35 answers

Guilt Only Having One Child??

Hi
I have a wonderful healthy 2.5 year old boy. He loves life, loves kids and people. He loves to go on outings and enjoy life!!
I am very happy with him. I have alot of guilt I am dealing with about not having anymore children. I feel financially and emotionally one child is all i can handle to raise.. I feel i will be a better mommy raising one child compared to multiples. I am an only child myself and my husband is leaving it up to me. I get tired of people making comments i should have at least one more when i am struggling now to provide. Any thoughts?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks for all your input! I am glad to know I am not the only one who has or is going through this rough time.. I think the guilt is something i just have to work through and accept its ok i have one healthy child I am blessed with. I feel as long as I get him involved in sports, church groups, playdates.. he will be fine... and i feel we can provide better for him! My hubby is in on this with me all the way.. so i have support there
i

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I have one child and I am COMPLETELY GUILT FREE!!!!!!!!! Nothing against parents of more than 1, but all my friends that do, are ALL pulling their hair out... NOT ME :) I put all my energy, time, devotion into my 5 year old.... If I get an itch, I borrow one of my son's friends :)

7 moms found this helpful

Why feel guilty about only having as many children as you are capable of raising well? I would feel guilty if I had more children than I couild properly care for.

2 moms found this helpful

It is a personal decision. I always wanted lots of kids of my own. I only have 1 son I gave birth to. I would love to have more children but my body isn't cooperating yet.

Having only 1 child in my opinion is risky business in my opinion. How would you go on knowing there will be no more? It takes more than money to raise children. I personally don't think having children or not should be based only on the money. Personally I find it easier taking care of more children over just the 1.

My personal situation is unique in that my sister had 5 children before I had my first and I was very active in the lives of my neices and nephews. Active meaning buying clothes, picking them up and dropping them off, diapers, food, activities, etc. They were really like my own kids. Then my sister moved out with the kids and my kid was left an only child which he really didn't like and neither did I. It was a rough couple of years. He was the oldest of the two when my step son came to live with us and now he is the middle child because my nephew who is a year older than my son lives with us.

Understand people can and will be rude, they just can't help it but ultimately it is a very personal decision.

2 moms found this helpful

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I have one child and I am COMPLETELY GUILT FREE!!!!!!!!! Nothing against parents of more than 1, but all my friends that do, are ALL pulling their hair out... NOT ME :) I put all my energy, time, devotion into my 5 year old.... If I get an itch, I borrow one of my son's friends :)

7 moms found this helpful

Remember when you were bottle feeding (or breast feeding) and people made you feel guilty because you weren't doing the other?

Remember when you were a SAHM (or working mom, or independently wealthy or work at home) and people made you feel guilty because you had a clingy child/let someone else raise him/ etc etc?

Remember when you were co-sleeping (or training with CIO) and people made you feel guilty because the way THEY handled sleeping was RIGHT and you suck as a mommy and they are way better than you? F 'em. That's what I say.

Remember when you had a boy and people asked if you were sad you didn't have a girl?

Remember when......

Pish Posh.

If you have another and struggle, someone is going to ask you or make comments about they bet you wish you only had one so you could give him more....

People will always judge. Do what's right for your family and tell everyone else to go jump in the lake.
Make the fact that you will NEVER EVER EVER please 100% of everybody work to your favor. It liberates you to be able to do WHATEVER you want and sleep at night.... because not everybody's happy anyway, so at least you and your family are happy.

That's just my $0.02.

PS - for what it's worth.... hubby shouldn't leave this "up to you". This is a decision you make TOGETHER so that when "they" question you, then the two of you lock-step and start the can-can in synchronized time as a team.

7 moms found this helpful

As a mom of an only (planned it that way), I have a few thoughts for you.

You stated yourself that you "feel financially and emotionally one child is all i can handle to raise.. I feel i will be a better mommy raising one child compared to multiples."

Why on earth are you letting other people, be it strangers, family members or others, make you doubt what you know and feel?

YOU are the one providing for, interacting with, parenting and supporting your offspring. Don't let anyone else convince you that what they "think" is "right" make you question your own feelings and decisions.

That's good advice for just about all topics, don't you think?

You'll know IF and WHEN it's time for another--or not.

Have a great day!

