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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.....

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.

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?

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.

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

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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.

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!

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

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.

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

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

thecraftygeek Sat 14-Jan-12 10:37:38

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.

fanjoforthemammaries7850 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

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

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!

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.

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

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.

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.

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!

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).

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 13:04:28

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?!

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.

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".

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