feeling guilty

Kendall - posted on 12/05/2010 ( 35 moms have responded )

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Do any mother out there feeling guilty for being okay with just one child? My son is now 18 mon and the light of my life.
Oringal before the birth of my son I had planned to 2 or 3 kids but now after my son, I feel complete but I feel bad because I know my husband would like another child but I know if we didn't have another he would be contend with our son Brennan. But sometime I feel there is press around me to wish to have another child from family. I also feel that sometime people view you as less of a mother because you one have one and not 2 or3.
I am sorry I am venting but does anyone else feel guilty because you don't wish to have any more children?

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Laura - posted on 12/05/2010

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You needn't apologize for venting--that's one reason there are groups like this!

I cannot stress the importance of what I am about to state: The number of children you and your husband choose to have is ENTIRELY up to you! You should never feel guilty for choosing what the make-up of your family will be! That is your business and no one else's, and that includes family! Make choices that work for you and your husband: Guilt need not be applied!

With that said, I can tell you that I NEVER felt guilty for choosing to have only one child. Not once, even though I got the family pressure asking when we would have more. Why? Because it was never THEIR business anyway! My standard response was "Why? We did it right the first time!". If that didn't stop folks from being nosy, then I did politely, but firmly, tell them that it really wasn't any of their business whether or not we would have more kids. That usually took care of the questions!

Along with those responses went an "attitude"--a self-perspective, if you will--that it really was no one's business so I never took these questions to heart. I never took the inquiries personally, even from my MIL, and usually down-played the importance of them. Mind you, this wasn't to be rude--I always tried to maintain a level of politeness--it's that these simply weren't important questions to consider for me. Certainly not with regards to those outside of our immediate family! The only person that mattered when asking those questions was my husband, who originally wanted 5 -6 kids! Um..."NO" was my response! I simply asked him who was going to have those babies (him?) because it wasn't going to be me! This lead to some good discussions about planning our family and what would work for us. We have one amazing daughter and that is enough for our family!

Finally, Kendall, NEVER let others tell you that you are less of a mother for only having one child! That is just BS of the highest level in my book! I would rather be a good mom to one child than be an aweful mom to 3 or 4! Parenting takes a lot of work and skill no matter the number of kids. Be the best mom you can be to your son and know that you are not alone! Stand up for yourself, your family and your choices because "no one can make you feel inferior without your consent" (Elenore Roosevelt). Hope this helps and best wishes!

[deleted account]

Please feel free to vent away. Making the decisiob to have an only child is something each couple has to contend with. For me personally, no guilt, no regrets. We are a very happy and small family of 3. I refuse to bow down to the theory that my only child HAS to have a sibling. Sorry, but society puts too much pressur eon parents to begin with, and in all honesty I have personally never felt pressured to have another child. I simply don't want anymore. it does not make me a bad mother inthe least. In fact, I think it's made me a stronger mother becasue I now my parental limitations. My son is well-rounded, has a lot of friends, and is very close in age with his cousins. Plus, he goes to school with cousins and sees them daily in after-school care. While cousins never replace siblings, I know that my son is lacking for nothing. Now if the issue is that your hubby wants more childrne, then you & he are not on the same page. We've been in your shoes in the past. There was a time when my husband also wanted at least one more child. But there was never any overwhelming pressure or demand for more kids. We talked about it a lot. But then came to the conclusion that one child is best for us. I also hear posts like this and wonder if a parent wants another child for the sole reaosn of providing a sibling/playmate for their only child, or simply for a desire for a larger family. Your family needs to back off and respect your choices, and please do not be afraid to speak up. My family no longer mentions another child to me, but seveal years ago I had no problem telling my mom & sister to mind your own business. Good luck to you!

Kristina - posted on 12/16/2010

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I would feel more guilty if had had children I couldn't afford and had my kids struggling and wanting for basic needs. I'm a single mother.

