Post # 1
My husband and I have a daughter who is three. Growing up I always thought I would have zero or two kids. I would never have imagined I would only have one child… expecially by choice. But I never had that strong urge that I needed to be a mother. I never even baby sat or changed a diaper growing up.
Even when my daughter was born, up until she was around ten months, I just assumed we would have another. My husband always had a preference of having just one but would have been okay with having however many I wanted.
Well, time rolled on. I loved that my baby was turning into a little person with a personality and voice. I went back to work and was slowly starting to get some of my old life back. I guess this is when I realized I like the mix of mom life with my old life. I couldn’t imagine going back to having a newborn again and starting over. It clicked that one child was probably best for us.
I also discovered things about myself, things I don’t like, that came out as a mother. My patience has not grown at all as a mother. It is still short as ever. I get angry and flustered and hate it. Just getting myself and my daughter out the door in the morning is so frustrating. My husband leaves to work earlier so it’s just us. I hate the feeling of go go go and often times feels overwhelmed. This is with one child, I can’t imagine two. Plus, when my husband and I don’t get proper sleep we are both grumpy. I can get very grumpy in the moment and we struggle with our relationship when this happens.
I struggle with our decision, though. I think about her future all the time. I think about when she is an adult and who she will have in her life. She only has one cousin. If she doesn’t end up with a family of her own, and we are dead and gone, who will she have? I struggle daily with choosing my own happiness and contentment over hers. I hate myself for being so weak and feeling like I wouldn’t be able to handle two. I am jealous of parents with multiple children who seem to have their shit together more than I do.
As I write the first part of my post I feel so releived that our family is done. As I write the last part I get teary and feel like a horrible, selfish person for not giving my daughter a sibling.
I’m not really sure what I am looking for. I guess other parents with one child to talk to. Adults who are only children who were happy growing up and are happy with their lives now. I guess just to be able to rant.
Post # 2
I have several adult friends I’ve known since childhood who are only children, and they’re not particularly close to their cousins. They both have strong relationships with their parents and have many friends. Your daughter will be fine! Whatever the right decision is for you and your husband, it’s also the right decision for your daughter and your family overall.
Editing to add that at least one of my only-child friends has already decided that she also only wants one child, in case that makes you feel better – she loved her upbringing and wants the same quality of life for herself and her husband, and for her future child.
Post # 3
I’m an only child. It’s glorious—no sharing!
I never had the slightest interest in having a sibling. There is certainly no guarantee that they will be companions for each other, they could hate each other.
Dh is the middle child of three. His older brother died young. His “baby” sister is a pile of toxic sludge who, thankfully, lives in another state.
Your child needs a peer group of friends for companionship. The only valid reason to have a baby is because you desperately want a baby. Not as a playmate for your other child,
Post # 4
Not an only child but truly in my heart disliked having a sibling. Weʻre still TTC right now but we are 80% sure we only want one. We live in a top 3 most expensive place in the country and the mere cost of everything is just not feasible for 2 kids despite our great jobs (programmer and exec. chef). My friends with 2 kids I just see as pure chaos. I canʻt even handle it as an auntie and frankly I like nice things. Iʻm definitely one of “those”. One of my best friends just had her first, were determined to have 3, and are now fine with just the 1 cuz of how much work just the 1 is. My parents are absolutely dismayed that weʻre all stopping at 1 but things are just different now. The cost of things now, especially here, is just so outrageous idk how anyone does it and frankly yea, I want the best for my kid. I had terrible issues in my late teens/early 20s after growing up poor and having to share/give everything to someone else and getting picked on for never having the right clothes. Guess what? I found other ways to get what I wanted and I became really good at hiding things. I know thatʻs not how my parents pictured it but for some reason the “i need a playmate” thing trumped it all. Now on the other side, I strongly disagree so Iʻm selfish AF and like nice things.
The cherry on top is that my brother and I barely get along. We last 4 days with each other tops before weʻre ready to kill each other. Love him to pieces, would die for him in a heartbeat, but we just arenʻt close or bffʻs.
Post # 5
There are tons of people who have absolutely no relationship with their sibling, or really shitty ones. TBH I’m sure a lot of them would much prefer not having a sibling to having a painful relationship with one. A sibling is a guarantee of absolutely nothing other than someone with similar DNA.
Whatever will make you happy is what is best for your family, because you being as happy as you can be means you are free to be the best mom you can be.
Post # 6
Even if you had another there is no garuntee they would be close. I’m not especially close to my brother and my husband isn’t especially close to his siblings either. And other friends of my out right hate thier siblings.
Post # 7
Have you read the book NurtureShock? I highly recommend it! The chapter on sibling relationships seems very relevant to your situation.
- Really not much the parents can do to have an impact on how kids get along with their siblings:
““Relative to other factors,” said Kramer, “age spacing is not as strong a predictor. Nor is gender. There’s many other things to be concerned about.”” (Kindle Locations 1823-1825).
“[The quality of sibling relationships] has nothing to do with the parents. Instead, the predictive factor is the quality of the older child’s relationship with his best friend.” (Kindle Locations 1828-1829) (emphasis added).
