only by choice- what are your reasons?

(97 Posts)
cherrycat Tue 13-Jul-10 21:02:44

Hi I am new to this board and have just enjoyed reading many previous posts.

My DD is 21 months and I am very happy with my choice to have one. I was wondering if you have an only by choice what your thoughts and reasons are behind having one child?

I have many reasons for wanting just one....
fiances, childcare, me time, work etc etc.....having a second holds no appeal to me as my life just seems about manageable with the one I have. I love my DD so much and really enjoy motherhood but I remember the dreadful all day sickness for half of the pregnancy... crash emergency c-section under GA after labouring so fast that DD had the cord around the neck...recovering from the bloody section...the exhaustion and long dark days and nights of a newborn in winter...colic....ewwwww!! Never again!

Interested to hear your reasons for having an only by choice.....

SantaLucia Thu 15-Jul-10 20:14:29

Hmmmm. My DD is almost 3.

I decided early on that she would be the only one.

I didn't enjoy labour (induction, no pain relief, c-section) and breast feeding was horrific and failed. But even when this was all a distant memory and I knew that number 2 would probably be easier I still just don't want another.

People ask me why and I can't properly articulate it but I know that, in my gut, I definitely don't want to do the whole thing again.

I guess the best way to explain it is to say that I want to do other things with my life. The first 5 years are so all consuming that I don't feel I can dedicate myself to them again without letting go of some things that are important to me (e.g. time with my partner, finances, plans etc)

My other reason is this. Before the first child I saw all the downsides of child rearing from watching friends with babies etc. You see how the couples bicker, they don't have any chance to lie in or relax on their own, all the usual stuff. I assumed that when you have children of your own all these negatives are drowned out by the positives of loving your child. Now I know that the positives don't always outweigh the negatives. Sometimes is 50/50, sometimes its 30/70 sometimes its 90/10!!! Then I think about my doubts at having 2 children. E.g. all the extra hard work, the bigger car, more and more kit, weaning again, sleepless nights again and I wonder, does having 2 make all this extra hassle worthwhile? And I don't think it will.

To say that you regret having a child is like denying somebody's life and therefore you can never regret it but I think if I stick at one I won't regret that either. I know what I'm missing and therefore I've made an informed choice.

Not sure if this makes any sense!?

cherrycat Thu 15-Jul-10 22:53:09

what i great post santalucia......I can relate to everything you have written. It makes plenty of sense to me.

SleepingLion Thu 15-Jul-10 23:02:58

I love my DS more than anything. But I found the first year or so very hard. I remember weeping with tiredness and despair and knowing I didn't want to do this again.

We can afford to do the things we want to do - just went to see The Sound of Music today. We all have time for each other. I love spending half an hour over bedtime stories without feeling that I should be attending to another child. We all fit in our bed on Sunday mornings with room to snuggle or sprawl depending on mood. I love each stage of DS's development but don't feel particular nostalgia for the ones that have passed.

I am not saying that people with larger families cannot do the things I have said. I feel very hurt by things people have said to me in the past about choosing to have one while I would never feel I had the right to criticise anyone for their choice to have more than one - why on earth would I? But our family works and I love it.

Sorry this isn't very clear. I find it very hard to explain.

BelleDameSansMerci Thu 15-Jul-10 23:14:24

My DD is 2.9. She will be my only child. She is perfect. I don't want another one. I like our lives how they are (it's just the two of us). I don't want her to have to share me. I don't want to have deny her the small amount of time we have available (I need to work full time) by having to give my time and attention to another baby/child.

There are hundreds of reasons - most of them selfish, to be honest.

I think our little family works very well smile

Mbear Thu 15-Jul-10 23:19:17

I was sooo adament before ds was born that he would be an only. He is now 10mo old and I can see why people go on and have more, but I still don't think we will.

Lots of reasons why including financial - nursery costs for 2; def need a new car etc, but also I wasn't a good pregnant person and labour was rubbish and I sort of have a 'been there done that' attitude to it all. It is really hard to articulate this without sounding completely stone hearted, lol!

I am also not the most maternal of types and ds is turning out to be a really chilled and happy baby ( or a terror wiating to happen) and I suppose I want to keep the momentum with him.

God it is hard to explain!

SleepingLion Fri 16-Jul-10 08:12:24

It is, isn't it, MBear? grin

I think it's one of those things we know instinctively rather than intellectually, which is why it's so hard to put into words. I found it hard to explain without it seeming as if I was criticising larger families - which I don't want to do, at all.

Tee2072 Fri 16-Jul-10 08:35:48

Part of my reason is medical. I have diabetes, fibromyalgia, arthritis and early degenerative disease. I also have mental health issues that I managed by sheer will power the nearly 3 years it took to conceive and have my son. Oh and I'm 41. He's 13 months, I was 40 when he was born.

So there's the medical.

Then there's the feeling. The feeling that I only have so much energy (mostly due to the medical, granted) that I want to use all that energy for my one lovely, fun, funny, wonderful son. He deserves that.

Then there is the fact that I have more or less forgotten the exhaustion of his first few months but remember perfectly how miserable I was at the end of my pregnancy. I was HUGE. And I don't want to do that again.

And also because I do feel our family is complete. Me, my husband, our son. Our perfect little family.

Species8472 Fri 16-Jul-10 10:36:39

I just can't face doing the whole thing again! 12m DD is gorgeous, best thing I've ever done, but, for me, she's enough. I see tiny newborns and think 'aah, what if we...?' but then I remember the reality of a newborn and think 'nah, never again!' I don't feel remotely broody now and don't think I ever will (am 40 now so don't have the luxury of time) and am fed up when well-meaning people just assume that we must be thinking about the 2nd DC.

I found the 1st few months with DD so hard, she was very unsettled/colicky and spent all day either bf or grizzing, constant grizzling. I know all stages pass and most people seem to just get over it and get on with the next child, but I love thinking about all the time that DH and I can lavish on DD, but we also need time together, and seeing other couples with 2 or more young DCs just makes me glad that we'll most likely be sticking with 1.

Next time someone with 2 tells me I have to have another I think I'll ask them why they don't have 3 or more, and when they answer that 2 is enough, I'll answer that 1 is enough for ME.

CosmicMum27 Sat 17-Jul-10 10:16:48

I have so many reasons why I only had one! But a few of the main ones are as follows...

I love my own space and time, having one leaves me with more than enough space and 'me' time.

I was 18 when I had my DS, I am now 28, and plan on doing a lot of traveling etc when my DS is more grown up. When he is 18, I'll be 35, giving me enough time to fufill all my traveling dreams!

I love being able to give my DS my undivided attention, we have a very close and open relationship, and I cherish every moment of it.

I have minimal stress, I can live more simply with only one child, finances are more manageable, I can downsize on my home or car, holidays are cheaper...

I could go on and on! grin

GenevieveHawkings Sun 18-Jul-10 01:13:24

I wanted the experience of being a parent but didn't want to double up on all the expense, worry, emotional heartache etc and couldn't see that having more than one child would bring me any more joy than having just one could.

Having one child was most definitely an experience I always knew I wanted to have from a very young age but having more than one just never ever was. I knew that before I ever embarked on having one and, despite everyone telling me that they would, my views on the subject have never changed since having one. I've never experiences so much as a fleeting pang of broodiness for another.

I suppose for me, in much the same way as many people could never entertain stopping at one child, I have never been able to contemplate the notion of having more than one child.

My views were set before I ever had a child and so I think I'm unlike a lot of people here whose views on sticking at one seem to have been informed by having one IYSWIM.

CosmicMum27 Sun 18-Jul-10 11:57:18

Your thoughts mimic mine GenevieveHawkings, It's good to know others feel the same smile

cherrycat Sun 18-Jul-10 19:30:44

I never wanted children until I had been with for about suddenly hit me after a family BBQ when I saw DH was holding my cousins new baby boy....he looked at me and I thought yeah it might be nice. Fast forward four weeks and I was pregnant! I never even thought about having another or family was just DH and I and our DD. I just couldn't picture myself with two or more when ttc. I can relate to your post GenevieveHawkins.....I too didn't want another before DD was born, once she was here I felt complete.....I found all the stuff that goes with having a baby an experience....I love new experiences but I don't find a need to repeat them if that makes any sense? I like to move forward.

carciofi Tue 20-Jul-10 11:47:12

I have one two-year-old DD. She is gorgeous and I adore her but want to stop at one for many of the same reasons mentioned here.

