One and Done: For Parents of an Only Child

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If you have an only child, how do you respond to questions about when/why you should have more kids? Follow this honest advice from a mom who's been there.

By Nancy Arnold

If I had a nickel—no, let’s count for inflation—a dollar for every time someone asked me when I was having another child, I’d actually be able to afford having another child.

Depending on how I answer this question, I am met with a variety of reactions. People’s responses used to result in me feeling bad about our decision to have an “only child.”

However, since I’ve been fielding this question for nearly six years I’ve learned a few things and have come to understand why people feel compelled to ask you this and what they are really asking.

If you have an only child, how do you respond to questions about when/why you should have more kids? Follow this honest advice from a mom who's been there.

Let’s start at the beginning…

I never thought I’d have only one child. I always figured I’d have about three. My husband is the youngest of four and I am the youngest of two. A big family was something I’d always craved. When we got married we waited a few years to start our family. Once we looked at each other and decided it was time, I was pregnant.

My pregnancy was difficult and nothing close to the glamour they sell on the cover of Vanity Fair. Admittedly, I did love the idea that a little person was growing inside of me. Feeling the movement, hearing the heartbeat, getting kicked in the cervix and punched in the liver; I tried to take the highs along with the lows and just embrace it all.

Our beautiful baby boy decided that he wanted to come out early. Six weeks early. My water broke one afternoon while checking my email and I was put on bed rest for one week at the hospital. I had to lay flat for five days. I completely shut down to the outside world. My only concern was keeping my baby in my body for as long as possible. I didn’t want to see anyone. I was a mess and at the same time very calm and focused on my baby. The C-section was scheduled and we were going to have a premature baby.

An early arrival

The procedure itself was fine. The aftermath was not. They whisked my baby from the OR to the NICU through what looked like a drive through window and then I didn’t get to see him for four hours. A mother and a newborn should not be separated for four hours after birth. It’s cruel to both. Needless to say I was not a happy camper and was thankful when an empathetic nurse broke the rules and brought my baby to me. It helped but it wasn’t the same as getting to hold him right after being born.

Our son had to stay in the NICU for 11 days. I was discharged after 4 days. We had to carry an empty car seat out of the hospital. It was not the romanticized experience that I was expecting when we decided to have a baby. It was traumatic. For the next week while our baby was still in the NICU, I spent 12 hours or more there every day. I occasionally would go home to sleep because my husband made me leave to get a break. My only goal was to get my baby to meet the criteria he needed to go home.

Dark days

When he did come home, it was great for a little while. Then I got a wonderful case of postpartum depression. I could barely leave my house for nearly two months. You couldn’t even ask me how I was doing without me bursting into tears. I had so much anxiety and trauma from his birth, I was terrified something would go wrong and he’d have to go back to the hospital.

Postpartum depression is a terrible thing to manage. It’s like having an out-of-body experience. You can see that you are acting irrationally but you have no control over it. This lasted for nearly a year. A year.

Then more fun came. My husband lost his job. This was in the time when the real estate bubble burst and he was working in the real estate industry. I was only working part time so I wasn’t in position to support us.

We went into survival mode and eventually sold our house because we were quickly depleting our rainy day fund. We moved into a tiny rental home and my husband continued to look for work. The unemployment rate was at an all-time high during this time period. Things were pretty rough. It took its toll on our marriage.

It’s hard to lose so much in such a short amount of time. We had this amazing child and it was difficult to enjoy our growing family. Everything felt like stress. We were both just maxed out.

Dealing with unsolicited advice

As our son turned 2, things were getting a little better. That’s when people really started asking us if we were having another baby. I wanted to say yes but the thought of starting all over with another baby was way more than either of could even fathom right now. So we’d try and give a light hearted answer, “Oh maybe soon” or, “We’ll let you know when it’s time.” Our little guy was growing into one great kid and people would always bombard us with some version of the following:

“Why aren’t you having another one?”

“You guys make such cute kids!”

“He needs a sibling.”

“You’ll regret it if you don’t have another one.”

“You aren’t getting any younger.”

“Oh you can handle another one, it’s easier with two.”

“It’s like having two dogs; they’ll play with each other.”

“Only children are weird.”

“It’s not that expensive to have another baby.”

“You don’t want them to be too far apart so you’d better have one soon.”

And so on. Truthfully, most of these things my husband and I had already said to each other when we discussed it. It wasn’t that were hearing anything groundbreaking, I just couldn’t believe the nerve people had. It’s precisely why I didn’t want to share the name of our son until he was born. I didn’t want unsolicited opinions then and I certainly didn’t appreciate them now.

Enough, already!

At first, I used to entertain people’s inquiries and let them know that we would like to have another but we are still working on recovering financially, we don’t have great insurance, etc. Then I’d go cry by myself because I did want another child I just didn’t think our life could handle it. The sad turned to mad after a while. I was annoyed with the audacity people had. How dare you ask me when I’m having another child – that’s none of your business, do you know how traumatic having this kid was? I’d start responding with, “Well you’ll be the first to know if we do” or, “When I look like I’ve put on 10 pounds, you’ll know.”

