Pro's and Con's of an only child?

Sandi - posted on 02/01/2010 ( 86 moms have responded )

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Hi thank you for reading my post.
My husband and I have one child, she is 10 months old. Although I don't want another one just yet I have always wanted 2 children. I'd never really thought of it as an issue, I was part of a family of four. However, my husband says he is happy giving 100% attention / love / care to our daughter and having another child will mean we need to split our time and attention 50%. He hasn't said no to any more children and is just letting me know how he feels so I feel like I should get an informed decision.

I see where he is coming from but I feel like I would like our daughter to have someone in the world when we are gone. He says she has cousins so she wont be alone. I have too many cousins to count, but the bond is not the same bond as I have with my older brother. I wouldn't be able to sit and talk to them about things we did as we were growing up or feel like we are in the same boat. Plus everywhere caters for families of four and it would be nice for her to have someone to play with (or fight with). On the other hand I know that it would have been nice to spend more time with my mum and dad and have them 100% in their spare time.

I just wondered if you are an only child, would you have liked a brother or sister? And what are peoples general views, why did you choose to have just 1 child or more?

Thanks
Sandi

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[deleted account]

Wow Sandi - this is a hard one! I believe first and foremost your HUSBAND'S opinion is very telling. He's trying to tell you in a nice way that he doesn't want anymore. I'm shocked that you didn't discuss this before you got married. This is a very dangerous road because if you have more, he's probably going to be angry and resentful. He's told you nicely - I'm done. If you wanted two or three, then you should have married someone who ALSO wanted two or three. So, be warned. Your husband has told you. I see so many women put their needs before their husbands, thus they divorce or have rocky marriages. I have a friend, her husand told her prior to marriage that he didn't want kids, so of course she marries him and gets pregnant. This MAN doesn't do anything w/ the child; never takes the kid any where, etc., BUT he told you prior. He also had 3 kids from a previous marriage; he was DONE. I think you need to HEAR your husband FULLY and talk w/ him before you even think about getting pregnant again.

Now, secondly, I think its a false belief to believe a kid is OWED another being to keep them company when you are gone. I know many siblings who donn't even speak to each other; they are not even close; they are closer to their friends than family. You can't predict what the relationship will be between siblings. I have one set of cousins who absolutely HATE each other their entire lives; they live on separate coasts and never speak. So, don't birth a child thinking "Wow, they are going to best buddies"...don't live in a false world!

Let's speak about reality - you should have a CHILD if that's what you and your husband WANT to do for your family, but not because another person NEEDS a companion. Expanding or adding to your family is ABOUT you. It sounds like you want another and he doesn't.

I have one kid and I only wanted one kid. My husband says he's happy with one, so that's the decision we've made for our family. I don't feel like I owe my child any other being in the HOPES they will love her and take care of her. I'm raising my child to be self-reliant and to love herself. Most people have found more love w/ friends than family anyway. Let's be honest, often we share more with our best girlfriends than we do w/ our sisters and brothers. Sure, there are those families that are like the Waltons or some fake family, but most families are not. Most families are troubled in today's society. True it would be beautiful if they were BEST of friends forever, but don't have a child just in the hopes of giving your eldest child a best friend...life doesn't work that way!

Oh, I decided on only one:
a) Career - I love my career; I'd like to pursue it. Its a lie that you can 'have it all'. We cannot have it all. A good Mom must choose when having two or three children. You can't work 15 hour days and raise your kids. Its the American lie. As your kids age, you can spend more time away from them, but American women have been lied to. You can't just 'have it all'...you can have it, but not all at one time! So for me, I'd like to pursue my career and give her a few hours during the week!

b) Financially - although we make good money, I believe more children would cause more strain. I don't like financial strain. I'd like to live comfortably. I don't want to vacation once a year. I have some friends, they NEVER vacation; they have too many kids. They NEVER go out to eat or if they do, they can't drop $100 on a fancy meal. I can. I believe we make choices with our heads and hearts, not just our hearts. I started to look at the LIFE 'd like to life and the life that would make me happiest. That's not selfish, that's being honest and real. Too often we lie to ourselves to make others happy; to make society happy.

I also feel most women feel OBLIGATED to have more than one. So much pressure! I see that alot. PRESSURE. So, I see alot of friends tell me privately that they do not want a 2nd kid, but they HAVE to because their husbands will leave them or he wants a 2nd one! So...I refuse to have that societal pressure put on me. My Mom says "OH, she needs a sister, I say great, you can have one, take care of her, send her to college"...Children are expensive and you are lying t yourself if you think they aren't. To raise a child right COSTS...For me, I'd like to give my daughter dance, french, and other things. Those are my dreams. Some parents have other dreams. I don't want my daughter wearing hand-me downs. She doesn't! Those are my goals and dreams. I admire those women w/ other goals and dreams, but those are not mine. I RESPECT a woman's right to have ONE, NONE, OR TEN!

I'm being honest and true to myself, so that I don't resent anyone. I'm not angry with anyone. I'm so happy being a Mom, I love my daughter. I had invitro. She's my dream come true, BUT...I refuse to live out someone else's life for me. I only ever wanted one, so I had one. I don't feel obligated to have 3, 5, or 10 for anyone!