“For the most part, the tone established when they were very young, be it controlling and bossy or sweet and considerate, tended to stay that way.” (Kindle Locations 1714-1715) (emphasis added).
- Kids do not learn social skills from their siblings, because there are no CONSEQUENCES to sibling interactions–Siblings are still gonna be there the next day after a fight, versus your friend might never speak to you again. Therefore, kids learn social skills from their friends. You don’t need to have multiple children to enable your daughter to learn social skills.
“It’s long been assumed that siblings learn on one another, and then apply the social skills they acquire to their relationships with peers outside the family. Kramer says it’s the other way around: older siblings train on their friends, and then apply what they know to their little brothers and sisters.” (Kindle Locations 1832-1835).
The book does back up its statements with studies but I just didn’t list them here.
Post # 8
I’m an only and (barring me doing a complete 180 after having my son) will be one and done.
I see threads like this all the time and it makes me really sad. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with growing up an only child. There’s not some missing piece in my heart that I cry over every night because I don’t have a sibling. And other than my mom and dad, none of my other blood family members have ever shown much love or support, so I don’t put much stock into the whole “if only you have blood relatives around, you’ll have people to rely on forever” thing. My own “family” and my own support network has developed from all of my relationships. They’re the family I’ve chosen and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Post # 9
Girl, one is more than enough. It’s called playdates and friends. Your child does not ‘need’ a sibling (although I had two kids). The less you have, the more you have to give (resources wise especially). My girlfriend has one and he is now 14 and flourishing. Being an only child is equally awesome. IMO, your mental health is worth way more than having another baby just to have another. And you don’t know what kind of relationship that kid will have with your daughter anyway.
Post # 10
I am an only child and did not get my first ever cousin until I was 15.
I will sum it up. You become VERY independent. Which has its perks but… I unintentionally display that I don’t NEED anyone to get things done. That might hurt a feeling or two. But I don’t mean it. My SO is getting used to it.
She is not going to know what it is like to have a sibling and that is OK. It was more weird gaining step “siblings” at 23 years old. I got annoyed when my dad called them my sisters and brother. Because it just is strange to say so late in life. 🙂
Needless to say, I am mostly an introvert that enjoys my own company but can pull the extrovert a night or two a month and still be very sociable.
There are more perks than cons. My only worry as an only child… is when my parents become old. Other than my SO… I have no idea how i will cope emotionally being their only caretaker. Plus no sibling to talk to about it. That is literally the only thing that concerns me… being just me.
Post # 11
I know plenty of people who were only children and loved it. As far as when she’s older, you can’t predict how the relationship between siblings will turn out. I know, like the previous poster stated, some only children worry about becoming their parents sole caretaker, but on the other hand, I’ve seen many adult siblings become very contentious regarding care for their elderly parents and inheritence issues.
Post # 12
I’m an only child. I love it! I would never want a sibling. I watched all my friends fight endlessly with their siblings and I was so glad I never had to deal with it. I bond deeply with my friends. When I pick them. They become my family.
I was told all my life that it would be hard when my parents were gone. For me, it didn’t change because I always knew it would happen and I would only have myself. I was prepared. I always knew no matter what life threw at me, I would have myself and that was okay.
When my Fiance and I talk about maybe having a kid, it’s always one. We want to give a kid the best we can. The best education. Trips. Our time. I know more then one would not be in the card for me.
Post # 13
I covered this a little in my post. My mom died this year. I’m estranged from my father so it made things a little weird. But while my mom was in hospice, I can say you just keep moving. It’s weird. I just knew I only had myself. I knew my mothers wishes and I did what needed to be done. I think part of being an only child prepares you for this part of life. Being alone in some of the big moments.
Do yourself a huge favor. Know your parents wishes so and no point in time do you have to question if you are doing the right then. It gives you solace.
Post # 14
There’s no guarantee siblings will even be there for each other. My brother and I are close now, but not so much in our teens and early 20s. My sister and I are extremely close, but are quite a few years apart.
My cousins are one of five, and none of them are close.
I’ve had lots of friends who are an only child and for the most part they seem very well adjusted and secure in who they are.
I think it all depends on the kids, their upbringing and life experiences.
I wouldn’t feel bad only have one, just make sure you nourish her friendships as she grows.
Post # 15
I have a sibling, but my mom often says she thinks I would have been happier as an only child. I guess I was kind of an asshole as a kid and my little brother and I didn’t have a great relationship most of my youth. We were also 4 years apart in school, so we never overlapped except for 1st/5th grade. While we’re similar people, we were always in two different places.
I’m close to him now than I’ve ever been – we talk a few times a week – but he has terminal brain cancer. Glioblastoma multiforme. Soon enough, I will be an only child. My mom always told me that her relationship with her brothers only solidified in adulthood (except the one who was stealing from her mom and ended up in prison… not all siblings are winners), and that many of the close periods you enjoy with siblings happen long after childhood… and I won’t have that anyway. My parents gave me a sibling and life is going to take him away in his mid-20s.
You can’t predict the future, and you can’t predict how a sibling relationship would unfold with your child. If you feel best about having one, do so without guilt. You’re not depriving your daughter of anything, especially if you feel that a second child would only add to your burdens. Many people are very happy as only children.