I was wavering for a while as DH would like a second and tells me we should for DD's sake, but he says it is my decision as he is rarely here Monday to Friday. I'm 38 so don't feel I have masses of time. I don't want to have another baby just because I should, but because I want to (and I just don't feel the urge).

I had a great pregnancy/labour, loved the baby stage and now have a charming and happy preschooler.

I also have lots of willing babysitters and the freedom to go to the gym/salon/nights out as we choose. We had planned to have three kids and don't feel the need to explain our change of mind.

One seems plenty now so we're going to stick with what we have.

MamaVoo Tue 27-Jul-10 12:57:23

I can relate to all the things said above. Another reason for me is that I'm looking forward to all the fun things I can do with DS as he gets older, and I think another child would spoil that. I also remember my brother and I driving my mum to the point of despair on a regular basis with our fighting and bickering. I don't want to live like that.

HappyHome Tue 27-Jul-10 18:52:34

I too can relate to many of the things you have all written. For DH and I we had always said that we only wanted one. Thats it really, we both agreed that it was what we wanted and have never changed our minds. DS is now 10 and I have never regretted him being an only and in every way I feel we have been able to do our best for him.

Like Cherrycat I have enjoyed every step of the way but have also been happy to move on to the next stage.

Oh I love this thread!

I would explain my reasons but I fear it'd just be a copy and paste of what SleepingLion said!

Our little family is perfect being just that - little! I just couldn't picture us having any more children. I have no urges to have any more. The idea just doesn't sit right smile

It does bug me how 'one kidders' have to justify their reasons to people. I'd never dream of asking someone with 2 or 3 children "why on earth did you have so many?!". It's very odd how it's some kind of social stigma.

OneTwoBuckleMyShoe Sun 15-Aug-10 07:56:51

Hello, only just discovered this section!

DD is only 11 months but we are 99% sure she will be an only.

I had a horrendous pregnancy, hyperemesis and AND. It is extremely likely that any subsequent pregnancy would be the same and I feel it is not fair to put DD through it and DH again.

DD is an absolute delight, a really good baby who eats and sleeps well so we are very happy with our little girl. We are a bit worried about lonliness etc but she is not even 1 and has a huge circle of friends we see regularly, she is starting nursery next month and as a teacher it means our holidays are free to visit friends and family.

BiddyPop Tue 17-Aug-10 16:41:00

I had a great pregnancy and birth, and loved breastfeeding. But I was not the most comfortable being at home all day, and while I love our DD dearly, I am not the most maternal in the world. OH does as much for her (he hears her in the night while I sleep sound, and we share most parenting responsibilities).

Both of us also have stressful professional jobs, which we both love. Childcare worked out well and DD has travelled to close to our offices and home again with us daily since she was 3 months old (before mat leave got lengthened) and is just about to go to school.

She is also very hard work - and I really do try to say this without PFBSyndrome - as she is very intelligent. Which means that she wants constant stimulation and attention (she gets a lot but we don't overindulge), but does a lot of talking and debating things all the time.

We love DD to bits, but for us, we are happy to have one, and just one. She has plenty of friends locally, and from creche (playdates have started already), and family members too. But our family is just three and will stay that way barring any accidents. (We have taken reasonably certain precautions, but not gone as far as permenant precautions).

sunshinerainbow Sat 21-Aug-10 16:07:30

DS is an "only" because my ex was such a rubbish Dad that I was doing everything on my own and I knew that I couldn't bring another child into the world and create even more pressure for myself.

I had hoped I would have met someone else to have another child with but I never met anyone else worthy enough. I wanted a family, not just a baby.

DP is lovely but has had the snip and he has 4 already, so I think I will settle for that from now on.

I can't pretend that sometimes, that doesn't make me feel pretty sad, but I know in the situation I am in, it's for the best.

DS is a pleasure to be around and (in my opinion) is not spoilt, has learnt that nothing comes easy in life and has benefitted from the close relationship with me.

womblingfree Fri 27-Aug-10 00:36:05

I'm an only and dd is nearly 6. I always assumed I'd have at least 2 kids but will def not be having any more.

Had lousy pregnancy, horrible induced labour and emergency cs. Couldn't get to grips with bf, colic & pnd.

Mostly though, I really need my own space. Dh is not interested in having more kids and dd is delighted that she doesn't have to share us, so like many others have said, our little family is perfect just the way it is.

paprikamole Thu 02-Sep-10 15:40:10

Really interesting thread. Some of you say it's hard to explain but you all seem to make sense to me and you've all made good points.

I'm more like sunshine; I would love another baby. DD is only 4 months, but I knew as soon as she was born that I had an almost physical urge to do it all again - morning sickness, heartburn, varicose veins, labour, the lot. My sister is my best friend and I would love to give DD a sibling so she can experience what I have. The big BUT is that while I'm only 31 DH is 47 and he is adamant that we won't be having another. In the past we always talked in term of 'children' rather than 'child', but once he saw how much work went into having a small baby he put his foot down. He also says that DD is perfect (I agree obviously) and that she's enough. In fact he says a lot of what has been previously said on this thread. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with one child families, it's just not what I imagined for myself.

I just feel sad that I'm having to come to terms with the fact that it will definitely never happen again I'd like to think that it could at least be a possibility.

Rowgtfc72 Wed 08-Sep-10 19:58:51

Just seen this thread,BiddyPop has just described my situation to a tee!Perfect pregnancy (ok I got gestational diabetes but it didnt spoil it) DD was a perfect baby and is a good toddler(3) But she is bright and hard work and I wouldnt do It again -DH in agreement.Were happy!Cant imagine how it is to have to decide how many children you will have,hope you begin to feel less sad in time .

Winedine69me Fri 17-Sep-10 21:22:30

My DS is 2 and a like most toddlers is full of energy. I don't feel I could cope with the newborn stage again. I just don't have the energy.
There are many other reasons, I must come across as selfish.
The main reason is financial. Yes we have all the clothes/toys but nappies and baby wipes etc add up.

I'm glad I found this thread, it makes me feel less guilty for only having one.

I am an only child and because of a bad childhood I felt lonely. I know my DS will have a much better childhood than me and hopefully more social smile

Winedine69me Fri 17-Sep-10 21:23:17

*and will hopefully be more social

Orissiah Tue 21-Sep-10 13:57:25

My reasons for having just one (adorable) child by choice:

- Personal experience (I was a happy "only")
- One on one time with DD
- 100% deliriously happy with DD (no need for another to satisfy all my maternal urges - she's perfect)
- Don't want to go through another C-section (cannot give birth the other way)
- Finances (we can afford another but I like not having to count the pennies)
- Lifestyle still similar to pre-child
- Quiet (-ish)

Orissiah Tue 21-Sep-10 14:05:30

Forgot to add:

- I like my "me time" too much (and with one child, I get a good dose of me time each day).

lola5791 Wed 22-Sep-10 13:27:39

Love this thread - have just joined MN so that I can post a reply! I am so happy to read that other people feel the same way as me. I did have a difficult pregnancy, suffered from SPD quite badly, but that's not the reason behind only having one. I just don't feel any gap in my family - DD is just perfect and I love being able to give her all my attention. Originally DH did want another, but he's now perfectly happy with us stopping at one.
I do find the attitude of others to be baffling - I would never ask someone why they had two, so why ask me about my decision? My mum was even telling me the other day that she tells her friends I can't risk having another one because of my SPD. As if it was some sort of guilty secret!
Anyway, sure I'm rambling now, but just wanted to say thanks for reminding me that it's a perfectly valid choice to stop at one.