By the time we entered preschool (he was 4) we had pretty much decided another kiddo wasn’t in the cards for us. When a fellow preschool mom said to me, “Won’t you be so lonely at the holidays when he is grown? Don’t you want a full table of kids and grandkids?” I was so unnerved by what she said. It got me second guessing our decision. Would we be lonely? Should we have another baby in spite of the fact it would but so much stress on family and we couldn’t afford it, should we do it because that’s just what you are supposed to do?

It’s not you, it’s them

The mom that said this to me has five children. The last two were twins and they were a surprise pregnancy. Her husband scheduled his vasectomy when he found out she was pregnant. She has since confessed she has nightmares about being pregnant again. I realized her statement to me about having more kids wasn’t about me at all. She was justifying the fact that her family would forever be gigantic (and a tiny bit overwhelming).

This is when things changed for me. I started learning that when people would ask me about having more kids and they found my answer unsatisfactory; they’d start projecting their values on me. If they had a huge family, they’d insist having more kids is the best decision. If they had kids that were close together they’d say well maybe I missed my window because having kids too far apart is not ideal. I started really listening to what they were saying instead of just reacting to it. I started to get smart.

I began to detach myself from people’s response. It started to anger me less and it didn’t make me sad anymore. Once I would answer the more kids question with a simple, straightforward answer like, “It’s just one and done for us,” I started to get more responses like:

“One is nice. I think we went crazy with the kids.”

 “One is great.”

“Your son is lucky because he will always have so much support from you guys.”

“It’s so much easier to manage just one.”

“You guys are smart to be so honest that you only want one instead of having more out of guilt.”

“We should have only had one, too.”

I’m not kidding; these are actual responses I got from people. They would even say these things in front of their multiple children!

What’s the moral of this story?

Guilt is a useless emotion. It doesn’t do anything but make you feel like you aren’t living up to someone else’s standards. If motherhood has taught me anything it’s that you have to be confident in your decisions and trust that they are right for you. Every decision has consequences good and bad.

Having one child works for our family. My husband and I learned that we are the best versions of ourselves when we have less on our plate. We figured out that we will be better parents to one child than we could be to more than one. We know that raising an only child has its disadvantages too. We work to educate ourselves on those obstacles and address them as they come.

There are no guarantees in life. You can’t guarantee that your kids will get along, that your table will be full at the holidays, that you’ll have the right number of children, or that you won’t regret your choice in the future. Disappointment is part of life. So is making tough choices. Having children is a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Everyone has different things to take into account. It’s not always a simple decision.

The other morale of this story is to consider if you really need to ask someone if they are having a second child. If you do ask, be sensitive to the answer. There are many reasons people only have one child and they may not want to share those reasons with you. So don’t make them feel bad with responses like, “Oh you’ll regret it” or “You make such cute kids” or even with a “Why not?” People are never as simple as you would like to pretend they are. You will never know the hard road someone may have endured to have just the one. And it shouldn’t matter either way to you because you already have your two-plus kids so you’re all good.

To my fellow parents of only children: If you do get asked when you are having another kid, just keep it simple and say, “It’s one and done for us.” High five your co-parent and then tune the inquisitor out. Trust me, it feels great.

Nancy Arnold is a Seattle Washington area blogger and marketing consultant for luxecards.com. She lives with one husband, one son and one cat. She enjoys reading, blogging about motherhood and work balance as well as marketing for small businesses.

 

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73 Comments

  1. This is a great post! Thank you for sharing your story and perspective.

    • Thanks Sara! It was rather cathartic to write and share it.

    • Mom of an only child too – have no intention of having another. I didn’t think it would be so completely annoying, the joy in life reduces and this fallacy of adding meaning to your life is ridiculous. Motherhood is about selflessness, sacrifice, annoyance, work, pain and the odd glimmer of fun amongst all the madness. I know life is not about always being content or happy, but in this day and age we are spoilt by ownership of our destiny thanks to feminism, education and contraception. It’s hard to revert to the life of our mothers and grandmothers, who had few options, no choice and overall a hard life. I don’t want that.

      • Love this. It has given me more to think about as i come to terms with our decision to enjoy our fighter and not try for any more. Thank you for your insight!

        • Daughter! Not fighter lol

  2. We have an only also. I enjoyed reading your post because it spoke to my feelings about physically having another child.

    • I’m glad you could relate. It’s nice when you can share a common experience with someone.

  3. My husband I can relate to your post in many ways. Thank you for sharing your story!

    • I’m glad you enjoyed it Kristi!

  4. Thank you so much for this post. My husband and I struggle with whether or not we should have another. I also had a terrible pregnancy and am not sure I can do it again. Also, we are really happy with it just being the three of us (and the dog). On the other hand, I do feel guilt about the thought of her being an only child. Our daughter isn’t even 2 yet, so we haven’t decided, but hearing reading your post makes me feel like we aren’t the only people in the world who would be happy with one child.

    • Hi Becky,
      Just remember it’s up to you and your husband to do what’s right for your family. Whether you have one or five children, it should be a choice you freely make without having to worry about what others think. Best of luck.
      Nancy

  5. Thank you, helpful point of view. We have a 2 year old daughter who fills our hearts and our lives (and all those around her) and we really do not feel an urge to add a sibling. Its not off the table , but I think we would be happy with just one and done. I am good with letting go of other people’s opinions about other child related topics, but for some reason when people guilt me about this… it gets to me…. Letting go… letting go… letting go. Thanks for the post.