[deleted account]

@ Sandi - the original poster of this message - you wrote on the boards, instead of personal messaging me, that I had somehow "attacked" you. I'm saddened that you got an "attack" from my answer. I was hoping that Mom to Mom, you'd appreciate a different perspective from your own. I was hoping that anyone posting their personal questions to the board does so because they are looking for a VARIETY of views; a VARIETY of perspectives. That's the whole point of posting our questions - to see what various people from all walks of life, other than our own, believe.

I'm also grateful to MILLIE BOWLING who said it just right - that definitely wasn't a personal attack; it was one person's perspective, and I also gave what I thought was even some encouraging news to other Moms. I got 2 or 3 helpful votes and one encouraging. Thanks Millie for your support!

Sandi, I'm sorry if you got an 'attack' from that post. It was never was meant at that. I'm sorry you didn't see the good faith, honesty, and Mom-to-Mom sisterhood that it was written in! I hope you find peace in all of your decisions, whatever they are. Be blessed!
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@ Kate Capehart - Moderator - Kate, I truly feel sorry for you. I'm sure my message was flagged. You are so right! I'm sorry that so many Moms are so immature that when they see an opinion other than their own, its flagged! I don't want your job and I"m sorry my post probably caused such an uproar. Hopefully we can all grow as women, as Moms, and as people and learn to READ other perspectives. Flags should only be for 'hate language' or 'stalking' etc. It should not be used to STOP a Mom who believes differently from us. Sadly, flagging is used to ban opinions, even when they are not racist or attacking, etc. Cursing should be flagged, etc. But simple DIFFERENCES of opinions are not flags!

Cindie - posted on 02/04/2010

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Sandi,
A VERY valid and intelligent question! Our family grew and grew to 5 children. We didn't go about it in conventional ways (4 of 5 are adopted...) but, by the same token, we did not plan to have 5...
In retrospect, two would have been perfect. Anywhere from 3 to 5 really puts things off balance. That said, of course, I would not change it.... I don't think :)
I have had contact with many many only children and parent with onlies.... It's not terrible... but most of them wish they had a sibling or the parent always thinks they should have.......
My advice to parents is: have 2...this world is set up for that. If you only have one, then enjoy them to the maximum, but don't put all of your expectations on them.
Bottom line: no matter if you have one or 10 - look at it as a gift from God and have a great time with them!
Cindie

Charlotte - posted on 02/04/2010

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I am an only child and while I think I've grown up as a well balanced individual, I would have loved to have had a brother or sister.

I've heard many different opinions on this subject and to be honest I would love to have another child myself, we currently only have one.

I know others who have had brother's and sisters and whilst some of them are close (like my husband and his sister), I know plenty of others who can't stand to be in the same room as each other and never see each other at all.

Ultimately, you and your husband need to discuss the pros and cons and take a risk either way. I think as long as you are loving parents and do the best you can, it really doesn't matter one child or more...

Best of luck.

Charlotte.

Carla - posted on 02/04/2010

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My 6 year old daughter is an only child, and I am a solo mother. I believe as long as I am caring for her in the best way I know, than that is all that maters. She has many friends at school and at our church. There are too many children in this world that come from larger families with two or more siblings, who are not cared for in the best possible way (neglected because of lack of money). I have a few friends who are an only child and they are intelligent, kind, caring people. The only problem being that they were perhaps too spoilt as a child (better that than being dragged up into this world). I have an older brother who I love dearly, but boy are we different and boy did we fight growing up. I spoke more to my friends about things in life than him. If you are finacially stable and can afford another child and you are able to stay at home with both children and enjoy doing so then by all means have another child, but if not then your child will grow to be a wonderful person with many friends, and family members who will no doubt love your child and have great relationships with your child.

All the best :-)

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Amber - posted on 02/03/2011

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I am not an only child and neither is my husband, but if you and your husband want another child more power to you! I have 2 right now and I am expecting my 3rd! Every child is a blessing and everyone has their right to choose how many children they would like to have! No one should tell anyone how many children to have or how to raise them! I wish you all the best!

Debra - posted on 02/27/2010

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I have one daughter 12 yrs old and she alway wants her friends over all the time

[deleted account]

To be honest our decision to have only one child was a compromise at first. My husband told me when we were discussing children with that he did not want ANY CHILDREN. It took three months of talking to get him to agree to ttc for a year since I really wanted a child of my own and a year later I was pregnant. He then said this was it he did not want any more children and I said I'd would table the discussion until our daughter turned two. It turns out my dreams of having two children was really just a dream because I soon found out that one child was all I could truthfully handle. We still have the "having another baby" discussion tabled for future review but for now my daughter is all we can handle/need right now.



We both have siblings....I have a brother and he has one brother plus two sisters. Funny thing....all his siblings either have one child or none. My brother's wife is now PG with their second child.......some times I look back at my childhood and think my daughter's needs a sibling then there are time when I think she's fine the way she is. Like I said......honestly I would not be able to handle another one at this time.