Cynthia - posted on 12/07/2010

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Thanks to everyone for your posts. It is encouraging to hear that we aren't alone. I also have one son, he is 2 and we have no desire for another. I get a lot questions, especially now that he is 2, like that is some "magical" age where you have to start trying for another one or have another one. Don't let the pressure get you down. I too struggle with sometimes feeling like I have to explain myself. I have been reminded a lot lately that everyone is so different, God made us that way for a reason. So, since everyone is different, then we all won't desire the same things. We also should not judge others that have more then one child the same way we should not be judged for having one. We have no idea what is going on in other people's families, what struggles they face and they have no idea what is going on in yours. Don't feel like you HAVE to tell them either, I am realizing it isn't worth it most of the time. If only people would remember this it would make things so much easier :) Just remember...It is good to be different :)

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Jessica - posted on 02/22/2011

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I am 27 years old and have one child. I had always planned on having at least 2 kids, but God didnt see it fit for me. I was told last year that when I gave birth to my daughter that it took a toll on my body and I cant carry any more children. I feel so guilty bc she gets bored alot and we dont have any kids around in our neighborhood. She is 4 1/2 years old and goes to preschool, but I feel like that isnt enough for her. Everytime she says that she wishes that she had a sibling, all I want to do is cry.

Celia - posted on 12/31/2010

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Why would you feel guilty? I have only one and am completely happy. Having only one gives you the opportunity to give everything you have to your one instead of having to divide your attention and energy. I say more power to you! There are many women who are happy having 2 or 5 or 7 children, but there are just as many who are happy having one or none. Be happy with what makes you happy and don't let anyone rain on your parade. :o)

Michelle - posted on 12/20/2010

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I always chose to only have one child but now that my son is almost 11 years old I do regret it especially with my husband and I being older parents. I wonder what will happen to my son if we die young and my son never gets married. He has cousins that he is close to but I don't think that replaces having siblings so yes, if I had to do it over again I would have now have had a second child which in 5 million years I don't think I would have ever said years ago when he was younger.

Vereena - posted on 12/19/2010

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To Mari Janse Van Rensburg :

The best thing you can tell anyone who is trying to pressure you into having another child is this: I only want one, so please drop the subject and never bring it up again. If I change my mind, I will let you know, thank you for accepting my request and acknowledging that having kids is my decision.

Vereena - posted on 12/19/2010

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Don't let anyone pressure you into having other children, it is perfectly fine to have just one. I am 43 and only have one son. It is wonderful, we get to truly bond and not only be mother/son but friends as well.

A - posted on 12/19/2010

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its alright dear!!
thats what this site is all about ..isnt it ;)
u r a mother and u will be even if u have more than one!
there r always these thought processes that one goes through..interms of one or more than one...and pressure..guilt...desire..
frankly..in today's world we need to be little more practical..having a family (addition to the family..is generally is about happiness..love..etc) and definitely needs love-affection-attention-care-they have their own needs at different stages of their life (we as parents always wanna do he best we can for them!..its natural)its a life long commitment..not like marriage..where in if things didnt work, u can take divorce ( which ofcourse does make sense when a couple feels non-compatible...)
so one really needs to weigh out stuff..if u wanna really enjoy urself...be happy...contend..do justice...not being stressed..etc..as not just mother(which is divine)but also as ..wife...daughter..sister..etc etc
woman is truely blessed as we can play many roles ..kind of simultaneously..
just listen to ur heart...probably have a a little chat with ur husband about how u feel...hear how he feels and then decide...what u two think..feel..matters the most..dont get bothered/carried away with what others say/think/feel!

take care,
god bless u :)

Vivian - posted on 12/18/2010

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I agree with everyone that posted, whatever you and your husband decide, babies are a blessing. I have one child, she is are pride and joy! Best of luck with whatever you decide.

Lorraine - posted on 12/18/2010

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Head up high and never regret if you have one child or two it doesnt matter as long theres love in the family!

Marta - posted on 12/18/2010

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I don't wish to have another child mostly because of financial constraints (I am a single mother) but I do feel guilty because my son is 10 and there is a sense of loneliness at being an only child. If I had thought it through I would of had at least two. This is a lifelong relationship you are creating for your child. I think it is worth it and I will say that it is my one regret.

