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Is it selfish to have only one child?

(246 Posts)
imagin Sun 27-May-18 16:46:27

NC for this.

I have three siblings, and growing up I was always told I was so lucky to have this, and how much I'd appreciate them when I'd grown up.

I'm grown up now and only see them a few times a year, we are very different people and not that close.

Me and DP only want one child. We feel it means we can give everything to them, and obviously there will be more money and attention as it won't be divided. Growing up with three siblings we went without things as there was only so much money and time.

We want to get only a two bed house because of this, but so many people say it's unfair on the child for them to be an only child as they'll have no one to play with. Is this really the case? I remember fighting with my siblings and having a lot of grief.

TittyGolightly Sun 27-May-18 16:48:07

Nope. If anything it’s selfish to have another child in order to provide something foT the first.

We have an only by choice. It’s very lovely.

Dappledskies Sun 27-May-18 16:52:08

It can be very difficult dealing with elderly parents' ill health and death alone. I've done it. But I don't think that's a reason to have more than one child. I'd make a real effort for your child to be close with your extended family for support, if possible.

GreenTulips Sun 27-May-18 16:54:31

I think only children tend to be spoilt and find they don't share very well or relate very well to others when growing up and fighting isnpartbof that.

It's your choice but have the children you want.

I have 3 they fight and forget a life lesson

nicknamehelp Sun 27-May-18 16:55:29

As a grown up only child it's not selfish but has issues. I often still wish for a sibling for many reasons and even if we weren't close there would always be that bond I've never had with anyone.

BakerBear Sun 27-May-18 16:56:38

You always want what you havent got. So even if you dont give them a silbling then they will complain that they didnt get something else growing up that everyone else did.

They only generally play together if they are very close in age otherwise they are at different stages of their life.

I always said i would only have one however when dc1 was 2.5 i started to want another.

Now i have 2 children who are 4.5 years apart and its bloody hard work.

I really wish they were no more than 2 years apart as they are at completley different stages of life and its hard juggling them both.

I have one sibling who i have never got on with. We barely spoke to each other until i was 25!!!!

Children are very expensive and a life long commitment. Its double the cost of most things if you have children of different sexes.

Its ok people saying well they wont have anyone to play with but thats no reason to have another. Your time is split in two, you need to help two children with homework, bathing, dressing, activites etc and everything takes double the time.

One tip i would give you is tho.... dont get rid of anything until your first is at least 5 years old as i was adamant that i wasnt having another and i got rid of every single thing as soon as dd had outgrew it and by the time i really wanted another i had NOTHING left so i had to start from scratch which was bloody expensive!

SoozC Sun 27-May-18 16:56:45

I hope not because after our struggle to even get 9 weeks pregnant, the thought of trying for another stresses me out. I'll be happy with this one and bugger everyone who thinks we're being selfish.

Aprilmightbemynewname Sun 27-May-18 16:56:48

I am an only dc. It was very lonely as a dc and as an adult I still find it so.
I have dc.

Buttmonkey86 Sun 27-May-18 16:57:12

You must have met very few only children then, GreenTulips

Pinkgeorge Sun 27-May-18 16:58:04

You may end up with twins!!

UserThenLotsOfNumbers Sun 27-May-18 16:59:10

It's not selfish at all.
People have some funny ideas about only children though.
I'm a only child, and relatively well adjusted (I hope lol).
I got a lot of assumptions made about me as a child - that I was spoilt, had everything I wanted etc. People would say "oh you don't SEEM like an only child" as if they expected me to be some kind of monster.
But nowadays there are a lot more only children so hopefully your child won't get that hassle.

Frazzled2207 Sun 27-May-18 16:59:11

I am an OC though have two myself. I don't think it was a selfish decision of my parents to have just me (it was a conscious one).

That said as they get older I am very aware of the burden on me as they get older.

Faultymain5 Sun 27-May-18 16:59:16

I'm one of 5. I don't like to share because I always had to.

I intended having an only and taught him to share because he wanted to rather than he has to because he's not an only. Giving freely rather than out of obligation was very important to me (back when I knew it all)😁.