Sharon - posted on 02/14/2010

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i have 2 brother who are 10 and 11 yrs older than me and both moved out of home at 16 so i was like a only child and hated it cousins arnt the same as brothers and sisters i have grow up now and have 4 children aged 12 10 9 and 5 its hard work but i love it its the best thing in the world knowing when im gone my kids wont be alone but in saying that it is hard work and not for everone because you cant give 4 kids what you can give 1 so its really up to you hope this help x

Kris - posted on 02/14/2010

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Sandi: Know this...........all of us parents make mistakes!!!!! No matter how many kids you have! Our son just turned 13..........we've told him up front that we are trying our best and it's a learning curve on both sides!!! Don't worry about making mistakes - it's gonna happen, but with every mistake, there's a lesson and chance to make it better! Good luck on whatever you and your husband decide what's right for you!!

Jackie - posted on 02/09/2010

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There are many things to look at on both sides but for me having a single child was out like you I wanted my child to always have some close to him as possible if my husband and me were gone. Nothing is closer or more reliable then a sibiling. Really think hard of what it would be like to feel like an outsider cousins are not raised the same as sibilings. Also I have a nephew that is an only child and stares for a playmate so when we are around him he doesn't give my kids there space for a second. Social standards I think its a good idea even if they go out into the world in different groups they still spend a lot of time at home to the point when they go out into the world they make others comfortable because they have to be right there next to someone and be apart of everything. I have always wanted a big family because of the bonds they will share I have only one sister and wish I had more. I am currently pregnant with number 6. 3 older kids then a space of 7 years then 3 younger ones. Our home is never quiet and I have enough love and time for each of them. Thanks to the way I spaced them. I don't feel like I have deprived them from anything. Ultimatly you need to do what is best for your family. But I have had many people see my side especially when it comes to their children being alone.

[deleted account]

Not just the teaching you to share and that you can't always get your own way as a child, but as an adult with ageing parents at least you can share the burden with a sibling!

I have friends who are only children, and the pressure to be with them every Christmas, Birthday, special event, etc and then when something goes wrong, at least it is not just all up to one child to deal with it all on their own.

Don't stress though, give yourself another year and then start thinking, at least then you can just enjoy your gorgeous 10 month old for what they are and in a year everything has moved on a bit.

Good luck!

Sandi - posted on 02/06/2010

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I feel for those without a choice. I'm greatful that my partner and I are able to make a decision about having more children instead of the choice being made for us. If only life were as perfect as the story books we read to our children.



xx

Infinity - posted on 02/06/2010

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I have 5 brothers, my husband 3 other siblings. So I won't be able to tell you how we feel about being an only child. But it sure is lonely...... we have only one child, a 9yr old boy. I always wanted only one child, and always replied to the "he would like a friend" comment, that he would make enough friends at school and daycare. If I knew then what I knew now, I would've started with the second child asap, or at least when he came of the diapers. I had the most wonderful & healthy pregnancy with him. We started trying for another child when he was about 4yrs. I had 2 miscarriages and stopped trying, not only did my biological clock ran out but I couldn't manage the disappointment I felt, another month, skipping my period, and still nothing happened. A month ago I had a hist. Just yesterday he told me how lonely he is and feels. He actually sat against the wall of his playroom and I noticed he was looking so lost. I think if I were you and finances is good I would definitely try for another child.

Kelly - posted on 02/06/2010

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i'm one of 6, and there were others around as i grew up too. my brother was 6yrs older than me, and my sister was 12yrs younger than me. i had the best of both worlds. i was an only child essentially, too young for the older kids, and too old for the younger ones. and it sucked. i got to watch all my brothers and sisters hang out and play games and party... and i wasnt ever able to join in. it doesnt make a difference whether you choose to have more or not. i have an 11wk old an i want another one already, but if you want your children to be friends... make sure that they are close enough in age to be able to communicate.

Kelsey - posted on 02/06/2010

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I dont have the patients to explain the details of why I dislike being an only child, because I have responded to a post just like this several times before, but please dont do that to your child. Everyone deserves a sibling, not just for company and companionship, but for phsycological development, social development, self esteem, and many other reasons. I didnt mind it too much growing up because I didnt really know better, but as an adult, reevaluating my childhood, and what caused things to go the way they did for me, I am very much disappointed in not having a sibling. I think its just better for a person to have that relationship.

Gail - posted on 02/06/2010

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Hi Sandi my baby is 5mths old. We won't be having any more because I turn 40 this year and the risks of birth defects jump up so dramatically once you're in your 40's, it's really scary to us. My husband & I didn't meet till I was 35. We got married pretty quick it took us a long time to get pregnant (I also had a couple of miscarriages). So we've decided that we're just happy & grateful that were able to have a beautiful healthy baby boy, cos for a while we didn't think we'd be able to have a child at all. Having said that if I were younger I would definitely have a 2nd child. I know some parents when they have their first child think "I love this child so much, how can I share my love with another child". I really strongly believe that love for children is endless. And whilst everything is so expensive these days, 2 kids isn't a big family & I really believe definitely manageable. Kids would always rather have a loving parent than loads of stuff and I've never met a parent yet who regretted having another child, but I know plenty of ones who regret NOT having another. Good luck with your decision. I'm sure you'll do the right thing for your family and in the end weather you have 1 kid or 10, all that matters is being a loving parent.
Cheers Gail

Esmeraldah - posted on 02/06/2010

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Hi, I also only have one child but would like to add one. I think when they get a bit older they can entertainer each other. Because evan if we want to we can not always be there. I grew up in a house with 5 bothers and sisters and we did fight for attention but we also received attention from each other and we all turned out fine.

