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 3years....it 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 size...it 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

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