StarExpat Sun 24-Oct-10 16:01:19

I love this thread, too. I have just now seen it as I've just re-discovered this section.

Lola I totally hear you - I always feel very annoyed when people ask me why I only want one, as if it's so unusual. What difference does/should it make to anyone else?

I agree with the reasons already posted by others. Financial is a big one, too. We wouldn't be able to afford childcare for 2 nor would we be able to afford to lose an income completely. We also wouldn't be able to do nearly as many fun things as a family as we do now. And future opportunities for DS would be much more limited. Many would tell me this is a horrible reason (and many have!). But there are so many more that go along with it. Even if we won the lottery, I'd still stick with one. So the finances is just a small practicality that I do think about.

Kekke Fri 29-Oct-10 20:45:38

I've only just found this section which is great as this morning I was thinking I would post a message about having one child - and now I've found a section dedicated to the subject!

Our DD is 6 months old and is a delight. We are pretty sure we won't go on to have anymore and are both happy with that decision. I really didn't enjoy being pregnant, was sick, hated how my body felt etc so have no desire to do it again.

But, why oh why do people feel they can comment negatively when they ask you if you plan to have more children and you say no? She'll be lonely, she needs a playmate blah blah. I would never comment negatively if someone announced they were pregnant with their third, fourth child. Their life, their choice. But it seems that choosing to have only one child is wrong and unfair to the child.

Now when people ask me our plans I just smile and say 'who knows, we have our hands full at the moment', but it does make me sad that I can't just be honest to most people.

Orissiah Tue 02-Nov-10 10:55:34

If people ask when I'm going to have a second child I state very clearly that we have no plans on having a second. My confident, clear, emphatic response quickly cuts of further questioning I've found. If it doesn't then a swift "Well I am an only child and had a fantastic childhood!" works very well.

TBH, it doesn't bother me at all if people ask when the second child is planned. I give my response and then smile and shrug if they persist. I'm so happy with one, why should I care about their beliefs about the subject?

MrsTumbles Fri 12-Nov-10 16:36:02

Haha, I'm someone else who has just discovered this part of Mumsnet! I'm so glad I'm not the only person who feels that one is enough.
My DH and I both said we would have 2. I had an easy pregnancy, however my labour and post-natal care were shocking, but thats not the reason why we have decided to stick at one. People seem to think its almost cruel to have 'just' one child and I come up with so many excuses as to why we are not going to have anymore, but the real reason is we feel 'complete'. We have this perfect little family unit going on and we have all the time in the world for our DD.
Thank you other 'Mums of one' for making me feel normal

ClapTrap Mon 29-Nov-10 22:48:31

I've only just discovered this thread and I love it. It is so lovely to hear that there are like-minded people.

My DD is 2.7 and wonderful. The main reason I can not have another is PND. It was a truly truly awful time and it can not be underestimated how very difficult it was to come through (if indeed I am truly through it.) I am nostalgic about my daughter's baby days, to the point that I managed to convince my DH that we should try for #2, not least so that I could do it right this time.
However, once I actually thought there was a real chance that I might be pregnant I was terrified. I realised I really really didn't want to go through all of that again and I didn't want my PFB to have to share me with anyone else.
We're sticking at one now with the hope that we might be able to have a chance of affording a good education for her (we have very poor schools locally) and help her through those uni fees. I do worry about her being lonely as I am so close to my sister. However, I am sure I will find some support and reassurance in this little corner of Mumsnet!!

Species8472 Wed 01-Dec-10 16:09:42

We were told by a cousin of DH's (with 2 DCs of course) that we shouldn't stick at one because an adult singleton friend of theirs had no-one else to help him with a parent's funeral. There are reasons to have another child - that IMVHO opinion is not one of them. They mentioned load of times while we were visiting them with our 16m DD how often their 2 fight and argue. Sounds wonderful.

SleepingLion Wed 01-Dec-10 16:17:14

MrsTumbles - I have been told outright that I am cruel for my decision. It is so sad that people feel it's fine to comment on what is none of their business.

lola5791 Thu 02-Dec-10 13:50:17

Seriously?? Species, that's the most ridiculous reason I've ever heard. My father and his sibling has a massive fall out at their dad's funeral, so that was hardly helpful. And SleepingLion, I find it incredible that someone would say that. Words fail me about how inappropriate that comment is!
In this age of acceptance of 'alternative' families, how can anyone pass judgement on a choice of having one child?? It just baffles me.

Species8472 Thu 02-Dec-10 16:02:23

Well, I don't think it was the only reason, but they did seriously say that while we were there. They seemed to be saying that it was a pain having two kids who argue all the time, but hey, they won't be alone when we die.....I would hope that by the time DH and I cark it that DD will have a partner, or at least will have made some good friends. Who just depends on a sibling for everything in adult life? I know some people are very close to their adult siblings, and that's lovely, but it doesn't mean a life of endless loneliness and despair if you haven't got one.

GenevieveHawkings Thu 02-Dec-10 21:16:59

You're dead right Species8472, for the vast majority of adults, their support networks go far beyond their siblings.

In fact, it's quite startling to discover just how many adults have grown apart from their siblings (both geographically and emotionally) as they've grown up.

froginabasket Sat 04-Dec-10 20:58:12

I'm so glad to have found this section and this thread. I always wanted two children but pregnancy was horrendous and I spent a large proportion of it in hospital. I was really adamant for a while that I was prepared to do it all again, but as DD develops, I realise that she is perfect, our family is complete and jeopardising my health for another baby would be stupid - I don't want to leave DD without a mum. People keep telling me that I'll change my mind and that pregnancy might be different next time, but I don't think my DP would let me do it again even if I did change my mind!

Endeavour Fri 10-Dec-10 08:15:36

What an amazing thread! Everyone has such strong and lovely opinons and arent scared to voice them
I have one child, he is 5 now and we will not be having anymore.
The reasons are too numerous to list. Mostly I would say its because of the cost of living nowdays, I know this probably sounds badly wrong, but I would love to be able to give the best education and best start in life to one than divide it up between 2 or more. We travel alot and take our boy with us, with 2 or 3 that would be difficult. So selfish as that sounds I want my son to see the world with us and hopefully grow into an adult that understands there is a world outside his country. Also working full time is demanding and with one I have the energy left to give him all my attention after work. REading this it all sounds so selfish blush I admire people who manage more than one, it unfortuantly is just not for me

JufusMum Fri 10-Dec-10 15:38:47

Hi I am also new to Mumsnet, I have a DD age 8, and she is my only.

I am an only myself and never wanted a sibling, and neither does DD, she has cousins (blood related and not), and friends, and a VERY hectic out of school activity schedule. I simply couldn't a) afford and b) commit the time to another, sometimes my DH's family say I should have another but neither me, nor my DH or my DD want that - so I say if it's not broke, don't fix it!

Em3978 Fri 10-Dec-10 22:56:52

Hi everyone, finally, a place where our decision for an only child is not questioned or belittled!

I have a nearly 3yr old angel/terror/happy monster (delete as appropriate), he'll always be an only, there's no chance I can/should have another.

I don't tend to get the 'its cruel' reaction so much, more the 'oh you'll change your mind, I KNOW you will...' like my decision is based on something silly, that I'll grow up (I'm 32 FGS!) and forget the HELL that the last several years has been. Patronising *s!!!

I was never sure I wanted children in the first place, DH desperately wanted about 3, so we compromised by trying it once, 'to see if it agreed with me' wink

So after 3 lots of surgery for Endo, I dropped lucky with my son. At 10 weeks I developed antenatal depression, a few weeks later SPD kicked in. By 24 weeks I was on crutches full time, til 43(!) weeks. The SPD still hasn't completely gone.
The A.N.D. developed into PND, and 3 years later I'm only just coming out of that hole of hell sad

I had the birth I really didn't want, after labour tried and failed 3 times I had an elective CS at 43 weeks (they forgot to put me on the list for 42 weeksand then insisted they should induce before performing a CS, like I wasn't in enough pain!), was v poorly cared for, I have a medical special-diet that wasn't catered for in hosp, had terrible BF advice and no effective help (though it turned out that because of the stress and trauma of everything my milk failed to come in anyway!!!)

and much much more...

and people think I'll 'forget' the bad bits and do it again...

or that it'll 'be better next time'...

