Only Children Comments

[deleted account] ( 35 moms have responded )

Over the last few days, I have been reading many posts that question adding more children into the family. I noticed many women replying in a negative manner about the status of only children: spoiled, selfish, not knowing how to share, need for a sibling, not fair, lonely, sad, etc. I would truly love a more open and positive dialogue about only children. The list I described above can describe ANY child, with or without siblings. I write this as a proud mother of an only child. I have no desire or yearning to have more children, and my husband feels the same way. We make it our point as parents of an only child (my son, age 5) to ensure that he is well socialized not only in preschool, but with community activities, sports, playdates, etc. Yes, he has 2 local cousins very close in age I and acknowledge that cousins are not the same as a sibling-but it is family. The point I am making is that an only child can be equally as happy and well-rounded without siblings. It's a parent's job to see to it. My siblings and I have a decent relationship, but we're not all buddy buddy best friends. My husband and his brother despise each other. We knew the decision we were making to have an only child would cause for questions, which is natural. But why should I always have to defend my choice? Do any of you have to defend your choice for having 2+ children? As a parent, I make it my job to see to it that my child is emotionally, mentally, physically, and academically stable (that's the techer part of me-the academics). That would be the same for any parent, no matter how many kids they have. I hope this thread can add some positive insight that only children can grow up to be just as happy and involved as their peers with siblings.

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Sharon - posted on 02/22/2010

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ROTFLMAO - I have three bio kids and one stepchild but I chose to slander another woman with um what was it? 4? Oh for sure, I was condemning ALL women with more than one child... lmfao derrrrrrrr



Don't delude yourself Susanne, I don't care enough about you to comment on your proclivities in another forum. Frankly, I don't know you from one post to the next. Never mind one forum to another.



I was referring to those and only those who felt the need to belittle a woman who made a decision to have only one child. Not EVERYONE who has more than one child... good god.

Shandii - posted on 02/20/2010

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I am an only child, and I am also the mother of an only child. I have been asked for years when we were going to have more children, and the answer is always the same, "One is plenty for us, thank you." I have only had one person make an unkind remark which was, " That is so selfish to just have one child." Well I say, "Says who?"
My son is 11 years old now. We can afford to raise one child. We can afford to send one child to college. We can afford to help that child if necessary. We could love many children. That's not the point. Love doesn't pay for necessities and education. How many parents can truly afford the children they have. I see these mothers with mulitple children, that can't possibly provide for them adequately. Do I walk up to them and impose my opinions regarding birth control. No, I do not. That's their choice. We all make decisions based on different variables.

Johnny - posted on 02/21/2010

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While I plan to have another child, and then stop at 2 kids. I would still be just as happy to have only my daughter. I grew up as an only child and was very happy. I think most who know me would say that I am well socialized, well rounded, and not overly self-absorbed. I certainly have experienced many people with siblings who somehow still came out with the impression that the world was all about them, and I've known some only children who were the most incredibly giving and amazing people. I believe it depends more about how your parents raise you than how many siblings you have. Terrible parents will still be terrible if they have one kid or ten. And vice versa. While I am sure that I would have loved and been happy with any siblings, I certainly do not feel that I missed out or was deprived of a necessary experience. I am sure that some only children may feel that way, and I know lots of people who have wished they were only children and never had their brothers or sisters in their lives.

One of my concerns being an only child is being left to care for my parents, and their childless siblings, alone. I have my parents and three uncles for whom I will be responsible in their elderly years. That is a bit of a burden for one person. However, one of my closest friends is currently experiencing this with her mother. Her father passed away several years ago and her mother has been diagnosed with Alzheimers. My friend has two brothers, with whom she is not close with and who are doing absolutely nothing at all to assist her in this situation. She might as well have been an only child for all the support and love they've given her in life. So I really do not believe that things necessarily are better even in this scenario if you have siblings.

I grew up with all sorts of judgmental, ignorant comments from stupid people about my being an only child. I've got to say, that was one of the few downsides. When people find out you are an only child, they automatically assume that you are selfish, spoiled and narcissistic before they even get to know you. So yes Sharon, there are a lot of idiots out there who never stop to think that perhaps their pre-conceived notions about what a family should look like are silly and irrational.

