Is having only one child a bad thing?

Jessica - posted on 03/29/2012 ( 24 moms have responded )

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Hi, I'm Jessica and and new to this site. I have one 5 year old daughter, Maddie. I'm 41 years old and don't plan on having any more kids. My husband is very disappointed that we didn't have a 2nd. (Some things going on in my life kind of prohibited me from having another). Anyway, my husband thinks that my daughter is going to be lonely and when we die she'll have no one. I have 2 sisters and one brother and he has 1 sister. I am very close with my sisters. He just makes me feel so guilty that she is our only one. He's worried about her future and who will be there for her. I am not really worried. She is very outgoing and makes friends very easily. I told him that she could have some very close friends when she gets older that are almost like sisters to her. Is is so bad to only have one child? This is really putting a strain on our marriage.

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Lara - posted on 10/23/2012

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I am an only child and I wouldnt say it is bad. My parents were in their forties when I was born and passed by the time I was 30. Until then, I loved my life as an only. I had a great childhood and loved my parents dearly. As an adult, with no close family left, I think it might have been nice to have a sibling or a cousin close in age but I still must admit that I had great parents and a great life. My son is an only, not by choice but because I am defective and cant reproduce and I would love for him to have a sibling but its not in the cards. Thankfully, he has 4 uncles, 2 cousins, grandparents, etc, He loves being an only child. He loves having all my attention and loves not sharing me. We babysat for his cousin a few months ago and he made it clear he never wants a baby in this house. We live in a neighborhood with lots of kids and he always has playmates.

Lisa - posted on 05/09/2012

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This sounds exactly like my Husband and I a few years ago. We would fight all the time. He wanting another child and me not (by choice). I even ended up seeing a counselor about "my issue" and found out that only one is what is right for me. I do not think it is so bad to have only one. I come from a family of 2 and am not close to my brother at all. My husband comes from 6 (4 boys and 2 girls). He is very close with one of his brother and regular close to the rest. he loved having kids to play with growing up (they lived in the country). My husband main concern was "Only Child Syndrome" where she is spoiled and doesn't share and all that other stuff that our child isn't. Yes, she won't have siblings to help her when we get old, but I won't have help with my mom either (my brother is not responsible like that). I always say she will have great friends and a her own family to look to for support.

What got us through, was a big heart to heart where we discussed my reasons for not wanting more than one (financial, didn't think I could do it, I really thought I would be a BAD parent if I had more than one. I would be over-stressed, etc) and told him that he can't live with my decision, that maybe he should find someone else. (I was only partially willing to walk away and you really shouldn't say something like that unless you are going to be ok with whatever decision they make.). Thank god he didn't and he no longer bothers me about it and does not egg his family on when they bring it up.

Hope things work out for you and your husband. I know I had a rocky start of it after our daughter was born, but she's 7 now and the most wonderful child.

Angel - posted on 04/23/2012

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Be blessed by the child you have.I have one child (a daughter-my miracle child) and although my husband would love to have another ;it is not in God's plan for us.My daughter just turned 11 this month.She is beautiful,witty,outgoing,creative,and super smart.She has lots of friends and cousins to interact with.Aunts,uncles,grandparents,etc. Yes,we have a only child.We have to spend more one on one time than folks that have several kids .She has a vast array of interest,and functions higher than 98% of her classmates.She learned to read ,walk,write,etc. early.I have one child;and we can provide a good life for her.We are a regular middle class family;but we do not have the stress of worrying about how we will send her to college,by her first car,and all those other milestones.I guess I'm saying there are upsides to both sides of the coin.I'm 44 .

Kimberly - posted on 04/01/2012

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I am 37 weeks pregnant now with what my husband and I agreed to be our only child. I read on the advantages and disadvantages of being an only child but I had already made up my mind that this would be it for me. It's not because I don't like children. I've always only wanted one child. Pregnancy isn't something that I enjoy. It has not been a pleasure for me. Other than that, I have a sister and a brother. We get along pretty well but I was already 8 years old before my mother had my sister. I was absolutely crushed. I wanted to be an only child. Please don't think that being an only child will hinder your child at all. The main advantage is that the child gets maximum attention from the parents. All his genuine needs can be fulfilled. The child gets proper education by admission to a good school, and also at home the parent who has time tries his or her best to impart teaching. Such children are often involved in extracurricular activities and sports. Being able to get individual and personalised attention of the parents the child tends to learn more and behave in a more refined manner. So ease your mind! Your baby girl will be fine! Good luck!

