Post # 1
Going anon because I have a few friends and co-workers who use this site.
So, DH and I have started TTC. We have discussed this thoroughly, we have read lots of articles/blogs and have really done some “soul” searching to make the decision…to have only one child.
When I was younger, I used to buy into the “you can’t have just one” and “your child will be so lonely” or “only children are weird.” Well, now at 30 years old, I am tired of “believing” what others want me to believe. I can decide for myself.
When DH and I agreed on one child, it was like an extreme anxiety and fear was immediately relieved. I knew I wanted to be a mother, but honestly, the idea of two or more children really overwhelms me. We are not anticipating that raising one child will be easy, but we feel it will be more manageable and ideal for us. I am actually really “at peace” with the decision and feel more confident and comfortable than ever with becoming a parent.
What I find amazingly ridiculous, however, is the reaction I have received from family, friends and co-workers when it is dicussed. Our decision is in part due to financial, social and lifestyle impacts. I understand other may or may not agree, but no matter the reasons, it’s OUR decision to make. Regardless, we have heard the following statements repeatedly:
- “Only selfish parents have one child because it isn’t fair to not have a sibling”
- “If you are making your decision based on finances, then you shouldn’t have children at all”
- “Your child will grow up to be weird, won’t know how to share and will be self-absorbed”
- After I mentioned that studies have shown that parent/marital satistfaction and happiness is higher among single child families, I was told, “having children isn’t about a parent’s happiness, it’s about the child’s happiness.” Ok–tell that to children of divorced parents.
- “Once you have your first child, you will see how much you really want a second child.”
Ugh, it’s astounding what people say. I honestly don’t care what others do and how many children they have, but somehow it’s ok to comment. Yes, I haven’t had a child yet and maybe we will change our mind, but what if we don’t? Are we doomed to a life of harrassment and comments about our selfishness?
Are there any other bees with one child that have experienced this? Does it stop? What do you say?
Post # 2
As an only child who loved every second of being an only child, it pisses me off when people say shit like that. It’s like people seem to think of the “perfect model family” with 2 kids (a boy and a girl of course) and if a couple decides to only have one kid, then that kid is without a doubt going to grow up depressed, lonely, spoiled, and damaged for life. *eyeroll*
I’m gearing up to hear all these things since FI and I only want to have one kid, and it’s not going to be pretty. Pure ignorance. These people and the people who say “you must not love your children if you’re a working mom” should stay far, far away from me.
Post # 3
annonbee857: I feel you. My FI and I are in the same boat!
Throught my life I always imagined I’d have two kids. Then I actually took care of two children for 4 years and got a good sense of the amount of energy, money and basically EVERYTHING goes into it. It was a real eye opener. So I’ve decided that one is all I can handle and really one is all I need. FI feels exactly same. There is definitely a possibility that we’ll change our minds, but I’ll leave thinking about that for later.
Yes I have heard the same negative things, even though research and real life examples abound of only children being just as likely to be happy and well adjusted as those with siblings. As well as those with siblings that can’t stand each other, fought and caused all kinds of chaos for their parents.
As long as you’re prepared to be a loving parent, and can take care to socialize your child with other children they will turn out fine.
Post # 4
Just ignore it. Your reproductive choices are nobody’s business but you and your husband’s.
I’m in a similar boat – my husband and I have agreed to try for one child, and then we will see how we find that experience and decide if we want another. It makes perfect sense to me to make these kinds of life decisions based on the greatest amount of knowledge and evidence possible, so we’re leaving it at a ‘maybe’ until we know more. Hell, we might be unable to conceive at all, or have something go horribly wrong at the birth and I’ll be rendered unable to carry any more children anyway. There aren’t any certainties in life, so I’m going to stick to preferences rather than firm decisions.
Your biggest mistake here was inviting other people to weigh in by telling them about your thoughts on kids. Stop telling them and start brushing off intrusive questions, and you will likely find that the criticism stops as well.
Post # 5
Im an only child and I turned out fine. I admit that I was a little lonely at times and I wish I had siblings so my future kids could have aunts/uncles and loads of cousins like I did. BUT those are minor things. I also have a much better relationship with my parents than any of my friends who have siblings and I love that.
