What was your deciding factor in stopping after one child? - Mothering Forums

What was your deciding factor in stopping after one child?

View Poll Results: What was the main reason you decided to stop at one child?
1. Finances 3 13.64%
2. Age (yours or your partner's) 0 0%
3. Timing was wrong 1 4.55%
4. Never wanted more than one child 5 22.73%
5. Other (please explain in a comment!) 13 59.09%
Voters: 22. You may not vote on this poll
mrs.t's Avatar mrs.t (TS)
07:43 PM Liked: 13
#1 of 23
07-24-2012 | Posts: 396
Joined: May 2010

I have a 27 month old DS. I always imagined having 2 children, but now I'm not so sure. DS was colicky as an infant, which was extremely difficult for me. He is such a pleasure to be around now, I don't know if I can handle the infant stage again. Also, financially we aren't really prepared for #2 right now, and I am heading back to work in september (I work in a school) for various reasons. I kind of imagined a 2-3 year age difference, but that doesn't seem possible. I'm also 33, and DH is 43. I don't know how many years I would want to put it off, and again, there is the whole feeling of starting over with a newborn. I have had numerous discussions with my DH who is basically feeling the same way. He said that he would be open to another child but was not ready to actively try for one. I also feel like we are a really awesome family as we are. I know adding another child would change that (not necessarily in a bad way!) but I feel like I'm not ready to give up our family of 3 right now. DS is so bright and inquisitive and loves all the attention he gets.


So my question is, what was the biggest reason that really swayed your decision? Finances? Timing? Age? Do you feel ok with you child growing up without siblings? I have a stepdaughter, but she's 22, so she is like a third parent to DS as opposed to a sibling.


I often think that maybe we should just not try/not avoid and see if it's meant to be. DH thinks that I would end up getting pregnant immediately if we did that, so he's not really into that idea.


Basically, I'm trying to see if any of your reasons spark a decision for me.

One_Girl's Avatar One_Girl
09:35 PM Liked: 2767
#2 of 23
07-24-2012 | Posts: 4,668
Joined: Feb 2008
I always wanted only one child and I felt complete after having my dd. I also hated pregnancy, still never want to nurse another child again (though i was happy to nurse dd), and though i love each stage my dd has gone through and cherish those times i have absolutely no desire to go through those stages again. I was 21 when I had her, 24 when I had my tubes tied, and now at 31 I have no regrets.
CatsCradle's Avatar CatsCradle
10:28 AM Liked: 611
#3 of 23
07-25-2012 | Posts: 1,945
Joined: May 2007

I voted "other" because it was a combination of factors.  The biggest factor was age (I was 42 when I had DD and DH was 58). 


Overall, though, DH and I are quite happy with our "only."  I guess we just can't imagine our family unit in any other way.  We just feel complete like this.  So I guess while age played a big part, the feeling of completeness was huge.  Plus, I just don't have any burning desire to be pregnant again.  Maybe that's a hormonal thing, I don't know.

pek64's Avatar pek64
10:40 AM Liked: 2091
#4 of 23
07-25-2012 | Posts: 2,500
Joined: Apr 2012
I voted other because it was clear after having a baby that my husband really didn't want to be a father, and I was not going to get any kind of help or support from any source. It seemed foolish to bring another child into that difficult situation. Eventually, my desire to have more children faded.
onlyzombiecat's Avatar onlyzombiecat
12:42 PM Liked: 190
#5 of 23
07-25-2012 | Posts: 7,237
Joined: Aug 2004


We had a lot of reasons but basically it boiled down to feeling that we did not have more to give another child...recognizing our limits financially, emotionally and physically.


Firstly, we did not plan to have a baby when we did. We had very little time alone together as a couple before dd came along. We were somewhat younger parents so you could say age was a factor in that we had things we wanted to do besides parenting. It was hard on our relationship when dd was a baby in a way that maybe it wouldn't have been if we were older or more established as a couple.

Secondly, dd has always been a frustrating, tiring, sensitive person. She has always been a lot to handle. She had sleep issues for years that would've made it difficult to care for other children as well. I didn't particularly want to be pregnant and go through child birth again.

Thirdly, as we were just starting out and younger we were not very stable financially when dd was small. We did not have insurance for everyone in our household for many years. We had a strong desire to live within our means- not relying on credit cards, public assistance, or relatives- and would have had a hard time with more children to provide for.


