One Kid Households(37 Posts)
I have one; he's only a baby... growing fast, but still a baby, for now. He is so busy, so explorative and so demanding of my time. I love it; I love exploring the world with him but I can't imagine having the energy to do this with more than one kid.
My home is quiet and peaceful. I need it this way and even with a busy little one, it's still a fairly calm place.
Is liking the quiet a reason to have only one kid? Does more than one child mean a noisy home or not necessarily? Am I selfish for not wanting to give my child a sibling because being a mum is hard?
I think it's my reason. I need time alone and head space or I feel like I would go mad. I love it too, my little one is also still a baby but growing into a toddler fast. I love seeing the world through his eyes and giving him the best I can give him, my time and energy and love, as much as I can alongside working too! But yes it's so hard. It occasionally still overwhelms me how much. I just can't envisage doubling that with another child. But I do feel guilty for putting my feelings first. Thanks for your post it is nice to know others feel the same. No one I know seems to feel it, they are just straight onto number two?!
Another one here in similar boat. You ask if your selfish not going visit by your child a sibling. We have one dd age 16m. I'm pretty sure I'm happy stopping at 1. We have no family around so no cousins for playmates and no family gatherings etc. It really is just the 3 of us. My DH says he feels we should be selfless and give DD a sibling despite the disruption/stress/newborn stage etc. I on the other hand am
Not so sure. He says if we had family around he'd happily stop at 1. I totally get his point. I know, before anybody says it, there's no guarantee siblings get on but I guess it's worth the risk if you feel it'd benefit your family.
So hard to know what's best.
We have 2DDs. There is noise. And mess. And the first year with 2 was just a fog. But I do find that my life now they are 4 and 6 is easier for having 2 children, because they do play a lot together. So it's not all on me to entertain them. Weirdly, I do feel I have more time for myself than my friends with one child. And I will take noise for that alone. Also, I have a sibling I am close to, and I wanted that for my kids. Like you say though there is no guarantee siblings will get on. Really, only you know what is best for you. I don't think it's selfish to stop at one.
I have 3, it is NEVER quiet. Even if they're playing 'quietly' that x3 isn't actually quiet!
There is toys everywhere within about 10 minutes.
If quiet and calm is important to you that sounds like a very valid reason to stick with one!
It's not selfish at all to have one. DC1 was 4 when DC2 was born and there's pros and con's to both, she loves her siblings but she also has a less attention and time from us than before.
It’s not selfish at all. You have to do whatever you feel is best for your family.
We’re stopping at one. My four year old old has just got to this lovely stage where he will take himself off and make a model, draw pictures, create a Lego mountain etc, whilst I cook or whatever. I feel like we’re not TOO far from the three of us being able to have quiet time, doing things individually. I might even read a book 😁
I don't think it is selfish at all. Your health and what you want are very important. Any reason you feel to only have one child is a valid reason. There is a lot of expectation to have more than one child (or indeed children at all) and imo in reality it is entirely your choice.
My partner and I are both only children and neither of us have had any problems with that growing up at all.
We also have only one child at the moment (5 months old) and I am trying to decide if we should have a second or not. I don't want to have a second child because "we should" or because "we should give our child a sibling" and I am aware that a second child would drastically affect the life of my little one and ourselves forever.
There are many bonuses to having only one child, more resources for them, more time as a couple and for yourselves, not adding to increasing global population, more resources for yourselves. etc. etc.
If you decide to have a second it should be a decision that is right for all of the family and that does include yourself!
I am also in the same boat, I know I am a better more sane mum to 1 than I would be to more. Dd is 7 and we have a wonderful calm life, she has friends round but we all like the peace and are really close. Some may think it's selfish but I have and do struggle with my mental health and this is the best choice for us.
