What does having an only child mean to you?

Jenee - posted on 09/02/2010 ( 198 moms have responded )

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I was reading the post asking if anyone was having another child soon or later. I thought that having an "only child" meant that you would only have this one child and not any others? What does having an only child mean to you? How did you decide that only one is good for you? Any regrets?

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Leslie - posted on 09/09/2010

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One is the perfect number for us. I was an only child too, and I loved it, and I still love being the only! I could not have a child, so we adopted our daughter from birth. Before adopting, we knew that we were "only parents." My husband and I feel we get to enjoy being with our daughter more because she doesn't have to compete. She seems to have a sense of peacefulness about her. Our child is 10 years old. She gets good quality attention and love. I like that we can do more for her emotionally, mentally and financially. I spend a lot of time talking with her and being with her. Sure there are some draw backs socially for an only child, but the rewards are great! We have absolutely no plans of having any other children. This works for all of us!

Megan - posted on 09/09/2010

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Having an only means that this is enough for me. My husband and i were just fine with only the two of us and we found out about our little blessing. We love and are grateful for our son, and we are satisfied with our family life, we have no need for anything more

Heather - posted on 09/09/2010

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We had only planned on one before we had our daughter. A combination of health problems on my part which lead to a hysterectomy and my daughter's Autism diagnosis sealed the deal. I regret nothing, my daughter is everything I wanted in a child.

Louise - posted on 09/09/2010

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I keep being asked if/when we will have another, though less and less now as my DD is 7 and i am about to turn 40. I have even had people describe me as selfish for only having/wanting one, but my answer is that our family of 3 works, we're great together - why spoil it?

Robyn - posted on 09/09/2010

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My daughter will stay our one and only. To me having one means having more time to give to her, more financial resources for her. I work full time as a teacher and can't imagine coming home to more than one. My husband is also deployed quite often so I have to do the single parent thing while he is gone. I love my daughter more than life itself and know having one is what is best for our family.

Julie - posted on 09/08/2010

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I had my beautiful boy at the age of 35. I have a career and my husband has Diabetes type 1. There will be no more children for us. My little sunshine will receive everything in life he needs from his parents and more. I sometimes have an urge to have another but then I feel that would be selfish and risky. We are so lucky to have a healthy child when there are so many people out there who cannot have children.

Messina - posted on 09/08/2010

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I do just have one child. He is a wonderful 9 year old boy! We just have one child becasue of complications with the pregnancy, and was told that I should not have anymore kids. He is completly a blessing even though he is our only child. We do not plan on adopting any children beacasue we can't afford it. We feel like God has blessed us,a nd knew what we could handle better than we could.

Felicia - posted on 09/08/2010

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It took a long time for us to concieve, and the birth was not easy. I am very thankful for my only daughter. I am 41 with an 8yr old and that is enough for me

Melesa - posted on 09/08/2010

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KUDOS to you for knowing what you can or cannot handle in your life and sticking to it!

Melesa - posted on 09/08/2010

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I have an only child my son is now 10 years old and there are times that I would love to have another baby though I know it is from my love of children not that I am missing something in life. My son's father and I are HS sweethearts and had talked in depth about kids and how many we would have by what ages. Well we waited long enough to have the first one, that he was the only one we were going to have. I LOVE my son to peices and not having any sibling rivalary is a WONDERFUL thing. Yes there are times my son has asked about having a brother or sister and if we could adopt, but for the most part he is just fine having friends come over or just hanging at home and playing games and doing craft projects with momma. I know this will not last forever as he gets older I will be less of his life but for right now I am LOVING every minute that he wants to hang with mom!

Rosie - posted on 09/08/2010

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We only have a son and we wanted more but God had different plans for us. We helped raise over 30 foster children over the years so we don't feel bad. We guess that is what God wanted us to do...open our hearts and home for others. Our son always had lots of friends over so we never really had just 1 child.

[deleted account]

Christine said, "Making a CONSCIOUS decision to have only one child when you ARE capable of having more IS selfish to me. Look at what you are putting YOUR CHILD through. That, to me, is not loving your child enough to want the best for your child. "
For the planet, we are taking up less room, making less trash, using less fossil fuels, etc. HOW is this selfish?!
I'm not sure what you think I was "put through" and what we put our son through?! Eating out - check. Private college - check. Being able to pay for his friends to accompany us places - check. Having zoo and museum memberships and taking every class offered to make him a knowledgeable and well-rounded child - check. Traveling the world to understand the plight of others less fortunate, so that he can become a better adult and help make a difference in the world - check.
Now honestly, how can you say we're selfish?!