Although I do not think 6 children is a good idea, way to much expenses....

Two children would be nice. You can not be our child mother and friend.... It doesn't work. This way they can look out for each other as well, later in life they may choose to use each other as support or not. But they have the choice.



i think it is important to spent idividual time with each child though. So make sure you do that. They are idividuals after all.



kind regards

Esmeraldah Olckers

Jennifer - posted on 02/05/2010

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oh how i long for another baby. we suffer from male factor inftertility, & had to do artificial insemination with the first one,worked 1st try. have done it twice so far,no results. i can see myself with or without another one,but would really love to be a mommy once again. i am 38.

Susan - posted on 02/05/2010

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sandy,

i wanted to comment about your husband being concerned about having a boy. when my husband and i got married he we went 2-3 kids. our first one came and she is a beautiful girl. when i got pregnant a second time we discussed what we thought sex of the baby maybe and he made a comment about having a house full of girls. i was kind of surprised thinking that most men want a son to carry on their name. he was concerned that he wouldn't be a good role model to a boy and like your husband past on bad traits and expect to much from a boy. well we ended up have a beautiful baby boy and i can't imagine my husband being happier. my son is now six and they watch star wars together, ride roller coasters and do all kinds of boy stuff. they even went to the 30 year anniversary convention of stars wars in california. i know for a man it can be scary to be a role model but i believe that once it happens he will be surprised at how much he loves having a little man around.

Rachel - posted on 02/05/2010

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We have one child. After years of infertility we consider ourselves lucky. We have tried for #2 with no success and a lot of heartache and are reconciled to having one child. There have been lots of studies, largely positive done on "onlies". You might want to read "NurtureShock" Bronson/Merryman on the best seller list about siblings. Some interesting stuff in there about the pros and cons. I have my 2 1/2 year old in preschool two mornings a week so she gets added peer socialization, we have lots of kids in the neighborhood she gets to play with, older and younger since mixed age play is very important and beneficial (it doesn't have to be sibling play) I think individuals (particular girls) can have intimate friendships as close or closer than their sibling relationships as they get older. My two cents as the mother of an only.

Leia - posted on 02/05/2010

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i think your husband has a good idea. in this day and age, with fianances and population pressures, having one child is very responsible and sensible. if you are concerned for her socialization, make sure she gets into baby gymnastics or such. studies have shown only children can grow up just as healthy as those with a sibling. actually they tend to have higher iq's. take care.

[deleted account]

People do tend to generalize about both kinds of families don't they? It seems like people think being an only child makes you terribly lonely or spoiled. It doesn't, or not necessarily. I know many lonely or spoiled people that are not only children. I generalized the fighting I see most of my friends and family do with their siblings. My mother is not remotely close to her siblings and they live maybe 30 minutes away. Other people I know live right next to their siblings and are also like strangers practically. While they love each other they are not friends really. But others have much closer relationships with their siblings, as I've seen here. Also a coworker of mine with a large set of siblings is close to hers. I think it is like this for MOST people, if you have siblings you cannot imagine life without them. If you do not, you don't really miss what you don't have. Now you may not fall into what I call MOST people, but again, I'm generalizing. So if you are worried your child may miss out by not having siblings or by losing attention because of siblings, she probably won't feel that way either way you go.

Angel - posted on 02/05/2010

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I have a daughter almost 3 years old, My Husband and I want 1 more but our daughter is so crazy that I want to wait a while longer, I had 4 sisters and brother and that was hard, for my parent and us. I think having 2 to 3 kids is perfect, they need sibblings I think it is healthy, my daughter wants me to play all the time and I feel bad when I cant, She needs someone to play with because I can not play all day.

Kris - posted on 02/05/2010

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Hi Sandi.

Neither my husband and I are only children, but we have only 1 child. We wanted more children, but we were only blessed with one. You bring up the same points we both have.....someone there when we are gone, someone to have a bond with etc.



Our son asked for a brother/sister. I ended up babysitting for someone who was 3 years younger than him when he was 5. That opened his eyes up. He had to share everything, he couldn't watch only the shows he wanted to watch..........he didn't have my undivided attention. After that - he didn't want a sibling. He's 13 now and every now and again he wishes he had a brother or sister, but he does love having us to himself. I just hope that we live a long enough time so he can have his own family and he won't be by himself when we are gone.



It's a tough decision to make.............unfortunately, we had the choice made for us but we are extemely blessed after so many losses, to have our son.



Good Luck!