I hope to have an other child. Not because my daughter needs a sibling, because I'm sure she would be (and who knows if I can conceive again, so she may be) a happy only child. We will try for a second child because we would love to have another and we can afford another child. I absolutely love being a mom and would love to have another baby. And hey, if we won the lottery, I might consider adopting a whole bunch more. My decision has in no way come from any difficulty or misery of being an only child, but simply because I love kids and want more.

I think it is important to respect that people often know what is best for them, no kids, one kid, two kids, a few kids, or a whole Duggar clan. I don't have any problem with someone asking me why I would just have one or have more. Nor do I have any problem with anyone asking me about how I like being an only child or even if I wanted siblings. Those aren't judgments, they are information seeking. But most of the time, that's not what I hear. And as an only child, it still irritates the hell out of me.

Jodi - posted on 02/20/2010

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LOL Sharon, there are a lot of threads I wouldn't read if I didn't have to.....but I do read threads as a moderator I wouldn't normally read :) But honestly, if I didn't have to, I wouldn't even open them!!

[deleted account]

Here's a further observation on the topic: If a woman is UNABLE to have another child, then there is a pity party. But if there is a decision to have an only child by CHOICE, then the rudeness sets in. Just something I've picked up and observed, and certainly not directed at anyone at all in particular.

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Annette - posted on 07/31/2011

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I'm so glad I found this thread before I commented on a recent Circle of Moms article, "Why You Shouldn't Have an Only Child"!!

My husband and I have an only child, and although he wanted more, my age and the impact of post-postpartum depression on me is not worth the risk to have another child. I am a far better mother with one child, and like one wise mom posted, it's better that my son live without a sibling than to live without his mother.

So, thank you, women of "onlys" for posting your wisdom and experience. I, too, have experienced the looks, the comments, the judgements from other women about choosing to not have another child. My response? "I know myself very well. One is more than enough."

[deleted account]

Hi,
I'm so glad that this topic came up. We have a gorgeous daughter who will be turning 1 in a few days. I loved being pregnant, love my time with her, and have never enjoyed anything more than being a mother. Of course the conversation has come up many times when we are planning on having a second. And as much as I LOVE every minute of being a mom, I do not want a second. I just feel that this is what works for my family. My husband has a high-stress job, and can't be home as much as he would like to. We have very little family support, which gives us little time to have "us" time. We have certain things that we would like to do for our daughter that we couldn't afford to if we had 2 or 3. Anyways, all this to say that for OUR reasons this is what works for US. If you give people a list of 10 things to put in an order of priorities, mine may not be the same as yours...and that's ok.
I have had people tell not only that it's selfish to have one for my daughter... but selfish to have one because I didn't give my husband a boy. So does it make sense to do something that doesn't work for us for the 50% chance that we could have a boy? Now I find that would be selfish of me. I feel I am being un-selfish (if that's a word) because I am putting my families needs and what works for us over my own personal needs. Because personally, in another situation I would have several children.
Each person has to do what works for them. No one should pressure someone else to make such a huge decision.
God bless all of you and your little ones :) I'm sure everyone could agree that whether you have 1 or 10, they are little angels and we are so blessed to have them in our lives!

Keisha - posted on 02/22/2010

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Speaking from an only child's point of view I Had alot of advantages AND disadvantages I definitley had the loneliness but I also got my parents all to myself... Every family and every child is different though.

Dana - posted on 02/22/2010

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Susanne, as Jodi has said no one is attacking you and as she's also said, let it go. We are moderators, Sharon only stated an opinion which you decided to call her out on it BY NAME. You took offence where none needed to be taken. It's quite plain and simple. Thank you. Dana ~ WtCoM moderator

[deleted account]

I never said Sharon attacked me its you and Dana who jumped in and started having a go at me and yeah block me if you want im sure thats easier for you than actually being fair to me. You just dont get it she said something out of line why am i getting the stick for it. Or is it just that Sharon and you are big buddies sticking up for each other. Hell block me please i wouldnt want to bother with people who are so clicky and unfair anyway.

Jodi - posted on 02/22/2010

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Susanne, who is attacking you now? Sharon NEVER attacked YOU in the first place, and it seems that no matter how many times that is said, you are still choosing to feel personally attacked, first by Sharon and now by Dana and myself. Enough is enough. Leave it alone. The only person personally attacking anyone at the moment is you, and continuation of this will result in a 24 hour block.