7 moms found this helpful

I'm not sure what you're feeling guilty about. The world is not underpopulated. And raising a child ain't cheap. What "good" would you do by spreading your resources more thinly? Yes, kids with siblings get more built-in play experiences, but it's just as responsible (and, honestly, much easier) to reach out to other parents, plan lots of playtime, etc., than to have another child. Relax and enjoy your little boy! You're not doing anything wrong, and you don't owe anybody an explanation.

5 moms found this helpful

People ALWAYS chime in.

Doesn't matter if you have 1 kid or 50.

It just changes what they say.

1 kid = When are you having another/ socialization/ loneliness/ "oweing" it to someone (your kid, yourself, grandparents, cousins, doesn't matter), etc.

2 kids = When are you going to try for ______? (a boy, a girl, whathaveyou)

3 kids or more = Whoa! _______insert lots of comments that are MYOB about your______ : sex life / finances / house size / college plans / ability to understand birth control.

Just remember 98% of the people in the world are stupid. And durn near 100% have no dog in this fight / it's none of their durn business.

5 moms found this helpful

Please do not second-guess your own good instincts! Stick to what you know is right for you and your family. And no matter what some folks try to say about how you just must have a sibling for your child, you and your child and husband ARE a complete family just as you are.

More than one kid is fine but like you, I know that for ME and my husband, one is what we can and are willing to handle.

For the next time you feel any doubt, consider these things:

You will always be able to volunteer as much as you like at your son's preschools, schools, activities, etc. You will not have the pull of having other kids for whom you also feel you must split your volunteering time. Volunteering will be a huge help to you in knowing your son's teachers, friends and academic setting.

You will not have to say this: "Sorry, I know you would like to [fill in the blank: Go to that festival, see that puppet show, visit that museum, go to that event] but we can't because it's not something the baby/toddler/your little sibling can sit through." Your son won't have to miss out on things because those things are "just too much to do with two of you." I've seen plenty of moms I know have to tell the oldest child for years that "we just can't do that" because younger kids basically set the agenda and schedule with naps and short attention spans.

You will be able to give your son full attention if he needs help with homework or needs to talk to you about anything.

You will have far less to worry about as your son approaches college age and you have to think about saving for college.

You will not have to deal with years of sibling fights. Some people insist that children "NEED a sibling so they have a childhood playmate! A lifelong friend!" but that is bunk. Sure, it happens, and it's great when it does. But there is zero guarantee that siblings will get along or will share any interests or will even stay in touch once they grow up. One should never, ever have a child just to provide a playmate for another child. Do not ever give a second's thought to folks who try to tell you that you "owe it to your son" to provide a sibling. You don't. Just read the posts on here about sibling rivalries and youngster's jealousies when the new baby comes. (And you already know that your son is outgoing and enjoys life so it's not like he sits at home moping, "I want a little brother to play with!")

I am not saying any of these things to bash the idea of more than one kid. I know plenty of families with two and three and more great kids and the parents love it. But these are things to tell yourself next time some bone-headed stranger (or a loved one who is just not thinking) tells you that you "need" to have another child.

5 moms found this helpful

I haven't read the other posts, but I just want to say that there are all kinds of people in this world. Those who fuss at others for adding to world overpopulation. Then there are those who will chide you for having only one. Those people will tell you that you will create a selfish kid because you don't provide him or her with siblings. They'll tell you how you should space your kids too.

The ones who cite overpopulation usually have no kids, or only one. The ones who tell you to have lots of kids usually have lots themselves. The truth is, it's NO ONE'S business how many kids you have. The irritating (and sometimes disturbing) thing I see, even here on this site, is someone telling others to have lots of kids when it's obvious that the person they are talking to can't afford it. And then they blister women for working outside the home, not being able to pay their bills, or asking for public assistance. Talking out of both sides of their mouths is just a bunch of hot air and "look at me", and judgment.

No one else will pick up the slack when you have trouble handling it all, whether it's emotional or financial. So don't let people like that rent space in your head. This subject shouldn't be up to an opinion "vote". You should make a clear decision based on your own circumstances and needs. And if you raise your only child right, you can avoid selfishness that people try to warn you about.

Good luck,
D.

