One child family

posted 3 years ago in Parenting
Post # 3
Member
1304 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I am almost 37 and a week overdue with my first child.  I have one younger sibling, and my husband is an only child.

My husband really liked being an only child, while I see advantages to having a sibling.  Due to our ages and the extra time/energy/cost of each kid, we are on the fence about having a second one.  So, we have decided to see how Baby #1 does — so far all we know is that he doesn’t like to show up on time! — and make a decision in a year or so once we have our bearings as parents.

I wish we had a few more years to decide, but due to our ages I think we will probably start to narrow down our decision when our first child is around 12-18 months old.  We’ll see.

I guess my point is… you can see how the first kid goes and then decide how you feel later.  There is no reason to plan every detail in advance especially when you can’t predict what life might throw at you.

Post # 4
Member
124 posts
Blushing bee

@Hermoine:  my fiancé is an only child, yes at times he said he was lonely but he was socialized if that’s your fear. His mom did spoil the crap out of him being her only child which we are working on now but nothing I can’t accept. But there were benefits his parents bought him a car at 16, and paid for his college out of pocket, he was an only child so they had that ability. And their focus has always been him.

Post # 5
Member
1125 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2010

I have two children, so I’m not the person who you were asking the question to.. But as an only child, I’d like to give my two cents.

I grew up very happy as an only child. I loved it. My parents took great care of me and were able to offer me the best they had. They made sure I wasn’t going to be a spoiled brat and made it important for me to share and be generous to others, and to accept it when the answer to something I wanted was “no”. They made sure that I would not feel lonely by letting me have friends over anytime I wanted and taking in my BFF almost as their own.

Growing up, it was a happy and loving childhood and I didn’t want to change that. Sure I wanted sisters and brothers from time to time, if only just to be like others. But my parents couldn’t have more and that was that.

BUT. Today, as an adult, I really miss it. I see other people with siblings and know I will never quite understand that kind of relationship. My children don’t have aunts, uncles or cousins on my side of the family. And more importantly, as my parents grow older, I know that when comes the time to take care of them, it’s all on me, there’s no sharing that responsibility with anyone else. I’ll step up with no hesitation, but I feel bad that DH has no real choice in the matter since there won’t be any sit down with my siblings and their spouses to decide who does what. It all falls on us. If I eventually have to make hard decisions, it’s also all on me. When they die, I’ll be all alone. Sure I’ll have DH and my children, but no one else to talk about my parents in their youth with and laugh at childhood memories of them.

So while I was a happy kid, as an adult I really miss having the experience of siblings, and that deep relationship of growing up with someone from birth..

Post # 6
Member
107 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

I’m an only child, and while I by no means had a bad childhood, I think it would have been nice to have a sibling, not only for me but also for my mother’s sake.  My mother is the type of person you could say “lives ffor her kid” and you can tell that she is just looking for something else to give her love to.  

As for me, especially going through the wedding plannjng process, I think having a sibling would have made the experience even more special (don’t get me wrong but friends are great, but I have a feeling having a sister around your age at at a time like this ia truly special).  

I agree with pp it makes sence not to make any decisions you don’t currently have to, but I think it would have been nice having a constant playmate (or a spare kidney if I ever need it).  

Post # 7
Member
105 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

@mommytobee:  +1  You literally took the words out of my mouth.

Post # 8
Member
6644 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

We have 1 child, for now anyway.  Personally we want to have 1 more but have to face reality that he maybe the only child we have.  I honestly don’t want to just have 1 child. I feel he is  going to miss out on a lot.  

My DH and I grew up with siblings and we rather have it that way. 

Post # 9
Member
6048 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: March 2012

Maybe you should talk to your own parents, they had 3 so they some how managed, I’d also talk to your sister from the outside it might look alot different then it was inside her home.  