Hi justanotheruser18, you have some really great responses here. Here's my offering. .. we're a one child family with a 4 year old. He's going thru a difficult rebellious stage and as he's our only he's used to getting his way. We're battling with him by taking away things every time he plays us up. Bed time is horrendous! I'd give anything to have him as a newborn again although in reality that was v hard for different reasons. For ages i beat myself up over whether we should have another and we tried a bit for about 3 years but now at 46 i really truly feel a second would finish me off! Selfish reasons maybe but it wouldn't be fair on the baby or child if you don't feel you can give them your best. Another issue is childcare..we have no family support so we'd struggle to afford care for 2 and there's a long wait to get the 15 funded hours p/w and even longer to get the 30..then there's the holidays! Just thought of another great reason to stop at 1. If you have a 2 bed and no chance of moving to a 3 bed at least your child will always be guaranteed their own bedroom! Our house is totally crammed with toys and there just isn't the room for another child's stuff. Our DS always says "no babies!" every time we talk about it so he knows what he wants ...basically to stay no.1!!
Good luck whatever happens xx
Amazing post. We are on the same page. Thank you @BooseysMom. 🌸
Love that your son says 'no babies'.
One Daughter in my household originally and she was happy and so was I with the situation. We both liked the peace and quiet and it suited me as it was very stress free. Financially it was easier, childcare was easy, everything so easy!
BUT now DD has had a baby and they both live at home with me. The baby is an excellent little soul, very very happy and easy going, just like my daughter was, but I’m still exhausted as I help out. It has definitely made me realise I was never/am not cut out for more than one child. I’m aware that my energy levels get sapped quite easily and that was my original reason years ago for not having anymore babies.
You aren’t being ‘selfish’. I think you’re being ‘self aware’ more than anything. You’re aware that your energy levels might not suffice to cater too 2 children and that you’re better off with the peace and calm of a one child household. Nothing selfish about that
@MellowMelly thank you so much for sharing your experience. Your daughter is very lucky to have such a supportive mother. It's such hard work, isn't it? I'm glad you feel pleased with your decision/reasons for stopping at one.
'I’m aware that my energy levels get sapped quite easily and that was my original reason years ago for not having anymore babies.'
I feel/know exactly this about myself. I'm glad you think I'm being self aware rather than selfish. I don't want to have another child just because other people think I should. I'm listening to the tiny little voice in my gut. It's usually right. And your granddaughter is easy going. My son is not. Perhaps if he had a different temperament I may be less reluctant to procreate again but perhaps this is Mother Nature's way of controlling population growth.
There is no shame in 'just' one child. I need to remember that.
I'm a mother of one by choice. Having another child would not make me 'more' of a mother, if you see what i mean?
I love my child with every fibre of my being but he is a Duracell bunny and always has been. Another child would finish me off.
He isn't spoilt, i can't stand spoilt children so don't want one of my own. He has cousins he sees twice a month or so, good school friends, neighbourhood friends separate from school, friends from rugby we have an open-door policy for his friends and always help out other parents (and vice versa). He also relishes the quiet time when the last visitor leaves and he is home alone with his stuff.
I have an older sibling who took umbrage at my birth and we have never got on (now mid-40s). DH is one of 6 and in the last 2-3 years his siblings' true colours have shown and he is beyond devastated.
We are a very solid unit of 3 + dog. DS' various classmates/friends have had baby siblings and DS has not once asked for one, even though he loves babies and is amazing gentle and patient with them. He is 6.5yo.
However, i feel absolutely no guilt and never have. Perhaps that's the key.
justanotheruser18..we're definitely on the same page! And yes there's no shame in having one child. .we're leading the way maybe! We've just moved to a new 2 bed house with a garden and it's taken years of renting rubbish properties to get here..DS has his own bedroom and i feel another child would put way too much stress on things. He's my baby and knows it! Yes it's more work as he expects more from us that siblings might give him, but we're lucky to have neighbours with similar aged kids and now they all play together between the houses. It's a lovely safe environment and we're lucky to have it.
Also as elQuintoConyo says, there's no guarantee siblings will get on. There can be no end of issues between them!
