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We recently met up with our friends who'd just had a baby two weeks ago, and they were already talking about TTC #2.

We had pretty much decided before having our son that we would only have one. Every once in a while, we talk about the remote possibility of having a second in 4 or 5 years, but we speak of this as a pretty-much-not-going-to-happen-thing. This is especially true for DH.

At any rate, clearly the majority of people go on to have two or three or more children and love it. Their lives are rich and wonderful, and they are happy with their decision to have more.

So do you ever feel like there's something wrongwith you for wanting only one child? I felt SO inadequate after that meeting with our friends, like maybe I was missing some kind of special Mama gene that kept me from wanting any more children. I even broke down crying in front of DH and asking him if the reason why he didn't want a second child was perhaps because he thought I wasn't a good mother. Gah. (He replied that of course not; his preference for one child was about what *he* felt he could/could not give, not a reflection of me). And anyway, it's also me who can't imagine life with a second child, for logistical reasons I think.

I hope this even makes sense. I'm not sure why I'm feeling so emotional about this. I just walked away feeling like perhaps I wasn't good enough.
 

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I'm sorry you felt that way.

I have one child. It's not entirely by choice and it may change, but I love being a mother to one. Enjoying what you have is a big time life skill.


There is no golden size of family. Every family that has love and respect and is nourishing is a-ok. Breathe. Nothing is wrong with you for loving what you have.
 

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Absolutely not. I am 100% sure that having an only is right for family. Dh know ourselves and our limits, we know the realities of our careers. We love being a family of three--having the money to do things we couldn't do if we had more kids, being able to live in small spaces and have a small car. Traveling is SO much easier. Given the demands of our careers, we would be spread way too thin with another child.

There is nothing wrong with wanting just one, just as there is nothing wrong with wanting two, or four, or none at all. Every family is different.

I know many people who have 2+ and are quite happy, of course, but I also know a few families who really wanted one but had the second because they felt they "had" to, because that's just what one did. Those families love their kids, of course, but they are really, really struggling.

Please come join us on the mamas of only children thread!
 

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Nope! We decided to have one child, did so, and feel just fine about our choice. We have very specific reasons for choosing to have one, and in my opinion they are great reasons. That is not to say that if a second child happened to come that we wouldn't love and enjoy them. We would! But we feel happy and solid in our choice to keep our family size at three people.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by NYCVeg View Post
Absolutely not. I am 100% sure that having an only is right for family. Dh know ourselves and our limits, we know the realities of our careers. We love being a family of three--having the money to do things we couldn't do if we had more kids, being able to live in small spaces and have a small car. Traveling is SO much easier. Given the demands of our careers, we would be spread way too thin with another child.

There is nothing wrong with wanting just one, just as there is nothing wrong with wanting two, or four, or none at all. Every family is different.

I know many people who have 2+ and are quite happy, of course, but I also know a few families who really wanted one but had the second because they felt they "had" to, because that's just what one did. Those families love their kids, of course, but they are really, really struggling.

Please come join us on the mamas of only children thread!
 

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While many people who end up with children spaced very close together (under 3 or 4 years apart) make it work, I think it's horribly unfair to the older child to do so deliberately.

And unfair to the new baby to have a older baby still sucking away mama's attention.

Even here at MDC, how many people talk about not cosleeping with the new baby because the older child still needs the family bed and isn't old enough to be safe near a baby? Or mention getting frustrated with ordinary toddler behavior because it's potentially harmful to the baby?

Like I said, most people make it work, but I simply do NOT understand the people who do it deliberately. Especially since even among that group, I've yet to meet someone who was truly prepared for balancing the needs of both children when children have been spaced closely together.

(And don't get me started on the people who wean just to regain fertility.
)
 

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Wow...strong opinions there


Honestly, I feel I am making my children's lives better by giving them closely (by some standards) spaced siblings. But that doesn't mean I think it's for everyone or that parents of only children are depriving them of anything.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
While many people who end up with children spaced very close together (under 3 or 4 years apart) make it work, I think it's horribly unfair to the older child to do so deliberately.
Well, as a child who was five years apart from each sibling, I can tell you we hated it. And my good friends who were in the same situation also hated it. Neither of us has a very close relationship today.