[deleted account]

I have an almost 22 year old son. We thought we would want more children, but decided against it, after he was born. My pregnancy was quite difficult, but the main reasons included financial and love. I am an only child, as is my father. I truly cannot see how I could have stretched my heart to go around anyone more, with the same degree of intensity, time, energy and passion.
Financially, we were able to do much more for him than if we had more children. He has been overseas at least 10 times, the last time being 6 weeks this summer. He is also in a private college, which we could not have afforded for more than one child.
We always made sure he had lots of friends, were the parents that set up sledding dates, play dates, ran the Cub Scout Den, etc., so he was never short on learning to play with others, sharing, etc.
Is he spoiled? Perhaps some, but travel was a priority in my life as a child, and having the experiences he has had is steering him in the direction of his degrees and career.

Angel - posted on 09/08/2010

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The only way that I would ever have another is if we suddenly got rich and I could insure no weight gain... as those will not happen, I am not having any more :D

It was hard at first, I am a stay at home mom because we could not afford day care. So up until this year she has been very clingy, needy, and lonely, and I questioned not having another to keep her company (stupid reason in my opinion).

But now she is in school and she is happier than ever and I am glad to knwo I am not going to have to go through the baby days ever again. :D

Cathy - posted on 09/08/2010

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We didn't set out to have only one child but that is what eventually happened.
We have a son, only child, but coaches have always asked how many children do we have, because he does not act like an "only child". I think you have to treat them like they are not the only one. We have always treated him like an adult even as a 5 year old. He was always with us at events, dinners, etc. He was allowed to have friends over after school on Wed (short day) and Fridays. We also tried to make them play outside instead of just sitting at the video games.
Our son ended up having some siblings by those that he baby sitted for --- 2 brothers and 2 sisters (two different families that our extended family) He is still, now he is 24, in touch with all 4 of them, 2 of the 4 are juniors in high school, one is an 8th and the youngest is 3rd. They were all in our neighborhood and he would create games for all to play. For the 2 girls he has know them since they were born and the boys he has know since the oldest was 4 yrs old.
As for friends his own age, tons and they were always at our house in the high school years, especially.
So having an only child, doesn't mean you have only one child around at any one time. You could have a house full of great kids who are his friends. It is that way now for him, surrounded by tons of friends, "brothers" and "sisters" too.
I have no regrets of only one child, except that having another would have kept us tied to schools longer and probably different sent of friends at the moment. But I love all the friends from the only child and would not change that at all.
We have a strong family, with many extended members.
It was not our decision. I think God gives you what you can handle. We tried to have a 2nd child, had a problem with an egg fertilized in the tube and never got pregnant again. So who knows, but I still think it was God's plan not ours.
If you have an only child, embrace them, love them and most of all be there for them when people say they are "spoiled" ask them the question "do you get everything you want" and if they say "no" than you can say you are not spoiled.
The only other thing is teaching them how to share, because they don't have to, but if they are in a day care they learn that too. Our son, for some unknown reason, didn't have that problem. He shared, and sometimes didn't get the items back, but he didn't care.
Remember that any child is a gift from God, it doesn't many how many you have, each one is special and should be loved and cherished.

[deleted account]

Our only child, our beautiful, smart, giving, wonderful, charming daughter, was born to us when we were a little older (I was 29, my husband was 34). I wasn't supposed to even be able to get pregnant, so imagine my surprise when I turned out to BE pregnant--while having PCOS (unknown to me at the time, but known to me now) AND while on the birth control pill! I deeply regret that I am unable and have been unable to provide my daughter with one or more siblings. There are times she's felt so isolated because most of her friends are NOT only children. She does not have a deep bond with any of her peers, because she did not grow up with any in her own home. She's outgoing and very bright, but quite frankly, I feel terribly guilty that I have slighted her, in my opinion, for our family. I love her with all of my heart, but some day, she will be all alone. Making a CONSCIOUS decision to have only one child when you ARE capable of having more IS selfish to me. Look at what you are putting YOUR CHILD through. That, to me, is not loving your child enough to want the best for your child. The same can be said for people like the Duggar family, who have what...19 or something? THAT is selfish, too. So it does go both ways. With how wonderful our daughter turned out, I can't help but wonder every day what might have been if I didn't get sick. I know it's God's plan, but IT SUCKS.