    • Hi Katie,
      Don’t feel guilty about your guilt! 🙂 It’s normal. You have the freedom to feel whatever you need to feel. Just be confident that it’s ok to do what works for your family. Sooner or later you’ll find it easier to detach from the opinions of others.
      Nancy

  6. Thank you so, so much. We did 11 IUIs before conceiving our son, and then went through an almost equal number of fertility treatments trying to have a second. Now I’m at an age where people have started asking. However, earlier, after I started answering the questions with “We tried to have a second child but couldn’t,” people started to shut the hell up. I’m very happy to be “one and done”…but wondering what to tell my son when he asks for a brother or sister.

    • Hi Cynthia,
      When my son asks about a sibling, we are simply honest with him. We tell him he is enough for us and that we love our family just the way it is. We tell him that it is wonderful to have a brother or sister and we are sorry if he feels sad he doesn’t have one. We point out all the wonderful people he has in his life (family and friends) and tell him he’s so loved. Cousins and dear friends may not be the same as siblings yet they still are an important part of his support system. I have found that kids are far more interested in the plain truth than sugarcoated fluff explanations. Hope that helps.
      Nancy

  7. I agree with all that you said. I have 2 beautiful daughters and I constantly get the “When are you going to try for a boy” AGH!!! But I will add one thing, and this is the only thing I say to people, if they ask what I thought about having more than one. I come from a family of 5 and my father died very young, 59 years old. The only thing that got me through my father’s death were my brothers and sisters. They knew what I was going through, because they were going through it too. It was their strength and emotional support that I leaned on. And, honestly that is the main reason we decided to have a second. It is hard, very hard to go from one to two, but I am glad I did it. I do, however, understand wanting only 1. Especially with tough pregnancies, both of mine were awful. Nicu, Pre-eclampsia, c-sections, pre-term labor. The thought of going through it again almost depresses me.

    • Hi Jenny,
      I would never advocate that having one child is the right choice for everyone. I simply want to help empower the parents who have decided it is the right choice for them to not feel guilty about it. Siblings are wonderful there’s not doubt about that, especially in times of a family crisis.
      Nancy

      • Nancy
        Thanks for your response. I hope you didn’t feel that I was coming down on you. That isn’t what I intended. I just wanted to share why I went for the second one. That’s all. I appreciated your POV and agreed with all you said. Thanks again for putting yourself and your thoughts out there for us all to share with you. That takes bravery.
        Jenny

        • Hi Jenny,

          I didn’t feel you were coming down on me at all! I just thought I’d clarify that I am advocating for parents of “Only’s” to feel good about their choice – not declaring it’s the best choice for everyone. Here’s to being proud of what you choose not matter what others think or say!

          Nancy

  8. Well, I completely understand that people get bothered with others when they question your decisions! I thank you for explaining why you are “one and done”. You did had a traumatic experience, and it’s hard to imagine something like this when you haven’t gone through it yourself. I just think it’s natural for people to wonder why some people choose to have just one kid. Granted, curiosity doesn’t justify asking it. But, if somebody does feel guilty, I truly believe it’s not much because someone made you feel that way with their questions and remarks, but because you are not entirely sure about your decisions as well. Maybe you stopped felling guilty when you’ve made up your mind. And although sometimes people will want to impose you the same thing they have to make themselves feel better about it, sometimes there are sincere advice on it. Of course, sometimes what works for one person doesn’t apply to others, that’s why giving advice is tricky. I had my second baby after my first born was 2.5 and I really regret not having them closer, so I can see myself offering advice for people to have babies closer out of pure sincerity. So, while your perspective about the matter truly makes sense for your situation, it might not be the best advice for everyone still deciding on it either. Bottom line, not everyone who asks is a bad person, just trying to justify themselves, or trying to make others feeling guilty. Some people are sincere about it, and others are simply and plain nosy.

  9. After reading some of the comments, I would also add that one need not have a “justifiable reason” for having one child. One child may be enough for a family, and no further explanation should be necessary.

  10. My husband and I were that young couple that said we were NEVER having kids. I mean, we started dating at 16, so I think that was a healthy decision for the first decade! Approaching our 30s, with education and professional milestones out of the way, we decided we were ready. I knew I’d be bombarded with the “I told you so”s and “Yep, I knew you’d change your mind”s, but I didn’t realize I’d also set myself up for defeat when this question came along. My son is a little over a year and we have no plans to have another. Unfortunately my “one and done” response is usually met with “Well you changed your mind once already”. Arrrgh.

  11. THANK YOU!

    Our only is turning five this fall and I’m starting to realize that people who question our decision are just insecure about theirs.

    (I still feel that the constant comments – even the well meaning ones – are obnoxious and hurtful. We’re not judging them, so I’m not sure why it’s okay to judge us.)

  12. Thank you so much for this! I had complications after my daughter and therefore will only have one child and it is incredibly hurtful when asked if we are having more I don’t need to share my story with every stranger who asks. We love our small family, thanks again for your input on the subject.