Dd is 12 now and we have never regretted limiting our family size. I really enjoy the freedom and interaction we have with an older child.  I don't have any desire to relive the younger years at all. If we added another child to our family I think it would be nice if they were 6-10 years old.

nextcommercial's Avatar nextcommercial
02:26 PM Liked: 186
#6 of 23
07-25-2012 | Posts: 4,449
Joined: Nov 2005

Other.  My ex didn't stick around long enough.  Then, I didn't really want to meet anybody else because I got too wrapped up in parenting.  When I was ready to date again, she was nine..then by the time I met MR Right, she was 11, and I had absolutely zero interest in having another baby, or doing the whole school age thing again.  

fairejour's Avatar fairejour
10:42 AM Liked: 47
#7 of 23
07-28-2012 | Posts: 915
Joined: Apr 2004

My daughter's birth nearly killed both of us, and while it is impossible that the same circumstances would reoccur, it showed us how quickly things can go bad, so the idea of going through another birth began to come into question. 


That horrendous birth was followed by a long and stressful NICU stay that showed us how much we loved our little one, but how complicated life is, especially when facing the possibility of a severely handicapped child.


We finally got our little girl home and she had tons of medical needs capped off with an extra long case of colic and inability to latch for breastfeeding (I exclusively pumped for 13 months.)


As soon as all that settles down, we discover that our girl is deaf, and immediately set out to change our home and lives to accommodate a child whose first language is sign language. W realize that if we have anymore children they will surely have normal hearing, and be able to hear and speak, thus making our first an outcast who is unable to communicate with the rest of her family. We are now sure that we will not have more children.


We end up having to move to get a better education for our girl, we are very glad that we don't have to consider other children and their needs.

nyssaneala's Avatar nyssaneala
11:05 AM Liked: 374
#8 of 23
07-28-2012 | Posts: 344
Joined: Mar 2007
Originally Posted by onlyzombiecat View Post


We had a lot of reasons but basically it boiled down to feeling that we did not have more to give another child...recognizing our limits financially, emotionally and physically.



That is a great way to say how I feel as well.


I voted other, and it was a lot of different reasons combined together. One was finances. We are financially secure now, but when DD was born hubby was working 80-100 hour weeks on a very small income. I couldn't fathom having another child while we were in that phase of our life (he had just graduated from medical school and was in his second of 5 years of residency when DD was born).


We have just become very happy with where our family is at now (DD is 4), and have never had the desire to add to it. I also had a very, long, very difficult natural labor that ended in an emergency c-section. As hard as it is to admit to myself, I'm pretty sure that has something to do with it as well. Especially since it came as a complete surprise, following the easiest pregnancy I could ever have imagined, and the first 20 hours of labor were difficult, but with zero signs of complications.


We might change our minds in the future, we haven't completely closed the door on more kids, but I don't see it happening anytime soon.

mrs.t's Avatar mrs.t (TS)
01:53 PM Liked: 13
#9 of 23
07-28-2012 | Posts: 396
Joined: May 2010

Thank you everyone for the replies. I must admit, I also have more of a fear than most would about the possibility of something going wrong. My brother is profoundly mentally retarded and physically disabled as well, and knowing the kind of childhood I had, I would not want to subject my DS to the same. While having a sibling with disabilities has been both positive and negative, it is not something I would chose. I always have that nagging fear about a second child, you just never know.

meemee's Avatar meemee
05:45 PM Liked: 1878
#10 of 23
07-31-2012 | Posts: 12,623
Joined: Mar 2005

life did it for me. 


dd and i both wanted a large family. 


but after exh and i broke up i never met anyone to have a baby with and then i aged out, so i had to be happy with one. 


doesnt mean i still dont have the twinge. esp. when i hold my friends babies. 

kparker's Avatar kparker
11:20 PM Liked: 44
#11 of 23
07-31-2012 | Posts: 897
Joined: Sep 2008

Okay, so I might be jumping the gun as I'm still pregnant with my first, but we're pretty certain we're stopping at one. With the age gap we would prefer between kids, I'll be 31+. He'll be 38+. It took us 3.5 years, tons of medical intervention, and way too much money (though in the grand scheme, not as much as some people have to spend) to even be pregnant now. Neither of us can imagine spending that amount, or more if it takes longer for #2, when we could be putting it towards caring for #1. I always wanted two or three but pregnancy has been rough in the joints department and I am not sure I could withstand this pain a second time. Maybe we'll adopt if we really want a second and have the funds for it!