Mari - posted on 12/17/2010

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I am so glad you are voicing your opinion. Its as if you took the words right out of my mind. Im becoming impatient with my husband, family and strangers constantly pushing for another baby. Im running out of answers to give them!

Nicole - posted on 12/17/2010

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My son is 15 and I never regretted having only one. In fact, I purposely married my husband (he is not my sons father), who is much older than I am, because he would not want more children. I am grateful for my son but I knew immediately he would be my one and only:)

Lorraine - posted on 12/17/2010

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My opinion as a friend is that don't feel guilty it will happened unexpectedly! The most important that your husband wants more... and that you too but not in this moment right? Then just enjoy your family to the fullest your not doing anything wrong for being complete with your only son, in my experience I have one son he was born premature when I was 5 months pregnant he was 1lbs n 10.8 oz he completes my happiness all the time, as long you play with him visit family and friends take him out let your baby interact with other kids you will be ok!

God Bless your family!

Sincerely,

Lorraine

Julie - posted on 12/17/2010

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I felt guilty for awhile. My daughter is now 18 but we did try to have another one. The way I look at it if it is God's will for you to have more than one it will happen. I ended up having a hysterectomy at 33. Actually, my daughter is my 2nd pregnancy, The first one I miscarried when I was 20. It would have been a boy. I was just over 2 mos. Even my daughter wished she had a sibling but overtime they learn to accept being the only one although I'm not saying that is easy!

Laura - posted on 12/16/2010

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I am to a mother of 1 child and don't feel guilty at all, think of all the extra love that you can give this child, and if you have this feeling of contentment, you may have a resentment towards another child. My son who is now 9 always says he wants a brother or sister, and when I remind him of the sharing and not being able to do as much with another child in the picture he is happy being the only child. Good Luck with your decision..

Jennifer - posted on 12/10/2010

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I have a 15year old daughter. She means the world to me. It never really bothered me because she was all I could have asked for. Now that she's older, I feel bad that I will leave her in this world alone. When her dad I and are no longer on this earth, who will she spend holidays with? Who will celebrate her birthday like her existence is an honor? Who will be there for all her accomplishments and disappointments? Ultimately, she will have to rely on relatives to have some sense of family. I have brothers and sisters; therefore, I know I will still have the sense of bonding to share the intimate details of life and family.

Kuhn - posted on 12/10/2010

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i fell complete but i am willing to have another baby
i dont want my son to be alone.
i feel sade whan i see him with the other childern
sometime he wants to play with them but mmost of the time they have no interes in him. i thing witth a brother or a sister he wont be so much alone and apart from us he can have someone to share his moment of joy and discovery .

Kelly - posted on 12/09/2010

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I only have one child he turns 15 on Saturday. I feel guilty that he has never had a brother or sister to fight, argue and compete with but I think he and I are fairly close and he likes to be around my husband and I. I don't feel he is spoiled but he does have advantages as being the only child such as getting all of our attention and not having to share us. He also has more opportunities than families with many children.

[deleted account]

I have also met strange adults who were only children, but then again I have met some strange adults from bigger families too :). The thing is times have changed and we are not so isolated anymore and there are so many things you can do with your children that helps them be social. There are parks and playgroups and all sorts of great things to so that are not expensive - esp. playdates :) My Daughter will be 2 very soon & the questions are coming thick and fast about having another - luckily I do not feel the need to explain why to others, my decition is mine and ONLY mine :)

Jennifer - posted on 12/09/2010

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I know what you mean. I just can't afford more than one but I hate the thought of my child being an only child just because some of the only child adults I have met are not the easiest people to communicate with. Communication is a very important skill that I want my child to have in life to be successful.

