppose, were children once." Charles Lamb.
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#7 of 30 Old 03-08-2010, 05:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by cappuccinosmom View Post
People comment on it for the same reason they say stupid things about any number or arrangement of children in a family. Many folks just tend to run at the mouth.
This.
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#8 of 30 Old 03-08-2010, 05:53 PM
 
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Onlies are judged a lot, but so are families who are larger, or who have two same-sex siblings and don't want to try for a third, so are families of three who don't have an even number, so are families with twins and mulitples. It seems our society, strangely, judges family size big or small.

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#9 of 30 Old 03-09-2010, 12:24 AM
 
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My DD is two, and people (mostly family) have begun to comment on when we plan to have another. Honestly, we really aren't planning on any more kids, and we say as much. It always really surprises people. Though no one has said anything negative. Some do say that we'll change our minds eventually. I just shrug it off.

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#10 of 30 Old 03-09-2010, 12:44 AM
 
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My dd is seven and I am very very happy that she is my only child. I always felt that I only wanted one child, and when lately that feeling is really reinforced when I see what people have to live through just to go out in public. My dd is basically so peaceful and mature now that I wouldn't even consider disturbing our peace with another child. I still get comments about finding the right man and starting a new family sometimes. I find that the comments stop when I say that dd is perfect and I feel no need to have any more children because I got it right the first time. I used to say something about how each family is different, but I got really tired of people with more than one kid telling me that my family wasn't right.
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#11 of 30 Old 03-09-2010, 10:30 AM
 
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I don't think there is anything "wrong" with having only one child at all. I know, that for me, with a MUCH older sibling I felt like an only child and it was hard. I desperately wanted a sibling to grow up with. I wanted my children close in age and I plan on having one more so they have some camaraderie. In no way do I think siblinghood ensures closeness, but I was always envious of my friends with sisters and brothers. Just my experience. My best friend was an only child and I think she was pretty happy and stimulated growing up, but the only thing I noticed was that her parents put a LOT of pressure on her. She had to be EVERYTHING. kwim? And now, her father has passed away and she has 100% of the pressure to see to her mother's happiness, it's stressful for her and she has admitted that she wished she had a sister/brother with whom she could rely on for the care of her mother. (now, I don't know if this is simply her perception or that's just how her parents were, in no way do I think this would be the case with all single children!! I think my parents were really pretty relaxed with me re: expectations, etc. )
So, even though my brother and I are far apart in age, he is still my brother and we are closer now and I know we can rely on eachother to care for my parents and now that we both have children, it gives us more to bond over.

And I agree, people make comments no matter what size family you have. Having a boy and a girl, I've had SO many of those "oh, you're done!" comments. And we're not, and we can afford more children without any financial strain on us, so I don't think it would be irresponsible for us to have more.

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#12 of 30 Old 03-09-2010, 10:38 AM
 
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Nothing wrong with it at all As a matter of fact, I think one child is just perfect! People seem to feel a need to judge anything that's out of the ordinary- I think it's normal for us all to look at people who've made different decisions from us, and to sort of re-evaluate our own decisions. I feel like I've gotten some honestly curious questions about our choice to have one child, as well as some defensive attacks. The only part that really bothers me is how much my dd (4yo) is exposed to the expectation that kids should have siblings. It really, really makes me angry that she has already ansorbed this notion of a "family" consisting of brothers and sisters-- I'm making a conscious effort to find more books, movies, and friends that reinforce the fact that our small family is just as complete, just as loving, and just as valid as larger families.
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#13 of 30 Old 03-09-2010, 10:44 AM
 
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We get nosy questions and comments sometimes too. Usually, I say something like, Oh no! Three is perfect for our family" and smile. Although the other day, I got a nasty comment and almost repeated a line I read in the newspaper recently (No, more kids for us. We got it right the first time!), but of course I didn't say it.

I'm not worried about my DD being spoiled or lonely. We are careful not to over indulge her and she has several cousins and playmates. As she gets older, she'll become more involved in activities and will make friends. We also foster an appreciation of "alone time" so I don't think she'll see being alone as lonely when she is older.

We also love being able to devote a lot of our time to her and, financially speaking, we will be able to pay for her education and (hopefully) things like a downpayment on her first house, etc. More importantly, our family is whole now. We are very careful with our bc, because we feel another child will upset the balance.
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#14 of 30 Old 03-09-2010, 10:45 AM
 
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Even when DS was a baby, I said I didn't want anymore children. I would get bugged about it, and people would tell me I'd change my mind in a few years. Well, he just turned 4, and I still don't want anymore children. I'm just happy with the way our life is. I do think about DS not having siblings sometimes, and I hope that doesn't leave him lonely or resentful as he grows up. He never asks for a brother or sister, and when people ask him if he wants one, he says, "No, of course not."
People have stopped bugging me about having more. I think they realized that I was serious when I said I didn't want more.
The thing is, though, I'm still giving myself a chance to change my mind. I keep considering getting the Essure procedure done, but I just don't want to do it yet. I'm about to turn 34, so I do still have plenty of time to have another child. Even though I still don't want another one, I just can't make it final yet.