I think I can confidently conclude



that got that off my chest

minervaitalica Thu 16-Dec-10 14:27:49

I am quite glad I found this thread, partly becasue I am a bit ambivalent about this.

My pregnancy was OK but I got ante-natal depression too. Dd born prem - things were a bit hairy at the beginning but we were lucky that she pulled through with no apparent problems. However, I have a disability which I may have passed on to her (50-50 chance), adn this will only become apparent when she is a bit older.

Before I was sure I wanted two, now I do not know. My rational head says that we have been really lucky all in all so we do not want to risk it again. But I am VERY afraid that few years down the line I will regret it, and it will be too late...

brownbug78 Thu 16-Dec-10 21:26:55

DS is 3yo now, and before he was born I was certain I'd want 2DC (I'm one of two). However, had hideous pregnancy (no morning sickness, thans God, but unable to walk from 20wks due to trapped nerve, excess water, pregnancy rash from 34weeks) and shocking birth (44hr labour culminating in ventouse delivery - so violent my son's head was actually cut open and bleeding - and 3rd degree tear).

Needless to say, hospital hindsight of "oh, yeah, we probably should've given you a CS after 27hrs labour when you were only contracting every 60-90 secs but were only 1cm dilated" only served to fuel my anger about childbirth, so it was a really long time before I could even think about a second with any kind of rationality, as opposed to just and emotive reaction (I actually used to see PG women in the street and feel physically nauseous).

When I did think about it, I realised that I had no real desire for another. I love my DS to pieces, but everything just works really well with him alone. I know we'll have to be really good at fostering his friendships if he has no siblings, but I'm genuinely of the opinion that one shouldn't breed just to provide a plaything for an existing child (that's what Toys 'R' Us is for!). It also means that, financially, we'll be able to do the best we can for him - I don't mean spoil him (we're just not like that!), but just keep our options open for helping him if/when he needs it.

Happy with our decision, just wish others were too! Can't tell you how many relative strangers have told me how selfish and cruel I'm being!

OneTwoBaubleMySanta Tue 21-Dec-10 08:31:40

Great to see everyone's reasons on this thread, especially after the thread on AIBU hmm

lola5791 Wed 22-Dec-10 22:35:18

Jeez, have just read that AIBU thread - good grief people seem to have got in a right state about it! It does seem amazing to me that anyone thinks they have a right to comment on someone else's choices when it comes to their family. I wouldn't dream of commenting that someone shouldn't have 4 children, but clearly people feel very strongly that I shouldn't have one.
We shouldn't have to justify our choices, I'm sure we are all doing our best to raise happy, healthy children.

kelway Tue 28-Dec-10 20:12:20

i wish i had had a choice...i am too old for another....i would dearly love another even though it would i know be a nightmare ie money, space and i would lose my independance, go figure (grin)

Giselle99 Sun 20-Mar-11 18:11:17

Good to read a positive thread on here! Was beginning to lose to will to live read...

I had a crap childhood and adolescence; I am one of 5. I am close to only one sibling and was never close to my father as I think he was overwhelmed by having so many of us, which did not combine well with him being an abusive twat anyway even pre-children. He died last year and I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. Only one of us siblings was involved in organising his funeral (not me!) and the youngest didn't even bother attending! Large families and siblings aren't always all they are cracked up to be, and the aforementioned youngest has cut herself from the family and has even changed her name and surname via deed poll.

When I was younger I used to dream of having 2 children but as I got older I realised that for my own sanity one was just right, and even one would need a lot of work after my fucked up upbringing thanks to parents who didn't know when to stop having children they couldn't invest in emotionally.

All that aside, as I plan to educate my child privately (state schools in my area are dire) financially I can only afford one. Also 2 will mean moving house and out of this area as anything one room bigger is £200K more expensive, and moving out of area means I cannot work as flexibly as I work now as I have to be able to get to work quickly in an emergency (I live 2 miles away from work and for this reason am allowed to do certain parts of my job from home). If I moved away then my entire childcare arrangements would have to change, as would my work/life balance etc. In a nutshell, too many adjustments to be made for something I really don't want.

The other reasons have been explained by others - it just feels right, the way having 2 feels right for others. Several of my female doctor colleagues have stopped at one and it seems to be a combination of having children relatively late, wanting to continue their career and finances. A handful remain childless into their 40s (i.e. married colleagues) and spend all their disposable income on expensive holidays, collecting fine wines and hosting regular dinner parties. I never hear anyone wondering aloud why they have chosen this path, yet people seem to almost automatically ask mothers with onlies why they have stopped at one confused

Alunsmuma Wed 23-Mar-11 11:32:46

My DS is 16 months old nearly 17 months and i may have another in years to come DP is keen, but i really want an education and a real career (i was waitress before i got pregnant). I love the freedom of an only child, only one to get ready and lot's of quality time with him. One is affordable and managable.

tigersmummy Wed 23-Mar-11 16:03:27

THANK GOD!!!! Thank you for starting and continuing such a brilliant thread.
We have a DS 3.1 yrs, always wanted a child but were never DESPERATE to the point that we would have tried anything. Delighted when we found we were pregnant after 5 months trying and easy pregnancy. However the labour and birth were horrendous (45 hrs, emergency C section, epidural, pethidine, the lot) even though breastfeeding was straight forward.

DS was an 'easy' baby, woke only once a night in the first few weeks then slept through from 2 months. He's had a difficult terrible 2 season from about 20 months to 32 months and at times we wondered how we could cope with him, let alone another.

We did start 'not being careful', to be speak, at the end of last year but nothing happened. Neither myself nor DH are 100% committed to another, we are not desperately broody for no. 2, therefore we are seriously considering not having another. I am an only, DH is eldest of 2 boys (who do not get on) and most of our friends with siblings have strained, non close or completely fractured relationships with their siblings. So choosing to have another is not high on our wish list.

I was extremely close with my mum and once asked her why she didn't have another (she was ill after me and I think was advised not to have another) - and she replied that with me she could afford to give me everything I needed - not necessarily financially, but emotionally, physically etc. We would like to send DS to private school after state primary, again because my parents did the same with me and I had a great education, and simply could not afford to do that with 2. Plus even though DS was a relatively easy baby, I cannot imagine going back to those early days, then getting up and having a full on day with a boisterous boy. No, not for me. The more I think about it, the more I am more comfortable with my choice. Plus having been quite lax with diet and fitness after DS, I am now slim again (horrah!), feel great about myself and my life, have spare time whilst he's at nursery and do work for my husband's business at home. Life is good, we can devote time to each other and our family. But yes, isn't it annoying to have to justify your decision, when I would never dream of asking someone why they chose to have more than one!

Great thread, thank you again!

MindySimmons Thu 24-Mar-11 15:10:08

tigersmummy - I have a dd 4.2 and just in the middle of a 'why am I the only mummy in rl that I know has chosen to stick with one?' and having a slight confidence crisis about it. You post has reminded me of all the reasons why one just 'feels' right and I love the observation your mum gave you. I'm one of 4, only close to the one that is 16 yrs older than me and only because she was essentially my mum because mine couldn't cope with us anyway! What your mother said is how I feel about my dd. The only reason I ever question it is because I am truly the only person I now in rl with one child! I live in a large village/almost small town where there is a large proportion of fairly affluent sSH mums where 3 appears to be the trend! I really do need to work (although I am not being a martyr, I do enjoy what I do and it's my own business but taking time out to have another and how we would cope afterwards would be extremely tough) and my dh has health issues that can result in hospital stays and very serious illness. See here we go, justifying myself! The reality is when I sit back and think about it, even without those practical considerations, in my heart, I would have another to conform, not out of desire. i adore my dd, she completes our family and is incredibly caring, generous and confident.