[deleted account]

Right ok so she can say something insulting to people who have a few kids and thats ok yet i get you Jodi and Dana having a go at me because i ask her to think before she speaks! I think maybe you two ought to butt out and let Sharon speak for herself yes i chose to take offence and im also choosing to be slightly pissed off at being attacked about it.

Jodi - posted on 02/22/2010

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Susanne, Sharon was not saying "all of us women who are popping out kids left and right cant actually support them". She said most. That was her opinion. Why do you have to take it so personally? She wasn't singling out anyone. You CHOSE to take offence. Please let it go.

[deleted account]

Dana what Sharon Grey said was that she thinks all of us women who are popping out kids left and right cant actually support them and just want everyone else to be in the same boat. Yes that is offensive to me and i have no idea what your on about in regards to me having a go at her because of something thats gone on in another community. Could you please tell me what dbate and what community you are referring to?

Dana - posted on 02/21/2010

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Susanne, Sharon said nothing out of line, maybe you should practice what you preach.



Don't bring your battles with Sharon, from another community, onto the Welcome Page. Thank you. ~Dana~ WtCoM moderator

Rosie - posted on 02/21/2010

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i myself have been guilty of the "you only want one child?" question. i don't say it to be a smartass, and i don't try to hurt someones feelings by saying it, i guess i've never thought that my questioning it would be a touchy subject. i've asked it to find out the reason, and then i'm satisfied, i don't try to pressure them into having more kids, or try to belittle them for their choice. i'm sorry that you've been made to feel horrible by people questioning your choice, but i can assure you in my case, it wouldn't be to make you feel bad, it's simply curiosity.

[deleted account]

Yes Abbie, you are right with my comment about a pity party. Wrong thing to say, and thank you for pointing that out. I absolutely know exactly what it's like and have walked in those infertility shoes of 3+ years of TTC with 3 miscarriages, throw in a short stint at the fertility doctor, IUI, HSG, this drug/shot, that shot, and then 2/3's of the way through the adoption process. Yes, I 100% KNOW what it's like and feel 100% blessed and proud to have my son. But I would never go through all of that again, plus additional reasons to have another child. So for anyone who I may have offended with the phrase "pity party" please forgive my poor choice of wording. I have been in your shoes.

Abbie - posted on 02/21/2010

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Sharon if you are so happy with your decision to have an only child then who gives a rats a$$ what other people think! I have 2 siblings both that only children by choice! They are well rounded children also. Instead of letting others make you feel bad for your choice be proud of it.



On a side note: I realize you meant no harm but when you said that when one can't have more children by choice there is a pity party. those words carry a lot of weight, you are no better then those that question you on an only child; when you say things like that. Until you have walked in the shoes of wanting another child and not being able to, you have no idea the pain and heart ache it can cause a person. I am yelling at you or saying that to be mean, I have no ill feelings its just something I wanted to point out.



Be proud you are an only child Mom, nothing wrong with that!

[deleted account]

Quoting Avril Fries "As you make choices about whether or not an only child is best-ask lots of questions of adults who were only kids and be careful that your decision isn't just based on what's convenient for you."

See? This is the kind of a judgement of opinion that I am refering to. Of course my husband and I are perfectly aware of the decision we made to have an only child was not a decision based on CONVENIENCE! I don't WANT another kid! No desire at all. Unwanted! So yes, having another baby would be a major inconvenience if that baby isn't even wanted just so my son could have a sibling?! We decided not to have another child for other reasons, completely independent of our relationship with our siblings. I have a good relationship with my siblings-nothing buddy best friend, but they are there. My son lacks for nothing in life, and a sibling is not a life requirement in order to succeed.