I'm a Mammy of just 1 DD, and I really wouldn't change it for the world. I love her to death and just couldn't imagine loving anyone else as much as I love her. I feel there's so much pressure on giving the people that are irrelevant a second child i.e friends and/or family that don't live with you and don't help you out with your first child, I can't understand why. If you don't want to have another then you don't have to. I'm also a first born from a big family (I have 3 other siblings) and I really didn't get along with any of them until I had my DD haha. The attention of my mam, was given out and I didn't like it at all!
People keep saying to me now - baring in mind my DD Is only just 1, 'when is your next one' and my reply is 'when you win the lottery'. I want my first child to be my only, and I'm not scared to admit that, I would like to be able to say I didn't have to share any of my attention or affection for my first to another sibling, I would also like to have a close bond with my daughter when she grows up, which I don't think you get when you've got more than 1 because your attention time and energy is shared out. If that makes me selfish then so be it, I'm happy being a selfish Mammy! Haha, if you decide that you would like another baby, have one. If you don't then, stuff anyone that says 'where's the second'. You don't need them people! X
@justanotheruser18 - I believe that you are the person who is best placed to decide the right number of children for your family - and that someone else’s ‘right’ answer isn’t necessarily going to be right for you.
I had three children - all boys - and there are advantages to a bigger family - but there are disadvantages too - as you said in your OP, the noise was an issue - the bickering and arguing, and the fact that, if two of them were gainfully and peacefully employed with some pastime needing no input from me, the third was bound to be pestering me for something. And the three of them could never agree on what food they liked and disliked, so it could be a logistical nightmare finding meals they would all eat without whingeing!
My closest friend had just one child - her ds was my ds2’s best friend - so I did get to see some of the pros and cons of having an only child too. Her house was quieter, and some of the logistics were easier, but her ds did rely on her for entertainment and company, when they were home together.
You will find the right answer for you, and if there are downsides, there are also ways around them.
I love DD, but I was also desperate to get back to work and adults when she was a baby. I'm not terribly cut out for all that "mother earth" stuff on a 24/7 basis (although we had the cloth nappies, I do an awful lot of cooking from scratch, she's a great baker having learned at my knee, etc etc). And I had a great opportunity to do a 2 year Masters starting when she was 9 months old.
As it happened, she was also a "hard" baby - which we didn't realise as she was our first and also first in extended family. Between silent reflux as a baby, and Aspergers/ADHD being diagnosed in senior infants (equivalent of P1 I think - 2nd year of primary school), it was (and still can be) full on.
With our jobs and our lives, I don't think we could have managed a 2nd, and I certainly wouldn't have wanted to give up work. And at this stage, we are happy chuntering along.
DD has started secondary school this year. Because we have enough money, she has done mostly any afterschool activity she wanted and tried out lots in the ECA programme at primary school. She was in various sports clubs and is doing most of those sports still through school (may go back to club hockey if life gets slightly less hectic), and is a very active Scout as well. She started sailing as a full-day summer camp activity (most around here finished at 2pm - not great for working parents!), and we found it was not only something she enjoyed, but she started to communicate so much better because of it (no "need" to talk when they arrived, but they had to talk to each other on the water about who was pulling what rope and going where and avoiding crashes - so by the time they got off the water, she was chatting to others).
We have been able to give time, attention, and money when needed, to various supports to help her achieve her potential and overcome some of her difficulties.
But we've also been able to continue to work hard, both of us, including having to travel internationally and get promoted further. And do some fun stuff, on occasion, for ourselves. And while it's occasionally more hassle than a family of 4, it has been a good number for holidays and adventures - hiking in mountains, a couple of city-break weekends, "big" holidays for "big" birthdays etc. And the ideal number for a row on a plane!
And she has some very good friends locally, and DCousins as well, so hasn't really missed out by not having siblings.