Melanie - posted on 09/08/2010

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It isn't always a choice! In fact, secondary infertility is more common than primary infertility. After our first we wanted more and I was pregnant. I survived a ruptured ectopic pregnancy, lost the baby, a falopian tube and then discovered my remaining tube is blocked. So we didn't decide to have only one, but accepting God's will.

Peggy - posted on 09/08/2010

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I'm happy to only have one child. My husband has a daughter from a previous relationship, so I consider her one of my children but she is 12 already so my baby girl (only 1) will grow up without another child to bully, fight with, scream at, get jealous of, hit, cry at, and suffer with...not that all siblings do that but I see a LOT of siblings close in age and wonder why people do that to themselves...it exhausts ME, can't imagine how they do it. All they ever do is deal with them fighting...my brother and I didn't even like each other until we were grown ups! So, my baby will learn to share at daycare and school, will make friends at daycare and school, will get spoiled with love but also learn to respect all family members. Do I regret only having one child? Nope...because the bottom line is it doesn't matter how many (or few) children you have as long as you LOVE them!

[deleted account]

While we miscarried our second child when our son was four (he definitely wants a sibling) ... having only one is beautiful and I assume, much easier than more... but also I realize how important it is for the planet as well. "Downsizing" is a gift to the planet we live on, is anything but selfish, and family is who you choose to love as family (ie: friends, children in the community who need some "extra" love in their life, senior citizens, etc...)

Hema - posted on 09/08/2010

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Hey i am extremely happy to be the mother of only child.I do not wish to have any more kids. Happy to be my Prince's mom.

Beth - posted on 09/07/2010

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Im only 29 yrs old and have only 1 child,and I really am almost positive that I wont be having any more.I love my son and I love the freedom of having an independent child.He is alot of work on his own and I just dont think I could deal with another.I have 10 nieces and nephews so there are alot of cousins for him to play with...we really dont another baby...lol

Lisa - posted on 09/07/2010

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An only child means there is only one child. Ever. I have a stepdaughter that lives about 300km away from us so a fair bit of time is taken up with her. I have had not found being a Mum an easy job to do and have had little family support due to them living overseas. Post natal depression has been difficult to work through too so have decided one is enough.

Cia - posted on 09/07/2010

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I don't think that you have to limit yourself to only having one child forever.
I wish I would have had another sooner now that my daughter is going on 7 I don't really know about going back to diapers... :( but she so badly wants a sib. I feel guilty that I didn't give that to her, seeing how my sister is my best friend.

Tina - posted on 09/07/2010

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I/We didn't make this choice, it just so happened that with my medical issues, I was only able to have 1 child. Our son means eveything to us though so, "What does having only one child mean to me?" EVERYTHING! ;)

Stefanie - posted on 09/07/2010

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I had my daughter when I was 21 and unfortunately things did not work out with myself and my partner of 5 years. My daughter is turning 9 in December and I feel that if I had another child while she was still young enough for them to be play mates it would have been OK, but now that she is older I have changed my mind. I love that we have such a close bond and yes, I do sometimes feel guilty that she is growing up as an only child. But then if it is at all possible I would like to travel the world with her once she has finished schooling, this would not be possible if I have another baby at this stage. So I have no regrets at all.. she is everything I need and more.

Kathy - posted on 09/06/2010

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Having an only means different from my family b/c I have 3 way older brother's. And my husband is very close to his sister who he was adopted with when they were little. I don't know what the experience will be for my daughter. She was our wonderful surprise when I was 43 - perfect in every way - despite my high risk pregnancy. She's almost 5 and sometimes I wish she had a sibling for *her* sake. I feel her lonliness when she doesn't have a playmate. We don't always have friends or cousins around to play with. And I also wonder what life would be like with a baby brother around. However, I think I wonder how life would be like if I were a millionaire and living on the beach. Life it what it is and we have been blessed. As a friend and I discussed once, an 'only' is not better or worse, just different!