TSomm's Avatar TSomm
05:39 PM Liked: 14
#12 of 23
08-04-2012 | Posts: 325
Joined: Jun 2009

I can't handle infants.  My DD cried most of her waking hours, didn't sleep in long stretches, and I had little help from family or friends.  It didn't get better until well after 1 year.  It was a dark, dark time for me and now that I'm out of it I'm scared to go back.

DariusMom's Avatar DariusMom
02:40 AM Liked: 75
#13 of 23
08-06-2012 | Posts: 2,276
Joined: May 2005

I voted "timing was wrong" which, I suppose, encompasses all sorts of factors.


DS was unplanned and I had always been on the fence about whether I wanted children at all. I never felt the need for more children, though I suppose I sort of assumed we'd have another one after DS. However, I had also just started working on my PhD, DH was working long hours at his job with a long commute and little flexibility, quality daycare was extremely expensive (taking up most of my salary), and DH and I were already having problems in our marriage that having a very young child exacerbated. An undiagnosed tongue-tie made breast-feeding almost impossible and pumping was a horrible experience. Moreover, I'm not a "baby person" and, although I adored DS from the minute he was born, I didn't really felt like I got myself back, mentally and physically, till he was almost four.


We love DS with all our hearts and have bandied about the idea of another child over the years. But now that he is 9.5 and I'm 41, I don't think 1) I'd be able to have another baby safely and easily; 2) that we want to go back to all the hard work of baby/toddlerhood. Life is easy now on a lot of fronts. DS is at camp this week and DH and I can do stuff on our own. We miss DS like crazy, but we can also go out to eat, go to the movies, etc. without arranging a babysitter. Our relationship with each other can begin to emerge again and grow more. Vacations are great. Our family feels like a wonderful unit of 3 with lots of time for each other and for ourselves. I just don't see changing that dynamic.


I'm well-aware, though, that time has gone quickly. DS will be out of the house in another 9 years (probably) and my identity as a parent will be much less present and integral (in some ways, of course). It will be a strange shift and sometimes I think we should just try for another anyway because it will be so lonely without DS in the house when he leaves. But then I know  that, even if we have another DC, s/he will leave too, and it will be lonely eventually no matter what.

05:57 PM Liked: 39
#14 of 23
08-06-2012 | Posts: 376
Joined: Jun 2009
Snapdragon's Avatar Snapdragon
09:29 PM Liked: 929
#15 of 23
08-07-2012 | Posts: 4,561
Joined: Aug 2007

I am in the same place as you are OP! I hve one 28 month old and we are pretty sure- or maybe only somewhat sure- we will keep him an only- but just today DH and I were talking about how nice it could be to have another- but then I remembered that everytime I am ovulating I feel this way and I am ovulating now-ish! It is a hard decision isn't it? I feel like if you are 33 you have plenty of time to wait and see how you feel in a while. I am 39 so I have less time to decide! It is a big decision and probably like anything there are good and bad consequences that come with either choice. Raising dh with a sibling sounds nice in many ways- for him to always have another kid around to play with, and also because we love ds so much and he is so wonderful we think having another would be great too. But,  dh and I love our down time. Dh has a demanding job. And we love that with one we Can get a break sometimes. (and we have many other reasons for wanting to keep him an only which I won't get into here) Of course, I hear people say once the baby-toddler stage is over it can be a nice adjustment (the baby toddler stage w- two is hard but then it gets easier) to have 2. so I don't know! But I have been reading blogs and various internet posts about this all this evening, as it is on my mind too-! so I had to put my 25 cents into the mix. redface.gif

P.J.'s Avatar P.J.
01:55 PM Liked: 122
#16 of 23
08-08-2012 | Posts: 1,546
Joined: May 2010

Well DS is 26 months and we are 98% sure we don't want another. The main reason (hence my "other" vote) is that I feel quite overwhelmed with just the one. He was a colicky and then very intense baby, and is now a pretty normal toddler but the toddler era is quite challenging regardless. I just feel like my hands are beyond full and I am stretched to my limit and then some. I can't even imagine having another. However....I could see maybe once he is well past the toddler times and perhaps in school maybe then getting baby fever, we'll see. OTOH once we are past these super-intense early childhood times, why the hell would I want to go back to square one KWIM?! Also, and these are some huge things....we are not young parents. This year I turn 39 and DH turns 55. If we did decide to have another we would be well into our 40s and pushing 60....that is not a deal-breaker but just about. DH is the primary bread winner and he will already have to work well into his 70s to keep our child paid for until he's able to pay for himself. And DH does want to retire (we live in Europe and people really retire here, often before the age of 65 even). So basically no, we are not going to have another child. I say with 98% certainty because you never can tell but anyway.....