Roxie - posted on 02/05/2010

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I am an only child born to older parents, they celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary a month before my birth. By the grace of God I had my Daddy for 26 years and my mother for 33 years. I have all the cousins in the world and they are very good to me. The one closest in age is 8 years older than me.
I thought I had the best of best friends, we met in first grade. She dumped me when she became a teen mom - she knew after all the years how my mother felt about that. Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that cousins are good, friends come and go, but only a sibling can understand you when your parents start passing. My husband has both of his, however dysfunctional they are, and he has tried and tried to comfort and understand. But my cousins have each other to go over memories of their parents and when "this and that happened."
As an only child, hopefully you have some friends that stick and have the memories of your folks to laugh about and rehash. I'm saying that even with a spouse, when you guys pass - your beloved baby girl will be lost! I wish just one of the babies my mother miscarried could have stuck! I'm speaking of something way down the road. But it would be nice to have someone to share the boat that I paddle by myself.
I do have a loving, thoughtful huband and 3 kids. I like the #3 and he was receptive.

Good luck down this road!

Rachelle - posted on 02/05/2010

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I felt the same way about our daughter. I didn't want to share my love for her with another little person. Even when I got pregnant with my son I was terrified that I'd made a mistake and my 2 year old would hate me and resent the new baby. I never imagined myself loving any other child as much as my daughter. I thought myself to be a horrible person for thinking these thoughts. But you know what? Now my son is 4 months old and my daughter and I absolutely are in love with him. My daughter is so gentle with him and really mothers him. I know that their time will come when they'll fight and hate each other, I have 2 older brothers so I know! But I always wanted my daughter to have someone there for her...family. My brothers and I are great friends and I always felt so bad for single children. They will never know that bond. You can't duplicate that. So I hope that helps. Good luck!

Tammie - posted on 02/05/2010

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I come from a big family and I wouldn't trade that for the world!!! Both of my parents have passed on recently and I can't imagine not having my siblings! We're all very close.
I have 3 children, but there is a huge age gap between the first 2 and the youngest (like 16 & 18 years). I would have another one if I could, so that my youngest doesn't grow up like an only child, but we are unable to. We have close friends with children close in age to my daughter, and they are like her siblings. I remember the energy it took with the 2 older ones when they were young, and I kind of enjoy just having the one young one now. But over-all, I think I would have another one if I could!

[deleted account]

I should add, because others have talked about feeling they missed out on siblings, that this depends on your child as well. I don't feel like I missed out on anything by not having siblings, except now that I'm older with worrying about my parents. I guess that is because most of the people I know have dysfunctional relationships with their siblings. It doesn't seem all that fun!

Katia - posted on 02/05/2010

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Hello Sandi, i read your post and it sort of touched a chord in me. i am the eldest of a family of 2. My mother had lots of trouble carrying a child full term as a result there's me and a brother 6 years younger.
i have lots of cousins. Growing up i never felt the need of sisters of my own i had everything.
After i got married,with kids of my own, i started feeling a bit lonely.My cousins were married with families of their own, they gather together and i'm like an outsider.My brother is great but he's traveling i would love to have had a sister to be my best friend, to unload to share, above all i feel sad for my kids i have ,when my brother is not there, no one to share in their life. i work,i would love to have someone take my kids for a drive or to the beach or to a movie when i can't. i feel lonely.
your daughter sooner or later will be lonely.

[deleted account]

I'm going to speak from being an only child first, not as a parent, although currently I have just one child. I think it depends on your parenting how the child develops. The pros are: I have/had a very good imagination from the times I was often playing by myself. While other people seem to have problems being alone with their thoughts, I value time just to myself, although that may be more personality than lack of siblings. My parents gave their undivided attention to me. My dad would get off work to go to every ball game, there was no decision about which parent went to which event, such as a daughter's game or son's track meet. I was spoiled with attention, not materially, but I don't think it was necessarily a bad thing. Also, my family will not get torn apart, as some are, over inheritance. I know that sounds silly, but it happens to some people.
The cons, and I worry about these with my own child, is that someday that one child will be the only one making decisions about their parents care in their elder years. I know it bothers me that I don't have a sibling to share decisions with, like how to finance home care when my parents get older. I guess I worry about that more because my parents are already showing their age in their late 60s and I'm only 28. Also, my child doesn't have cousins to play with, he is the only grandchild so far on both sides and it doesn't look like he will be joined by any cousins any time soon. It is very hard to find places with young babies for him to play with. I'm not ready to send him to daycare just yet, but I would like it if he could meet other babies. I think the lack of access to other children is the biggest factor, but that is always something you can remedy somehow.

Sandi - posted on 02/05/2010

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I think it is the parents job to make sure their child is a well balanced individual regardless of how many children they have. If their life doesn't teach them that lesson then it's up to the parents to pick up the slack. Having said that, I live 2 hours away from my parents and my brother/sister-in-law/nephew. We only see each other twice a month at best. The rest of my family live in Scotland and Malaysia (7hr car trip and 13hour plane ride). My hubby was in care so no family on his side to speak of so sadly Larna doesn't have regular contact with cousins or extended family. Up to now she has played with kids about 8 times in 10months & she has only met a baby her own age once. Saying that, once the weather picks up we will be out more but having company that she can relate to shouldn't rely on the weather. I feel like I'm failing her already.

Jeanne - posted on 02/04/2010

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Siblings are you support system after your parents are gone. They are your additional connection to your genetic history and my nieces and nephews bring me such joy and happiness. The decision is personal, but I know my life would not be the same without my siblings.....and their children...