Hi OP, i can see where you're coming from, i feel the same. However, I'm also an only child and had a happy childhood and have a loving relationship with my parents and family as a whole. So it reassures me that if we stick with the decision to have 1 my daughter will be alright. My mum did toy with the idea of having another when i asked for a sibling when i was 6 but felt that our circumstances at the time meant she would have found it very hard. I'm very glad she made the decision not to have another child. She feels guilty not giving me a sibling but I was much more grateful for having a good family situation with happy parents in a harmonious relationship and that that wasn't compromised. So ultimately you need to do what feels right. If it's a stretch to have another and will upset your circumstances, relationship, mental health etc then it will have an adverse effect on your present child. Hope that helps!
We're stopping at one. She's 3 now and only once have I wavered. Realistically we couldn't afford another and I love our little family unit.
Plus DD is still up 3-4 times a night and I am knackered
I love a calm peaceful home, my son loves it to. Tonight as I put him to bed he said "I love this house" and it melted my heart. I get to spend as long as I want putting him to bed talking to him and cuddling him. I don't have to rush off and deal with a baby or another child, he gets all of me.
I love a tidy house, I like not worrying about money, i love having time to myself when my DH is with our son, i love the mum I am to one child. I know I wouldn't be as happy with two or more.
My son literally adores his life and asks for nothing, and doesn't want a sibling, we are a great triangle family (the best kind ￼)
This whole idea of providing a sibling for your child drives me mad. What if you have another and they hate each other or your second child has additional needs and the first one ends up in a carer type role? Neither of these are reasons to not have more kids but having one to provide your child a sibling seems so strange to me. I have one child for pretty much the reasons you describe I like a calm house and I don't think I have the energy to do it well more than once. There is nothing wrong with liking a quiet house. You should only have another child because you want one not to fill some perceived lack in you little ones life. You sound so happy with him having a happy mummy and friends at school shouldn't leave him lacking for anything.
@MrsTumbletap - that’s so lovely to read. What a lucky wee boy by the sounds of it.
Exactly like you say, i don’t think I would be as happy with 2 or more however my DH would really love a 2nd. He doesn’t put me under pressure at all but it does weigh heavy on my mind. Do you mind me asking if your DC’s dad was on board with 1 from the start?
Well we originally said we wanted 2 and DH always saw a second child in our future, but I was 95% sure after DS was born it wasn't going to happen. We had so many conversations about it, and in the end it did have to be 'I understand if you want a second child but you will have to stay at home and look after it because I didn't enjoy maternity leave". He was on board with that, but then it became even more unlikely to happen so I said 'if you want a second it won't be with me'.
He now is completely on board, but it took 5 years to get there. I think everyone thinks they can convince you or wear you down, but I knew I would be such a stressed, angry, knackered mum to two children. Where as I can hold it together quite well with one.
I am also quite lucky in that I have a couple of friends that completely agree and have one so it doesn't feel strange, and a few colleagues sticking with one. Triangle families are on the rise with women having careers and having babies later, it seems to suit a lot of women.
Thanks for taking the time to feedback, it really is so reassuring to read and much appreciated
My DS is 6mo and my only one, for similar reasons to yourself, as well as many others. I was led to believe that I could not conceive, as was DS's dad (cancer treatment 3 years ago) so I had come to terms with not being a mum, then I fell pregnant in late 30s and despite being over the moon, I was so unprepared in every way. If I were younger maybe I'd consider giving ds a sibling but I don't think I have the mental energy, never mind the physical aspect which I really struggle with.
Others have mentioned family and I think that is a good point, if you have a very close relationship with your family and they support you and and any kids you have then it'd be much easier to deal with multiple kids, I have no family, no close friends and the father and I are not together (although he does come to see DS daily and occasionally takes him out for a while).
I don't think I could afford a second either, unfortunately it's so expensive and I just wasn't prepared.
At the end of the day, having a second should feel right, and if it doesn't then it's probably a bad idea, I hope your husband understands that. Maybe if you remind him of all the things that would have to completely change if you had another baby. If you enjoy what you have, why change?
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