[deleted account]

You ask if any of us have to defend having 2+ children and the answer is yes. We had five children and had to deal with many questions-some of which were quite rude and certainly opinionated. Whether or not you have one or five children one fact of life is that as parents we have the responsibility to teach them how to establish healthy relationships with others. By nature we are all self centred and have to learn to be "others" centred. It's sad to see that some of the reasons for only having one child are because of negative experiences with our own siblings. As a parent of five (now adult) children I realised early on that as a parent part of my responsibility was to teach my children how to love each other even when they disagreed. Part of life training is how to deal with people who have personalities that don't click with ours in a mature and loving way. I'm afraid that as parents we've become very lazy. Taking time to train one child, let alone five requires an incredible amount of time and wisdom and for most of us it's easier just to let squabbles go, excusing them as a phase that will pass.
I was far from being the perfect parent and my children know that. As we acknowledged our own weaknesses and helped them face each other's flaws we were able to grow together to the point that today we are physically distant but incredibly emotionally close. Whether you decide to have one child or a multiplied family the responsibility to teach "others centeredness" is still a prerogative. An only chid can escape from others who are difficult by just going home. Kids with siblings don't have that luxury. They often don't even have their own room to escape to so they either have to learn how to handle conflict effectively or they build up resentment and anger which can carry into their adult relationships. One thing about siblings who have learned how to interact in positive ways and deal with their differences is that when Mum and Dad are off the scene, when friends have gone their own ways, when you move across the world-blood runs thicker than water. My kids may loose everyone else but they know that they have one another no matter what. As you make choices about whether or not an only child is best-ask lots of questions of adults who were only kids and be careful that your decision isn't just based on what's convenient for you.

Tiffany - posted on 02/21/2010

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I have 2 children and want more someday possibly, but I think there is nothing wrong with only one child. There are plenty of ways to socialize a child and keep them form getting lonely other than having other children. If you are happy with one than that is what you should have. It is not anyone else's job to decide what is good for your family. Enjoy motherhood

[deleted account]

Sharon Grey i also think your comment about people popping kids out not being able to financially support them is out of order. I have three nearly four kids i stay at home my husband works and we can aford our kids. They have never gone without and never will thanks. Please think before you start typing next time.

[deleted account]

Ive got three kids and no 4 on the way and i have friends and family who have only one child the only major differences i see in the actual child is that they seem to be more grown up and responsible than mine. I think its because they spend more time with adults than perhaps my kids would because my kids are with their siblings 24 hours a day. In financial terms i think you can do more if you only have one child in regards to where you take them and what you buy them. When it all comes down to the nitty gritty of it i think people should have as many kids as they want whether that be 1 or 12.

Kenda - posted on 02/21/2010

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My husband and I have only 1 beautiful daughter. We also get questioned/comments frequently "time for another one". It is not our plans to have only the one but we would be perfectly content with our family the way that it is. I have heard these comments as you said with being selfish and it is not "fair" to be without siblings, and I feel that in a way as they get older/adulthood they do not have the companionship and closness but I do not think that it makes them any less rounded. We also expose our 3 year old to all types of activities and interactions with others her age. Not sure that this helps. It may be we will only have our 1 child because of inability to conceive another, and we will love her and treat her the best that we know how, and this will make HER the BEST that SHE can be! You have to do what is best for YOU andYOUR family no matter what others say!

Sarah - posted on 02/20/2010

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My parents were older when they got married & it took them at least 3 years to get pregnant with me. My parents were 35 & 38 years old when I was born, so they didn't really ever considering having any more kids after me. They were just blessed to have one. :) I had several cousins who were around my age, but I saw them maybe 2 times a year. Honestly, there were times when I wished I had a brother or sister, but I had friends that I played with & I always found something to do. I took dance, tumbling, piano, ect and made lots of friends and kept myself busy. I was rarely bored.

Now that I'm 25, I don't even think twice about not having a sibling. I'm happy with the way I was raised. I have a 5 month old son, and my husband and I do plan on having at least one more child. But, our decision to have another child isn't necessarily based on the fact that I was an only child.

I used to work with a man who has 6 children. Everytime he would talk about his 6 kids, people would give their opinions and say things like: "Six kids??!! What were you thinking?!" So, people are rude when you tell them you have one child & people are rude when you tell them you have 6 children?" So, is there supposed to be a magic number then?? Rediculous.

Becky - posted on 02/20/2010

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Katherine, I completely agree with you. We all have the right to our opinions, but we also all have the right to make our own decisions about our families - how big they are, how we feed our children, how we parent our children. Unless someone is doing something that is blatently abusive or neglectful, we have no right to judge. I will give my opinion on things if opinions are asked for, but I think you can do that without judging and criticising people who make different choices than you do.