4 moms found this helpful

I have one 3 year old boy and I am definitely not planning on having any more. I cannot emotionally handle another child. I think I would feel more guilty having another child because I would be a much more stressed, unpleasant mom. I have 2 younger brothers and although I love them dearly, my parents could not give us individualized attention, so they didnt give any of us individual attention ever, just group attention. Because of this, I never had a good relationship with my parents and even today I feel like they were more like my babysitters than actual parents. I want to do things different. My son get 100% of my attention and I take him with me everywhere. My husband my son and I do things together all the time like going hiking, (which is our favorite thing to do). I also plan on homeschooling, which I dont think i would be able to do if I had another child. Just enjoy your child and tell everyone else that is pressuring you in to another that every family is different. And you have to do what is best for your you and your family.

4 moms found this helpful

I would feel SOOOO guilty if I had another - for depriving DS (now 6) of all the time DH and I spend with him, for all the times we would have to say - later or no because another child needed us, for all the places he couldn't come because it is easy to take one child anywhere but way harder to take multiples. It has never occurred to me that people feel guilty for only having one.

3 moms found this helpful

I commend you on your decision!! Even though we have number 5 on the way, I don't see anything wrong with only having one child. Everything you said makes perfect sense, and I hope you can find a way to stop feeling guilty! If more people took financial security into consideration, this country wouldn't be struggling to the extent that it is to provide for all of the families on welfare. (not that I"m against welfare, I just feel that some people take advantage of the system) There are many many people in the world that are single children, and never miss out on anything life has to offer. However, there are just as many people that grew up with siblings that didn't get to experience as much of life as they wanted because more kids equals more money going out. So I say, "Good for you!!" I think you are making a wise decision, and please don't let anyone make you feel pressured to make a decision that doesn't feel right for your family.

2 moms found this helpful

Society, and sometimes our families/friends put pressure on us to have more than 1 child.

Please read this "Myths of Only Children" article and it's okay to choose to have 1 child only:
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,###-###-...

Practice some comebacks in front a mirror and then say them with a smile when others ask or comment. Your reproductive life is none of their business. :)

2 moms found this helpful

Hey L., Don't feel guilt over this. I am in the same situation with my almost 2 y.o. DD and don't think we will have more. When people ask about #2 I tell them jokingly that we are debating on which is more important, daycare or a mortgage....they usually get the point. I am the younger of 2 and my DH is an 'only' so we see both sides. I feel that sometimes I am doing a disservice to her by not giving her a sibling but I also know that I want to be able to do what my parents couldn't like pay for college or send me to a non-public school if I am not happy with our designated school, stuff like that.
I think you are making the best decision you can for you and your family and that is never anything to feel guilty about. Whatever your decision, good luck and be confident in that decision!

2 moms found this helpful

If you're happy with one child, that's all that counts. I too only had one. It was all I felt I could handle, both emotionally and financially. Don't have another baby because other people think you should. Do what you and your hubby think is best for your family and don't feel guilty. It's apparently the right decision for you.

2 moms found this helpful

Why feel guilty about only having as many children as you are capable of raising well? I would feel guilty if I had more children than I couild properly care for.

2 moms found this helpful

It is a personal decision. I always wanted lots of kids of my own. I only have 1 son I gave birth to. I would love to have more children but my body isn't cooperating yet.

Having only 1 child in my opinion is risky business in my opinion. How would you go on knowing there will be no more? It takes more than money to raise children. I personally don't think having children or not should be based only on the money. Personally I find it easier taking care of more children over just the 1.

My personal situation is unique in that my sister had 5 children before I had my first and I was very active in the lives of my neices and nephews. Active meaning buying clothes, picking them up and dropping them off, diapers, food, activities, etc. They were really like my own kids. Then my sister moved out with the kids and my kid was left an only child which he really didn't like and neither did I. It was a rough couple of years. He was the oldest of the two when my step son came to live with us and now he is the middle child because my nephew who is a year older than my son lives with us.

Understand people can and will be rude, they just can't help it but ultimately it is a very personal decision.

2 moms found this helpful

I wouldn't feel guilty about it.

Three is right for me.

2 is right for my neighbor.

7 is right (for now) for another neighbor.

Others have no kids.

Some have one kid.

People will always judge...it's human nature.

Why did I have my kids so young? Why did I breastfeed and not bottelfeed? Why did I not really let me kids CIO? Why do I give my kids everything I can? Why? Why? Why?

Don't let people get to you. It's not worth your time and energy.

If you are feeling guilty, put a pin in it and come back to it. Maybe in another year you'll feel different. Don't stress yourself either way. And I think your husband should not leave it up to you, but it be a decision you make together. My two cents.