    • I started replying to people (mostly my husband’s family) with the truth: “Actually, we tried really hard to have a second child and we weren’t able to.” The first time I said this, the person was so stunned she didn’t respond. I haven’t really had to answer that question since. 😉

      Emily, thank you for your post!

  13. What I loved about your article is that the moment you changed your feelings about your answers to others (or the fact that you were being asked in the first place), you started getting lovely positive comments back. I have experienced this also. The same goes for how you respond to your lovely one child, if you are confident and happy when giving the reasons for having just them, they will feel at ease with it also. I hope you don’t mind, I have included the link to something I wrote regarding my feelings about having one, I do this only so that we Mums and Dads of one realise there is a lot of support and families just like us out there. Thanks for your article, it made my Sunday. http://www.mamamia.com.au/parenting/only-child-families-we-are-not-selfish/

  14. Great read. My wife and I just decided one was good for is. It took us a few years and 5 failed fertility assisted attempts before we got pregnant on our own. We are both 34 and do not want to go through that stressful situation again. There were also financial considerations. We feel that we will be able to devote more time to one kid than we would with multiples. Also, I believe parents need to have some personal time every now and then and that is even tough with one kid. FYI: Just had my vasectomy a few days ago and felt like it was one of the smartest decisions I’ve made. By doing so, I feel as though I’ve pledged to provide the very best for my son.

  15. I’ve just had my first and last baby. A little girl called Alice.

    She’s 5 months and I had just pushed her out and already people have been interrogating me about when number 2 is coming along.

    If infuriates me and I get really upset when they have a negative reaction to the fact that we are happy with one. I’ve even been called selfish.

    I know in my heart Alice is absolutely enough for my husband and I.

    I wish people would back off though.

  16. Advice is based on experience. And one thing I learned is that people will give me their “advice” whether I like it or not because of their personal life experiences. Sometimes it’s great, you don’t have to repeat unnecessary mistakes because someone else has already gone through it. For that, I appreciate it.

    As far as our decision to be one and done, thank you for writing this. You articulated your point of view so well. People have a tendency to look for justification in their choices via the choices of others. It’s a natural reaction. But when we choose to respond not out of trying to prove a point but out of respect for their choices and explaining these our “my” choices, the defense guard comes down and people open up and become honest. And that’s exactly what you have experienced.

    Thanks again for a great article!

  17. […] August 18, 2013 blogger Nancy Arnold wrote about being “One and done” and how these questions are more about the interrogator than those expected to […]

  18. My husband and I have recently decided that we are one and done. Our miracle was an IVF baby and whilst we have 3 embryos in storage, financially, we can’t afford to even consider trying again. I have battled many demons attempting to rid myself of the guilt of only having one child. Our daughter, Aubrey, is now 3.5. She’s in full time daycare because we both have to work. Having another baby is just not viable. Oh, people say, you just make it work. But actually, to make it work we would have to change our lives so radically by selling our farm, getting rid of all of our pets / farm stock, that Aubrey’s life would be altered for, I believe, the worst. She loves our life, our animals, our pets (they are her siblings). I am not prepared to do that. That’s the guilt. Not prepared to sacrifice what we have now and can give to our one child for the what could be’s for another. I am ok with one and done. She’ll have the best of what we can give, when we can give it. There will always be a part of my heart that is sad I couldn’t give more. But sometimes, money can’t buy everything.

    • I can completely relate to your situation! Ours is very similar —

  19. Thanks for this article!! We tried to conceive for 8 1/2 years and finally were blessed with a precious, healthy, baby boy. I had always envisioned having more kids, but after our struggle with infertility, we are pretty sure we are going to be content with our one, healthy baby. It is difficult though to watch others around us having two and getting the question from them. The other issue is our age–since it took so long to conceive-I’m scared of the risks.

  20. Thank you so Much for this great read !!
    This statement right here really helped me ! : Guilt is a useless emotion. It doesn’t do anything but make you feel like you aren’t living up to someone else’s standards.
    I am having my tubes tied and EVERYONE I’ve told gives me shit about it so I’ve just stopped telling them; like i plan to have it done and not tell anyone and when it comes up again ill just be like if it happens, it happens.. knowing good and well its not going to happen and its all bcs i have 1 child and bcs I’m 26. Now granted i didn’t go through anything near as bad as you did but I know what i can afford and what me and my husband can handle.
    So thank you very much ! <3 We are a proud One and DONE !!