Like you, I think it's the justification that grates and on occasion makes me question myself. I would never think of asking the mums of 3 about middle child syndrome (mainly because I think all those stereotypes are clap trap!) but one child families are still questioned.

Thank you tigersmummy, your post was just what I need to read right now!

Species8472 Thu 24-Mar-11 15:46:07

Yes, thanks tigersmummy, I would second what you and Mindy just said.

I have a 20m DD, and many of the couples that DH and I know, who had babies the same year as us, are either expecting the second or have just had the second. I don't think we'll be having another, for many of the same reasons as you.

Every time there's been an announcement recently of a second pregnancy I've had a few wobbles, not because I really want another baby, but because I think I should want another (if that makes sense). All the local mums I know who had babies around the same time as me talk about when they have the next one, not if, and I'm worried I'll start to stand out as some sort of freak when another baby doesn't appear. I'm 41 so it's not like I have years to wait and change my mind, as people may presume I'll do.

MindySimmons Thu 24-Mar-11 15:51:20

Species - I'm really with you on the 'I think I should want another' but I think that is only because like you, I am in the minority (although the statistics apparently show otherwise).

Llanarth Thu 24-Mar-11 20:06:11

Yes, it's incredible how strong the desire to conform is. I'm non-conformist about many things in life, so why do I care what people think about me having one child? At my wibble moments, I sometimes feel as if I am fraudulent, only playing at families, and think that I'm not a real mum as I'm not suffering as much as those who have two lots of school runs, two lots of night awakenings, two lots of tantrums to deal with. Weird (especially since those are some of the actual positives of sticking with one!)

A big benefit for me of having only one child is that they are so much more portable. We eat out with our son (3.1 years), travel further to visit friends, and have him sleep under coats at parties, far more than we would if we had more than one. (It was my friend, who has two children, who explained to me why this was - anytime you go anywhere, you subconsciously calculate the odds of it all ending in tears (yours). With a 3-year-old, the chances of a trip going tits-up may be 20%. With a 1 year old, the chances may be 40%. Taking a 1 year old and 3 year old out together, the odds rise to 80%. Her maths might be flaky but she rarely goes out wink).

evianaddict Thu 24-Mar-11 21:58:51

Thanks to you all for this thread. I was always firmly in the 'we will have 2' camp, however life decided not to make it that easy for us.... After finally managing to conceive through our first IVF at age 40 we were blessed with our DS now 20 months. However another 2 attempts have been unsuccessful and I am finally having to come to terms with the fact that it is not to be (because of both age and finances). To read all your positive stories and attitudes has given me an amazing lift and I have realised that actually our DS is completely everything we could ever have dreamed of. And I'm certainly not going to waste his gorgeous years being miserable. I'm proud of my family!

tigersmummy Tue 29-Mar-11 15:40:45

That said, I have just put DS' travel system on ebay and got really upset as I remember how excited I was to get it and have him in it etc.!!! But crucially I feel sad for not having savoured every precious moment of his baby time, rather than a wish to do it again!

ladymystikal Wed 30-Mar-11 14:31:50

i know it sounds silly, but i wanted to have my children with the same dad. As that massively went wrong with my ex, im scared of getting involved with someone else in case im left as a single parent again.

cherrycat Thu 31-Mar-11 23:42:42

I started this thread last year and I am so happy to see it still going strong and popping up at the top of the board. I just want to add that my DD is now 2.5 yrs old and I'm still more than happy to have chosen an only. Ive just got back from holiday were DH amd I had the big talk about our situation. We are both on the same page and very happy with DD. Having another holds no appeal....I really do love my family of 3.

BlackSwan Mon 04-Apr-11 13:35:54

Found pregnancy a huge worry. The weight of responsibility of growing a child inside me made me seriously worry about anything that might affect the baby's health. But that's just one of the reasons. The newborn period was tough - much to be expected, but I ended up with a degree of PND and I don't want to tempt fate again.
DH wants me to commit to more kids, but I'm not keen. We discussed it on the w/e and it was a bit of a disaster. Had a distressing dream last night that I was pg again and I really didn't want to be. The feeling of being trapped has stuck with me all day.

Needtoseeclearly Tue 05-Apr-11 19:07:46

I too am pleased to see this thread. My husband and I had discussed for a long time having only one child and we are very much in love with our DD who is now 3 1/2. I also echo many of the sentiments on this thread, finances, logistics of childcare, the benefits of being able to focus attention and resources on one child etc. In fact, I was surprised to find that, for me, the hardest part of motherhood...especially during the infant and toddler stage....was never having time to myself to recharge the mental batteries. I am somewhat of an introverted personality and I found it really difficult to never have any "down time" between work life and home life. Things overall are easier now that my DD is a bit older.

Currently I am also undergoing a bit of a crisis of confidence because I had a pregnancy "scare" last week where my husband and I were required to seriously think about the implications of having another child. We were both surprised to realize that we were receptive to the idea. In fact, I was surprised by the brief moments of grief I felt when I realized I was not actually pregnant.

Now that we've come through the other side of that experience, I still feel that we would be better off as a family of three but I am struggling with the decision a little bit...and I am trying to get to the bottom of why I am feeling this way. If I were to be honest, if my husband and I had endless resources, support, time etc...perhaps we would have another child. But we are 40, have a small house, 2 busy but not high paying careers, no family support and we live in an urban centre where the general cost of living is not inconsequential.

When it all comes down to it, I want to make sure we are making the right decision for us and for our DD.

Thanks for "listening".

chobbler Mon 17-Oct-11 21:15:14

Initially I was very depressed about the whole only baby thing (multiple miscarriages, nearly lost premie, me very ill and left permanently disabled by labour) Being told you have a 50% chance of surviving another pregnancy will do that.

Now what I really love about my only child is how sociable she is. I know it probably sounds mad, but knowing we couldn't have another for medical reasons, and both myself and hubby coming from larger families (I have 4 siblings he has 5) has enabled us to focus on DD in a way that was impossible for our parents.

She goes to clubs like brownies and goes out with friends and has playdates and sleepovers with school friends. I have been known to stand in the playground and ask who will lend me their child for a day before the summer holidays... If we want a day out it isn't a logistical headache about who sits where and gets the middle seat etc. in the car. We take her chosen friend as a treat if kids go free. She enjoys the company of the other children, but the majority of times when we have dropped them home she says 'thank goodness now I get my toys back to myself'.

As long as you aren't shut away and just the family all the time and they still get to interact with children of a similar age I don't really think being an only child is a disadvantage.

ottawagirl Wed 02-Nov-11 14:37:13

As a mother of an 'only' and also having a confidence crisis about my decision, I decided to trawl Mumsnet for other people's views on it. What has come out loud and clear after LOTS of reading of posts about the subject is how guilty we all feel for our choice. People with 2 or more kids don't have to justify anything. It's the bigger families who, in this age of overpopulation and lack of resources, should be the ones to justify their choice! Well, not really as everyone has the right to have any kind of family they want - but hopefully you know what I mean. I wouldn't dream of asking someone with 2 kids why they don't have three or someone without children why they have 'decided' not to have any. Yet those of us with singletons are fair game.

There are some amazing comments on this thread too:

I am thinking of writing something about this subject as there really does seem to be a taboo around 'only' having one. The comments I get are amazing. People do hint that there is a slight element of cruelty or malice on my part for not giving my child a sibling. Do other parents of one child feel this too?

BelleDameSansMerci Wed 02-Nov-11 14:43:28

I don't tbh but I'm not very sensitive to other people's opinions once I've made a decision. I'm certain I've done the right thing for DD and me by only having one. I love the bond we have and I would do nothing to jeopardise that.

Dinosaurhunter Wed 02-Nov-11 14:48:41

OttaWagirl - I agree with everything you have said, I also have chosen to only have one ( ds nearly 5) for a number of reasons but I do get quite shocked by people who have a opinion on my decision when I wouldn't dream of questioning friends who constantly moan about hard it is with 2 or more children . On the other hand I'm lucky as I have 2 good friends who have also chosen to stop at one.

ottawagirl Wed 02-Nov-11 16:45:35

Hello Dinohunter -- Yes, that is lucky you have like-minded friends around you. I do as well and when I am with my friends who have one child (we all seem to have single girls and they get along beautifully) I feel 'at home', as I don't need to justify my position.