There is value in having closely spaced children. It may not be for you, but just because YOU don't understand it doesn't mean it's not a worthy choice.

But to the OP, there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with having one child. Like a PP said, ENJOY it! I know many only children who are perfectly happy and well adjusted today.
 

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Goodness, no. Emphatically NO!

Dh and I very deliberately decided on one and only one. We have many reasons that we made that decision, but I've never regretted getting my tubes tied as soon as we had dd. She's 8 now, and I have not had a single day that I wanted another. I do not think there is anything at all wrong with me. (And for the record, dd has never once asked for a sibling. Not that she wouldn't be a wonderful big sister... she's the sweetest and most loving child I've ever been around... but she is very content being an only.)

People with only children (or are childless) might ask why people have large families or children close together. It's not my place to judge that, but I will admit that it does not line up with our personal philosophies on many issues, including parenting, politics, conservation, finances, etc.

To have a personal philosophy regarding family size is not wrong but it can be difficult to understand the other side and a person can feel judged by those that do not hold to the same beliefs. I think it's best that you just do what's right for your family and not worry what others think. If you don't want more, don't have more because other people think you should. That's a recipe for disaster.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
While many people who end up with children spaced very close together (under 3 or 4 years apart) make it work, I think it's horribly unfair to the older child to do so deliberately.


really? really?!

One could say it's horribly unfair to have an only child or to have a large gap between siblings. I don't personally feel that way (in fact I think there are tons of benefits of having one child or two spaced 5 yrs apart - it's just not for me), but I would never make a statement, even in say, the mom's of many thread. Because, really, it's a matter of opinion, and for every person who thinks that way, there are just as many who feel the opposite, ya know?

FWIW, I don't think there is anything odd about truly wanting only 1 child - or heck, not wanting any at all. Kids are a lot of work; it's not something to decide on just because you get pressure from outsiders, that's for sure.

(butting out now, b/c I don't belong as I happily have four kids, all 2 years apart, deliberately, and would like a couple more.)
 

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We live in a society where a "standard" family is four: a mom, a dad and 2 kids. I'm not sure how it came to be this way, but I agree with OP that there is a big pressure to adhere to this "mold".

I think it's completely normal to doubt yourself when you do not fit this "standard" family, whether it be because you have only one child, or several, or your family doesn't have a mom and a dad.

You shouldn't feel that way though; families come in all shapes or sizes, and it's not fair for anyone to feal ostracised (spelling?!?!) because their family doesn't fit this standard.

I completely sympathise with you!!
 

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I chalk it up to different strokes for different folk.... you know?

I love having only one child to give my undivided attention to. I think about wanting more, but I am not in the right time or place for that, and I do lean strongly towards not having another. So I completely enjoy what I do have. Having more than one child is so much more work and stress from what I understand. Sure there are plenty of upsides, and those I am sure do outweigh the downsides for many people. But if having only one child is what is best for your family then so be it. I've met some really amazing adults who were only children and if I never do have a sibling for DD, then I am sure I won't regret the fact that I was able to give her my undivided attention as a child.

I'm not snarking on people who chose/want/have more than one DC. It's a very individual thing and societal norms and expectations aren't enough reason to make such a huge decision as to bring another child into your family.
 

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I have been lucky to have so many people around me that only have one child and are also happy only having one. It is just something that is so normal to me that I don't feel bad at all, I don't even feel bad because I don't feel bad. My dd is just perfect for me and I really don't want any more kids. I was in the Y the other day listening to two mom's with multiple kids and I was so thankful that it wasn't me. I can't imagine having another child and having to deal with all of the hard stages of early childhood again as well as sibling rivalry and nursing. My dd is wonderful and we have so much fun. I have absolutely no desire to ruin that.
 