Seriously, kids only grow up to be spoilt or selfish or rude or whatever if that’s how their parents brought them up. It has nothing to do with their (lack of) siblings.
Post # 6
i was thinking the same thing! For one I have cousins who are only children and they are good people not messed up.
its so expensive to raise a child and I’m not on any government help. Lol. So it’s all us and I don’t think you should be looked down at for wanting to at least have one kid. down the road it could change or not but that is up to us. who cares what they think !!
Post # 7
- Wedding: July 2012 - Muckenthaler Cultural Center
As an only child, whose father is 86 with failing health and no savings, I wish I had a sibling to navigate the world of medicare/assisted living/end of life with. Being an only child as a kid was great! I had cousins nearby and lots of friends, just make sure you plan for your retirement and geriatric years.
Post # 8
annonbee857: Why are you telling people your plans, especially friends and co-workers? I think that is a mistake. Don’t tell anyone your plans. An unfortunate fact of life is that people have no filter and can’t (or won’t) stop themselves spouting the first thought which comes into their head. So if you tell many people your plans, then almost inevitably some will fire back an ill-thought reponse.
p.s. I have 3 kids but fully support people to choose how many to have. We didn’t tell anyone our plans. Whenever we were asked, we brushed the question off. We stopped having kids after the 3rd, and people worked it out.
Post # 9
annonbee857: the whole “if you’re basing your decision on finances then you shouldn’t even have children” argument makes me literally laugh out loud. Maybe if more people actually based their decision to have a child or children based on finances there wouldn’t be so many orphans, abortions, or starving children in this world.
you have as many children as your heart desires! it is a personal choice and if your husband is in agreements then to hell with anyone else!
Post # 10
annonbee857: My opinion isn’t included in the poll, which is “have the number of children you want and can afford.” It’s nobody’s business but yours, I’m amazed you’ve received such openly hostile advice about something so personal! Something about babies (and weddings for that matter) make people think they can express their personal opinions when really their opinion isn’t wanted.
The trick is to stop sharing your personal decisions with “family, friends and coworkers.” When you share something that doesn’t need to be shared it it’s an invitation for people to voice their opinions about your decision. I’m pregnant at the moment and people have asked how many we plan to have, I tell them “we’ll see.” Because saying “the number of future residents of my womb couldn’t be farther from your business” would probably be kind of rude 😉
Post # 11
aussiemum1248: It’s too late to edit my post but I meant to write “some people have no filter”, not “people have no filter”.
Post # 12
Penang1885: aussiemum1248: FWIW, I am not shouting from the roof tops our plans. If it comes up in casual conversation, then I have contributed to the discussion. I should be able to be honest without being attacked….it’s only happened a few times and I haven’t continued discussing it with them after.
ETA: attacked isn’t quite the right word, I guess I feel like most people are trying to convince to change my mind. I brush it off, but I guess I am just surprised how passionate people are about the subject.
Post # 13
annonbee857: I mean, that’s just the way people are about both weddings and babies in my experience. Those subjects seem to have a way of turning usually sane, sensitive people into raging jerks. Far better to just give a diplomatic “We’ll see!” or “We’re thinking about it!” and smile beatifically. If you’re sensitive about it, try not to give people an opening because they will frequently abuse it.
Post # 14
I always wanted two kids until I got pregnant and realised it was hard. Everyone told me I’d change my mind when the baby was born, but it actually made me even more certain that more than one child isn’t for me. He’s now almost 9 months old and, while I love him to bits, I’m never doing this again! Fortunately my husband feels the same way.
People have started to ask me when I’ll be having another baby and I’ve just told them that I’m not. I don’t think I’ve heard any of the comments you’ve received as I don’t discuss it further with people. I don’t want any more children, my husband doesn’t want any more children. End of discussion.
Post # 15
Personally FI and I only want one child. Interestingly enough, I have a sibling and am more self absorbed and bad at sharing than he is and he’s an only child! I blame it on the fact that I had to fight with my brother for everything growing up. He never had to compete with anyone so he’s much better at sharing and the like.
Do what’s best for you OP. It’s completely possible to have a “normal” and happy only child.