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Is having one child cruel?

(97 Posts)
Lucy90 Tue 19-Aug-14 07:11:47

Hi all,
Im 22 weeks pregnant with my first child (a little girl) and and my OH are very clear we dont want any more after this one.
When we mentioned this to MIL and SIL they were both taken aback and said it would be very 'cruel' 'unfair' and 'selfish' to just have the one.
Can anyone shed some light as to why having one child would be any of those things?

ExitPursuedByAKoalaBear Tue 19-Aug-14 07:13:45


PisforPeter Tue 19-Aug-14 07:16:16

Plenty of happy families have 1 child for many reasons

PisforPeter Tue 19-Aug-14 07:16:22

Plenty of happy families have 1 child for many reasons

Lucy90 Tue 19-Aug-14 07:16:59

Yes seriously they couldnt believe we only wanted one

Bohemond Tue 19-Aug-14 07:19:10

They are being selfish and unfair not you.
We started late and are only having one - our parents couldn't be more thrilled.

quietlysuggests Tue 19-Aug-14 07:21:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Lucy90 Tue 19-Aug-14 07:22:41

Quietly you really made me laugh then smile

TeenageMutantNinjaTurtle Tue 19-Aug-14 07:24:32

My husband is one of one. I'm one of four. We're both quietly envious of the other's upbringing!

Like everything, there are positives and negatives.

Congratulations on your pregnancy!

QueenCardigan Tue 19-Aug-14 07:25:53

I'm an only child and I certainly don't feel that my parents were cruel, selfish or unfair to just have me. There is nothing wrong with being an only child so please don't let them make you feel bad.

EverythingCounts Tue 19-Aug-14 07:37:16

It's mind-boggling when there are, sadly, enough examples of real child cruelty in the media, that anyone can apply the world to a happy family who just happen to have one child.

Tell them they need to get a sense of perspective and it's insulting to children who are really suffering to talk about yours that way.

Wenchelda Tue 19-Aug-14 07:39:42

I'm an only child and have never felt like I've "missed out" or whatever by not having siblings. (In fact, seeing the way my 2 dcs treat each other at the mo, I think I had a lucky escape!) Growing up people did sometimes comment on being an only child and ask if I was lonely (wtf?!) but I never felt this way. I had the full attention of my mum - it was great! It's not cruel to have just one child .... I think it would be more "cruel" to have more than one if you didn't really want them.

SignYourName Tue 19-Aug-14 07:41:49

I'm an only child, never felt deprived or that my parents were cruel or selfish.

I think your mum needs to get out more. Suggest she volunteers for NSPCC or Save The Children if she needs to know what real child cruelty looks like.

OneLittleToddleTerror Tue 19-Aug-14 07:42:12

WTF. Tell them to get some perspective like some other posters have said.

DH is an only and wanted only one child. He must really enjoyed his childhood or he won't think an only is the best would he? As it is I want two and so we are having two.

TheWordFactory Tue 19-Aug-14 07:43:18

Of course it's not cruel but as an only myself I'd agree there are downsides.

OneLittleToddleTerror Tue 19-Aug-14 07:44:31

Like wenchelda actually my DH talks about sibling rivalry and not having the parents full attention. I can't rebute the rival bit because my brother and I never got along. As far as I remembered I hated him. I don't really talk to him now either.

Lucy90 Tue 19-Aug-14 07:48:38

The comments made me so angry, my OH said just ignore his mother as its none of her business but i just cant justify having another child because she thinks having one is cruel!

SignYourName Tue 19-Aug-14 08:32:54

You don't have to justify anything to her or anyone, OP. So long as you and your DH are happy with your decision, nothing else matters.

If she brings it up again just say "It's a shame you think that way" and change the subject. If she persists, leave the conversation. If you react angrily or try to justify it, there's a chance she may twist that in her own head into thinking "Lucy is only being defensive because she knows at heart I'm right, if I keep at her I'll succeed in changing her mind."

