(Closed) Reasons you chose to have one child?

posted 4 years ago in Parenting
Post # 3
Member
3431 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@Mrsluckywife:  Biggest regret of my life! I have a 17yr old daughter and I wish she had someone else to grow up with:( I keep kicking myself over this! At the time my marriage was in the toilet and we divorced when she was 7.  If I could do it all over again, I’d have at least two more…even though my then husband was a creep. 

Post # 4
Member
857 posts
Busy bee

Sorry – I have an opposite story here, but it’s related to only-children so I thought I’d share.

Both my parents are only children, and they made the decision to have 2 (ended up being 3 ten years later!) because they wanted their children to grow up with a sibling because they didn’t enjoy being only-children. Not only because they didn’t have a brother/sister to play with, but as their parents got older they were the only ones to look after them and for both of them it was hard to not be able to share that responsibility. Neither of my parents could move away from their home town.

From the perspective of a child of two parents without siblings – I can also say that tiny families SUCK. I have no aunts, uncles or cousins and I get way jealous when I see other peoples large families. Christmas is a bit boring when it’s the same as every other day of the year.

Post # 5
Member
4499 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

I’m an only child and I have always thought of it as a positive thing, too. I didn’t grow up lonely or envious of people with siblings. My mother has 5 brothers and she knew from the start that she always only wanted one child because things were tight in her family and she wanted to be able to give me more than what she had. I was able to go to a really good college out-of-state and I traveled around the world with my parents from a very young age. These are things I wouldn’t have been able to do if I had siblings.

My father was an only child as well and doesn’t seem to regret not having siblings.

Post # 6
Member
4664 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

My parents chose to have one child for several reasons. The main two:

1. Money. They barely had any as is. More mouths to feed would be an impossible feat. 

2. DNA. Both sides are not exactly models of genetic perfection. Considering some of the stuff floating around within the last couple generations, they felt almost lucky that I got away with an allergy to sunlight, mild IBS, and anxiety. 

My dad said “She’s got ten fingers and ten toes and doesn’t get sick much and does well in school. Let’s not roll the dice again.”

3. Stress, this going also with #1. My parents do not always handle stress all that well and they like their quiet time. (Is it any wonder where I got it…) 

From my POV: (more data, if you’d like it, though I know you’re one too)

Being an only child was good. I don’t feel I was spoiled because my family had no extra resources with which to spoil me, but I do feel that my parents are not the big family type and would have struggled much more. I would have lost a lot of opportunities. Never been able to learn a lot of the skills I got to learn because while resources were basic, I never had to compete for them. I feel better off because of that. 

I am a socially anxious introvert, but I know people from massive families who are the same, I suspect I would have been an introvert one way or another, and being an only child was much less stressful than I think having siblings would have been, given that. There’s something about knowing that what’s yours is yours that does not soften you, but in fact makes you more confident and secure, in my opinion.

I know people who have great connections with siblings but are basically unable to entertain themselves and become miserably bored every time no one wants to hang out with them. I have no such difficulty and am very choosy about my friends as a result – they have to be better than being with just me, which is pretty good. 

I had a few close friends that taught me all the stuff about sharing and whatnot you’re supposed to learn from siblings, I don’t feel like I missed out at all. My best friends are like siblings I chose due to awesome ness, and from whom I can get away if I want to. 

I feel like interacting more with adults than people my age for large chunks of my history made me more eloquent and curious. 

Yes, I had an imaginary friend. Secret? I still do. 100% beneficial and awesome. I almost feel bad for people without them. 

The main downside is I can’t handle yelling. In a small family, yelling is always serious, there’s no “yelling just to be heard” and I am naturally sensitive to start with. This has been an issue with FH, as he is one of 7 and will yell at the drop of a hat because it’s just normal. That freaks me right out. 

Anyway I’m quite happy and well adjusted, if a bit odd to some, but I don’t see that as a bad thing. If I weren’t childfree, I’d probably be having just one, because I thought it was awesome.

Post # 7
Member
7318 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast

We have one, who is now 15. I didn’t have more because, well, becoming a parent at 18 while in an abusive relationship was no picnic in the park. And DS is a challenging child. I was quite simply in no mental, emotional, or financial shape to have more children for a very long time.

That said, we’ve now started having a conversation about expanding our family. A new bebe would be like raising an only child all over again, since there would be a ginormous age gap. I am open to having 2 very close together this time because I saw how much DS has craved a sibling over the years, and I would like the opportunity to raise kids together. Basically, having been there-done that, I know what changes I would make this time around. But first I have to get Mr. LK on board, which may mean that my bebe dreams remain just that.

Post # 8
Member
7169 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2010

While I have 2 kids myself, I am an only child.  My parents were part of the zero population growth movement back in the 70’s.  I loved being an only child!