[deleted account]

Stop overanalyzing the same issue over and over! An only child is what it is, whether by choice or by chance. enjoy motherhood, all the stages of development, and all the ups and downs. What does an only child mean to me? Honestly....it really means that I have one child as opposed to several. I don't overthink my family. What is there to regret? I am very proud of my small family :-)

Nelly - posted on 09/06/2010

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well im 17 and i think an only child for me means its just me, my son and my hubby for now and then maybe in the future we might decide to have another baby

Nitashap - posted on 09/05/2010

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Hey. I only want my "only child". I had a very hard pregnancy. I gained 82 lbs for no reason, so I thought, I later found out I had diabetes. I stayed swollen and in pain the whole time. I do not want to do that again, He was worth every min but I just dont think I could physically do it again. I also got postpartum REALLY bad. I always have struggled with my weight and then to gain that much when I was eating right and excersing the whole time. It devastated me to no end. Also we can not afford to have another. We want to be able to take vacations and big Christmas and birthdays. Also he will go to a private school and that will cost out the wazoo. I will just fix my "wanting" another by keeping my families new babies. Then send them home.

Shanell - posted on 09/05/2010

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I am 21 years old and just recently got my tubes tied ( Friday) and found out that I have endometriosis, and I wouldn't have been able to have anymore children anyways. I have never felt as relieved as I do now knowing that my tubes, well actually burned, and I cannot get pregnant again. I went through the stage of wanting another child, but I later realized that I was wanting it for all the wrong reasons and finally stood up for myself and told the world that I am done, and only have my daughter, no more kids! To me, it means unconditional 100% love, I don't have to share it with another child, I can give all that I have to her. I feel safe knowing that we only have 1 child, and financially we can provide everything for her. I had a high risk pregnancy, and my daughter was born with a severe birth defect, so we are extremely blessed to have her in our lives. I have never felt happier than only having her, and having no chance of getting pregnant now with my tubes tied. It's unbelievable!

Syndee Rose - posted on 09/05/2010

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My 14 year old son is an only child. And an only child means just that for me. Only 1 child, ever. I agree with the other mom's post about being practical in many ways. I would have loved to have a daughter,too, but there are so many things to consider in having another child than just wanting one. I love that remark "Why? We did it right the first time!". :) People used to scare me about my son growing up a spoiled brat because of too much attention. LOL, for 14 years I have proven them wrong.

Jessica - posted on 09/05/2010

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My daughter is an only child right now, but I would love to have more in the future. Her being the only one though, she is the light of my life and it's so hard to imagine that I could ever love another like I do her. A few of my friends have not only two children but some as many as five, and they all agree that it's hard to believe that you could love each one the same amount but also in a different way! My daughter is 5, so when the time comes that the Lord would grant me with more she will be quite a big sister, but I know she would love it! I have already been told that I may never have another, but when I have found the right man and he would like children also I would of course adopt if that is what it would take to bring that joy to my life and my daughters!

Tracy - posted on 09/05/2010

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that is another good point. having lots of friends and social activities is very helpful in the socialization of only kids as well as great in relieving boredom!

Remona - posted on 09/05/2010

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Having a single child means you only have one child do give and do everything for...when u have multiples you have to divide alot...I have one child because I don't want that 2nd child to get cut short on life experiences and I am also a single mom. I am able to provide my son with a lot because he is the only one...If I had more, I think I would be extremely stressed trying to provide for it...Not to mention this economy makes it hard with everything getting so expensive...With that said I think my son will be just fine...I have found other single moms with single children and that also helps emtionally...I don't have any rerets with such a happy boy...

Laura - posted on 09/05/2010

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An only child is an only child. it is NOT selfish to only want one--it is being realistic in many cases. My health and our finances were big determining factors in choosing to have only one. When people asked if my husband and I were going to have another child, I just looked in the eye rather quizically and replied "Why? We did it right the first time!" That usually quieted folks down!

That being said, I am not opposed to fostering/adopting other children--I have plenty of "mother" in me, just not the physical creating and birthing part! My daughter is 12 and when she goes off to college and starts living her own life, then my husband and I may look into foster care or adoption. Nothing keeps a person feeling young like having kids around! We will see...

Khaismum - posted on 09/04/2010

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An only child means one and one only. I am a mum of one and have never regretted this decision.
My son is almost 15 now and friends and family have finally stopped asking when are you going to have another one. (thank fully).
I made sure he was never lonely by enrolling him at kindy two days a week from the age of two. My house has been and still is always filled with his friends, especially friends looking to get away from their brothers and sisters. lol.
I dont think my son is in any way disadvanted for being an only child. My only worry is how he will cope when my partner and I are both gone not having anyone to share the same grief he will experience with.