My mother passed away a few years ago, and trying to sit down to plan a funeral with my siblings, my dad was too out of it to be very helpful, was so hard.  I can’t imagine trying to do it all alone.  My siblings and their spouses are some of my best friends, I’m 1 of 5.  No one has the same experiences growing up, same vacations, same inside jokes, there were always things going on.  I know not everything was the sweetest kid day ever for my parents, but my Dad will tell you there isn’t one thing he would change.  They sacrificed time together, ( my dad worked 3 jobs at times), and their own vacations together, (because you can’t leave kids in the house alone and expect a party NOT to happen).   They also tried adopting at least 3 other kids over the years.  My dad gave me a letter my mom wrote him (they still sent each other love letters thru the mail up until she passed away) and she thanked him for all the kids, the crazy and fun because sitting on a beach in the Bahamas was boring (the one vacation they went on by themselves).

We bought our own cars, but my Dad paid for college, as long as you had the grades, we had new clothes, shared rooms, our house looked like there were no children living there, if you left things out they got thrown out.

We are TTC but it looks like we will be going another route, but I can’t imagine having just one child, and neither can DH.  

Post # 10
Member
318 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

I love having an only child! My daughter loves not having to share! And she has a cousin her age who is an only child so they say they are sisters :). Having another child does not garantee that they will stay close as adults, my older brother and I and not even On speaking terms at the moment. And you can’t have children based in the fact of who’s going to take care of you, as some children don’t take care of their elders. I enjoy being able to give more to my one child and buy her the best and I will be able to help her with college as if I had another one, I don’t think I would be able to financially. I enjoyed the peace in my house with only one child vs having more children who are ALWAYS fighting with one another. I enjoy being able to travel with one, or if I need a babysitter, it’s easier for my mom to handle one vs two or three. I am not a “soccer mom” so having one child is perfect for me. Don’t let anyone sucker you into having more children if you only want/desire one. I had friends who tired to force me into having more, but I always hear them complaint about their fighting screaming children, while me and dear daughter go to the movies, restaurants, beaches and fully enjoy our one in one time. Do what’s right for you. Having one child was right for me.

Post # 11
Member
3709 posts
Sugar bee

(MOB answering). I grew up as an only child and so did my mother. She spend years sharing houses with relatives (in the depression, etc)., and there were a number of cousins in her age group, that she always treated as brothers and sisters. I didn’t. I was always a loner and took it in stride. It gave me a lot of time to read everything I could get my hands on and learn; but that’s about it. I always excelled in my studies, but not social relationships. I always had a lot of aquaintances, but not a lot of close, long-term friends, that I could rely on for support. I have learned to be strong and to take care of things myself. I have two grown children, and in a few more years, grandchildren are promised to arrive, so it’s gotten easier. But my socializing is still mostly with family, rather than friends. We don’t have the family relationship on my husband side either; his two siblings live far away and one we really don’t communicate with. Luckily my kids have each other and a wide circle of friends. I made sure history didn’t repeat itself.

 

Post # 12
Member
96 posts
Worker bee

Mother of the Bride here… My daughter is an only child.  We had always wanted a second one, but it never happened.  I will tell you that when my daughter was younger, people would always ask when we were going to have another (we were trying) and some even commented that we were selfish and that we would regret it because we were going to raise a spoiled, ill-adjusted child.  

We had a tough time getting pregnant with our first and considered ourselves blessed to have one healthy child (she was premature and the first couple of years were very hard).  The ignorant comments stung, but I tried my hardest to ignore them.

We always made sure my daughter was involved in something – her choices were softball and cheerleading – and she always had lots of friends.  They came on vacations with us and kids were always at our house.   We did spoil her — with tons and tons of love and attention.  

My daughter is well-adjusted, mature, has lots of friends (her bridal party is amazing; they are her long-time friends – they have been nothing but wonderful and supportive – everything a friend should be). She considers them her “sisters.”  She has her own business.  She grew up being the “shoulder” people could rely on for advice and sympathy.  She was raised to be caring, compassionate and empathetic and hard working.  So much for spoiled and ill-adjusted, huh?

People tell me all the time what an amazing person she is, so I know that I’m not blinded by my love for her.  

We are extraordinarily close – she is my best friend – and enjoy each other’s company.  She and her fiance enjoy doing things with us and our friends as well as their own.