Post # 9
Member
1444 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

My daughter, who is 22, is an only child.  She was 7 when her dad and I divorced.  Some reasons for her being an only child:  I didn’t want to go through pregnancy/labor/delivery again (long story); financially there was no way we could afford another child in daycare, plus all the other expenses.  I also didn’t appreciate her dad’s attitude towards me and what he considered my responsibilities.  I took on the majority of taking care of our daughter and household stuff and working full time. 

My daughter does not regret being an only child (she’s told me so) and I certainly don’t regret it.  I have a wonderful daughter and we have a good relationship.

For the record, I come from a family with 4 kids and being the oldest, I got the least attention.  I came from a broken home and had to move out when I was 18.  I made sure my kid had all her needs met, and then some. 

Post # 10
Member
2341 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

I am an only child! When I was very small I remember asking for a little sister but that desire quickly faded haha I liked being an only child. It allowed my family to travel a ton when I was young, allowed me to go to a great college with substantial financial help from my parents… Was I spoiled? Yeah. But I was also taught to be thankful for what I had and to be grateful and to work hard. I wasn’t lonely growing up, I learned how to interact with adults (my parents friends) I think more than most children, which helped me be more mature than kids my age, and I had my own friends growing up to play with. Just because you are an only child, it doesn’t make you a socially inept or lonely (not saying you guys think that, but I think some people do).

With that said, I probably will have multiple children because I do want my kids to have siblings. Despite having a great childhood, I will never know what it is like to have a sisterly bond. And like some of you said, it will probably be hard down the road when my parents need help and I am solely responsible for caring for them. I don’t want to bestow that on anyone.

Post # 11
Member
358 posts
Helper bee

I’m still a long ways out from having kids but I could seriously see us only having one.  While I’ve always wanted to be a mom I just can’t see myself running around with a bunch of little kids and we both want a balence between kids, career, marrage and personal time without feeling stressed which would be harder with more than one kid.  Also after getting through the pregnancy, labor, sleepless nights and diapers to a point wherwe things are calm and we can consider a second, I really don’t see myself wanting to go through all of that again.  I also feel like we have a close “family” already with just us and our cat and think we could bring that family closeness better to one kid and a pet than to multiple

Post # 12
Member
358 posts
Helper bee

Also I have three siblings so four kids total growing up and it was way too much.  Everyone was always stressed, disorganized and running about so much that no one really spent time together.  I really am not close to any of my siblings or my parents and my parents marrage has been rough because of it

Post # 13
Member
101 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

@Mrsluckywife:  I am not the only child however, My mother was the only child and she was very lonely. Even though she was very spoiled she was lonely. My mother only had two girls and we are eight years apart I felt like the only child even with a sibiling bc we were so many years apart. 

 

When my grandmother got sick my mother being the only child she had to care for her alone. My brother in law only wants one child. I think it’s best to have more if you can care and afford more. 

Post # 14
Member
1847 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

We have only one child right now who is 7. We tried to have more, but I kept loosing the pregnancies. We are actively trying to adopt, but if that doesnt work out it’ll be ok, our family is completely with one child.

We love how simple our life is with only 1, as selfish as that sounds. It’s easy to do anything we want with him, whereas I see it being more difficult with multiple children (more money, more time, more to do, etc). Plus, we have a very healthy happy bright young boy, and there’s a lot of other “stuff” floating around in FI’s gene-pool that we weren’t too keen on reproducing. (alcoholism, depression, genetic disorders, anxiety, gross motor delays, etc..) so we feel very blessed for what we have.

Post # 15
Member
9693 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

@adoc86:  +1. This is exactly why FI and I are considering one child. We want to be able to give that one child everything, and that wouldn’t be possible if our attention and finances were shared between several children. I love the idea of a big family (I have 3 brothers and a sister), but I need to make sure it is feasible for us before we embark on that route.

Post # 16
Member
1964 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: January 2013

We are currently planning for just one child, and there are quite a few reasons for it. We want to be parents but I also did not get my masters to be a full time mom. I want to be able to balance career and my child, and I am worried that I will not be able to put as much attention as I would like into either with multiple kids. We want to stay financially comfortable, be able to travel, give our child opportunities that we may not be able to do if we had more. We also (FX) will have our neice living nearby again soon. She is 1.5 years old right now, and her mom needs a fair amount of help, so we anticipate that she will be over often and can provide sibling like companionship for our child, and also that her needs will sometimes keep us busy. We want to be sure we are in a position to help with her if needed.

I think choosing only child or not is a complex and unique decision for each family. And who knows, maybe when we start having babies we won’t want to stop and some of the things that seem important now will fade at the idea of having a larger family.

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