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Welcome Jessica! My 7 year old son is an only child for many reasons. Some of the reasons are selfish on my part- but necessary. But first and foremost, this is a decision that you & your husband need to agree upon and should never strain your marriage. I knew almost right away that I didn't want more kids after my son, and I had a lot of guilt in not providisng more kids for my husband. It took a lot of time and a lot of talkng through my feelings and emotions for a few years. Now we couldn't agree more on raising an only child.



My only child is defiantely far from lonely. He has so many friends in the neighborhood and is active in karate. While cousins do not replace a sibling, my son is close with his 2 cousins: close in age, live locally, and all 3 attend the same school. Like your daughter, my son is outgoing, makes friends easily, and has never exhibited any signs of depression due to a lack of a sibling.



Don't worry about your daughter's future for the sole reason of not having a sibling! Plus having a sibling does not guarantee they will get a long or like each other. (Hubby & his brother really can't stand each other and have never been close) There are so many positive, wonderful advantages to raising an only child: more time, individual attention, possibility of being in a better financial position, possibly better opportunities, lots of mother-daughter outings, independence, etc.



Being a mother does not define you at 1 child or 5 kids! Be proud of your only child- I know I am :-)

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Priscilla - posted on 10/01/2012

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I don't think there is absolutely nothing wrong with choosing to have only one child. I only have one little boy, but I have 5 sisters and 2 brothers. I get the same questions, "are you sad he will be alone when you and your husband die?" Well, I tell them wouldn't it be more sad to have a slew of kids who didn't get along, like my siblings and me. My closests friend, whom I also consider a sister, is not blood-related. Teach you kid to be a good person, and there will never be a question whether or not they will be alone at any point in time.



My husband and I chose to have one because (1) my husband already had one, and (2) my husband is military and I work in social services, so there is not way we can afford to be parents of 15 children.

Shanna - posted on 09/10/2012

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We too have only one child, our daughter who is 5. Both my husband and I agree she is going to be our only. We just don't want another and feel it wouldn't be fair to our daughter or a sibling to have another just for the sake of giving her a sibling. Besides this way we can give her so much more, take her on trips we otherwise couldn't afford, put her in private school, etc.

We have many friends who all have kids her age so she's not wanting for company. Just make sure to help her foster friendships and she'll do great!

Neetu - posted on 09/05/2012

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Jessica,



Your story is exactly the same as mine. Its really hard and I keep on asking everyone what I should do in this scenario. I think the answers posted by the mothers here are really helpful. Its our life and we should think what's best for us.

Divya - posted on 06/27/2012

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Hi Jessica. I 'm a mother to our only daughter who is 7 now .I myself has a sister who is 8 yrs younger to me. We ( me and my) sister never ever had played together or either shared anything together during our childhood as there was a gap of 8 yrs .i don't think your daughter will feel lonley in life .Just make her mingle with friends of her age group and you yourself can be her best friend .

It's always good or say we love to have more kids ,but siblings are not the only answer for child's lonlyness.

Angela - posted on 05/29/2012

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I was an only child growing up, and my husband had a larger family. Because I was an only child maybe my parents tried harder to make sure I stayed close to my cousins, and my friends I grew up with (which I still am really close to most of them) because of it, and my husband loves his sibling but isn't close to them at all, and doesn't really have that much of a bond with them. Just because you have siblings doesn't always mean you're going to be close to them, and just because you're an only child doesn't mean you're going to be alone and not have that speical bond with someone. Like someone said she's going to have close friends and boyfriends, and other family... aunts, uncles, cousins, that shes going to be close too... eventually a husband and a family of her own, so although she doesn't a sibling in her home, doesn't mean shes going to miss out on a bond of growing up with someone, or feel alone.