2 moms found this helpful

You have nothing to feel guilty about, unless you think somehow every kid needs a sibling. Do you feel like you missed out on something growing up an only child? I don't understand why you would feel bad about not having more kids when you know you might not be as good of a mom to them as you are to the one you have now. I only have one child and I am perfectly happy being honest with myself and knowing I am a better mom to her than I would be to more. And it's nobody else's business to tell you that you should have one more, or how many kids you should have - they are not you and they are not living your life. It's really easy for people to tell others to have more kids when they are not the ones stuck raising them!

2 moms found this helpful

You need to do what's best for you and your family.

"people" will always have an opinion.

2 moms found this helpful

I had my dd when I was in my 40's, I was lucky I even got pregnant, so having another is impossible now....

Really, I don't think anyone judges, you may feel like they do, but I think they just ask "do you have other kids?" because most people do. Just say,
"no, just one!" End of discussion.

Don't have another kid just because you feel pressured. From my experience, one is plenty and I personally don't think I could handle another either!

2 moms found this helpful

I would pray about it and make peace with it . . . if you're solid with your decision the thoughts of other people should not matter.

I have two and wish I had had more, but that's just me.

IMHO true happiness comes from within (and for me from God who is within). Siblings or a lack thereof should not be a determinative factor in a person's life.

1 mom found this helpful

As long as you are fine with it - you have to let everyones comments go in one ear and out the other. Everyone likes to give their opinions - and you can't let them get to you. You are doing no injustice to your son at all by having no more.

1 mom found this helpful

It's tough. I have 3 girls and somehow everything works out with finances. that being said, only you know what you will be comfortable with. My husband is an only child and did not want to do that to our kids. It's good to have a sibling you can grow up with, and have a family with. You wont be around forever. I don't know your situation, but I am so glad I have 3!

1 mom found this helpful

Why would you feel guilty for realizing that one child is all you can emotionally and financially provide for?

I was told from a very young age that I could NEVER have children.
When I got my daughter, I was so thankful, I happily accepted she would be my only child.
I don't remember one person "commenting" about how I should have another child.

Why would you let comments get to you? Frankly, I have respect for you for not having more kids if you know you can't provide for them.
Kids are human beings. Bringing another person into this world isn't something to take lightly.

Who cares what other people say?

Just my opinion.

1 mom found this helpful

You sound like a very responsible parent who wants to provide the best for your son. I see so many people having baby after baby who cannot afford to properly take care of them. However, I was once told that if you wait on your finances to hit that magical number, you will never have kids. When I got married, I knew that I wanted 2 children. That way they could have one another as their parents got older. Sometimes you just have to have faith that everything will pan out. Only you and your husband know what is best for your family and if one child is what is best for your situation, then don't let other people's comments get you down. They are not the ones that have to pay to raise your child.

1 mom found this helpful

I'm 45 this weekend and an only child but have a cousin who is 36 and her half sister who is 18. They are my deceased uncles kids. We have a very small family. I wanted 4-6 kids but only have 2. I would say having one is ok, only if they have other family members around their age who they will be close to. I say this because when my mom is gone, there will only be me and hubs and our kids in my immediate family. (and my 2 cousins who live in CA) Who will my kids have when I'm gone? And I had them in my mid 30's so its likely I may not live until they are old. Know what I'm saying? So unless your child has other family close in age, I would think about having another. Otherwise I'm sure they will have close friends who can fill that gap....hopefully...Just my opinion. Good luck!!!

1 mom found this helpful

First of all, your family size is nobody else's business. When someone pressures you, if you tell them something along the lines of"You make it sound so easy, but we have not been blessed with another child yet, and there are no guarantees what the future holds.", then you have stated the obvious right back in their face, and they will be the ones to feel awkward. No one needs to know whether you are trying for another one or not, it is none of their business, plain and simple.

1 mom found this helpful

I have a three month old right now and my husband and I are already getting pressure from family (mainly his) about when we will have a second child and how we HAVE to have a second child because it is best for our son etc etc etc. I'm sure you have heard it all too.

My response to them is that I have a cousin who is an only child and several friends and they grew up to be just fine.

But having more than one child is up to you not them. It is your choice. If you are happy with your son then be happy. If you feel that you might struggle to provide for more kids than maybe one child is best.

He is also only 2.5 you can wait and see how you feel in a few more years.

Me personally, I feel like my husband and I can give my son a good life with how things are now. If we have another child-I'm sure we can provide a good life for another child but it will be harder for us to do so (financially).