But at the school gates it is another thing altogether. I feel I get treated not like a 'real' mum. Another post on here mentions something about not feeling like a 'real' mum because there is a LOT less slog with one child. Somehow that just adds to the guilt and to the fact that some people with more than one child feel they can comment. People with 2 or more children do like to drill home to the world just HOW tough it is. Those of us who have chosen a more manageable route should be happy we aren't complaining all the time and enjoy the balance we have struck.

Yet, I, like so many, find this almost impossible! Why, oh, why?

I think it is just drilled in to us that the norm is 2 children (or more if you are lucky/rich/uber-fertile). End of. Those of us who have chosen the non-norm are sometimes made to feel a little guilty, a little non-maternal, a little selfish...

We have one 4 year old DD. It was our plan before to have one and we haven't felt any differently afterwards. That was all my 'broodiness' used up. I only know one other mum in real life who has said she is not planning to have any more. All of my friends from ante-natal classes have already had a second. I think they all secretly think I will change my mind but I don't feel like I have doubts about our choice.

ottawagirl Thu 10-Nov-11 11:10:07

Hello AuntieBulgaria, do you mind my asking what your reasons were for sticking with one? I am having a wobble today and thought I would check out Mumsnet for some support. I am too old to have another child and have to accept that my daughter will be an only. It was what I wanted originally (I really only ever wanted one child and stuck to it for lots of reasons) but now that it is not a 'choice' any more but a reality, I want another. God, life is complicated!

Hi Ottawa girl, I understand what you mean I think. I haven't gone for sterilisation despite the fact that I find taking the pill a boring faff - there's a sense in which I'm choosing to leave our options open even though I don't think we will change our minds. I volunteered to be an egg donor and after a blood test they said my ovarian reserves were too low to make me a good candidate. Despite the fact that I still didn't want another child, the idea that I might not have a choice in the matter did bother me. And I wasn't expecting it to.

We only wanted one child because we didn't want more than one, if that doesn't sound facetious. Money, work, time, sanity - we are happy with the balance of all of these we get from one and there was nothing in the case from the 'more than one' camp that outweighed that for us.

As they say on the Internet 'your mileage may vary' I can totally understand that other people feel like they want more than one. Just the same as I can understand my friend who is adamant in the face of much pressure that she doesn't want any.

This next bit is totally irrelevant to your points btw.

It's not a negative thing; DD is absolutely smashing and the pregnancy and birth had some complications but weren't off putting as an experience, but as someone else up thread said, we've done it, there's not a desire to do it again. To the extent that, I'm 35 now, if something dreadful were to happen to DD in the next five or so years, from where I am now, I don't think we would try for another baby.

I can't have children and my DS didn't come through the 'normal' way. I feel so, so lucky to be raising him and count my blessings every day. If his birth mother had another in the future, there's a good chance I'd be asked to raise that one too (with having it's sibling). Part of me would like to take on another (I probably would should the need arise), yet another part of me is thinking DS is now 2, he'll be going to nursery in a year and I can then get back into work.

We had a tough time in the beginning. My relationship broke down after taking him on, I had to leave work as I was worried about whether he had attachment problems. He's a happy, confident, lively 2 year old now though and I think I've done a good job. I have decided to remain at home with him until he starts nursery or maybe even school but then quite looking forward to the 'normal' life of working etc again. Having another would put a stop to that.

NatashaBee Fri 11-Nov-11 14:40:26

I had fairly OK pregnancy and DS is a complete dream baby - sleeping through the night at 3 months and never cries unless he needs changing or is hungry. I have a stepdaughter too but DS will be the only baby I have. I would love another but don't think it would be as much fun second time round with a toddler to care for as well as a tiny baby.

We were so poor when I was growing up and I am a bit (OK, a lot) bitter about the opportunities that we never got. I would rather concentrate on giving DSD and DS the best of everything. DSD is incredibly smart, there's no question that she will go to uni, and I want her to be able to study wherever she wants and not have to be restricted by money. DS is only 3 months old but is already showing signs of super intelligence so I expect he will also go far grin

toptramp Mon 21-Nov-11 08:49:35

I don't think the reasons here are selfish at all; happy parents= happy children. Bettre to have happy parents with an only child than stressed and resentful parents with two or more.

I find motherhood so tough and I am just getting my life back. I feel I could not cope with any more and the financial side is very important and so not selfish. IMO it is more selfish to have lots of kids if the money isn't there. I don't like struggling myself.

treesy13 Thu 24-Nov-11 21:23:15

Ditto, but would just like to add that all I say is "our little family jogs along nicely, why complicate life".

LikeACandleButNotQuite Sun 27-Nov-11 19:10:41

Did any of you have to contend with a DH/DP that wanted more than one?

Im expecting our LO in Dec, and am almost certain I want it to be an only. I was an only until I was seven and my favourite bit about it was any time we did anything as a family, I got to take a friend along smile. All my school friends had to just do things with their bro/sis, no option for friends to tag along (due to expense, travel etc). There are other reasons too, many of which are mentioned on this thread.

DH is the middle of three, though the only boy, and he has intimated that he wants at least two DCs. He knows I want only one, but thinks it's just 'me saying it' and that it will change once our LO is here.

WIBU (hahaha, wrong topic!) to say to him, please lets put the discussion of more than one on hold until our current LO is about 3, then I would be happy to discuss it, and genuinely would be willing to consider not having an only? Would this make me a cow? I just want to be able to focus on one completely, and then make a decision later.

Carrie1983 Mon 05-Dec-11 13:04:28

We are at a cross-roads at the moment.

My husband was just diagnosed with a chronic illness that means he will need to start taking a low dose of a chemo drug, and if it works for him he will be on it for life or until they find something better/a cure! It is unknown what effects this drug can have on babies born to males taking it - any caution is merely theoretical, but the NHS advise against it. We probably wouldn't choose to risk it or go against their advice even though all the research I have done suggests it would be fine and we'd be heavily monitored. If I felt strongly enough about having another baby, I'd probably go ahead!

He won't start the medication until the new year at some time. At the start of October, when my daughter was 17 months old, I went back and had my mirena fitted. In a flux, at the end of October when he was diagnosed, I decided to have the coil removed (it was done 15th Nov) and my fertility returned straight away and we started trying.

Before all of this happened, we thought we'd wait til our daughter was about 3 to think about trying again (although until she was 6 months old I was intensely broody- hormones!). We had that luxury but now we don't, so under pressure we had to just decide now and it was a case of 'I don't exactly WANT a baby now, but I feel I probably will in the future because I always did see myself with more than one, so we HAVE to go for it now while we have the chance.' We got our heads down and got on with what we had to do.

However, now the anxiety and uncertainty has blown over (and I have done more research so know the option could still be there anyway), we have realised we probably don't even want another. In part, the thought we WOULD want another at some point, is driven by society - well everyone does, don't they?! It's the done thing, isn't it? 2.4 children is the norm, isn't it?! I had morning sickness and SPD in my pregnancy, but it was also a time when I felt incredibly special and I enjoyed it (although said I didn't at the time) - when it was over I grieved! I had a long, eventful labour but the birth was fine and I didn't need assistance and had no damage to myself - out walking the next day! BUT I breastfed for 16 months and would see that as the absolute minimum I'd want to do for any baby - I actually wanted to do it longer with my DD but she wasn't bothered and it was a good time to stop for both of us. She slept OK, with the odd blip here and there, but it was by no means ideal or conducive to a happy home to have a small baby waking every few hours and then every half hour from 4am onwards, often sharing my bed! All the devt milestones - physical ones, weaning etc... they just took so much energy for all of us and they were fun sure, but they were a chore! I couldn't really do much on my own while she was under about 8/9 months old and feeding a lot from me (and it didn't feel right leaving her); we left her for the first time overnight when she was 14 months old, and that was a wrench! I was at home with her til she was 1, then went back part time and now work from home, and I want to go back OUT to work at some point, which I wouldn't see myself doing while I have children under 3/4 at home. In the last 2 months I have started to spend days away on my own, do things with my husband without my daughter in tow - it's so easy to find very very willing babysitters in family, grandparents, friends etc when you only have one child, but my mother in law has already expressed that WHEN we have another she wouldn't be as keen, and why would she? It would be a nightmare for her! If I got pregnant again now, I wouldn't reach this point again for another couple of years, and then I'd have 2 children and doing anything on my own or as a couple, would just be a total nightmare to organise.