GlaceDragonflies Tue 19-Aug-14 08:41:21

I don't think it's cruel, just different. I am one of three but my siblings didn't live with us or visit us and I doubt I'd recognise them if they walked past me in the street (long, complicated story) so was effectively an only child.
I was lonely and often wanted a sibling and I still sometimes wish that I had siblings as I have all the responsibility for elderly parents.
On the other hand, my children squabble a lot and fight like cat and dog which makes them both miserable. it's hard to see the value in them having each other a lot of the time. They do have some lovely moments together but they are few and far between unless we have gone out somewhere that they are all interested in.

Bonsoir Tue 19-Aug-14 11:20:09

There are pros and cons to being an only child. My DD is my only DC and we definitely enjoy the exclusivity of the mother-daughter relationship! But she loves her half-brothers and basks in their adoration too! And DP is very clear that DD benefits from being his 3rd DC and that he has learned from his mistakes on his first two!

ForTheLoveOfSocks Tue 19-Aug-14 11:33:12

Cruel is locking them in a cellar although tempting smile

Just ignore OP.

Disclaimer - I have never nor would never lock my DC in the cellar. Even my demon toddler DD grin

Notsoyummymummy1 Mon 25-Aug-14 12:17:25

Wow that's got to be a world record getting nagged about having a second when your first is still in the womb!!!! The subject of children often brings out the worst side as well as the best side of people's natures and you will find throughout your child's life that you will encounter people behaving in a way that's intrusive, judgemental and often downright rude. The upside is you've established early who your main culprits are likely to be!! Some people will always feel they have a right to tell you what to do with your life and very often these people are holding on to outdated beliefs or trying to validate their own life choices by enforcing them on other people. Unfortunately they often use very extreme, emotive language as you have discovered. Common sense should tell you that the word "cruel" is entirely inappropriate and their attitude says more about them than you. You are doing something a little different to what they perceive as the norm and they are uncomfortable with it, which is their problem not yours.

The truth is one-child families are very common and make up almost half the family units. The false perception of only children as being lonely children is outdated as it has been disproved time and time again.

You will discover when you have your child that there really is no magic formula to guarantee a happy, healthy child. There are many different ways of parenting and many different types of child. Having siblings does not necessarily enhance your life and being an only child doesn't necessarily mean they will be lonely. The best thing you can do is give your child a happy, secure and stimulating environment to grow up in so they can be confident in who they are and deal with whatever life throws at them.

Dh and I have decided to stay with one and it feels so much better to make that decision. I've found motherhood very hard work and financially and mentally I just can't face it all again. My daughter is at a nice age now (2) where she can eat, sleep, walk and talk independently and I'm enjoying her a lot more now the baby stage is all behind us. We can give her more and do more with her as she's an only.

What I'm saying is you need to have the confidence to make your own decisions about your family and stand by them. You will need to build up a resilience to dealing with the opinions of others because they can go on as much as they like. At the end of the day it's your life and you know best what's right for you.

I wish you and your little girl all the best and I'm sure she will be very happy and very loved - nothing cruel about that!!

MarthasVineyard Thu 28-Aug-14 16:06:33

Of course it's not cruel but as an only myself I'd agree there are downsides

and as 1 of 4, I can confirm there are plenty of downsides to siblings too!

burgatroyd Thu 28-Aug-14 20:32:55

I am an only but I feel like my long term friends are my family. I don't miss what I didn't have. I don't feel like I'm lonely. In fact I look forward to alone time as have busy life.

MrsPatMustard Fri 29-Aug-14 10:09:42

Hugs OP. Understand exactly where you are coming from. Was asked in a baby group the other day if I was planning on having any more. When I said no, the woman next to me turned to my DS and said 'Aaah, poor little boy' as if I was abusing him or something. I was nearly in tears when I left. Why are some mothers so fucking judgemental? confused

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