Lucretia - posted on 02/04/2010

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I am one of 7 children, and I have an only child who is 14 years old. I would have liked another child for him to grow up with, but that's all I got. i have always exposed him to lots of other kids, family relationships, and socialization. I love that we can afford to give him things that parents with more kids can't. I can attend all of his athletic/life events and I don't have to split my time. I will tell you, however, that there are times when I recognize he needs a sibling. Like when we went on vacation last year - he was bored to death hanging out with adults and not having anyone his age to hang around with. We have decided to take one of his friends with us on future vacations, so that problem will be solved. There are pros and cons, and even though he's almost 14 and there's no chance of me getting pregnant, I still consider adopting an older child so he can have a full time buddy. Cousins just aren't the same. my relationship with my sisters is just as precious to me as my relationship with my son. Another thing to consider is, with one child you are his best buddy. It feels wonderful when a teenager tells you that you are the coolest mom around, because you spend so much time together that you understand him more and can better recognize his age-related changes. Then again, when you need to clean, run errands, pay bills, talk to a girlfriend, etc, the only child will have to entertain him/herself. I know I could always get a lot more of the "boring" stuff done when he had a playmate over, and I didn't feel guilty about "neglecting" him, regardless of how necessary my chore was. Even though I have an only child, that was what God gave me, looking back it would have been healthier for the whole family if I could have had one more. Dont get me wrong though, he is growing into a wonderful young man, with values, morals, brains, integrity - he's everything I wanted in a child. I'd do it all over again. My advise is to listen to your heart, listen to God, and do what feels right.

User - posted on 02/04/2010

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having children and lots of them is a blessing and it allow for your family married or not to grow togeter and be alot more appreiciating for the things they receive in life or just for life itself. The less children down to one will be spoiled and not know how is to be blessed with the love of sharing and caring. Look at it who would they share with seeing that they are the only one and their cousins and other family members are not around them like a sibbling would be.
As for being the parent it do not allow you to use the word no too ofter cause you do not have to strugle as much with one as you would with 2 or more. Also you do not have a guide to use if only have one cause we learn about raising kids from on the job training and sometimes we need alot more training than one child offer. i am a mother of 7 kids 5 by birth and 2 by adoption. I have gotten alot of training so take it from me it was a hard job but well worth it, do not settle for less if you want to enjoy the gifts from God than you need to take advantage of the gift of life.

thanks
Tonya

Jessica - posted on 02/04/2010

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oh I thought of another thing... if you do decide to have another...wait a few years in between them that way you can enjoy the little moments.... i would say about 4 years....one's in preschool while one is little...

take lots of videos too.... :)

Jessica - posted on 02/04/2010

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I have a 19 month old girl. My husband and I always talked about having 2 or 3 of our own. He is 5 brothers and sisters and I have 1 sister. I have always talked about adopting after we we gave birth to however many we decided on, but that's another story. So we both kinda new we wanted a few kids.

Right now, we're at a stand still. He still wants more children and I do want another one, but at the same time, I am happy with one. I can't imagine loving another child as much as I love her. I work more than a full time job, plus I'm trying to finish my bachelors degree and I feel like i don't have enough time as it is. When I finish school, I'll have more timeand things will be easier. I am somewhat worried about dividing my attention between 2 kids, but at the same time, I know I can love them both the same. I just do not see any dire need to have another one right now.

I think that you guys really just need to sit down and talk. Get out every question about why another one and why not. Ask questions that are really going to get down to each others feelings. I do think that it is kind of a mutual decision... but at the same time, it's your body. If you choose to have another child, just make sure that YOU are in the right financial place to take care of it. I believe that once you have kids, you live for them. I will give my daughter or any other children, if i have more, anything they want, even if that means that I go without. Oh and whether I have 1, 2 or 10 kids... if they want to take dance, french, piano or even equestrian classes... they would. (Sorry, some people just upset me). I don't see spending $100 on a plate of food is going to make me

Maybe it comes down to this, nothing is black and white...you do what you feel is "right". If you think that in 10, 15, or 20 years from now you will go to bed at night wishing that you had another child, then have one. Just be able to take care of it. Don't spend your whole life thinking about what you did or didn't do. You have one life to live, make the most out of it -and if you have love in your heart, and time in your life, and money to spend, then maybe you should have another one.

Brenda - posted on 02/04/2010

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Your husband is giving you opinion, but its coming from the heart, take that into consideration. Your daughter is still young enjoy her right now, and eventually it will come to fruition if you guys should have a another baby. I have four and waited 10 years from the 1st one they all from 23 to 9 now but I have enjoyed the age difference between all of them

Nalini - posted on 02/03/2010

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Hi !
Have to agree with your thoughts on having another child . There maybe a lots of cousins but your own brother or sister is always a different bond altogether. I realized this a little late for my daughter, but then..better late than never. I have a daughter who is now 6yrs and we had a son- he is 5 months now .Initially i was completely against having another one.. but after seeing my daughter lonely .. i felt she needed that someone in the house she can grow up with ( tho they wont be playmates).. but now she loves him a lot and he too is very happy in her company. Eventually how much ever we fight or play as siblings when we r younger .. we always have someone to look forward to in as we grow older . I now see that bond i have with my brother . I understand your husbands view .. the attention might be divided between the kids but the love you will have for your children can never be divided . So go ahead and have another one :-)

Rebecca - posted on 02/03/2010

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Rachel - what a horrible experience you had growing up!!! Are you close to your parents now, and just not your brother? It sounds like if you'd been listened to and given the chance to have a voice a bit more your situation could have changed and a relationship with your brother might have been salvaged...