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I think it's easier for a good parent to meet kids' needs when the kids are farther apart, and that it's more likely for a bad parent to do a worse job with children who are closer together.

Wasn't saying mamas of many weren't meeting their kids' needs, was saying that I think it'd be horribly difficult. A good parent will do a great job regardless and "hard job worth doing well" and all that, but I am waaaaayyyy too lazy to go that route.

I do sort of cringe at the argument to have your kids close together so they can "be friends" though, my mom was 2 years apart from her sister and resented her sooo much because she was expected to "be friends". Her sister who is 8 years younger, otoh, she ended up very close too since there wasn't any pressure to spend time with her and no one expected that they must have common interests. We hardly ever saw our older aunt and saw our younger aunt all the time even though they both lived in the same far away city.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Drummer's Wife View Post
as I happily have four kids, all 2 years apart, deliberately, and would like a couple more
Awesome
(note, I don't use that smilie sarcastically, ever), between you and another couple people in the "are you ever 100% ready" thread, that makes 3 people I know about now who were truly happy with having kids close together from day one.

Know lots of people who liked it after the first 2-3 years passed, but you lot are the first I've encountered who actually enjoyed the time when their younger kids were babies.

Hmm, should browse the moms of many thread, bet there are a lot of people like you in there.


I could see it being fun for an hour or 5, but then I'd need a nap. You must have a fantastic diet to keep your energy up and really thrive on multitasking. Another lady said that she loves the controlled chaos.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
While many people who end up with children spaced very close together (under 3 or 4 years apart) make it work, I think it's horribly unfair to the older child to do so deliberately.

And unfair to the new baby to have a older baby still sucking away mama's attention.
That comes across as very judgmental.

My kids are 3 years apart and I wouldn't have it any other way. They are great together. The odd sibbling issues, but my older child is a charm with her baby sister and actually keeps asking me when we're bringing the next one home


While I think that its very dependent on family I would not be happy, nor our family compleat with one child. I don't think there is a single thing wrong with those who want only one.

We don't co-sleep, DD#1 wasn't BF (though not for lack of trying) and DD#1 was potty trained and even started Pre-school not long after DD#2 arrived.

My first was not robbed of attention, nor thrown to the side. Nor are most older sibblings.
 

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OP - My dh and I were pretty much settled on 1. Like you we would occasionally think maybe we should have another, but neither of use felt strongly at all. What we ran into was societal pressures, and I found it VERY annoying. Older people would ask us when we were having another, and when we would say we were done, they would tell us what a bad idea that was. All of our friends want many children, a concept we just didnt share. I feel content with my one.

That being said, I accidentally got pregnant. It has kinda been difficult to deal with, because I really didnt want any more kids. So, I am adjucting and I know when I hold our new baby, I will love it emmensly. But, seriously, I dont want any more. Unfourtunatly, our "accident" was due to carelessness in a tricky situation. It makes it all the more difficult, because I feel like I could have prevented it with a couple changes, but then remind myself that it has happened and that is that. Obviously, I am still dealing with it.

I too asked my dh if something was wrong with us that all our friends were talking 2nd (and now 3rd) and we were not wanting it. But nothing was wrong with us and nothing is wrong with you. I used to want more, but after having ds, I felt completely settled and happy with just him. AND that's ok!!
 

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First off-- could people who want to discuss child spacing please do so on another thread? This thread was specifically addressed to moms of onlies, and it just doesn't seem appropriate to have the thread taken over by this argument.

