My feed

to access all these features


To wonder how your life would have been different if you had only had one child

172 replies

Sowetoutside · 19/09/2022 16:37

Obviously some people have chosen this and please do tell me why.

I always wanted two children but really struggling with TTC. I’m slowly coming round to the fact I may only have the one.

Im trying to think of the positives so hit me!

OP posts:
Ginger1982 · 19/09/2022 16:43

I only have one due to infertility so it wasn't really a choice, although I'm an only child myself. The positives for me is that I can work full time, I have enough money to let DS do whatever hobbies etc he wants, don't worry about the cost of holidays/days out/presents etc and he will have a financial cushion in later life. I also have more time to spend with him. I'm sure people with more than one child would say they have/can do all those things too but it's all relative.

pinksquash13 · 19/09/2022 16:44


Mumoftwoinprimary · 19/09/2022 16:44

I suspect that if I had only had the one then I would have much less need to say:-

“Would you two stop bickering!”

RufustheFloralmissingreindeer · 19/09/2022 16:45

we’d have more money

ds1 would have gone to private school

I thought id only have one, for quite a while I thought I wouldn’t have any!


Unicornsbumhole · 19/09/2022 16:47

Again, our reasoning is purely financial
DD has just started school and not having to spend a second mortgage in childcare is life changing.
If we did it again then we would have to cut back and make further sacrifices that we just aren't prepared to do.
And despite the fact DD was a pretty easy baby I struggled with the lack of sleep, there is no way I could risk a second one incase they weren't as easy

Idontknowwhatto · 19/09/2022 16:48

Much quieter, less fighting, less mess, more sleep.

Stompythedinosaur · 19/09/2022 16:49

I would only spend half as much time arguing with children about the need to do their bloody homework.

Squirrelonwheels · 19/09/2022 16:52

I have one & our life feels calm and more varied than it would with more children - both me and DH have hobbies that we can more easily fit in without feeling guilty or like we’re neglecting our child (age 7). We can also invest time and resources specific to one particular stage of childhood. It works for us, but negatives for me are - lack of sibling guilt being ever present and having to the the entertainment, especially in school holidays!

Incrediblebuttrue · 19/09/2022 16:52

We had secondary infertility which led to fertility treatment and twins. I am extremely grateful it worked but financially it's been a big stretch and I do sometimes think of what ds1 could have had as an only child (mostly private education, travel, more opportunities such as not coming out of uni with huge debts).

Ukholidaysaregreat · 19/09/2022 16:53

When I die one child could have my house and live in it or use it buy another house. As it is each child will get a quarter of my cheap house, if I don't spend it all on a care home. I hope it is enough for them to get a house with. The way prices are going I worry where they will live.

DeePlume · 19/09/2022 16:53

I'd probably still be married

AliTheMinx · 19/09/2022 16:56

I am an only child and so is my son. I loved being an only child when growing up and my son is very happy. He is not spoilt, but has our full attention and one or other of us can always attend anything special at school, etc - if not both. Financially, we are able to send him to a private school, which we definitely couldn't do if we had 2 children. He is very loved and has a really good group of friends. I don't feel as though he has been disadvantaged in any way by not having siblings. The only time that was hard was lockdown, when he couldn't go to school or see friends, but obviously that was something no-one expected. Financially, he will be well provided for (as an only grandchild as well on my side!). My dad was also an only child!

Squirrelonwheels · 19/09/2022 16:58

@AliTheMinx Totally agree re. lockdown - it was so tough for them not being able to interact with even one other child. Let’s hope never again.

shrunkenhead · 19/09/2022 16:59

I only have one, by choice. It means the house is quieter - I honestly can't hear myself think in multi-child households sometimes! We have more money, time and attention for our child. It means we can afford extra curricular activities, overseas school trips etc and will be able to afford university, driving lessons, first car etc. This would not be possible divided by two or more. She's not spoilt and appreciates why we can afford things for her that some parents can't. We're certainly not rich and we're not extravagant.

LaTangerina · 19/09/2022 17:00

Definitely more money, could do more for an only one, spend more one on one time with them without having to deal with jealousy. No bickering siblings would be a plus too! Spent so many years refereeing 🙈

ChilliBandit · 19/09/2022 17:01

We have and only planned for one.

