Post # 1
FI and I were recently discussing only having one child. Pros? Cons? Anyone have one child and don’t plan on having another? Were you an only child? We both come from two children families. I think we like the idea of a small family that has more money and opportunities for everyone so we can accomplish our long list of goals.
Post # 3
I’m an only child and for me, it’s been the best thing for me. I have a huge personal space, attachment issues, I hate noise and things being busy and I’m not a people person. I think before I was five I wanted a sibling because I didn’t have friends but once I got to primary school, I realized I was much better off without them.
I know a few other only children and they’re quite similar in their attitudes. The only annoying thing about it is people think we’re spoilt. I’m one of the least spoilt people I’ve ever met!
It does have a way of making the child a little eccentric, I’ve noticed. But frankly, I think that’s a great thing!
Post # 4
I’m not technically an only child, but since my brothers were 10 and 11 yrs older than me, I kinda was. I actually wish I would have been able to have the experiences and close bonds that some of my other friends have with their siblings, albeit even if they didn’t quite get along all the time growing up :).
One of the other reasons I want to have more than one child is for later on down the road when my FI and I are aging and may go through health issues. It is so much easier when someone has another person to lean on, especially a sibling, when one of their parents are sick. I work in an ICU at our local hospital and see this all the time first hand. Plus my best friends mom was in a very very serious accident last year and we weren’t sure she would make it. My best friend mentioned that she didn’t know what she wouldve done without the support of her brother and father during that time.
Post # 5
As with most things in parenting, I find that (excepting extremes like abuse or neglect or something) for all the research and the studies and the reports and the polls etc. what it boils down to with most things is what’s good for the parent is good for the child. Meaning, for example, some people will swear that co-sleeping is wonderful for a child’s development–and it very well might be–but if co-sleeping with your child means you get no sleep and turns you into a crazy person, then it’s no longer good for the kid.
So in this case, there are certainly plusses and minuses to raising an only child, but in the end, if YOU, the parents, are more comfortable with just the one, then so be it. And I’m pretty sure that the ratio of positives and negatives are the same for only children as they are for children who grow up with siblings.
Post # 6
Im an only child, and I hated it up until I was about 13. Then my mom made a joke about finally being ready to give me a sibling. She still jokes about my head spinning around 3 times and lasers shooting from my eyes.
I don’t necessarily think it affected me poorly, I know I definitely wasnt spoiled. If anything I was raised to be as selfless as possible. I was raised well enough, but I admit that I can be very solitary. I just kept to myself and read all the time. I was lonely at times. A sibling would have made it a lot easier. Making friends at school will definitely help with any loneliness though, it definitely helped for me.
Post # 7
I am so glad I grew up with a brother and a sister. I had an amazing, hliarious, creative childhood because I always had two awesome best friends right there… recording “radio shows” together, putting on plays, racing hot wheels around, making up characters and dressing up like them, creating whole towns made of bricks in our back yard… 🙂
I definitely would not be as confident and outgoing if it wasn’t for my little sister. My mom always said I was very serious because that was my personality and I was only around adults all the time. Till of course my sister was 2 or 3 and showed me how to have fun and “be silly.”
I never, ever felt liked I ‘lacked’ any experience because my parents spread resources over three kids instead of one. My dad is a teacher and my mom a SAHM so it’s not like we had a lot of money. We did Girl Scouts, nature camps, and rec soccer and softball, and of course lots of time playing with each other. I never went to fancy overnight camp like my wealthier friends did but I wouldn’t trade my childhood in for the world!
Nothing wrong with only children, I just know because of my experience I will definitely have more than one child 🙂
Post # 8
As an only child, let me tell you, I HATE being the only child. I always wanted siblings and I wanted to fill that hole in my life by having friends or become close with my cousins, but it never works… I wish I had a sister or a brother. Having one child is just unfair to the child.
My mom couldn’t have kids.. She had 8 miscarriages, and I was baby number 9.
Post # 9
@babylo0n: you sound like my highschool friend who lived a few houses from me.
Her mom adopted a boy after I think the 7th miscarriage and then she had my friend, she was born early, but at least she survived enough in the womb to be born.
Post # 10
My DH is an only child. Based on MY experience with him, I wouldn’t recommend it. It has taken me YEARS to overcome the only-child syndrome he had – he was definitely spoiled, entitled, selfish, didn’t share well, had to be reminded to take others into consideration, not just himself etc. Also keep in mind that we started dating when he was 17 so there’s a good chance someone else would have knocked this into his head at some point. He did have more opportunities but in my opinion, he really could have done with fewer experiences and more learning how to think of others! He definitely likes alone time and needs it to function properly, and really could have used someone taking his toys as a kid to learn how to share. He’s also the only child, the only son, of his mother. I’m sure you can all imagine how that went over.
Like others have said though, I think it’s how you raise your kids rather than how many you have. DH is LOADS better but still won’t share the remote or TV and is just coming around to the idea that clothes can be gifts, not just “toys”. For his birthday this year I got him a new wardrobe since a lot of his stuff is wearing out – two pairs of designer jeans, 5 shirts, leather sandals, socks, some other stuff, new shoes to come. I still got an “oh, clothes…” *death glare* “I mean oh! clothes!” Major facepalm.