Kids don't automatically get on with each other, and while it is good to let them come to their own resolutions so they learn those skills, there is a lot of facilitating and mediating to be done by parents - to help that learning along, That would be the main challenge of parenting lots of kids. But the rewards are worth it.



It is a shame your experience has left you feeling the way you do - and missing out on the close sibling bond that others are lucky enough to share. But I bet you would take that experience with you into your parenting, and would ensure the same thing didn't happen with your kids...

Rebecca - posted on 02/03/2010

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I personally think it is good for you to have to split all your attention and finances etc so one child does not receive it all! There is enough love to go around, but I have watched my kids benefit in so many ways from having each other - learning to share, learning to amuse themselves, learning how special the time we have together is, being part of a big busy family.



Obviously there are some advantages to being an only child, and people turn out ok (or not!) no matter what their family background, so a lot comes down to individual circumstances and personalities. But I can already see my kids being better people for having siblings than they perhaps would have been otherwise. I also love the fact that when they are older they will have others who have shared the same upbringing with them - it isn't all about the parents forever. When we are old they won't have to shoulder the whole burden alone, and they will still have family when we are gone. I like that.



On another note too, I know a few only children who, despite being lovely people, are very egocentric. They wouldn't even realise they are - but they just never had to learn to consider other people in everything they do, so it doesn't come naturally to them.



Some can't have more than one child, for whatever reason, and that is fine. But for those who have the choice and can afford financially to provide the basics for more than one child, I think there are too many advantages for it not to be the way to go. The onyl people I know who have only had one child by choice have done it for their own reasons - preserving lifestyle choices of their own for example, as life is a lot easier with one. I guess if you know that is important to you then it is the right choice, but I can't help but think it is a bit selfish...



Good luck with your decision!

Rachel - posted on 02/03/2010

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On a side note....if it was another time and economy, I would have loved to have 4 or 5 children. I think in greater multiples (my dad is the oldest of 10), having siblings gives you a wonderful and fullfilling life. What Amanda Daniels said before me is what I saw and loved about that side of my family.

Rachel - posted on 02/03/2010

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Just a little thought on a pro to having one child (which is what my husband and I are doing). I had a brother that was only 13 mos older than I was and he was abusive to me. He would beat me up on a regular basis and it wasn't just a typical fight. It would be a down right war that included weapons of all sorts (brooms, hockey sticks, wrenches, etc). He would even choke me. I didn't give in easily and therefore would end up in tears a lot. My parents who were at work until 5ish would come home and then ground or spank us depending on if something was broke in the process. To me it was a double punishment because I had already been hurt. I'm not saying I was innocent (the wrench was me...i missed) but the multiple days a week of fighting for all those years was damaging emotionally and physically. To this day at 30 and 31, we still don't really get along. There is no special, deep bond. He was mean and mostly I remember the anger and hate we shared for one another.
If I had been an only child, I may have wished for a sibling but beings that I had the brother I did, I wish I had been an only child.

Amanda - posted on 02/03/2010

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All children are individuals! I grew up in a family of four kids. We are all so different which, yes, meant we didn't always get along. But overall I feel it has made me more prepared as an adult. I learned social skills young such as sharing, conversing, fair fighting, respect and teamwork. My parents never once had favorites and as adults we have no regrets or sorrows of growing up in a larger family. I had many cousins, but I feel cousins are more like friends. You don't share a home with cousins even though you may see them often.
Right now I am a new mom with one baby girl. My husband and I plan on having at least one more. I want my children to share their growing up with siblings becuase I feel it will help them become more prepared for their futures. If you choose more than one baby, you will have the ability to care and love for all of them and for your family as a whole. Good luck!

Kelly - posted on 02/03/2010

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I have a 2 and half year old and he is the only child. Now I love him to death and its fun to just have him to entertain. Lately, I have been noticing some cons of having an only child. He has trouble sharing his toys with other kids and he is a little shy but overcomes it after a few minutes. I think if he wasnt an only child he wouldnt be so shy and he would definately would know how to share! And another con I noticed, I dont know if he gets it from his parents but he has no patience. A family with several children, the children learn to be patient, they all cant get what they want at the same time or they all cant have the same toy; so they learn to be patient. They wait for their turn. Now my son, not patient at all! LOL His father and I are both stubborn and are impatient but my son needs to learn to be patient. Im a single mother on disability. Got turned down for "Purchase of Care" for help with daycare so my son doesnt go to daycare yet. Im trying to get him in there asap! I want him to interact with other kids and learn things that he cannot learn here at home with just me. I found an organization that helps families with daycare so hopefully when I check it out, Ill be approved and its what I have been looking for to help me with daycare payments.
Good Luck to you! There are pros and cons in any kind of family, so just do what you want to do. Listen to your heart.