  21. Thank you so much for this post!! I too dreamed that I would have several children when I married. My pregnancy with my son was textbook perfect and so was his delivery. But once he was here, my life left complete. Both my husband and I felt complete and no feel or drive to have more. My son turned 2 last week and I still feel that way (if not even more). It drives me nuts that people think they can ask me “why don’t you want more?” and my favorite…”really?!?” (said with an odd dog head turning look, and I kid you not someone told me one time “oh, don’t do that to him!, why would you do that to him!”. What exactly am I doing to him??? As I always say, people never cease to amaze me! Thank you again for posting this. It is so nice to know that people out there actually do understand where you are coming from. I love my only child family…because I know this is the family God has blessed me with and I wouldn’t have it any other way. 🙂

  22. Hi Nancy. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. My child will be 4 in a month and I’m in the middle of my second miscarriage at 41.5 years of age. At first we only wanted one child and then we decided another would be great but once the reality of another became more real with a pregnancy I would completely panic and wish I hadn’t chosen to go for a second. As both have ended in miscarriage I feel mostly lucky (I feel strange saying that bit it’s true) but there is part of me that is sad and still wonders if I shouldn’t give up so easily. To me, more than anything, thos speaks

  23. Woops! Pressed the comment button by accident! More than anything this speaks to me of the immense pressure to have more than one and the complexity associated with the decision – it is hard stuff! What I really liked about your article is the fact that you changed your mind about what you wanted and accepted it (that inspires me :). I also found what you said about people’s honest comments about wondering if one and done might have been ok for them very interesting. When I had one people would advise for two and once I was pregnant people would pretty much exclusively tell me how difficult having two is – made it sound awful. I completely agree that most people want to impose their own values on others. Considering how unique every family situation is I find it bizarre that anyone would think they should tell another how many children to have – it is crazy. Your article helped me realise the complexity of the situation and the imperfection of any decision so thank you so much for that. I think we will be one and done but Im not 100% there yet but thank you for giving me a bit more peace about it.

    • This story is so similar to our situation, Ruby.

      When we decided to try, figuring it would take many months, I was shocked to conceive in the first cycle. Then the hormones kicked in. After wanting to be pregnant for so long, I was unprepared for the emotional rollercoaster of the 1st trimester, which included depression and panic. It went away after week 10, thankfully. But we had challenges after birth (colic, feeding issues, weight gain, PP-hypertension), left me traumatized, and then with PPD.

      It took years to want a second, and I was honest in saying “I don’t know” if asked. Then life relaxed enough to consider and desire #2. I got pregnant at 40 within a few months, but I miscarried early. It has been a year of TTC with help (progesterone for 3 months, which gave me the same pregnancy rollercoaster and depression, but worse, because there was no baby), so far with no luck. It is in this year that the insistent comments about #2 have become painful.

      I am close to that window closing, and not sure how to feel. I’d given myself 2 more cycles of fertility treatments before taking a break…and that break is either The End, or a sanity break before trying a last few cycles. I turn 42 in the spring, our child turns 5 next summer.

      If the hormones and drugs weren’t such an issue for me, I’d say sure! Let’s IVF until it takes! But that isn’t the case. At some point, caring for my existing family needs to take priority over growing it. I’m not sure exactly when that is, but I feel it is soon. I have started to feel a sense of relief that my “break” date is coming soon, which tells me something.

  24. I seriously cried ugly tears upon reading this. My son was unplanned and I was a really young bride who just got newly married. While my pregnancy was pretty easy my birth was terrible and it didn’t even stop there. I failed at breastfeeding and my son wasn’t gaining weight. Then that turned into regular weight checks which was super hard on me. I felt like failure. And then when we were getting him to gain weight, he started suffering from eczema only to find out he has a Peanut allergy. Just when we were getting into a routine. I left my in laws because I couldn’t stand living with them no more only to raise my son alone because my husband refused to live with my parents. It was just a horrible roller coaster of one right after another. My husband gets hospitalized, a lay off, a febrile seizure…and I just about snapped and I’m done just done having kids.

  25. Thank you for helping me to cope with my decision to stop at one. Well, I would say my mind is 90% made up. I am the mother of a absolutely perfect and joyful 5 year old girl. I can’t imagine life without her and I absolutely love being a mother. However, I suffered from hyperemesis for the first 4 months of my pregnancy and spent time in the hospital at one point. It was like having a severe stomach flu the entire time. After her birth, my husband I struggled with finances, depression, and sleep deprivation that kept me from trying for the obligatory sibling until my daughter turned 4. I was ambivalent about having another, but figured it would subside once I got pregnant which I happened easily and brought some relief (I had met the required societal expectation of what a family should be!!) until I miscarried at 8 weeks. To overcome the trauma I waited the recommended cycle and tried again. Again, I was easily pregnant and felt relief and terror at the same time until I miscarried again at 11 weeks. This one was much more painful and I landed in the hospital after passing out on my bathroom floor. That was a year ago. There isn’t a day that I don’t think about those experiences or the weight of my decisions. However, more and more, I am finding that the life we have as a small family of 3 is so beautiful, happy and I hate to admit it, manageable. I have a very happy life. I think its that shadow of guilt that makes me crazy. Maybe it really is useless. I sure hope so.

