Anonymous

Only child

Any parents of only children or an only child themselves out there? I never imagined that I would only have one child but as the days pass, the thought of “starting over” makes me want to sob hysterically. I wouldn’t say my daughter is/was a bad baby but she most certainly is not easy-going by any means. We’ve had a horrible time with sleep, I haven’t slept in over a year and she really is the busiest baby I’ve ever come across. I have/had PPD but I’m thinking it could just be exhaustion. I LOVE my brothers and can’t imagine my life without them so the guilt of me not wanting to give her a sibling makes me even more depressed. I feel like I could regret having another child or maybe I would regret not having another child. I know this is an incredibly personal choice but I would just love your input.

  • Ellen
    Aug 09

    What a great question and thread! My daughter is an one child and I know I don’t want more kids and my reasons are like yours exactly. I know I don’t want to go through pregnancy, labor, breastfeeding, PPD and sleep deprivation all over again. My daughter is now 1.5 years old and She still rarely sleeps through the night, so I totally understand! Another thing is that I know I can never love another child like I love my daughter ( I know many say I can, but I know I can’t lol) Financially speaking, money is pretty tight for us right now so I know I don’t want to have a second. My daughter is really good at playing by herself, and she gets super excited when she sees other kids! I think your reasons are legit and you shouldn’t feel guilty about it! The only thing that’s annoying is when people keep asking me when I’m having a second...sigh.

  • Stephanie
    Aug 10

    It is okay for you to be the parent you need and want to be. It is okay for you to have one child, it is okay for you to have multiple children. It is okay for you to not always enjoy parenthood, and it is okay to choose to not go through it again with another baby. It is so okay. It is also okay to mourn he second, third, child you may never have, even if not having them is the best thing for your family. Your daughter is loved and cared for and being raised to the best of her parents' abilities and that is what matters. She will have friends and colleagues and possibly cousins and significant others throughout her life, and that has always been more than enough for many only-children. Maybe one day your daughter will choose to have multiple children of her own, but that's her choice, her life. Your choice, your life, is yours, and you can have goodness and satisfaction in life with the family you have now. You deserve good things. You deserve to know that you are a great parent. The best decision you can make is a decision that keeps you mentally, emotionally, and physically healthy. You don't do your child a disservice by only having her, because she will always have you and your influence and love in her life. You have already given her the gift of living, and sacrificed yourself in so many ways to give that gift to her, and that matters so much. You don't love less by choosing to not make more sacrifices for other new lives, and you are not being selfish by having one single child. You are choosing to give your daughter all you have, in the best ways you know how. There's nothing greater that a parent can do for their child than that.

  • Anonymous
    Aug 10

    ❤️❤️❤️❤️ Stephanie is making me cry already this morning! Thank you!

  • Alejandra
    Aug 10

    OMG thank you to Stephanie!! Same struggle here. And thanks to who started the thread, clearly there is a few of us thinking the same.

  • Rebecca
    Aug 10

    Thank you! I wanted a second, but I had several miscarriages. I still worry about my son being an only, but I hope that he knows how much he is loved.

  • Mom
    Aug 10

    I go back and forth about this all the time. I had a rough pregnancy and my delivery was pretty traumatic for me so I have been fighting with the idea of going through it all again. I would love for my daughter to have a little sibling but I don’t know if I’m strong enough to go a second round. But at the same time I feel like I’m being selfish. I definitely understand your struggle with it.

  • Katherine
    Aug 10

    I am an only child and never longed for a sibling. My daughter very likely will be an only child (she also was a tough baby and is BUSY). Only children get a bad rep, but I know lots of only children (I like to think myself included) who grew into fully functioning adults and even know how to share once in awhile. It’s pretty great to get all your parents’ resources!

  • Lydia
    Aug 10

    Struggling with this too. My son is 5 and constantly asks for a sibling. I am 43 now and feel I was lucky with having a healthy son at such a late stage in childbearing years. Now I feel really too old to have another. I was an only child until I was 12 and I think that having a loving supportive family is enough for a child. I think it is important to have estate and preparations made too - it is never too early to plan for the future.

  • Savanna
    Aug 10

    My daughter is 5 and I think she really wants a sibling, however neither me or her father want another child. I don't want to have another child just because she wants one. I want to be able to provide the one child that we have and right now it would be difficult to support more than one kid. If we did eventually decide to have another kid, there would a be a big age difference between the two. We want to give my daughter the best opportunities that she can have. We both have large families and try to surround her with family all the time. As long as kids have a family to love and support them I think they will be fine regardless of whether or not they have a sibling.