Mari - posted on 09/04/2010

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My reason for only child is, well, our first son died after 6 days, then he came along :) and now we have tried for some time and we stopped trying and we decided that only child is not so bad. I also have some medical problems down there, I guess two c-sections messed me up. This is our reason but I do have to say I have a very healthy and happy boy and every day is an adventure with him :)

Tracy - posted on 09/04/2010

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i also want to add that i don't think it's selfish at all to want only one child. i think it's the opposite of selfish.

Tracy - posted on 09/04/2010

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i actually wanted another for a few years after my daughter was born but had repeated early miscarriages. it was all very painful and i had my tubes tied.

i always wanted two - since i was a little girl - and i had a lot of regrets for a few years. especially when seeing other families. i felt like something was wrong with me and that my daughter was missing out.

now, with my daughter almost nine years old, i am so happy to have only one. raising children is not easy for me and they are expensive too! :) plus, my daughter loves being an only child and never says she wants a sibling...quite the opposite!

with work and life, i can focus on providing a great life and opportunities for her and don't feel like i'm spread thin. i honestly don't know how families with more than one or two kids can manage, but i think it's the type of people we are.

Maggie - posted on 09/03/2010

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I actually recently quit coming on this discussion board because there seemed to be a lot of posts about having more children. When I joined this group, I thought it was for parents who are only ever going to have one child. In my 35th week I was hopitalized with no pre-existing pregnancy concerns or problems and had significant platelet problems, required transfusions and then when stable, at 36weeks0days was induced. about 9 hours after birth, i then had severe internal bleeding due to an arterial bleed and was rushed into emergency. it was the first time in my life i ever felt fear.



that all said, to me having an only child means that my son may never have a sibling but he will always have his mom :)

Kathleen - posted on 09/03/2010

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Having an only child means you only have one child. But, I think in a lot of ways, if you have a 2nd child when your firstborn is much older, say 11 or 12 years old, they are similar to an only child because they did not "grow up" with a sibling.

Dianne - posted on 09/03/2010

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I think having an only child means just that, one and only one. We aren't planning on having more. We could handle more, but we just don't want more. (that, and I really don't want to go through being pregnant again!) We have no regrets about our choice either, selfish as they may sound.

Barbora Milena - posted on 09/03/2010

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hi, my baby girl will always be my one and only child. I do not plan having another one. Im 23, when she will go to school, I will be 31 with Master degree and i want to start a career and travel again. Now Im focus on raising her and providing her all she needs, at the same time i study university...she came as a surprise, then my partner left me 6wks before she was born...i want the best education for her, holidays, hobbies, travelling...i like having nice house, nice clothes etc...i wanna provide good life for the 2 of us... plus the birth put in risk mine n hers life as well, dont wanna go through it again, my daughter needs her mama...another aspect is i will never ever trust a man so much to even think about havin baby with him...if one walked out on me while i was expecting his child, why another one could not do the same...
pretty long list of good reasons...

Jenee - posted on 09/02/2010

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Fina - I also had a high risk pregnancy. I was diagnosed with Pre-Eclampsia at 32 weeks. I was induced at 37. I don't want to have go through that all over again.

[deleted account]

I agree. My only child is going to be an "always only" not just an only until I decide to have another child. I wouldn't have joined this group if she was a "temporary only." I don't think it's selfish to admit that you just can't handle more than one child, I think it's smart. We should never be expected to take on more than we can handle just because someone else thinks we should.

My daughter is 17-months old, and I know that we are not having another child. I had a high-risk pregnancy, high-risk delivery, a baby with severe GERD and colic, and I had severe PPD. No way I'm doing any of that again. I just don't have the emotional strength to handle that.

Alexis - posted on 09/02/2010

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Having one made me realize I didn't need anymore. LOL. I'm still young enough to change my mind but my kids would be very far apart in age. I don't regret it. It might sound selfish but I know I wouldn't be able to handle anymore than one.

Lyndsay - posted on 09/02/2010

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I don't plan to ever have another child, that's what "only child" means to me. Not just "temporary only", you know? My son is 3 years old and I've just had my first consultation to get my tubes tied. If I should ever change my mind about wanting another child, which I very highly doubt, I will become a foster parent.

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