Carol - posted on 02/03/2010

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I believe if your relationship is strong then having more than one child is a good idea if they are close in age. I have 2 boys for the same reason, the only child does not learn many hard life lessons and will not have anyone when you both pass (sorry if thats morbid) but I think about children as they grow throughout life and the experiences they can share only with each other. Go for it if that is what you want...if not then who cares:)
Carol

Dannielle - posted on 02/03/2010

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I am on only child and vowed to never have only one! I could go on for days about the cons, but I won't out of respect for my parents who did what they thought was right at the time. I have 2 children and the love for the 1st one doesn't get divided because I have another...having more than one child means that you have more people in the family unit to love each other and live out life with....

Suzie - posted on 02/03/2010

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I guess I could say I had the best of both worlds. Me and my brother are 7 years apart. My parents had 3 miscarriages between us and I was their last try. Me and my brother were never close, when he was a teenager I was still a child and when I was a teen he was an adult. We love each other very much as siblings but it still feels like I was the only child growing up. Now that we are both adults there is still a lack of that closeness
"normal" siblings should share.
Now I'm a mother of a wonderful 5 year old little boy. He is a very good boy. He is very social and very outgoing. I would have had one more I think, but my marriage wasn't what I thought it was going to be. So now I'm single with my little guy and I truly believe if I was a single mom of two I wouldn't be able to handle it on my own. I'm responsible for my son and making sure he grows up to be a good, successful, caring man.
I guess my advise would be to fallow your heart and please make sure you have a strong marriage before you beside to have another child. Its really hard to do it on your own even with just one.

Kate CP - posted on 02/03/2010

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Okay. Repeating myself again. I really wish you people would read the guidelines for posting and flagging content. But, you never do. So I'll just keep repeating myself.

DO NOT FLAG A POST JUST BECAUSE YOU DON'T AGREE WITH IT!!! IT MAKES THE MODERATORS FURIOUS TO HAVE TO GO THROUGH TONS OF FLAGGED MESSAGES THAT SHOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN FLAGGED IN THE FIRST PLACE!!!

*Please* Please please please please please!!!!!!!!!!! Read the pinned thread regarding posting and flagging etiquette.

Kate Capehart
CoM Moderator (and very cranky today, so please don't tick me off.) :P

Michelle - posted on 02/03/2010

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My son was an only child for the first 8 years of his life, and all he did for the past 5 years is bug me to give him a little brother or sister. We just had a little girl 9 months ago and he couldn't be happier I didn't realize how lonely he was for someone to play with and love. He likes to teach her how to do things and now that she is in that playing fun stage he loves her even more....I loved the time i spent with my son when he was little and we have a very close relationship because of it but I am glad I could give him the one thing he really wanted. A sibling

Nancy - posted on 02/03/2010

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I have four children, three planned and one a pleasant surprise. they all have grown up together, and although at times it was financially difficult, it is a plus having more than one. I also grew up with three sisters, we were all close, and it was nice to have someone to play with at a young age, and as we got older, it was nice to have someone to talk to on my level, at whatever age.

Samantha - posted on 02/03/2010

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I have an only child and I wish I had more, but I wanted to state some pros and cons of having just the one! Well my child feels like everything should go he way and everyone seems to think she acts out because she is the only child. Pros you only have to buy for one and prepare for one! Less hassle, but it could be one big hassle.

Kenya - posted on 02/03/2010

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My 11 year old "only" is anything but lonely!! For many reasons, some medical some just a matter of choice, my husband and I were blessed with 1 angel! Believe me, only children can be reaised happy and healthy...it's up to you to fill any potential void.

Of course some seem to feel that it's selfish to have one kid...what about having several and giving them little to no love, guidance or support.? Believe me I know people in that exact situation. Whatever YOU and YOUR husband decide, folks and their opinions will be nowhere around! Do what works for you in your household!

Your baby is so young. You and hubby have plenty time to decide. Either way, your little girl (only or tug of warring over a sweater), will be all the things that her parents instill in her.



Cheers sistah!

Lynette - posted on 02/03/2010

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I was an only child and loved it! My Husband had a sister and hated it, but my Mother-In-Law hated being an only child.



I can sympathise on both fronts. I always wanted two, but now I have my little boy we are so close I feel guilty even thinking about having another. I am quite lucky that my son does have a half sister who doesn't live with us, but to whom he is very close, so hopefully he will still have someone in later life. Before reading your post that aspect hadn't occured to me.

[deleted account]

I really think most couples do have conversations about family planning and number of children in order to establish a sense of being on the same page together and compatibility. My husband & I originally wanted 4 children! I originally wanted to be a SAHM. Well, it just wasn't in the cards for us after 3+ years of infertility issues with 3 miscarriages. We are so fortunate to have our one son and I get quite defensive when people make blanket statements that only chldren are lonely and NEED a sibling. It's a parent's job to make sure that your chldren, with or without siblings, have a fufilled lifestyle so there is never a time they are lonely. I am able to get pregnant again, but fail to see the logic of providing a sibling if WE have no desire for anymore children. Oh, and the SAHM thing is NOT for me. I love teaching way too much! (But I have a complete respect for you SAHMs!) The point I am trying to make is this: Couples may plan early on in their relationship & marriage. But when reality sets in, you may have to alter your original plans.

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