What are the pros and cons of being an only child?

Tyrae - posted on 12/28/2010 ( 4 moms have responded )




I have a 5.5 week old daughter ( I know this is uber early to be thinking about :P ) and I have been thinking about whether I want another baby or not. It probably wouldn't be for at least 2 years (I had a c-section because she was breech so I have to wait 18 months anyways). I grew up with 2 sisters and 3 step-brothers and it was a gong show and I always wished that I had been an only child. But now that I'm older I have a close connection to my sisters, and I wouldn't give that up for anything. I want to give my daughter everything that I can, and I'm not sure if I would be able to do that for two kids. My hubby and I don't make a huge amount of money, we live comfortably the way we are, so I'm not sure if we would be able to financially afford another child.

So I'm wondering, what would be the pros and cons of making my daughter an only child (for us and for her)?


Laura - posted on 12/28/2010




Kudos for being pro-active and thinking this through well ahead of time! You are a good example of family planning.
You are on the right track by examining everything from your financial situation to social interaction. Writing the pros and cons down on a piece of paper can help you and your husband evaluate your situation in order to come to a decision that will best meet your family's needs. Ultimately the choice will be yours as to what you want to do!

That said, don't worry too much about the whole sibling thing--some sibs get along and others can't stand each other, it all depends on family dynamics. "Only" children are just as well socialized as kids with siblings, especially by the time they enter school (resent research at Ohio State University bares this out). My husband and I made sure that our only daughter had opportunities to make friends and engage in plenty of social activities as she grew up. Be aware, too, that many onlies might, at some point around age 4 - 6, start asking for siblings. My daughter did this at that age. At this age kids want playmates/peers and think a little sibling will be a ready-made playmate! We explained to my daughter that if her daddy and I "made" a sibling it would have to start as a baby. Babies take a LOT of time and special care, too! That desire for a sibling quickly went away when she started school and met kids with siblings. She came to appreciate having privacy and not having to share stuff. That's been our experience and hope it helps. Best of luck to you!


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the pros would be more financial comfort and more time and attention for your daughter, the cons would be that she wouldn't have a playmate and some only children get too spoiled

Tracy - posted on 12/28/2010




I was an only child. As a kid I always wanted a sister (older, for some reason...) Now, I'm happy to be an only. I saw the horrendous dysfunction in my ex's family of 6. And their ostracizing one another for various reasons. But always keeping up this facade of one big happy happy family. I learned how to be resilient and self-sufficient being alone. I also learned HOW to be alone. I'm perfectly content by myself, and in fact crave solitude from time to time. I do have 2 kids now, and can't imagine my world without them(#2 was an oops). But at the same time, I could make it completely on my own, no child support, if I only had the one. It really comes down to what's right for you and your family. Stuff is stuff, do you have the time and energy to nurture two or more. Kids having to raise their younger siblings because the parents had more than they can emotionally handle is just messed up in my book.

Jayde - posted on 12/28/2010




Hi Tyrae, i'm the same i'm one of 4 girls & sometimes wished when i was young to be an only child. But i, like you, have a great connection with 1 of my younger sisters and we're like best friends (we're close in age) & do a lot together. My husband was an only child & he always wished for a sibling (his mother had lots of problems & had to get a histerectamy- (sorry cant spell)). I also had a friend in high school who would treat her friends like sisters but when they went behind her back she had no one to talk to...

We are also in the same position as you financially. We live comfortably but if we had another child i'd have to quit my job (i work part time) but after spending 20months thinking about it i know that i'd rather have less things & have another child.... good luck with your decision :)

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