The initial reason wasn’t financial. I knew a few only children and I loved the relationship they had with their parents. I think because I am 1 of 4 and we rarely got individual attention and had to share everything, I rarely just got anything that was mine. I love I can give my child all my attention, they have their own space and things. Then came financial reasons. Childcare is so expensive, days/meals out, holidays etc are much more manageable paying for 3. I can buy them nice things and hopefully can afford for them to have a private education/help with further education or training if that’s what they want.

Turns out I also have limited patience for the sheer boredom having a young child entails. I love them more than I thought possible, but I have zero desire to do the newborn stage again, weaning, the hours having to colour in or play with pretend food. I do feel some guilt that they don’t have a playmate but they do go to nursery and play groups and we have friends with similar aged children.

Belladonnamama · 19/09/2022 17:03

More money
Clean house
Different car
More free time
Less stress
Less worry

klipwa · 19/09/2022 17:03

We have one. We're older, and pregnancy was difficult / high risk. We didn't want to risk my health for another child.

Mummadeze · 19/09/2022 17:07

They will always be the favourite. That is a good feeling! Cheaper, less stress and arguments. My DD and I are so close. We do loads of things together on our own as a pair and it has meant we have a really special relationship.

xams · 19/09/2022 17:08

I have 2 and my second born has special needs.
I always used to think how much life would be easier if we stuck at one, but we love him none the less! Financially would have been a lot better too and our first would have had our full attention, especially when our second was in and out of hospital, appointments etc.. the guilt I felt for the first few years crippled me ☹️ but they adore each other now and we're happy but it definitely stopped us having a third!

washingbasketqueen · 19/09/2022 17:10

I have one and benefits are:

  • more money

-more time
  • quiet calm house
  • no sibling rivalry

-lovely holidays
  • dc can do a variety of hobbies
  • can work less as need less money
  • easy to find babysitters
  • very close relationship with my dd. We spend a lot of lovely time together
SpongeBob2022 · 19/09/2022 17:10

We have one DS (8), it's not by choice and personally I do think it's nicer to have a sibling (although wouldn't have had more than one more).

I was worried that without a sibling he would need constant entertaining but this hasn't really been the case so far. I see my nephews and nieces regularly and they aren't happier than my son and I don't envy their parents as it seems like harder work. We definitely have an easier life than them. I also can't stand the bickering and whining, although appreciate not all children are like that.

He plays football in a team and it's easier not to have to juggle more than just him at weekends. Obviously it's also easier financially.

He seems happy and well adjusted. Can't really ask for more. Families are all different shapes and sizes these days.

NCHammer2022 · 19/09/2022 17:11

My DD is 5 so practically all of my friends with children the same age have babies or toddlers. Watching them, I love that I have so much more time with her, can talk to her and be with her much more, without having to always be off dealing with a younger sibling. She can be my priority.

There was a bit of an infertility element involved in our decision but ultimately I just don’t feel there is anyone missing from our family. I don’t need another. She is wonderful and she is enough.

SpinningFloppa · 19/09/2022 17:11

Much easier! (I have 4)

CatatonicLadybug · 19/09/2022 17:13

Didn’t plan on one originally but just have one as my body said heck no. I went through a phase of mourning the idea but came out of it and am very happy to have an only now.

We can afford to live in the city in a small house that fits the three of us but could not afford a bigger house in this neighbourhood that we love.

My entire budget for lessons and activities and later university or whatever is just to one child, not split through several. This has really come into play recently as it turns out he has quite a decent talent in something and so now takes a lot of hours of training! I couldn’t afford that much for two and would have to be saying no to things and it’s quite nice to say yes.

My time isn’t split either - I can be the class rep or the mum who goes to lessons or whatever when I would have to budget that time if I had more.

I only have to do the laundry of a three person household, huzzah!

It is really easy for us to travel as we fit in any vehicle, hotel room, etc.

I can take the time to listen to him a lot. He is one who processes through talking and whoa do I listen to a lot. But it is not often that I have to say no, I don’t have time to listen to this now. I feel like this is a good thing and hope it will lead to him continuing to talk to me as he gets older and the issues become more important and complex.

DH came from a bigger family and really bought into the myth that onlies are always socially awkward. Child is the least socially awkward of the three of us so that is absolute rubbish. :)

There are definitely wonderful things about having just one, just as there are wonderful things with any number of children. You can come to peace with it.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.