LLQ1011's Avatar LLQ1011
01:58 PM Liked: 1754
#17 of 23
08-08-2012 | Posts: 1,007
Joined: Mar 2012

Heath for me and age for him. Pregnancy does not agree with me and my body constantly tries to get rid of it. i have to be in the hospital most of the time. Plus my boyfriend is over 35.

fireweed's Avatar fireweed
10:07 PM Liked: 11
#18 of 23
08-08-2012 | Posts: 228
Joined: Nov 2007
Plus my boyfriend is over 35

35 is old for the father?!


My only is almost 4.5, and I am still waffling. She would love to have a sibling, and I think that, for me, is a good enough reason. Especially as an adult, I value my siblings so much and feel the family bond so strongly with them even though I don't see them alot.


But I'm not young,37, and have to dig deep to believe that I have the energy for another infant/toddler/preschooler.  Loved every moment of it, but boy, my dd just started to consistently sleep through the night at 3.5, and I am quite worn down.

LLQ1011's Avatar LLQ1011
11:20 PM Liked: 1754
#19 of 23
08-08-2012 | Posts: 1,007
Joined: Mar 2012
Originally Posted by fireweed View Post

35 is old for the father?!


My only is almost 4.5, and I am still waffling. She would love to have a sibling, and I think that, for me, is a good enough reason. Especially as an adult, I value my siblings so much and feel the family bond so strongly with them even though I don't see them alot.


But I'm not young,37, and have to dig deep to believe that I have the energy for another infant/toddler/preschooler.  Loved every moment of it, but boy, my dd just started to consistently sleep through the night at 3.5, and I am quite worn down.


It is when he already cannot pick up this baby due to his back issues.  Maybe I should have put if he was healthier. Since we have had this baby he has become alergic to almost every vegetable. Its too stressful for him.  We would probably wait until this baby was 5 and looking at his dad who is 60, i doubt my bf is going to be getting better to be able to handle another and theres no way I am going to be able to take care of two kids and him.

Erin77's Avatar Erin77
10:24 PM Liked: 29
#20 of 23
08-10-2012 | Posts: 275
Joined: Aug 2010

I agree with the PP who said that infancy was a dark time she doesn't wish to revisit. I have a 23 month old son and I can't imagine starting over and feeling like I did again when he was a baby. We joke that I'd consider a second if they could be born two years old, but I'm not interested in spending money to adopt and those born the regular way... come out as newborns. 

Snapdragon's Avatar Snapdragon
06:47 AM Liked: 929
#21 of 23
08-11-2012 | Posts: 4,561
Joined: Aug 2007

I think another factor for me is that I like my down time a lot- I am not a super high energy like to be busy person. I like the idea of my home being as calm as possible. I like to spend alone time with my husband which we rarely get now with our 2 yr old- which is fine at this age but I do want some of that back eventually. I think having another kid could bring a whole new level of chaos to our home and I don't do well with chaos and lots of noise- etc- so I think I have a better chance at calm and quiet and down time with an only.

leighi123's Avatar leighi123
09:50 PM Liked: 43
#22 of 23
08-17-2012 | Posts: 1,311
Joined: Nov 2007

The only reason I only have 1 kid is because my ex-husband was psycho, and I left him when ds was a yar old and have been single ever sense.   Ds is 5 now and I want more, but I don't want to have kids beyond 30, I'm 26 now, and at this point, its pretty unlikely that I will be in a relationship situation where I can have more in the next few years. 

DaisyO's Avatar DaisyO
09:29 PM Liked: 75
#23 of 23
08-18-2012 | Posts: 157
Joined: Feb 2011

My 2-year-old is the most perfect child for me and my partner.  I can't imagine having another child since this one is so right for us (and especially me).  I guess this sounds harsh but it seems like a dice roll and since I won so big the first time I feel hesitant to try again.  Is this ridiculous?  Sounds like it when it's written down, but I can't shake the feeling that I struck gold the first time and could never have such good luck again. 

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