  • Chase
    Aug 10

    I’m an only child. Not a big deal at all. My daughter will most likely be an only child as well, however, we’re considering the idea of adopting. The world is already over populated; why not give someone a better life than they might have had otherwise? Many parents feel this need to continue to reproduce, but honestly the more babies we put out into the world, the worse off they are going to be. We can barely keep the planet clean as it is. Having less children is just you doing your part to prolong the health of our planet for the sake of our children’s future. Take this with a grain of salt, I’m merely injecting some humor into this justification. While there is some truth in what I’m saying, this is not meant to be political, just a simple matter of looking at this topic with a slightly odd or different perception. Hope this helps. Whatever you choose is your choice. You’re little one will grow up just fine without siblings, if that’s what you decide.

  • Gina
    Aug 10

    Yeah I keep going back and forth on this as well so reading all these comments really helped. I have an older sibling we are 8 years apart I definitely can't imagine having a gap like that if I was to have a second child. Right now money is pretty tight and the relationship with her father isn't so great so adding another child to the mix sure would not help. I'm actually pretty content with our daughter.

  • LorI
    Aug 10

    I was the only child of two only children. I was raised on a large property with my parents, grandparents, (my grandfather also an only child) and my great grandmother, also an only child. Crazy huh? Guess I'm kind of an expert. I grew up the center of everyone's world. I think I was treated more like a small adult than a child, which suited me well. The only problem I can think of is that as the oldest people died and the others got older, I was the only one there to care for them, and I could have so used a sister or brother to help with care and decision making, someone to understand the loss. I wouldn't have children for that issue alone, but it might be worth consideration.

  • Erin
    Aug 10

    Great thread. We’re one and done. I have a brother and we have a strained relationship. Moneys tight. Raising my son often feels like I’m raising 3 boys! My friends who have multiple kids are constantly breaking up fights. Yes it’s cute as hell when siblings do get along but these are some ideas which have lead me to have just the one.

  • K
    Aug 11

    Always nice to know we are not alone - look at all of us debating the same issue. I read a post months ago about don't even consider it a sibling issue - think about what kind of life you can provide that person you are thinking about having. We are older parents. Our LO was so easy, my husband says 'why mess with perfection?'

  • Sarah
    Tuesday

    I am an only child and it IS lonely. There are so many things I feel like I missed out on by not having siblings. However I am really close to my parents and my cousins and I am not sure that would have been the case if I had siblings. For my own kids I had a rough first pregnancy, and crazy PPA. I was positive that my oldest would be an only too because I just didn’t want to go through it all again. But I am so glad we gave it a second go. Mine are almost 6 years apart and I actually really love that. The older one really kept me sane through the baby days with the little, and now that she is older they actually do play together pretty nicely (most of the time). In the end, you have to do what is best for you and your family! Being an only is hard but cool too in a lot of ways!

  • Brittany
    Tuesday

    There absolutely nothing wrong with only having one child! And you definitely shouldn’t have more children just out of guilt. I think what most parents of only children don’t realize is that if they don’t give their kid siblings, they sometimes have to step into that role! (Just like if you’re a single parent, you have to step in the other parents role) you have to be willing to play games with your child and keep them company way more than parents with multiple kids! They need that interaction and they have to learn how to play well with other people! It doesn’t make you a bad person at all!!

  • Raqui
    Wednesday

    I was an only child until I was 12; even then I saw my brothers only on weekends and summers. I loved being an only child. I was an avid reader, always had lots of friends. I am comfortable around anyone and make friends easily. Whatever you decide is the right decision. Your child will adapt and be okay. Encourage your child’s interests as they develop and try to get out and be around others. I know it’s hard but it helps. Most people have difficulty reaching out and making connections but it’s what we all need and want. Also, my brothers don’t even speak to me anymore so there’s that. And I thought I would be happily married and on my third child-things don’t always work out the way we expected.

  • Amanda
    Wednesday

    Me and my husband thought we would only have one child after having one.. I had PPD.. and we just didn’t feel ready.. when my son turned 3 we decided to just have another! He was pretty self sufficient and all the baby stuff was long behind us..Starting over was easy!!And I now have a 8 month old daughter! My labor was amazing I had no PPD and she is the sweetest .. I couldn’t imagine life without her!! The second time was so much easier and smoother! I even went from not lasting 2 weeks breastfeeding with my son, to a daughter who’s only had breast milk! It can be a whole new wonderful experience!

  • Amanda
    Wednesday

    Me and my husband after having one child thought we were done..my Labor was long and hard I had PPD and I couldn’t imagine starting over again.I also could not get the breastfeeding down, I lasted 2 weeks! my whole family new I was “done” I just can’t do it again!! But when he was around 3 yrs old, I read an article and the lady said she choose to have another child because the 0-2yrs that it’s hard .. is such a tiny amount of time in the big picture. (Like Christmas in 20yrs) and I just felt like my family wasn’t complete, so when my son turned 3 we just went for it! I’m happy to say I have a 8 month old daughter, I had a quick amazing labor, I had no PPD.. and we are still exclusively breastfeeding! It was a whole new experience.. I’d even start over again! So if you do choose to go for it, it will be it’s own experience, so don’t base it on your last one!!