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To choose to have one child

(96 Posts)
Sarahh2014 Sat 21-Oct-17 10:25:13

Me and dh are both 37 I had ds at 32 I had a v painful pregnancy and a traumatic labour..these factors have contributed to our decision to only have one child..the thing is we've had so many people saying things such as oh have another so ds has someone to play with,isn't lonely etc which gives me a huge amount of guilt..even from strangers!he has cousins and friends and goes to nursery so is v social but I do feel a bit sad for him that he won't have a sibling I grew up with a brother and dh has 3 siblings..has anyone else had just one child through choice and regretted it?

ethelfleda Sat 21-Oct-17 10:27:43

Tell them to fuck off - your choice, not theirs. You're the one who would have to go through pregnancy and labour again! Stick with one if you're happy with that.

I hate unsolicited opinions.

Jeezoh Sat 21-Oct-17 10:29:24

I've got 3 and I can honestly say I see the numerous benefits of sticking at 1. There's no perfect number of children, just what's right for your family and circumstances. Ignore people who comment and crack on with what you're doing xx

Chchchchangeabout Sat 21-Oct-17 10:33:20

Of course YANBU! Enjoy your child and your life and don't think one more minute about it!

MoanerChopsis Sat 21-Oct-17 10:33:26

I have just one, DD, who isn't now nearly 8. It wasn't my choice, and at first I really struggled, but as she gets older I am really seeing the benefits... My time/attention/money aren't split two or more ways, I can host playdates for the social side of things then have lovely quiet one-to-one time afterwards. No sibling quarrels to arbitrate either. There are definitely upsides!

jeaux90 Sat 21-Oct-17 10:34:39

What moaner says. Dd8 too. One is very very lovely

DearMrDilkington Sat 21-Oct-17 10:38:03

I was an only child, I loved it.

Ignore them.

Beachcountrysidetown Sat 21-Oct-17 10:39:45

Oh for heavens sake. I find it amazing how so many people have such strong opinions on how many children other people should have! One is lovely - 5 is lovely. Whatever suits you! I have one child and it’s fantastic.

xxMsZxx Sat 21-Oct-17 10:40:35

I think it depends on your family situation. I've always hated being an only child, it was so lonely as a child. My dad died when i was only just a teenager and my mum died last year (mid 20s). No wider family around so life's hars with no family support. If the child has close aunts, uncles, cousins of a similar age etc then I don't see a problem with having one child. Do what is right for you and your family. Adoption could be a possibility if you did decide you'd like another child but without having to go through pregnancy and child birth. Don't let anyone bully you into anything you don't want to do though

Sarahh2014 Sat 21-Oct-17 10:41:16

Thanks everyone I know it's the right decision for us we are happy as we are and I am lucky to choose to have one and not have it taken out of my hands a friend was pregnant with her planned second and had to sadly abort due to chronic abnormalities she has been since advised not to try for more it's awful

Holdbacktheriver Sat 21-Oct-17 10:42:49

I say this as a mother of 5, there is nothing wrong with stopping at 1!

I love having 5 don’t get me wrong but it is no one’s place to judge what it best for your family other than you and your dh.

There are many benefits to having an only. Tell people to mind their own business you do not have to justify your decision to anyone.

StickThatInYourPipe Sat 21-Oct-17 10:50:19

Literally just tell them to fuck off. I hate all this 'an only is a lonely' bollocks.

I'm an only child. If this is what lonely feels like I am glad I don't have siblings as I would not be able to move for the amount people in my life!

Don't feel guilty OP there are benefits to both and as pp have said, there is no perfect number of children. You have to do what's best for you and your family.

QueenAmongstMen Sat 21-Oct-17 10:52:32

I was like you following my first baby, we said we wouldn't have another as I'd had a tough pregnancy and there were complications to my health.

However, when DS hit about 18 months I started to want another baby as the thought of DS being an only child made me sad. I'm from a big family and I wanted that for DS too, I wanted him to be able to experience being a brother, an uncle and have nephews and nieces and be part of something.

I know adults who hated being an only child and I know adults who loved it.

I know adults who thought being an only as a child was great because they had all the attention of their parents but now as adults they feel lonely because there's nobody they shared their childhood with.

There are lots of adults who loved being an only and still love being one and don't feel like they've missed out.

There are so many ways having only one child can work out.

My second DS was born two months ago (DS1 is 3.5yrs) and it was absolutely the right decision. We are having a few behavioural issues as he adapts to the baby but he is mainly so loving towards his brother and it is very special.

I understand your worries about not giving your child a sibling as that's exactly how I felt but the difference between you and I is that I wanted a baby whereas you don't seem to.

Never have a baby that you don't want just because you think it will benefit your current child.

NotTheMrMenAgain Sat 21-Oct-17 11:58:53

I have one DD through choice, she's 9 and is a wonderful girl who has a lovely life - lots of activities etc because all of our time and money can go on her.

I don't regret it for a second - DH and I haven't ever felt the slightest urge to have another child and certainly wouldn't entertain having one just to provide a sibling. DD doesn't want a sibling in any event, but plenty of people have their childhoods marred by bullying siblings and/or just don't get on with them (me included!).

It's nobody else's business how many children you have, you know what feels right for your family.

I think parents of more than one sometimes feel like other people choosing to have only one somehow invalidates and threatens their decision to have more than one - if that makes sense, so they try to influence you to have more because if they did it, it must be the correct/best decision. It's down to their lack of confidence in their decision making.