  26. So glad parents of one child are speaking out. I hate the term “oh you only have one” as if my child is any less because she is one child. I just smile and try to ignore the comment especially when it’s from someone who only has two kids themselves like the face they allowed one extra egg to be fertalised makes them more of an parent lol

    I have one child. I chose to have one child. I have never felt like I should have more. I am blessed with a beautiful daughter who is now fourteen. Just because people reproduce once or twice or even more than me doesn’t make them anymore of a parent or any better at it. Their comments are pathetic. I was discussing the fact that I had bought my daughters school uniform early and the other parent who only had one more child than me felt it necessary to say “well I have two”. So what the second child needs a uniform two what has your comment got to do with buying uniforms lol yet she still had to make the point that having one extra child is so terribly more than one lmao what an idiot. So I smiled and imagined punching her lol a good imagination always helps when dealing with ignorance ☺

  27. Thank you so much for sharing your experience! I have been struggling with our decision to have just one child. I had a wonderful pregnancy and enjoyed every minute. His birth was better that I could have imagined. Our decision to not have any more children has been a tough one. With everyone else’s opinions weighing on our minds. The biggest one being my mother’s. I see her points, but have to remind myself that this is my life and decision to make, Our decision has several factors, including financial and emotional health of our marriage. Our little guy is our biggest blessing, but he’s also a lot of work, Many people have commented on how “active” he is and I couldn’t imagine having another child with so much energy and will. I know that we are making the right decision, and hope that one day I can stop wondering “what if?”.

  28. I am assuming most of you that have replied and have only one child are still “young” and working. I am 66, retired, and regret having only one child. My reasons were as valid as all of them that I have read for having only one. Have at least one more before it is too late. Hindsight is no fun.

    • Why do you regret it?

  29. From this day forward I will just simply tell folks ” It’s just one and done for us.” We are proud one and done parents by choice and we are so tired of offering our reasons! Thank you for this excellent read and advice!

  30. My son is currently 9 months old. Even though birth went smoothly and relatively quickly, this was an unexpected pregnancy. I was still living with my parents and working a part time retail job. My whole pregnancy was a damn roller coaster with getting a new job at 6 months and moving out at 7 1/2 months. We’re doing okay but not as good as we could be doing. Because of kg drastic lifestyle changes I had to make in a short period of time and general unpreparedness (asking with sensory overload issues), I have been greatly struggling with anxiety and depression, although I have a long history with depression thanks to a traumatic childhood and not many friends. Some days I have been seriously depressed and even plagued with very dark thoughts of suicide (have gone so far as to consider my method). I was seeing a counselor but am not able to afford more sessions at this point, even though I know I need help.

    Because of my struggling to accept the fact I’ll rarely have much alone time anymore and generally not easing my way into my new life, I don’t know if another child is in the cards for me. My boyfriend would like at least one more kids, although he also knows he can’t make me go through the craziness of pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period. Because parenthood was not really a big deal for me as far as goals go and my terrifying struggle with postpartum depression, I would be okay with just one child.

    Thank you for your words. It’s great knowing that others have had the same thoughts as I’ve had. I in fact had an encounter with someone at my job in a different department who had the nerve to ask me about future kids and said the same garbage other people did to you. Needless to say I did say I don’t owe my son a sibling nor would he necessarily lose or because let’s face it, him and any potential siblings could argue who gets my jewelry, house, etc.

    • Thanks for sharing your experience here. Glad to hear this post was helpful to you 🙂

  31. This couldn’t have come at a better time! I have been struggling with this for over 2 years now. I was 5 days shy of 49 when I gave birth to our daughter. Today, I’m 52 and TIRED!!! We attempted 3 IVF transfers for a second child, but were unsuccessful. We had the opportunity to adopt a newborn about 6 months ago, but declined. I’ve felt guilty about not giving my 3 year old daughter a sibling, but know this is the best decision for our family. Your “we are the best versions of ourselves with less on our plate” struck a cord! I hope to one day be GUILT FREE, but will do my best to fill my daughter’s life with fun, group activities, sports, and playdates. I’m learning that my guilt is MY problem, not hers!!! Thank You for this!!!

  32. I had severe post partum depression and complications with my first . It last for almost two years . Well my disgusted turned two this week and I find out I am 8 weeks along despite being on the pill . I cry daily and devastated !!! My husband wants the Prefnancy and I do not . I get so irritated with people that say having one hold is cruel . Truth is society has an odd way of labeling or looking at things . Currently pregnant and severely depressed .

    • Meant to type daughter not disgusted

  33. I don’t know if you’re still following this post but this really hit home for me. I had a horrendous pregnancy. Anxiety, panic attacks, depression. It was an awful 9 months. But once I had my daughter that all went away. I’ve had four beautiful years with her and she is truly rhe love of our lives. I’ve contiplated having just one more baby but I’m terrified to go through that pregnancy again. Even though I have amazing help now it still scares me to my inner core. I’ve had seriously anxiety for 6 months now trying to make the right decision. I do hate that all of my friends have more than one, only because it makes me feel so weird and not up to society’s standards. But the thought of going through it all again makes me an anxious mess. I guess time will tell, but I wanted to comment and say thank you for writing this 🙂

  34. So me and my partner have been trying for a baby for the last 6 years now and we have had no luck. I don’t have a regular cycle so it is hard for me to tell when I’m ovulating or not, but we always have sex at least 2 times a week, sometimes more. I know it can take up to a year to conceive but everyone i know who have had a baby have conceived within 2-3months of trying and it is really getting to me. my partner had a fertility test about a year ago and his sperm were fine. I’m thinking it could be a problem with me but I’ve never had any symptoms of any problems. My partner does smoke and have the occasional drink, and i used to smoke and also have the occasional drink. i know i’m slightly overweight but that shouldn’t affect our chances too much,one faithful day my friend told me to contact a spiritual coven that help her sister, then i sent them an email which was giving to me ,fountainwatercoven@yahoo.com . after three months the doctor confirm that i am pregnant thank you fountain waters for helping me get a baby, I am thankful for all you have done. if you need their help you can still contact them also on whatsapp if you are trying to get a baby +2349054913842. he has powers to do it, he has done mine.