Now I've got two, cause I was broody, and I think that's way more selfish.

museumum Sun 27-May-18 16:59:58

Nope. My brother will be about as much use as a chocolate fire guard when our parents health declines. Unfortunately.

Our dc is only by choice. We support him spending time with other children a lot of the time but he doesn’t miss having a sibling at home.

Ijumpedtheshark Sun 27-May-18 17:00:01

I’m an only child and I’m mother to an only child. I loved being an only child and want the same for my daughter. My husband is one of four and is very happy to only have one child so he can’t think I’m that spoilt!

greenlavender Sun 27-May-18 17:00:38

Nice generalisation there Greentulip. Bet you'd love it if we all started generalising about families with 3 children. Not selfish at all. Do what suits your family & don't let anyone tell you differently.

Babdoc Sun 27-May-18 17:01:07

As long as there are cousins or friends to play with (and to fight with, and learn to take turns with!) it shouldn’t be a problem during childhood. And we are facing a planetary population crisis, so you are being very unselfish, considered on a global scale. If everyone followed your example, we could ease the pressures on housing, water supplies, land and pollution levels in a generation.

ladyme Sun 27-May-18 17:01:30

My mum is dealing with a dying parent on her own with added sisters chiming in with their thoughts and demands from miles away where they can't help. I always think only children have a more romantic view about how helpful having siblings can be.

I'm one of many and have an only, not through choice, but she loves it and I think we are tighter knit as a result. No unnecessary jealousies and so on.

IRememberSoIDo Sun 27-May-18 17:02:32

My best friend is an only child and I'm one of six. She loved our house as it was mental and I loved hers as it was so peaceful. We really complemented each other in that way when we were kids. She's not remotely selfish, one of the most generous people I know.

BlueBug45 Sun 27-May-18 17:02:49


Remember some people struggle to have that one child. Most of the only children I knew growing up had parents who struggled to have them. Some of their mothers had horrible stories.

Frazzled2207 Sun 27-May-18 17:02:56

Btw although I was on my own I grew up close to my cousins and saw them a lot.
Also my parents made a significant effort to drive me to friends' houses etc so that I rarely felt properly lonely.

For OC I think parents need to put in more of an effort with these things as the child will not have a live-in playmate.
That said if you're lucky enough to live on a nice street where lots of other kids live, this could be quite easy. We lived in the middle of nowhere and my parents always said that wasn't my choice, nor was it to be an OC, so they were prepared to put on the effort.

IHaveBrilloHair Sun 27-May-18 17:04:13

I only have one.
I have a brother but we're not remotely close, I've not seen him in years and probably never will again.
Dd has never wanted a sibling, though she has two on her Dads side who she may or may not meet.

Amanduh Sun 27-May-18 17:07:19

I’ll have another (hopefully) because I think it would be nice for DS and I have a big family myself and love it. I don’t think it’s selfish, it’s whatever works for you

ScrubTheDecks Sun 27-May-18 17:07:54

“I think only children tend to be spoilt and find they don't share very well or relate very well to others when growing up” This is SUCH a stereotype and prejudice. I have never observed this.

Being spoilt depends on the parenting, not the number of children.

Have the number of children you really want. Then make the best of it, whatever that might be. Second hand clothes are great (if you have lots), be welcoming and create lots of play dates and friendship groups if you have one. Use your extra cash to save for your old age care.

Thought, planning and mitigation for every circumstance.

RavenLG Sun 27-May-18 17:10:47

I think only children tend to be spoilt and find they don't share very well or relate very well to others when growing up
I hate this attitude. Only children grow up spoilt if you let them, responsible parents don't allow this. I'm probably defensive as I'm an only child but it pisses me off.

FWIW I did think too much about it when I was a child. I lived near friends so often had company. As I got older I did wish for siblings, especially as a teenager as I found my home quite isolating, holidays we're boring and from about 14 I stopped going on holiday with my parents as I hated being so lonely.

As an adult I also wish I had siblings, I see people who are so close to them and think it would be lovely to have that bond. But, it could go the opposite way where you end up enemies as you see so many siblings falling out.

It's not selfish if you just want 1 child. It's not selfish if you want more than 1. You do what is best for you.

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