Post # 11
My FI has a huge family, and as soon as I met them I wanted the same because it seemed like they gained so much in life from each other’s support even though they grew up without much. My smaller family had more stuff, and are not nearly as tight. However, from a strictly academic economic ecological view… think about this, our entire human population is going to have to shrink majorly (actually reverse its growth rate) unless there’s a miracle coming for both the finances and natural resources our country relies on. Not to sound crazy…there’s a lot of books and documentaries out on this…but I think the “socially responsible” thing to do would be 1-2 kids if you want to increase their chance of thriving in the future as it stands – … so, if that’s any consolation? That being said, this theory only works if a significant amount of others do the same… I don’t know what I want to do anymore… probably stop watching documentaries on Netflix, sheesh…
Post # 12
My DH is an only child (I think because his father was also such a child his mother couldn’t cope with more than one) and while he wasn’t spoiled in a material way he is also not really used to communal living. I’m the eldest of 3 and all 5 of us shared a bathroom growing up. When I moved out I was in a group house before I lived with DH. I am used to being woken up when someone gets up in the night, used to things being moved around, used to all of that, but DH isn’t. Not usually a big problem. As his mother gets older (father no longer in the picture) we occasionally do think it would be nice for him to have a sibling to share some of the caring load. Like if we are away for my mother’s birthday dinner, I have two siblings to pick up the slack, but no one else will do that for MIL’s milestones. DH doesn’t miss having siblings – he’s very independent and doesn’t like people all that much, although I wonder how much of that is due to being an only child in the first place. He didn’t have a very happy childhood and while I wouldn’t wish that on anyone, I wonder if it would have been more bearable with a sibling to commiserate with? My sisters aren’t my best friends, but I love having them in my life and I love knowing we will have each other as we get older (especially when I think about losing parents, as some of my friends have sadly started to experience). I love that we have shared childhood memories and I love that no one else understands our parents and extended family the same way we do. While I can understand the appeal of having an only child (I’m currently pregnant with our first and at times have wondered why anyone would do this more than once, plus I’m really sad about having to give up some things especially travelling), I am glad that when my parents faced this decision they chose giving me siblings over giving me other things (and it was definiely a choice for them – they couldn’t afford to do both). While I don’t think a sibling is THE best thing a parent can give a child, I do think it’s the best thing MY parents gave me. People with horrible siblings woudn’t feel that way I’m sure 🙂 A happy family will be happy no matter how many people are in it, so good luck with making a decision that’s right for you 🙂
Post # 13
FI is an only child, and on one side, an only grandchild and great-grandchild! He’s sad about it. We were at my parents’ house looking at their electronic picture frame filled with pics of me and my sister and he said he didn’t want to look at it anymore because it made him sad he didn’t have a sibling. We’re definitely going to have a good number of kids so we can have a big family!
Post # 14
My FI and I are thinking of only having one as well, although I am the oldest of 2 and he is the middle of 3. I agree with BothCoasts- if the parents are happy and relatively unstressed, I think this is the best thing you can give a child in the long run. I know a family of three girls who are VERY spoiled and selfish- it’s like a warzone when they’re together! I know single kids who are very outgoing, but did spend alot of time with kids their own age growing up. Overall, I think it’s how you raise your kid that’s going to have the greatest effect on them.
Post # 15
There are totally pros and cons! DH is an only child and here are some things that I’ve noticed:
DH is incredibly social. He can (and will) strike up a conversation with ANYONE! I think that because he didn’t have siblings to fall back on socially, he learned early to make friends even when he didn’t know anyone.
- He is a spoiler!:) I think because he got a lot of attention/gifts/etc when he was a child, he gives it back the same way!
- He is very thoughtful/introspective. He is able to spend time alone and not be uncomfortable with it- which is great!
- He can be very “self-centered”. And not in a BAD way- but more like, if he wants to do something, he just assumes there is no issue with him doing it.
- He was a CRAZY bad interrupter- I rid him of this quality very quickly:) When you don’t have to wait your turn to talk with siblings, I think this happens quite a bit
- He will be the only one to care for his parents when they get older- my mom has 5 sisters and they all bore the responsibility of caring for their mom when she was ill (long term). I can’t imagine the thought of one person taking that on alone.
I agree with PP’s, that how you RAISE an only child has a lot to do with their demeanor. I’m interested in hearing what you and your FI decice:)
Post # 16
We are about 90% sure we are going to just have the one child, and so many people go nuts over this. Neither of us are only children – I’m the middle of 3 and he is the oldest, by about 11 years, with 6 half-brothers and sisters. Having one child is what we feel will be best for us as a family, at this time in our lives. There are many factors that go into this decision, and we’ve thought about it a lot.
While we had some good times growing up, I have never gotten along with either of my sisters. Even now, I struggle to relate to them. I have an ok relationship with my older sister, but we’re very different people and we only have a relationship because we are sisters. My younger sister has a lot of issues, and we are like oil and water – and always have been. I say this to point out that just because you have siblings, doesn’t mean that you will like each other. I sit and watch them both take advantage of my parents, make stupid decisions, and get continually bailed out. There’s nothing I can do since my parents are adults and make their own decisions on how they react, but trust me, their actions do not sit well with me. I’ve always been independent and prefer a calm living atmosphere, even though I grew up in anything but. And when it comes time to take care of my parents, the burden will absolutely fall on me. I may get a little physical help from my older sister, but all the financial and tough decisions will undoubtedly become my issue. There is no guarantee that siblings will get along. Some do, and unfortunately some don’t.
Whatever you and your husband decide is ok. Do not let anyone make you feel guilty for wanting one, two, or 10 children. Or even no children. Do what you feel works best for your family.