  35. Awesome, thanks for this article! We have a 3 year old girl and are totally done. I never wanted more to begin with, and also during my pregnancy I was CRAZY – not normal pregnant-crazy, but I mean severe depression with psychotic symptoms. And had limited options for medications because of the baby. So in order to prevent losing my job, my husband, or becoming a serial killer….it’s one and DONE. 🙂

  36. Glad I saw this article. I didn’t try for a baby til I was 42 and got pregnant straight away but miscarried at almost 12 weeks. We were devastated but were very lucky to have our gorgeous boy after a perfect pregnancy just a year later when I was 43. When he was 10 months old,I had another miscarriage and yet another when he was 2.5. By this stage I was in my mid 40s and we decided enough was enough and that we should enjoy the fantastic boy we have rather than enduring more heartbreak with each loss. As others have remarked,I just cannot comprehend the ignorance and barefaced cheek of people who interrogate you about having “just the one”(aargh!!). I’ve heard it all,including the comments “sure you’ve only the one,I’ve got 3 to sort”blah, blah, like this is so much better and you don’t know what real parenthood is. Then the endless comments about him needing company,getting bored etc,it’s just so wearing. There are any number of reasons why people have one child and as in our case,it’s often because of circumstances beyond our control. Even before I became a mom,I would never have asked someone about such a personal issue. I regret at times that I didn’t try for children earlier when i possibly may have had more,but then again,maybe I wouldn’t have. Our family is what it is and we’re all happy and healthy which is all that matters. To hell with the nosey and ignorant people.

  37. This article is spot on. I had a healthy pregnancy and great delivery (drug free) but had so many mental episodes of anxiety and severe postpartum depression that I just can’t do it again. It wouldn’t be fair to my husband or son. So we decided the baby factory is closed, and we’ll focus on our son and give him everything which feels right. Plus siblings aren’t always a good thing…my brother is disabled and that took over my parent’s lives to where there was little left for me as the younger sibling. It’s not always a rosy picture to grow up with a sibling and I’m not close with my family at all after moving out. People are just quick to judge from the outside and don’t know the true story.

  38. Thank you for finally giving me something to say back to every single person around me. I had such a horrible pregnancy and birth and the thought of even getting pregnant makes me have a panic attack but I don’t feel like telling every one the gory details! I’m sick to death of people telling me I have to have another. I’m going to try it your way I hope it works or I’m going to start getting pretty angry.

  39. This article is amazing, we have a 6 year old daughter. Reading this has made me feel much better. Being one of five, my parents didn’t always have enough time for all of us. I feel with one I will always be able to provide the attention that she needs. The guilt of having one has slowly been becoming less and less for me. As I realize she will have stronger relationships with cousin’s, friends, and me and my husband.

  40. Thank you – just so grateful to find this today! Very tired of the unsolicited opinions and judgmental reactions from neighbors, people at work, friends in church, and everywhere in between! Really needed the encouragement and reassurance I found here!

  41. Thank you. I’ve always wanted many more children. I’m an only child. Due to medical issues, which I wish I would have known about before – I was only able to have one child. My daughter attends a Catholic school and still at the age of 9 is asked this question about siblings ALL THE TIME! She finally told one of her friends that her mom doesn’t even have the parts to make a baby. People suggest I adopt, I’m so tired of hearing this option that I’ve told others that they want to pay for it – they’re welcome. I have a lot of guilt. However; very much enjoying having only one child – just wish people would stop asking, telling, telling me that it would be best for my daughter. Thanks

  42. Thank you. I’ve always wanted many more children. I’m an only child. Due to medical issues, which I wish I would have known about before – I was only able to have one child. My daughter attends a Catholic school and still at the age of 9 is asked this question about siblings ALL THE TIME! She finally told one of her friends that her mom doesn’t even have the parts to make a baby. People suggest I adopt, I’m so tired of hearing this option that I’ve told others that they want to pay for it – they’re welcome. I have a lot of guilt. However; very much enjoying having only one child – just wish people would stop asking, telling, telling me that it would be best for my daughter. Thanks

  43. This is great ! I can relate to some of the moms here and I want to say , then how come we as one and done don’t judge ppl that don’t want to have kids ? I know hearing from ppl is annoying and makes you wonder what if , but look back to your little family and see how happy you are and how is making sense to you . I don’t care if you want to have 10 kids, one kid or no kid really is what you know best for your self and your family . Ppl should stop judging because even though we can relate no one has the exact same life. Everything we do in life is for a reason ” good reason” . So ppl with two or more kids , please be understanding that we are not you. Good for you and good for me. I’m not judging you for having two kids am I ? No . Because it’s your life and I don’t care ! My life my rules. You go mamas!

  44. Wow- you described my experience in such detail, it felt as if you were reading my mind. Thank you. I am also a mom of an only who lives in Seattle. Go us!!