Personally, I could not care less how many children people choose to have, as long as they take good care of those children! What bugs the heck out of me is when I read comments (obviously not on here) from people who have chosen not to have children complaining about people who do have children. I don't call you self-centered and heartless because you don't have children, so don't criticise me because I do! (sorry, got a little sidetracked there!)

I think it's kind of silly to ask a bunch of strangers whether you should have another child or not. How would I know? I adore my 2 boys and really want one more child. That doesn't mean everyone should have 3 children!

Natalie - posted on 02/20/2010

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Oh, btw @ Shandii
You might be right, some mother's really can't afford the ones they have That's why we said that 3 is enough for us. We can afford to buy all 3 what they need and some things that they want and we have savings accounts for them which will have plenty of money in them by the time they turn 18 so they can go to college without having to worry about a loan. That was very important to us :-)

Natalie - posted on 02/20/2010

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I grew up with 2 siblings and i loved it so i always wanted to have at least 2 children, maybe 3 so we're now expecting our 3rd and final child.

I do not think that every "only child" is spoiled and selfish. My Aunt had her daughter 3 years after i was born and i we pretty much grew up like sisters. I slept over there every other weekend and we saw each other on regular basis. We had fights just like sibling, lol, although we were just cousins. My Aunt never had another child b.c she never found the right man and when she did my cousin was already a teenager and they didn't wanna start over again.
So i think as long as the child learn the right values from the parents and has regular interactions with kids the same age or older or younger then he or she will also be very well rounded.

I also know some kids who do have siblings and the grew up as very selfish adults... it all depends on how they grow up and what they get taught. Not if or how many siblings they have

Isobel - posted on 02/20/2010

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I've never read any of the number of children threads...cause I think they are silly questions (sorry, but what do I know about how many children you should have or how far apart they should be?)

I know people with twins who say they experience the same thing...complete strangers saying they feel sorry for them...wtf? They are happy with their family, and it's nobody's place to pass judgment on it.

Jodi - posted on 02/20/2010

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I never comment on those threads, because I believe it is a personal choice and none of my business to be honest :)

Katherine - posted on 02/20/2010

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I have to jump in here :) I don't think anyone has to defend any choice ever. I find it really pretentious for someone to make comments like that. I truly find shallowness in that line of thinking. For example: OMG he still breastfeeds? OMG she still has a pacifier? OMG he sleeps with YOU? and so on.


Stop judging others and take care of your own kids!!!
Although when it comes to safety I will not mind my own business re: car seats.

[deleted account]

I really agree with you Sharon. My daughter is an only child even though we have one cousin 6 months older that we see every weekend it's still may not be the same as a sibling but to her he's her best friend. Both my husband and myself decided during my pregnancy not to have any more children simple for the fact that he did not want any more. I came to the decision on my own 6months after she was born.....she is more then enough for me to handle.

Sharon - posted on 02/20/2010

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I think its stupid to comment on someone deciding to have one child.

On top of that, what if it wasn't a choice the parents made? Are we supposed to slam parents who suffer from cancer and CANNOT have more kids? Are we supposed to encourage those parents to steal children in order to bulk up the family?

I really think most of the women here who are popping out kids left & right can't actually support their kids and want everyone to be in the same boat as they are.

I also think that a lot of them are just addicted to the attention they get for being pregnant, as if they pulled off some sort of miracle. Spare me.

Only children do perfectly fine and thrive with thoughtful caring parents, the same as kids in a family of 5 or a dozen.

Megan - posted on 02/20/2010

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OMG!! I thought I was alone in feeling this way! my husband and I are expecting our first in April and everyone keeps asking me when we are going to have another and I try to explain to them that she will have siblings, however they are all older (my husband has 2 girls from previous marriages and 2 step sons as well). I can't tell you how frusterating it is to have someone look at you with "that look" like your a bad person for not wanting to have more kids. I havn't even had this child yet people!! Let me enjoy being pregnant with this one before you start telling me that I need to have more!



My child will also have 2 cousins close in age to her, I have tons of friends that have babies or are pregnant now, and one of my step sons is having a baby just around the time that we are (which is a little wierd!!) so it's not like she wont have planty of playmates to spend time with. Having siblings is not all it's cracked up to be. My sister and I can not be in the same room with each other for too long before we start fighting. I understand that not every family is like that and that some siblings get along great and they dont fight, but dont try to force your views on me and my family.

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