I would thank those people for their comments but tell them that you are happy with your son and it is your decision, and if they continue to say something to you kindly tell them that it isn't their choice and walk away if you have to.

I had 2 miscarriages before I finally had my son. If one child is all I have I am happy with that. If I have more kids I have more kids I am leaving that up to God. But once child has already given me everything I need. So try not to feel pressured by other people. They mean well but only you know what it best for you.

1 mom found this helpful

I think I'd sweetly smile and shrug when someone says something and say "we went for quality versus quantity." Good for you for knowing your financial and emotional limits. My husband is one of 4 kids and all his siblings are messed up or annoying as heck. So they do him no good! Be happy and ignore everyone else. People just like to question things to make themselves feel better.

1 mom found this helpful

I commend you for being responsible enough to recognize that one child is all you can handle and all you can afford. There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with only having one, and I wish I knew why people think more is better. Everyone is different, everyone's lifestyle and income are different, so try your best to ignore those comments (not easy, I know). If you were unable to have another due to a physical condition, people would be much more understanding. At the end of the day, it isn't all those people with an opinion who have to raise your child and provide for him, it's you and your husband, so what other people think really doesn't matter. I wish you all the best on feeling better about your decision. Sounds like your little boy has a fabulously wise mama!

1 mom found this helpful

dont feel guilty its you and your husbands choice and noeone elses if u feel it wouldnt be right financially/ emotionally theres no reason to feel guilty about it believe me .. i understand where ur comign from.. my fiance and i are expecting our first this summer, the baby hasnt even come yet and weve heard from a few family memeber that we have to pop out at least another one in the near future so theyre close in age.. or that now we have to have another one to try for a boy this time.. and we havent even had our yet!!! dont let it get to u, enjoy the one u have.. if a couple years from now ur in a more financially stable place in your life then go for it but dont let the guilt drive u nuts

wow! i am in the VERY same place right now! in fact, i could have typed the same post word for word, except for not being an only child myself.

listen to your gut, and to your husband, and you will make the right decision for your family.

...but you need to get ur husband in on the process to. it's not quite fair for him to put it all on you. this needs to be a decision you make together.

my only other tidbit... i have talked a lot to my cousin who is an only child for suggestions. one thing she said that really stuck was that family vacations sucked until her folks let her start bringing a friend to play with. i imagine you are good for a few years, but it is something to keep in mind when your little one is older.

You sound more mature than most people in this situation. There are too many parents out there that should not be parents or depend on the welfare system yo pay for everything. You should not feel guilty. You never know how you will feel later. Enjoy the young man you have right now. My gather was an only child and it was difficult for him having 5 kids. He wanted them. He just never knew how to interact with them. Even as an adult, we do talk to him at all. He is very self centered. He does not even talk to his 7 grandchildren.

I am sooooooooo sorry you are feeling guilty about this!! Gets me so mad when outside sources voice their opinions on something that is none of their business!! Yes, this is a sore point with me!!

My husband and I have two children because that's all we wanted; end of story! When people would say things to me about more kids I would just say matter of factly: "that's all we want" and move on. We've been able to provide for them both emotionally and financially so far but sometimes it is a struggle only because my husband has gotten laid off three times in the past few years; who knew the economy would take such a dive when we had our babies!!

My sister had six kids and couldn't provide for them - economy or not - using public assistance, etc. because of her lazya** husband; and now her children are repeating the cycle! Gets me mad but that's another whole posting/story!! lol!!

This decision is up to you and your husband and no one else!!! You owe no one any explanations and don't let anyone get to you about your decisions.

Good luck!! Now go hug that little guy!!!!

Don't feel guilty. It sounds like your very responsible. Its no one elses business and if they don't stop, tell them thats ALL you want or can provide for. I don't know why people have to act like that. I have one child and thats plenty for me. I don't think I can handle more than one. When people sit there and make me feel bad, I let them know how it is. You might want to get him involved in some activities. no one knows anything about your situation until they've filled your shoes.

Please don't feel guilty. You make the decision as to the size of your family and how much you want to have and that you believe that you can handle. Every person is different. I chose to have 4 and may have had more if I started earlier than I did. But not everyone can handle that. You make that decision and to those who look at you like you are crazy - just keep smiling. It doesn't matter what they or anyone else thinks. It is yours and your husbands.

Have a GREAT today!!

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