I am one of three - there is always a favourite as far as I've witnessed and experienced myself; one child always misses out on something. More than one brings higher costs, less time for each child, less time for the parents themselves, less resources to go round for each member of the household. Holidays become more of a logistical nightmare. Right now, our family is perfect - we have a beautiful, funny, sweet, loving 19 month old DD who is full of life, shrowded with love and spoilt rotten. Like some others, I've got the 'been there done that' feeling, and wonder what doing it all again would bring to my life apart from the strain of providing for another being to the same level as I provide for the DD I already have. I love the lifestyle we have, and we never know what's round the corner financially. We also keep horses and there's not a chance we'd be able to afford for two children to partake in that hobby with us - we'd either have to give it up completely or continue with horses and they are just spectators which will be no fun for them! I want the daughter I have to enjoy a range of hobbies and interests, restricted by nothing but the amount of days in the week to fit them all in!

BUT what if I change my mind and it's too late?!

Carrie1983 Mon 05-Dec-11 13:11:53

Also, my husband is an only child (his brother actually died at full term, at birth), and although he can be a little selfish from time to time, it hasn't tainted his life. He's a very happy, well-adjusted person and has good moral fibre. I am one of three like I said - I had an upbringing where there was never enough money and everything had to be shared between more mouths, more bodies etc. My mum chose to follow my brothers' interests in football and rugby and ignored any I might have. My parents divorced and my mum was left a single mum of 3 - she tried her best but it was no upbringing for us really. I have grown up to have one severe mental illness and a couple of episodes of depression; I've had to have therapy. I am aware onlies are as susceptible to mental illness, but the argument that those from sibsets are happier people is clearly flawed when you see how happy and well-adjusted my husband is in comparison to how I was before all the therapy I went through!

Carrie1983 Mon 05-Dec-11 13:14:08

Imagine the massive slumber parties our children are going to be able to have!! I'll never need to say no to her having a friend to play every now and then (I was never allowed friends to play because my mum had three of us already).

pixiewitch Thu 08-Dec-11 13:06:24

I absolutely love this thread.
I Only ever wanted one & even tho I've not given birth yet, we will only over have one.

You have no idea just how relieved I am to read that I'm not the only person out there that thinks like this....

I echo so many of yr posts about time, personal space, finances, getting yr own life back etc... when I've tried explaining this to Some RL people, I sound cold & heartless, which I'm not!

smiledotcom Sat 10-Dec-11 00:03:14

Love only having one!

Been there, done that, got the T-shirt.

Sam other families with more than one kid. Saw their kid-siblings fighting with each other the whole time. Saw parents resolving their disputes the whole time. Exhausing. Not enjoyable My idea of hell? a double buggy.

redrosette Thu 15-Dec-11 13:54:04

I have an almost 4 year old.

My reasons for only wanting one are as follows:

Finances - DH has a LOT of debt, he has also been made redundant and we dont know when or if he'll get another job.
Disability - I have disabilities and I relied heavily on my DH and mum
Childcare - mum watches DD whilst I work, she also cares for my gran. She has a close bond with DD and doesn't want another watching her (and I couldn't afford it anyway) so it would be unfair to ask her to watch another child
Work - I work full time and I hate not being there for DD but I need to work especially as I'm the only worker in the house now.
In laws - I dislike my MIL immensely. Things are better now but she was horrid to me in DD's first year, constantly comparing me to other DIL
PND - I had bad PND for the first year, partly due to the above!
Birth - pain killers didn't work, epidural didn't work, ended up with spinal tap, 3 day labour...

I know DH would love another one but he wont talk about it because it upsets me. I feel guilty but I know I've made the right decision.

redrosette Thu 15-Dec-11 13:55:21


my daughter's 4th birthday party will have 30 kids, no one else in her nursery class has had that many kids at a party, they are all shocked when I tell them.

She's got LOADS of friends, so no worries there! :D

Lynnaicken Sat 31-Dec-11 16:02:47
This is my first message so just trying it out. Hope it works.
One child is enough for us. Simple reasoning - we can only afford one and we put in a lot of time and effort into parenting that simply couldn't do with another one.

paranoid2android Mon 09-Jan-12 07:51:03

glad to have found this thread as I was just chatting with DH, about possibility that DD will be an only. She's only 4 months old at the moment.
I absoultely love being a mum, feel like a very maternal person, and have loved every minute of the baby stage, so it's not that. I also am not 'anti-sibling' - I have a sister who I love to pieces and we get on really well.

My reasons

financial- I didn't have a proper job (just some part time freelance work) before having DD, so at the moment we don't have money for two. Plus I enjoy being a SAHM and wouldn't want to go back to work just to afford another baby.

Energy, - I feel like one is easy, am lucky that DD is a relatively easy baby, but I'm not the most energetic person in the world and I like my sleep, DD is a rubbish sleeper but as there's only one of her I can sleep in,

time - this i think is my number 1 reason, I've written stories, and would like to write a novel, and can't imagine how this would be possible while juggling two kids, DH is also creative, so I am thinking that it would suit our lifestyles more to just have one, we also travel a lot, much as I love having a child, I feel I also need this kind of creative work in my life to feel happy and fufilled, which requires time and energy, I think it's because of this I know I don't have the physical or mental energy for two.

-pregnancy- like many of you I hated being pregnant and don't want to do it again, i felt exhausted and spent most of the last few months in bed, I know I wouldn't be able to enjoy DD's toddler years if I was pregnant again,
or be creative

I feel like one is a compromise between being 100% carefree and childless, and bogged down with all the hard work of two!! I don't think that's selfish, as whoever said a happy parent is a happy child got it right, I know I'll do everything I can to make sure DD is happy, right now that's lots of socialising to make sure she's got friends to play with when she's older. I guess that's my number one worry that she'll be lonely, but I loved reading all your posts about always taking friends on trips with your only, I can see us doing that in the future too.
And on the contrary having one is not selfish as it means taking up less of the world's resources etc etc. In this day and age I think one is the new two!

gobblygook Fri 13-Jan-12 00:22:33

Its true Paranoid - you can't be creative with a lot of kids. I'm 42, which is the main reason I'm having one - and given my fertility results I was lucky to have him a year ago - but also because I write. On course to finish a novel and it's only because i was nearing the end and not starting since DS came along that I can carry on with it. And you can't work, have children and write - 2 of the 3 things, yes, not all

Anyway, I really want to write full-time - I feel I need the fulfilment - and you can't have it all

I still get sad sometimes that he's my only, and worried for him, but I try to count my blessings, of which there are many

FanjoForTheMammaries Fri 13-Jan-12 00:25:15

A horrific birth, my health problems, gynae problems, am nearly 40 and DD has severe SN and needs me 24/7..pretty definitive really, still a bit sad though

I only joined here yesterday and I am really glad i found this post. I am struggling over wether to have another one or not I keep changing my mind. Last year i had a breast scare it turned out only to be glandular thankfully but the pain is unbearable sometimes and the consultant at the hospital told me that no painkillers will work and if I wanted to get rid of the pain I should get pregnant. I already have a 2 year old. So me and the DH had a chat and decided that as soon as we had cleared off our credit card we could start trying this was around 6 months ago and we're one payment away from being debt free but I'm not sure I want another one.

My one reason I have to have another one is for my DD so she has a sibling I play with. Sometimes I watch her playing by herself and I feel guilty.