A friend once told me she was jealous of me because as much as she loved her DC2 if she'd have known what impact it would have on DC1 she'd have stopped at one - because they fight like cat and dog and constantly compete for attention, time etc. I had no idea this was the case, and it had been going on for years and years. So, it's not always as rosy as it seems with multiple DCs.

BertrandRussell Sat 21-Oct-17 12:01:11

Honestly? I think all other things being equal, children shouldn't be onlies. But, as you said, nobody's business but yours,

User36367292 Sat 21-Oct-17 12:02:27

The age gap is already too big for them to be close friends anyway. I had 5 yrs between me and sister and I am not close to her in the slightest. One is fine. I have one.

SP00KYLilBucket1 Sat 21-Oct-17 12:06:01

Someone said about the age gap but I don't think that's necessarily true, I have a 10 year gap between one of my sisters and we're extremely close. However, on my mums side I was an only child and loved it. There's no right or wrong when it comes to children, it's what suits you. And the whole 'your kid needs someone to play with' is stupid. I was an only child until my dad had my sister at age 7 and I was never lonely and had more than enough people to play with!.

Montsti Sat 21-Oct-17 12:25:18

Ignore them - none of their business!

Personally I wanted more than 1 (I've just had my 4th) but I massively see the benefits of having 1...and know a lot of people who have 1, some through choice and others because for various reasons it just hasn't happened...

Dustysparrow Sat 21-Oct-17 12:43:50

I am nearly 39 and have only 1 DD, aged 8. I struggled for a while with guilt about her being an only child (it was more my DH's choice than mine to stick with just one), but actually I think it is fine. She doesn't ask to have more siblings and seems content being the centre of our attention. In fact, she sees first hand the relationships her friends have with their younger siblings and what she has actually witnessed is endless squabbling, fighting and irritation - her friends moan endlessly about how annoying their younger siblings are. My own sister and I fought like cat and dog until we both left home (we love each other to pieces now but we needed our own space). My brother kept to himself and was habitually used as an armrest in the car because he was the smallest and sat in the middle. The only thing I do worry about is that when DH and I are elderly I don't want her to bear all the burden - however, saying that I know sooo many people who have siblings that leave them to do it all and don't give a shit, and who they aren't close to at all. So even then there is no guarantee of sibling support.

I also know that financially we wouldn't be able to give much support to our DD in the future if we spread ourselves more thinly. This way we can give more of a helping hand.

weeburrower1 Sat 21-Oct-17 12:57:52

Loneliness is a bit more complex than how many siblings someone does or doesn't have. Not a bit actually, a lot. There's no 'on balance' or 'all things equal' - every family and parent and child is different. Tell them to bugger off out of your business.

Sometimes I look at my little girl and think it would be nice for her to have someone to play with all the time. Other times I look at my little girl and see how much she loves her quiet time and she wouldn't have it with a sibling. We don't have space, we don't have the means, we don't have the inclination. We dote on our little girl and so does everyone else, she's 2 years old and already has a best friend at nursery, she's sociable and gregarious but she's also quite and likes to have perfect quiet (just like her mama). She has wider family, she has cousins, she can tell us if she wants to play with someone. If she's going to feel lonely in her life, I would doubt whether having a brother or sister in addition to all the people who already care about and that she loves would make the slightest bit of difference to that. What a burden to place on siblings.

Heckneck Sat 21-Oct-17 13:07:29

Stuff what anyone else thinks. It took me ages to decide to have another as I was always adamant I wanted just the one. I have 3 sisters and always used to wish I was the only one. For the record I only see the one sister now and my two 6 and 2 always squabble anyway so it's not like they enjoy each other atm.

hidingmystatus Sat 21-Oct-17 13:08:48

I chose to have one. She's just fine. Do what's right for you and ignore anyone else. They are not you, their family is not your family, and their child is not your child. What's right for them is not what might be right for you.

Greyhorses Sat 21-Oct-17 13:15:43

I also have one but have been feeling the pressure to have a second because of the he will be lonely comments.

I am torn but really don't think I can go the baby stage again!

I say do whatever you feel is right Op

Graphista Sat 21-Oct-17 13:17:08

My dd is effectively an only (she has 5 half siblings through my ex who she never gets to see thanks to ex).

There are pros and cons to all family sizes. My parents are both from large families, my dad loved it my mum hated it even though she loves her sibs.

I'm eldest of 3, I'm Nc with sis for almost 3 years and it's the 3rd time I went Nc she's a nightmare, not terribly close to my brother either. It was a toxic upbringing.

But even with good parents there is no guarantee sibs will get along.

I know adult onlies who are fine mostly, only one resents it and she has good reason to as it seems her parents mainly had her to be their carer.

Other adults I know don't all get on with sibs, even if no big fall out sometimes just nothing in common.

Ultimately your and dh's choice nobody else's business.

If you REALLY want to make them feel awkward tell them you can't. That'll shut them up, because frankly how would they know you could? For all they know you've been trying and struggling with fertility/mc etc, dd was my 3rd pregnancy. Bloody rude for them to comment if you ask me!

ineedaholidaynow Sat 21-Oct-17 13:20:35

I have an only DS. He has never complained and asked for a sibling.

I have a DB, we have very little contact, and contact is usually through my SIL. My parents have been in ill health in the last few years and my DB has done nothing to help. My DF died a couple of weeks ago. Again my DB has not been involved in any way. I think it would have been easier being an only child in these circumstances as I wouldn't have had the additional upset of DB not being involved.

Being an only child is much more common now, for many reasons. I think there used to be a stigma being an only child, hence the lonely only thing. But that doesn't apply any more.

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