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to stop at one DC just because DH and I like the freedom of having just one?

(88 Posts)
moraletotallydestroyedbypoopoo Fri 14-Oct-11 10:01:05

This is slightly inspired by the 'what would you like to do if you had more time on your own' thread...

I can't help feeling that it would be wrong or selfish in some way, like we're somehow not doing the family thing properly by having 2 (which is rubbish, because I know plenty of only children and people with only one DC who consider themselves to have a proper family!)

I have great relationship with my DB so feel like I would be depriving my DD of that, but on the other hand DH and his DSis don't like each other at all, so just having a sibling doesn't guarantee happiness.

I can't help feeling that with more than one DC DH and I won't get the time to do our own thing properly until the DCs leave home! AIBU, and selfish, and childish?

AndiMac Fri 14-Oct-11 10:06:43

It's not really for us to say, is it? It's really up to you. But I will point out that if you have more than one, you will at least sometimes get a break because they will play with each other and not demand to play with you all the time. Not that that in itself is enough reason to have another child, but I'm sure you know plenty of reasons for and against it. I think two is the ideal number, but that's my opinion and I won't try and convince anyone of the logic of it.

redskyatnight Fri 14-Oct-11 10:06:48

Have as many children as you want.
Personally I find 2 easier than 1 in terms of having more freedom (as they play with each other rather than forever wanting my attention).

EricNorthmansMistress Fri 14-Oct-11 10:07:43

YANBU
you should have the number of children you can provide for (including emotionally). If that's one, then so be it. I read on here about mothers at the end of their tether due to having three under 5, school runs, work etc etc and often think I'm glad that's not me. No disrespect meant to those women but I'm too lazy and selfish to do that to myself. If I end up having another it will be in a couple of years when DS is off to school and I am emotionally prepared. I used to assume I would want to get pg again when DS was 2ish but it never happened (on a logical level, hormones are something else, but I ignored those)

For a while it looked like H and I were over and I was really ok with the idea of one. I can handle it with work, he's a lovely, happy little boy, easy to look after, financially we're ok, and I've done my procreating. Another would be a blessing but by no means necessary to anyone's happiness.

Pagwatch Fri 14-Oct-11 10:09:16

It's entirely up to you. Nothing to do with anyobe else.

Anyone who has a strong view upon how you should live your life in this regard is someone you really should not listen to as they are putting their views before yours

It is pretty straightforward to be honest

snailoon Fri 14-Oct-11 10:09:18

No you aren't being selfish. There are too many people on the planet; you are being considerate.
Just make sure you are aware of the pitfalls of having an "only". Other people will have better ideas I'm sure, but what I have noticed in the way of pitfalls: thinking everything should be perfect and somehow work out all the time, thinking that your child is perfect/smart/kind/able to listen/not fussy etc. because of your brilliant parenting.
Remember if you had another child, he would be completely different.

Makiko Fri 14-Oct-11 10:09:22

Message withdrawn

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 14-Oct-11 10:10:37

YANBU... It only feels wrong or selfish because, for some bizarre reason, there's this idea around that single-children families are 'not normal' or 'incomplete'. There's even prejudice about that single children (and they get tagged with that sad adjective 'only') are somehow handicapped or going to be social misfits. hmm People who choose to have no children at all get even worse reactions. You have as many or as few children as you see fit. smile

aldiwhore Fri 14-Oct-11 10:12:01

There's nothing wrong with stopping breeding when you're happy. There's nothing wrong with only children, though I do think you have to put extra effort in to keep them entertained.

My eldest WAS going to be an only child, we were very happy, he was very happy.

We still very happy now we have two, and they do play a lot together and get on pretty well (long may it last).

Do what you want OP there is no right or wrong.

tryingtoleave Fri 14-Oct-11 10:12:43

No, you shouldn't feel pushed into two. It is a lot more work and you should only take it on if you really want two.

Fwiw, my ds is finally at the point where he would go off and play on his own. Except that dd goes and hassles him so I have to go and sort them out.

I will not be going on to no. 3,

wannaBe Fri 14-Oct-11 10:13:44

how many children you have is none of anyone else's business.

Thebonkers Fri 14-Oct-11 10:14:36

ummm makiko you can't know that for a "fact" at all.

I have an only through choice - he's independent happy to play on his own and with us and with neighbours and anyone else - so no extra work...

I have guilty feelings that he is an only - purely due to my own hang ups of what other people my think or assume is our reason. Both DH and I come from huge fxxxed up families and with my 5 siblings and his 6 we are not close really to any of them. Don't live that close although we do make some effort to ensure ds has a good relationship with his cousins....

So yanbu at all . we love it ..