To the OP- We have one child, a 4yo dd, and at times I feel just like you. Many of my friends are getting pregnant with their 3rd children now, and it makes me feel a little apart from them just in that I am SO over/done with the pg/baby scene-- it just feels like a long time ago and I guess I'm just really not that interested in it anymore (not in a mean way, just kind of whatever) What gets to me is that I've had a few people (only men, now that I think of it-- maybe they aren't quite as sensitive to the possibilities of fertility issues, etc.) who have confronted me about our not having more kids in a way that I found very hurtful and judgemental. One neighbor (after having their 3rd) said something like "don't you like having kids? I just enjoy it so much" Maybe it was intended as a sincere question, bot to have ANYONE imply that I don't enjoy or love my daughter every ounce as much as they love their kids just infuriates me. I would never go up to someone expecting their 2nd or 3rd and say "oh-- was your first child not enough for you?"-- it just is NOT okay for anyone to imply that someone doesn't love their child.

Anyway-- rant over-- there really is a lot of pressure, and, I think, some judgement that can kind of hold up moms of many as being "real" mothers- somehow more wholesome, etc. Personally, we have many many reasons for being happy with our one. Multiple miscarriages before conceiving her and then extended bedrest during pg make me very hesitant to consider going back into all that, and especially hesitant about how such things would affect my dd (because I do believe that our first responsibility lies with the child we already have, rather than with any hypothetical future siblings) Also, we're just all three so happy as we are! We feel great about the environmental implications of sticking with one, and we enjoy the things that the three of us are able to do together as dd gets older (many would be much harder with a baby in tow) I'm also very aware of my patience levels, and of dh's and my needs for our own time-- and I feel really great about how we are able to parent our dd, while being conscious that adding another child (less sleep, possible sibling conflicts, etc.) could make it harder for us to be the kind of parents that we think our children deserve.

Sorry for such a long-winded response! Definitely pop over to the Moms of Only Children thread-- I'm sure you'll find lots of ladies who undestand who you're feeling
 

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Well my child is 7 and I thought he was going to be an onlie - he's going to be almost 8 when this little one I'm carrying arrives.

There is CERTAINLY nothing wrong with wanting an only child - and all this talk about spacing ... that is a very personal choice and something that is going to be different for every situation/family. I'm 6 years older than my younger sisters - and then my Mom had a baby, then twins only 11 months apart. We are ALL close. I think being "friends" has more to do with personality and family dymanics than spacing.

Two of my best friends have children ds's age - and they are both only children. So I've never really felt that pressure to have more ... and to be honest, now that I'm pregnant, I'm a little worried about the challenges that lie ahead. With a 7 year old only life is pretty darn calm and easy ... throwing another child into the mix is REALLY going to change our lifestyle.

There is a wonderful Mom's of only children thread where you will see you are FAR from alone.
 

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OP, I know what you mean. Sometimes I feel like maybe I'll never qualify as a "real" mother because we plan to only have one child. But then I try to remember that I suffered through all of the horrible sleepless nights over the past year, I take care of my daughter every day whether it's a good day or a bad one, and I do my best to be the mother that she needs so she can have a happy childhood and grow up to spend her time and energy on things other than recovering from childhood wounds. In short, I have paid my dues, and I don't need to prove that to anyone.

For us, choosing to have only one child is a matter of honestly assessing what we are able to do and what we aren't able to do, from both a financial and an emotional perspective. We are never going to have tons of money, and we have chosen freedom to spend time together over having more income. We already have a tough time financially with just one child. Also, DH and I both have very sensitive temperaments, and it seems like DD has inherited that from us. Noise bothers me a ton, and so does a chaotic environment. I don't think I'd be happy with a swarm of kids (or even a couple), with all of the sibling fights and noise that goes along with that. I come from a family of four children, so I do know what I'm talking about here! And as a child, I really could have used more time and attention from my parents that just wasn't available because there were so many of us, and because they had to work hard to support such a large family. I'm NOT saying that is the situation in all large families. That's just my experience from my family of origin.

I guess I think that honestly assessing what we're able to do and what kind of life we want to have, actually is part of being good parents to our one child. Making family decisions with clarity and trying to maintain the well-being of all members of the family is nothing but a good thing, you know? I'm sure in a year or two we'll start getting pressure from the people around us to have more kids...but I'll have to think of ways of kindly telling them to mind their own business.
 
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