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#15 of 30 Old 03-09-2010, 10:52 AM
 
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People used to ask me too, and i used to say "well XP and i just broke up so...." and they would shut up.

I'm not going to have an only of course (i'm due in June) but it's really none of anyone else's business how many kids you have. Onlies are criticized, 2 siblings the same sex get "don't you want to try again for a girl/boy?" 3 or more kids get "oh, you're crazy! it's like a HERD!". If you don't have ANY kids you get "don't you want to have kids?" over and over.... There is NO perfect number of children to have which doesn't draw weird negativity from some nosy parker.
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#16 of 30 Old 03-09-2010, 11:08 AM
 
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I have one. He's 7 now and life is easy, peaceful, and calm. For various reasons, DH and I put off having another and now it's looking less and less likely we'll have that second kid. Although I get a bit nostalgic now that DS is such a "big" boy, the thought of returning to those exhausting, draining, all-consuming baby/toddler years is just so not appealing.

As other have said, you can't please all the people all the time. Basically, unless you have the "perfect" one boy, one girl combi, *someone* will say *something* -- "you can't have any only." "isn't three (or more) too many?" "aren't you going to try for a boy/girl." You just can't win unless you have one boy and one girl and that's it . .. actually, maybe not even then!

Do what's right for you and your family and let the rest roll off your back.
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#17 of 30 Old 03-09-2010, 11:27 AM
 
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Each family is different.

It's all about doing what's right for YOUR family.
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#18 of 30 Old 03-09-2010, 11:36 AM
 
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We have always been on the fence about a second. My first was very very high needs. It was hard. She cried, she threw up, she never slept. Just very hard. I love her, I ADORE her but I don't know if I can go through that first year again. She's also had some health issues lately that make me think she needs all my resources and it's just not practical to have another. And I'm 37. So lots of reasons that we probably won't have another and even though, as I said, we were kind of hedging anyway, it still makes me a little sad sometimes.

We watched The Office last week where Pam has her baby. For the first half, I just kind of cried all the way through because it seems so final - having that possibility pretty much come to an end for us. THEN the baby starts crying and they're trying to swaddle her and get her quiet and you can see the panic and they're arguing with each other and I thought oh yeah, reality!
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#19 of 30 Old 03-09-2010, 11:49 AM
 
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I was an only and I thought it was great. I was actually quite surprised when I was an adult and figured out that being an only was supposed to be bad. I thought everybody would have wanted to be an only. It seemed to me that people didn't like their siblings (a complicated factor that I haven't figured out yet anyway).

MIL was an only child and hated it. Like a PP she said she felt very lonely. I believe that had everything to do with the parents. Her father was a bit abusive and certainly cold. Her mother was warmer to her but always sided with her father so she really was alone, no-one in her corner at all. I didn't grow up that way at all, I had both of my parents and they were on my side, interested in me, involved with me.

So my point is that it's valid that some onlies felt alone, but I believe it's not because they were onlies per se, but because they were onlies in a house where nobody was engaged with them. (I think that in some houses even with siblings a person can feel alone, if the siblings don't align together either).

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#20 of 30 Old 03-09-2010, 12:50 PM
 
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there is nothing at all with it, nothing. we have alot of kids, some have 1 some people choose to have none. it really is up to the family, because you all know what you want.

h

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#21 of 30 Old 03-09-2010, 12:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by cappuccinosmom View Post
People comment on it for the same reason they say stupid things about any number or arrangement of children in a family. Many folks just tend to run at the mouth.


I have one DD and one DS and people comment all the time.. I get comments that assume that we're DONE because we have a "perfect" family. Uhm, not true at all. We plan on having 3-4 kids, but our society says that 2 is perfect (especially one boy and one girl) and that we should STOP! Do what works for your family and ignore comments, people simply blab too much.

Abra, Married to George, Mother to DS 12/03 & DD1 08/09 & DD2 12/11.  We are planning our next adventure to South America in April 2014!
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#22 of 30 Old 03-09-2010, 02:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I was an only and I thought it was great. I was actually quite surprised when I was an adult and figured out that being an only was supposed to be bad. I thought everybody would have wanted to be an only. It seemed to me that people didn't like their siblings (a complicated factor that I haven't figured out yet anyway).

MIL was an only child and hated it. Like a PP she said she felt very lonely. I believe that had everything to do with the parents. Her father was a bit abusive and certainly cold. Her mother was warmer to her but always sided with her father so she really was alone, no-one in her corner at all. I didn't grow up that way at all, I had both of my parents and they were on my side, interested in me, involved with me.