April - posted on 05/23/2012

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Having one child is not a bad thing rather having a lot of children and not being able to support them with all their need is the bad thing for me.

I only have one child and my husband and I actually do not have any plans of having another one for us to be able to give all the things that our child needs especially a good education and besides i have siblings and my child has cousins and as long as they are friends and they will grow up close then it's as good as having brothers and sisters. :))

Linda - posted on 05/07/2012

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I have been a single mother of one daughterfor eleven years. Some have told me that i made a mistake stopping at one, but for my own personal reasons, more than one child would ahve been more than I could have handled, There are times I am sad that my daughter may not have a brother or sister to lean on when the day comes that I am no longer here. But honestly, that could be the case if she were to have a sibling and the sibling passed before her. Ultimately, the most important thing, has been giving my daughter a very large support system and lots of opportunities for social connection. It hasn't been perfect, but I don't believe having another child would have solved anything :)

Susan - posted on 04/19/2012

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Hi Jessica

My name is Susan and i am 42 I had my son 4 yrs ago and i also wanted another but i had problems with my son with me being Diabetic my doctor did not want to cut on me my son was stuck and would not come back down the canal and my doctor had to get advice from a resident doctor and he told her to get me prepped now before the baby was in more distress than what he was. I still want another but i think my baby making days are over.

Also i do agree with you about only having the one child

Louise - posted on 04/16/2012

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Having a family with brothers and sisters does not mean they will be together when they are adults. I have one brother and two half sisters. I have not seen my brother for 3 years and my sisters I have not seen for 30 years! We do talk on facebook but we do not know each other.

You have to look long term. Hopefully you and your husband will live to a ripe old age and by then she will be married with children of her own. I have two sons which are adults and I can tell you by the time your daughter hits 17 she will never be in. You are lucky to see them once a week. I also have a 3 year old and I did worry about the future for her and still do some days. But I know she is a bubbly person who is never short of a friend to play with. If anything happend to me she would bounce back eventually and be happy once again.

This should not affect your marriage, if you can not have any more children of your own then why not think about adoption or foster care. Or be happy with your lot! :-)

Jennifer - posted on 04/13/2012

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I don't think it's a bad thing. I have only one child and I'm fine with it. My mental sanity prolly could not handle more then one child right now anyway. My husband and I have talked about having a second baby when we get the money to do so (right now money isn't great). But we'll see. Being an only child won't kill my son :P I think he actually prefers it. That way he doesn't have to share. :P

7rin - posted on 04/10/2012

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Depends on how you'd define bad, I s'pose.



I was an only child eventually, however my daughter's always been an only child and is quite happy that way. It's me who has more of a problem with it because I worry about her having no-one to turn to once I'm gone. Almost everyone else we know has siblings, think her and me ex-hubby (not her dad) are the only "only child"s I know.

Jennifer - posted on 04/06/2012

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Having only one child is not a bad thing at all. :) My husband and I are both only children and agreed that we would only have one as well. We know first hand the many benefits of being only children. The other ladies above have listed out some great points already, I just wanted to chime in that I agree it's not a bad thing.



Hopefully your child will get married some day and that way they will have their own family to turn to when you are no longer here... but even without marriage, she will undoubtedly make some really close friends over the years. She will likely have people in her life she considers as close as family and although they wouldn't be bound to her by blood, they will be bound to her by love. :)

Amber - posted on 04/06/2012

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My lil man has close friends at his preschool that we get together with, got a lil Chuck E Cheese date planned for Saturday plus he has his cousin who is only 7 months older than him (my hubby's brother's son) that live 6 houses up from us so your daughter will be just fine with friends and cousins, if no cousins, I have plenty of my girlfriends who are far better sisters than some biological sisters are to their own blood.