Would she have liked to have a sibling?  Probably.  But having a sibling is no guarantee of rainbows and butterflys in later life.  Life is wonderful with one child.  Life would have been wonderful with two. We all do the best we have with the cards we’re given.  

I guess my point is – DON’T listen to anyone’s rude comments.  It’s your life.  You and your DH can make the decisions that suit you.  If you have an only child, raise that child with morals and values and he/she will be great Laughing

 

Post # 13
Member
3084 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

I sometimes think the same as you about only having one. I know that I want one for sure, but and sometimes I want 2 (but 2 max I don’t want more than that) but I don’t think I could handle being pregnant more than once, etc. 

we will probably end up having 2 though. I grew up with 1 sibling and it was great. It’s nice to have someone to complain to when mom and dad get annoying and a sibling understands the most. 

Post # 14
Member
9137 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

@Hermoine:  My DH and I are both only children.  We had totally different childhoods but both of us loved being only children.  We also plan to only have one child ourselves.  Being only children our parents were able to lavish all the love and attention just on us.  And (amazingly) we turned out to be kind, generous, unselfish adults.  We were both socialized from young ages so that was never an issue for us.  He had a nanny that watched him with a few other kids and I attended daycare from a young age.

His parents traveled Europe extensvely with my husband.  They were even able to send him to university in the UK.  Something that never would have happened had there been additional siblings.

My parents and I traveled the US extensively and I was able to participate in whatever activities I wanted growing up because they only had to worry about paying for one child and transporting one child to the activities.

As only children we feel having more than one child would be overwhelming and our lives would get completely taken over by “the kids”.  But one child could easily travel with us or get babysat by grandma because after all, there’s only one kid.  The other benefit is that we are both very close to our parents because we didn’t have to compete for their attention.  I see so many of my friends with two kids because they felt that two was the magic number and they all seem miserable most of the time.  I’ve watched as a few of their marriages have fallen apart because life is more about the kids than their relationship as a married couple.  

The biggest benefit would have to be that since we spent a significant portion of our childhoods around adults, we both learned how to behave more maturely and as a result we had no trouble impressing adults in our parents generation which led to better grades in school and more job offers following interviews.

Post # 15
Member
823 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

@mommytobee:  You also took the words right out of my mouth.

I am an only child.  My mom is an only child.  My grandmother almost died during childbirth giving birth to my mom, and my mom had terrible preclampsia with me that her doctors recommended she not become pregnant again.

I also had a great childhood.  My parents both worked and even though they could spoil me with whatever I wanted, they never did.  They did pay for most of my undergrad schooling and gave me their old 10 year old car when they got a new one.  They always had time to go to my sports games because they weren’t torn in several different directions trying to figure out who was going to take whom where.

I also have 2 best girlfriends that I grew up with that are like my sisters.  I am super close to them but it will never replace the fact that I have no biological siblings and sometimes I get really sad thinking about that.  I am much more cognisent of the fact that I’m an only child as an adult then I was as a child.

DH has 2 younger brothers – one 5 years younger than him and one 12 years younger than him.  The one that’s 5 years younger is getting married this summer but they aren’t planning on having kids for a while, while we would like to TTC this summer.  So that means if I get pregnant right away, our child won’t have any cousins close in age, and no cousins or aunts/uncles on my side.  DH’s brother that’s 12 years younger is in college so obviously any cousins from him will be much younger than our child.

I know I will be a high risk pregnancy because of my family history but at the same time I would like 2 children.  I would feel bad having only 1 because I know what it’s like.

Post # 16
Member
1926 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

I just want to jump in here as someone who IS an only child and say that I love it! I got my parents undivided attention, they had more time and money to spend on me so I had opportunities that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. 

That being said, I lived in a State Park (Far from having neighbors) and so I was pretty isolated and my mom had to be my best friend and playmate growing up. I think sometimes my mom felt bad because I would get lonely, but I believe that has more to do with where we lived a opposed to being an only child. 

If your child has a big family, or community to get social interaction I really don’t see it as a big deal at all! 

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