So my point is that it's valid that some onlies felt alone, but I believe it's not because they were onlies per se, but because they were onlies in a house where nobody was engaged with them. (I think that in some houses even with siblings a person can feel alone, if the siblings don't align together either).
Thank you for this post! My biggest fear is that my daughter will grow up lonely. It's a relief to know that onlies don't have to be lonely just because they have no siblings.

A tired mommy to DD (7/09) and loving wife to DH (08/06)
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#23 of 30 Old 03-09-2010, 02:17 PM
 
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I'm not an only child, but my mom and all of my grandparents are. We are a family of only children. There are a lot of benefits to having just one. For the child there are more resources, financially and emotionally, and the parents have more freedom to do what they want, and have a lot of opportunity to give back to society.

Wife to amazing dh, mama to dd 12/08
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#24 of 30 Old 03-09-2010, 05:01 PM
 
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We had another when our ds1 was almost 4... Still question my decision to have another but wouldn't trade ds2 in for anything.

Ignore peoples comments and do what is right for your family, you gotta live your life to make yourself happy.
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#25 of 30 Old 03-09-2010, 09:26 PM
 
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I was happy with just ds1. It was a scary birth- they weren't entirely sure I'd live- so I got very few comments about having a second one.
I did have the thought that I might want to adopt one day, but there was NOT going to be another baby coming from THIS body.
I was happy focusing on ds, I never really felt the need to have another baby. I'm not a huge baby person anyway. Ds1 was 4 before I had even the teeniest thought of "maybe it wouldn't be so awful" to have another one. But still no desire to actually do it.
And yeah, ds1 was a very high needs baby.

Note that I mentioned "ds1". Yep, nature had different plans, and ds2 was a pleasant surprise. (he's totally not high needs, ftr).

Just wanted to say that wanting to stay with just one seems totally normal to me. Nothing wrong with it at all! There are advantages to both ways.

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#26 of 30 Old 03-09-2010, 09:42 PM
 
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#27 of 30 Old 03-09-2010, 11:41 PM
 
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I'm a firm believer in every baby a wanted baby. I don't think anyone should have a child because they feel the are supposed to. However there are advantages to having siblings that I'd like to point out.

As adults siblings can lean on each other for the tough stuff that friends would eventually have to back away from. Case in point: my Uncle recently had a stroke and was left paralyzed my mother drives 2 hours several times a week to do physical therapy with him, to advocate for him, and to help my aunt learn to take care of the everyday stuff she never dealt with before. It exhausts and saddens her but it's family.

Sometimes it's nice to have another adult willing to be there for you who knows you and your family.
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#28 of 30 Old 03-10-2010, 01:32 AM
 
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I really don't know why there is such negativity toward onlies. My dd will probably be an only - 99% chance. I don't know where the evidence is that they are spoiled rotten. In fact, I've heard that they actually have higher self-esteems than their sibling blessed counterparts. WHo knows.

What is best for you is just that, best for you. I hate when I feel pressured to explain why we have chosen to have only one. Part of it isn't really a choice, considering my dh's and my medical history.

Anyway, enjoy your precious baby and try your best to blow it off. You'll make peace with it eventually... I'm almost there myself.

Best to be happy with one then miserable with two or more if you feel it's not for you.
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#29 of 30 Old 03-10-2010, 01:40 AM
 
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I was an only and I thought it was great. I was actually quite surprised when I was an adult and figured out that being an only was supposed to be bad. I thought everybody would have wanted to be an only. It seemed to me that people didn't like their siblings (a complicated factor that I haven't figured out yet anyway).

MIL was an only child and hated it. Like a PP she said she felt very lonely. I believe that had everything to do with the parents. Her father was a bit abusive and certainly cold. Her mother was warmer to her but always sided with her father so she really was alone, no-one in her corner at all. I didn't grow up that way at all, I had both of my parents and they were on my side, interested in me, involved with me.

So my point is that it's valid that some onlies felt alone, but I believe it's not because they were onlies per se, but because they were onlies in a house where nobody was engaged with them. (I think that in some houses even with siblings a person can feel alone, if the siblings don't align together either).
I had a brother and still felt lonely. He did make things soooo much better, but the bottom line is, my parents "made" me feel that way...like I coudn't count on them for emotional kind of problems. I promised myself my dd would never have to feel isolated like that, whether she has siblings or not. So much depends on the home environment.
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#30 of 30 Old 03-10-2010, 01:43 AM
 
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i think honestly people will have issues with whatever choice you make, want to have one, or want to have 10. it doesn't matter, everyone seems to have an opinion on how many children is the correct number... you have just got to do what is right for your family, and then blow those people a big raspberry. lol

h

mama to 6 amazing children joy.gif married to my main man for 21 years love.gif and finally home FULL time dishes.gifhang.gifknit.gif

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