CristinaaarghdellAaarghPizza Fri 14-Oct-11 10:14:46

yes there was a classic on here the other day when someone was talking about their DD bashing her mate about a bit and someone asked 'are they only children?' Because of course, only lone children could ever behave badly hmm

DS is an only which is what works for us. It's no one else's business.

higgle Fri 14-Oct-11 10:15:32

Can I suggest if you do decide to stop at one you make some firm plans for your old age while you and your DH are sure you still have all your marbles?
I work in the care sector and the pressure on an only child coping with elderly parents can be great. Even if you had 6 children there would be no guarantee any would help or support you, but the stress for an only child ( in my experience) is difficult to bear.

moraletotallydestroyedbypoopoo Fri 14-Oct-11 10:19:01

Thank you for all your replies so far. I'd love to have time to reply to you all individually, but am meant to be working right now blush Just want to say to everyone who's saying 'it's a personal decision, no one else's business, do what you want' etc - thank you, but I'm not so much worried about other people judging us, it's more my own conscience that's bothering me. Hearing other people's varied experiences and opinions is very helpful.

moraletotallydestroyedbypoopoo Fri 14-Oct-11 10:20:29

Higgle - yes, that is one of our serious concerns. I know an only child who lost his father recently, and the pressure he's feeling to look after his mother now he is her only family is huge.

BluddyMoFo Fri 14-Oct-11 10:21:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

aldiwhore Fri 14-Oct-11 10:23:15

Have to say that my DH has a brother, my FIL needs a lot of care (alzheimers but still living independantly) and my DH has to arrange everything and feels like he's an 'only child' at times... so there's no guaruntees.

You can think forward and prepare without factoring the children into the equation. Regardless of how many children you have, never assume they will bear the burden of your old age, alone or together. It shouldn't be a deciding factor in whether you have more than one child, rather every parent should consider these 'what ifs'.

moraletotallydestroyedbypoopoo Fri 14-Oct-11 10:23:50

I'm sorry to hear that BluddyMoFo sad I couldn't stand my DB until we were 14 but then something clicked and we realised we had loads in common and became great friends...so it may not always be like that.

BluddyMoFo Fri 14-Oct-11 10:26:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

aldiwhore Fri 14-Oct-11 10:27:32

BluddyMoFo I despised my brother throughout childhood and he hated me. I didn't much like my younger sister either as she 'stole' my princess crown and highlighted my flaws by being smarter, cuter, better behaved than me.

Not sure what happened but we adore each other these days.

Must have been horrible for my parents, you have my sympathies.

ItWasABoojum Fri 14-Oct-11 10:29:24

I was an only. My only real problem growing up that I could say might be related was extreme shyness, which I still struggle with - but my mum freely admits that a lot of that was down to her own shyness, which led to her avoiding social situations with me a lot of the time. She's also admitted to feeling a touch guilty that she was occasionally a bit harsh on me as a child, because she was so conscious of the stereotype of the 'spoilt only child' that she went too far the other way smile.

On the plus side, we now have an extremely close relationship which I put down in part to her being my main confidant as I grew up - and honestly, I wouldn't change things for the world.

Helzapoppin Fri 14-Oct-11 10:30:12

Such a personal decision but I'm not sure how there can be anything 'selfish' or 'wrong' about choosing to have the number of children you feel happy with (well, maybe not seventeen). I'm an 'only' and my family has never felt incomplete- my parents have a great relationship and are doting grandparents with their (two) grandchildren. I have a wonderful group of close friendships, which I think I've nurtured, being aware of the absence of siblings as I get older. I would agree that there can be a pressure on only children as parents age- mine have been very careful to plan their futures in financial and practical terms, but I do worry about the extra support they may need as they age and that this will be my responsibility alone.

DuelingFanjo Fri 14-Oct-11 10:32:27

I am only going to have one (unless my body somehow decides to be uber fertile) and the only thing I worry about is the fact that he will have the burden of elderly parents alone. As suggested I plan to make sure he feels he has the freedom to do what he needs to do in life without having to worry about us.

Acekicker Fri 14-Oct-11 10:35:11

To counter what Higgle said, I come from a long line of onlies and whilst I'm sure for some it can be very hard when their parents age, that certainly hasn't been the case in my family. My parents (both onlies) have lost their parents in the 'usual' ways (long slow decline due to terminal disease, sudden heart attack, peaceful old age nodding off in the armchair, general ageing with more and more infections and decreasing mental capacity etc). They never struggled for support and people to help with the stress, it just happened to come from people they didn't share DNA with.

There are no guarantees in old age, another family I'm close to is going through hell at the moment dealing with the last surving parent/grand-parent - the siblings do not get on, neither lives anywhere near the parent, there are various other family members to consider etc.. in my family it's much simpler - one person gets to decide and because miracle of miracles we all grow up with friends/partners etc it works out quite well.

All of this is clearly just my personal experience so no more or less valid than anyone elses, but I do speak as someone with a lot of experience of onlies (we're now into our 4th generation of them!) and DH has siblings/large family so I've seen their side of it too.

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