[deleted account]

Absolutly nothing to be guilty for :) I think we are stronger for not conforming to the average 2.5 ha ha ha

Jackie - posted on 12/08/2010

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i do not feel guilty at all, my son is 15 years old, actually , i am greatful that i only have one, i am able to do things with him that i dont think i could afford if i had two or three, for example, three years ago, i took him down to disney as his christmas gift, if i had two or three, i would not have been able to do this

Judith - posted on 12/08/2010

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I don't feel guilty about having only one child. I am 41 yrs old and have a great 4 yr old boy who has delayed speech. Having one child is enough for me to handle. Some days I wish there were more hours in the day for me to spend with him.

Jennifer - posted on 12/08/2010

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Hi Kendall -

We have an almost 8 year old daughter. From the time I was a little girl, I knew I only wanted one child. I came from a family of 4 and knew a big family was not for me. My husband is also from a family of 4 and luckily felt the same way. Being an only child family is what works for us. Having one child allows us to give her opportunities and experiences we would never be able to do with more then one. Everyone said we would change our minds and it's never happened. Over the years people have questioned our decision, but that's okay. I've never had any trouble explaining our feelings to them. That doesn't mean I haven't gotten a look or two or even a snide remark. In the end, it really doesn't matter. You must do what works best for you and your family - not what works for others. Your son is still young and eventually people will stop asking and will just accept the fact that you are an only child family. Until then, stay strong and be happy!

Tracey - posted on 12/07/2010

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Yes yes and yes to all of your post ,I have one and people won't stop asking me or telling me I should have another , it really bugs me sometimes , I am so lucky to have this wonderful child and I am content spending all my energy into one child .

Keneesha - posted on 12/07/2010

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I don't feel guilty. More confused than ever at times though. I tell people I don't want another child and I guess what I really mean is I don't want to be pregnant and begin the process all over again. The other week I had a lady tell me if she had known what she knows now, not only would she have not had a second child; listening to a woman with only one son, she would not have had the first child, nor gotten married. So don't let anyone make you feel guilty for your feelings because you're the one who has to live with your decisions. They may change as your child grows up and they may not. These days I say if I absolutely desire another child I'll adopt someone close to my son's age rather than be miserably pregnant, sleepless, changing diapers, finding babysitters, and so on all over again.

Jessica - posted on 12/07/2010

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I am happy to only have one child. My son is 7 and i would not want anymore. he at one point asked me for a brother. I told him if i had another child he would have to share everything. toys, attention, everything. He said, oh no I don;t want that!! He is sooo happy being the only child. talk it over with your husband more. wait until your baby grows up more and see how you feel

Randi - posted on 12/07/2010

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I have a 20 month old child and we do not intend to have anymore. My family tries to make me out to be the bad guy, but the truth is, you want what you want. I personally because I want to spend ALL of my time with my son. Regardless of what your family says or wants, you are the one that makes that decision. The truth is that if you don't whole heartedly want another child, there's always going to be some level of regret or even resentment deep down inside.
And, yes, sometimes I do feel guilty for not wanting more children.

Alyne - posted on 12/07/2010

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I feel blessed to have one child. There are no rules as to how many children you have to have. You and your husband get to pick that, along with the help of God. Do not feel guilty. Feel happy that you have a wonderful son and know that he is loved by you both.

User - posted on 12/06/2010

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Hi, i have a 16months old son, he is my only child and i love him so much i do not even deram of having another child. I do not even feel guilty about it because i do not see how i can possibly love another child the way i love my angel.

Kendall - posted on 12/05/2010

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I most thank everyone that has posted. You word are vary reassuring. I have taken some of the advice this weekend with my younger sister Whitney. She and her husband have decided next summer after she is finished with her LPN program to start trying to have children. Told me nicely that she thought I should just give up and one. And I nicely told her it is give up if you are happy it is being successful. And I explain it was our decision in the end.

Shelley - posted on 12/05/2010

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I am a mother of 1...& I am blessed to have her. After having a miscarriage my 1st go around & having complications with my daughter..we didn't have anymore. I will say that alot of times I had wished we would've had another one...just b/c our daughter is not very outgoing...but she is kinda shy too.
Just don't be in any hurry to have another one...wait maybe another year...& ONLY u & ur husband can make that decision!! Remember that!!

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