  45. Great perspective! I go through phases with this. There are many reasons why we only have our one. Some are health related, some are lifestyle and the list goes on. For years my husband and I would say we never wanted kids -but secretly sometimes would say “Maybe one someday” thinking we would adopt if we ever got to the point where life did not feel complete without a child. Life never felt incomplete and that someday always felt so far away. We had decided that we defiantly were not having any of our own. My daughter was a surprise pregnancy after 13 years of marriage. I was terrified at the time due to health reasons. Pregnancy was an emotional roller coaster. I quit working at 15 weeks due to health reasons and ended up temporarily moving to Europe for my husband’s job 20 weeks. (that turned out to best decision we ever made for both my and our daughter’s health but was crazy stressful in the begining) I have gotten the point where I tell people I love my life with one child. Sometimes with people I know better I am more honest and will say I she is my perfect maybe one someday. Close friends and family know more of my reasons. Sure there are days where I wish I could give her a sibling, especially when I see siblings that are best friends, and just last week when my daughter told me she wished she had a brother or sister. My husband was an only child. He loved it as a kid – but sometimes as an adult wishes he had a sibling as a child. I have a younger brother. We fought like crazy as kids and are not close as adults. We love each other, and do occasional family functions together (due to distance those are rare) -but we have never been close.

  46. I’m a little late to this party, but I wanted to throw in my 2 cents because there are probably parents worried that perhaps their only children will be somehow “damaged” by being an only child. Not only did I raise an only child (by choice), but I became a single parent when she was 7. Her dad lived out of state, so I raised her by myself (she visited her dad once very summer). Despite my oftentimes intense, internal guilt, she had a very happy childhood. We did go through the usual bumps along the road (teen years can be a bit much), but she is now a happy, healthy adult who’s long since finished college and is invested in her own rewarding career. I guess the only “downside” is that she’s not too keen on having children of her own, so I may not be a grandma, but I’m okay with that. I did not have a child to fulfill every need of my own…that’s my job.

  47. congratulations on youre first child, hopefully!!! i love it when i read these areticles because it makes me feel like i read a person who thought it.! it gives me gresat pleasure to announce it 🙂🙂🙂😎😝

    • silly abigail

  48. I am a mom of one by choice too. My response is always “One is fun”! Thank you for the post!

  49. Hi and thank you so much for candidly sharing your story . My son just turned 1, I’m 37 years old and am constantly being asked when baby #2 is coming . Like you , my husband lost his job a year ago. Along with that , I got vertigo when I was 34 weeks pregnant . Over a year now, I’m slowly healing from the after effects and raising a child while dealing with this. Also , due to the illness, I developed severe post partum depression . I’m enjoying my son so much , but the stress of working full time as a teacher , healing from a pregnancy illness and working toward healing my post partum is so overwhelming. Unsolicited comments and questions from family members , colleagues and well- meaning people end up being hurtful. When I respond politely that I’m still recovering from my first pregnancy , I receive compliments such as ,” You can do it! Have another baby. You look great !” The truth is, I do “look good”, because I had lost my baby weight so quickly due to my medical conditions . I joke and respond ,” I’d trade 100 pounds to feel good!” Anyway , thank you for this post. I feel
    less alone , and am focusing on the baby boy that I have – not the one that I don’t ! If only society could understand that “their desires” aren’t always the desires of others !

  50. I understand where you are coming from on one child. Though your pregnancy wasn’t the typical course you should consider yourself lucky. I was on hospital bed rest for a month, delivered twins at 26 weeks, and was in the NICU for 101 days. I was unable to hold my babies for 7 days, and they couldn’t be together for 50 days. There are people I met who were on hospital bed rest longer than me, and in the NICU longer than me. I get postpartum depression, but at least you were able to take your baby home in no time. Count your blessings and look at the positives not the negatives of it because a lot of people have it much worse, and your 3 weeks, including your bed rest stay, is laughable to the people who’s children are actually fighting for their life one day at a time.

  51. Great read. Go to https://www.pathwaytoparenting.com/
    for more parenting tips.

  52. I myself have dealt with infertility and my tremendous appreciation to Doctor Muna. I went straight to marvelspelltemple@g mail. com after three failed IUIs. I got pregnant on my first Enthusiastic infertility Spell done by Doctor Muna.

    It was over 16 years ago and I can tell not being able to conceive on my time table is still one of the most painful things of my life. I now have three beautiful children and Doctor Muna Infertility Spell have changed a lot over the last 22 years.However, I would expect anyone to make their pregnancy announcement about Doctor Muna Infertility Spell with my post, Even my best friends announced their pregnancies to me after fascinating Doctor Muna infertility spell. I can still remember each and everyone of them over the years we were trying to conceived. God has us all on a different journey and while I agree we need to love and be sensitive to one another, I totally disagree that we should ever make someones else’s joy about our pain. I have to chalk all this self focus up to a generational thing. This is my only explanation. I am a follower of Christ and i got to give what belongs to Cesar unto him to helped me conceived. We should weep with one another. If these are good friends of yours they should know about Doctor Muna Enthusiastic Infertility Spell period!! Their Pain should never be about your Joy!

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