Amber - posted on 04/06/2012

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Hi Jessica, NO it is absolutely not a bad thing to have a one and only. I am the proud mommy of my one and only lil man who will be 5 in 2 weeks:( grew up way too fast for me. I'm 29 and my hubby is 34, I had to have a hysterectomy last year so we are definately finished!! And you know what, we are thrilled to be a happy, nonstressed family of 3 (well 4 if you consider our sweet doggy daughter). We are going to Disney for a 2nd time for our lil man's bday. We get out and about almost all the time, and we eat out for just about as cheap as to cook something at home. I work full-time as a nurse and my hubby is a grocery manager, so we don't feel so guilty about working full-time to be good providers to our lil man who is our life when he gets our full attention when we're not working. It would be a completely different story if we had 3 or 4 kids. Also, a sibling doesn't guarantee a friend for life. I know of many siblings who aren't even on speaking terms. Your lovely daughter will make friends and they can be her "sisters/brothers by choice". Please don't let a few negatives make you feel bad about your decision. Most of the people who respond with negativity are just jealous that they didn't opt for the lifestyle that we have chosen for our families. I'm sorry but staying home all the time, strapped for cash and always having a mess to clean up, laundry to do, noise, chaos and kids having to share bedrooms and bathrooms doesnt appeal to me at all and my lil man deserves better. I know some people who are rich with a house full of children don't live this way. But my hubby and I are honest, middle class hard working citizens so we can very comfortably provide our one lil man with a pretty sweet life:) I have friends with 3 and 4 kids and they are miserable and always say, "must be nice to get to spoil your child all the time", well it is nice but we are also instilling good character in him too and he is a natural born people pleaser any way. So, be proud of your family of 3:) You seem like a great mommy:)

Stephanie - posted on 04/05/2012

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I am 29 and my son is 6. My husband and I are happy with our son being an only child. It is perfect for our family. Our son also has ADHD so him by himself is like having 3 kids ;)

Beth - posted on 04/03/2012

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Hi Jessica! I also hav eth eexact sane concerns as your husband soes, that she will not have anyone to be there for her when she is an adult. I also have siblings and her dad has a sister, and I do feel guilty about that when i know my daughter doesn't. I often wonder how my daughter feels about me having siblings and she doesn't. My daughter is 13 and has several friends, some of whom she calls her sisters. I do feel bad that she doesn't have siblings to watch over her as she gets older, but then I remind myself that she has cousins, and when she gets married and has her own family, she will have them to take care of her, and she is the type who will probably always have friends around her. Having siblings isn't always a good thing; I'm glad that my daughter doesn't have to go through the teasing and torment and sibling rivalry that comes with haivng siblings. My daugher and I are close and so is she and her dad, and that is what is most important, that she feels loved by her parents.

Senada - posted on 04/02/2012

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No! definitely not, but on the other hand it is not a good tha tyou and your husband don't agree about it. Furthermore, your child is already five and having a daughter in the same age I woudl suggest that you talk even to her about how does she feel about it.



I knwo that I would love to give a sibling to my daughter, and I still did not give up that idea compeltely although I am aware that the chances for it are gettting smaller every. Adoption seemed impossible and after a two-year-long process of compulsory preparation I gave up. I have no partner, I'm 43, a foreigner, living all on my own and I know it not an easy thing to raise a child, but I know every time I see a baby or a pregnant woman I feel longing after a child both for me and for my daughter. As long as I have that feeling I will not give up the idea of having antoher child.



For me it seems as if you are not really sure about your decision for otherwise you woudl not ask that question. think for yourslef, honestly and try to imagine your self in about 20 years - is there any chance you woudl regret your decision of not having another child?



best

Jessica - posted on 03/30/2012

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Thanks so much. I too have private reasons for not wanting another. I feel that I can devote all of my love attention to my daughter and I'm so glad for that. I don't think I could ever handle another at this point in my life.

Sarah - posted on 03/30/2012

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Well truth be told I have 3 sisers and we're just not in the same places of life right now.

Your daughter will grow up date boys have girlfriends to laugh and share with, it's nice having siblings but I know lots of people who really couldn't care less if they had siblings and they're only childs.

I'm only planning on having one and since you had one quite late in life I really don't blame you for not wanting another one for reasons which are only for you to know.

I have a 10 month old son, and I'm very young (18) so I have lots of time to have more kids and plan but it's just not really my thing. I love my son but he's extremely needy and for private reasons I don't think I could handle another one.



Know that you've put every ounce of effort into your child, she will grow up with more guidance and love then you could give her if you had more.

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