Theses are the reasons against

My pregnancy wasn't great I was in hospital a lot for the last 3 months with pre eclampsia DD was born 2 weeks early by section. My DD is a brilliant child this puts me off having another one. she slept through from 12 weeks apart from a few nights here and there. I don't really want to go back to sleepless nights. We want to send DD to a private school so she gets a good start in life we couldn't afford to send 2 kids there. I've just started getting my life back I want to retrain and change career so when DD goes to school I can go back to work as I feel my brain has gone to mush being a SAHM. The biggest one for me at the minute is that DH has just started a new job and he will be away from home 2 weeks out of every month so I don't think I could cope with 2 on my own.

oohlalabonbons Mon 16-Jan-12 20:53:35

As I have posted on another thread, we (I?) am struggling with our decision. DH doesn't want another, but it makes me unbearably sad to think of DD being alone with no siblings. DH and I are both one of two, I am close to my sister, he doesn't speak to his brother. My DM is an only, and she begs me to make sure we have another. I just don't know what to do for the best sad
Reading these posts gives me such mixed emotions - the posts about how you all are enjoying only-child-dom make me feel it would be a good thing for us, but I can't shake the feelig that our family is just not complete...
sad sad sad

Dutchie77 Sun 12-Feb-12 18:41:22

Same for me Winedine69me. A newborn was already almost too much for me and it didn't make me very happy in the first weeks. And there is also my age
(this year), finances and I really only want one child. Tho, I come from a very big family which would be nice to have for our son..... but no LOL

Cannierelax Fri 15-Mar-13 23:31:52

I'm so glad I came across this thread. I too find it difficult to vocalise my need to Not have any more. Unfortunately I'm from a culture whereby having an only child is seen as extremely odd and selfish. I have many negative comments from family members as well as friends saying, just go on, have another, it'll be fine. Em... As if it's that straightforward. I have my idea of a happy comfortable life and have no incline to have another. I find it frustrating being on the receiving end of relatives/ families amd friends.

Lynnie77 Wed 27-Mar-13 11:36:04

I'm so glad I've seen this thread - you all make excellent points and it is lovely to hear positive stories about having one child.

My DD is 4 now. DH and I always assumed we would have at least two, but we got into horrendous debt (through my family business) around the time DD was born, which we will be paying back for the next 5 years. The debt was my fault, not my DH's, but once I confided in him, he helped sort it out, remortgaging etc and taking out loans in his name to help my family.

We are only now getting back on our feet and managing our finances, even considering selling our flat to move to a nicer home. DH and I both work and commute quite a distance in opposite directions (particularly DH who has a 2 hour commute each way and leaves the house at 5am) so our lives are already quite hectic, despite there being only the three of us.

I would love another - BUT DH is scared about the financial commitment and worried it would impact on DD in the future ie if she wants to go to uni etc. as well as the superficial impact on our family in terms of being to afford a holiday each year and things like that.

I also had a fairly complicated pregnancy, and was in hospital for a month leading up to the birth. This, I know, scared DH and he has admitted he is worried this happens again. DD was also hospitalised when she was one with a rare blood infection, (in and out of hospital for over a year) and although she completely recovered with no lasting damage, it put a huge strain on us as a family.

So really DH is pretty much against having another for all of these reasons, plus the fact it would mean relying on my parents for help with childcare who are getting older now. I am 35 and would rather not leave it too late, especially given the issues with my last pregnancy and previous miscarriage, but at the moment DH is definitely not keen.

To be honest I only have one reason for having another - and that's because I want one. I am blissfully happy with our little threesome - and deep down I agree with DH's reasons to stay that way, but I can't help feeling broody. This thread really helps smile

erlomac Thu 11-Apr-13 10:49:26

I was continually asked when I was having another after having my DD who is now 3. I was looked at like I had 3 heads when I said I wasn't having anymore! I thought about another one for a fleeting moment when DD was about 6 months old (must have been after a nights unbroken sleep one night lol) but as I had such a difficult pregnancy, my daughter was premature and in SCBU for 6 weeks, and the whole experience was awful, I had pretty much decided then I was having just one. Before falling pregnant I always wanted 2 children but after taking 7 years to get pregnant and being 34 when I had DD, I realised that I would struggle with a second child. I was an only child myself and never felt I missed out, however I do sometimes feel guilty for not providing a sibling for my DD, then I see those around me with 2 children fighting and squabbling daily and realise stopping at 1 was right for me personally!

roughtyping Thu 11-Apr-13 11:00:39

I had DS when I was 17. He's now nearly 10 and TBH it's the thought of having time not 'being a mum' when he's older that makes me not want another.

That sounds very selfish, I know.

SunshineMMum Wed 28-Aug-13 16:17:30

DS is 12 (next month). Initially our decision was based around birth trauma, which affected DH more than me. DS has autism and now I think that we 3 were meant to be. We are a funny, happy (most of the time) quirky family.

OhDearNigel Wed 28-Aug-13 17:13:32

The reason we aren't having any more is that neither of us want another. I feel that's enough justification smile

DancingLady Thu 29-Aug-13 14:24:56

Like a lot of other posters, several reasons!

HATED pregnancy. Lots of little niggles and health problems and just really didn't enjoy it.

Horrible 3-day labour with lots of complications. Blood transfusion, prepped for CS but DD pulled out with forceps in the end. Pelvic floor still a bit crap (DD is 3!) etc etc.

Nightmare BFing. Gave up when DD 3 weeks old and still losing weight. DD happier on formula, me mad with guilt.

PND! Brought on likely by some of the above. Breakdown. MBU with DD for a month. DH in bits, our marriage severely tested.

We're in a great place now. Happy in our little family. And I couldn't put either of them though it again, or risk PND, hospitalisation and a year of being monitored by MH nurses again.

Crimebusterofthesea Fri 30-Aug-13 15:42:57

I haven't read the whole thread, but I just wanted to say thankyou as it has made for such reassuring reading smile. We have a 20 month old DS and I'd be rich if I was given a pound every time someone has asked when we are having the next one. I know I could change my mind, but I honestly feel that the only reason I would ever have another is purely to give DS a sibling and I don't think that is enough. The first 6 months of his life were the worst of mine. I had PND and couldn't see how things could ever get better. Now, my life is just brilliant and the three of us make such a good team. Yes, he won't have a sibling but we will be able to afford for him to attend clubs and do lots of social things.

I am getting more and more angry with the need for justification though, and it is upsetting to be told that DS will grow up to be self absorbed, selfish and lonely. What a load of rubbish that is! I know people with siblings who are incredibly selfish and only children who are the life and soul of the party. Why can't people just be more accepting and appreciate that what is right for one family, isn't necessarily right for another?

BiddyPop Thu 05-Sep-13 14:50:44

I was going to post all of my reasons and then realized I had posted on this thread 3 years ago.

Since then, DH has spent the past 2.5 years travelling, spending 50% of his time in a developing country (2 weeks there, 2 weeks here) and still working when he's here.

We have also spent a lot of time going along the path of getting and then dealing with a dx of Asperger's/ADHD for DD. Which has made certain things easier (we now understand WHY she is the way she is, and HOW to do certain things differently so she will understand them ad be able to respond better) - but it also takes time to do all the appointments, money for certain appointments (very very long waiting lists for some things meant going private), and time to learn how to do things best for her and then implement those strategies.

And partly as she has the ADHD and partly as she is so sporty anyway, she has a LOAD of activities outside school - swimming classes, athletics club, GAA training, about to start hockey as well. Which also requires money for subs, time to bring her to them and either wait for her to finish or get involved in the training, and keeping track of everything (training times, appointments, equipment, all that sort of thing).

We still do get comments from time to time, but they have decreased as DD has gotten older and also since the family have realized the daily reality (not that they see that much of it!!) of our/her life.

We love DD dearly, but we also value our own space and time too. We want, at some stage, to spend some time living abroad. And as I have the permenant, pensionable and secure job, I need to hold on to that - and I don;'t think I could if I had another as it is quite (VERY) stressful and demanding in its own right. So I really don't see us having another.

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