60 answers

What Are the Advantages of Choosing to Have One Child?

I have a 1 year old boy who is great! I have so much fun with him, but I really don't think I want a second child. We both work full time and I enjoy having time for myself on a rare occasion. I am afraid if I have a second, I will never ever have free time. However, I worry that my son will be missing out on something great if he doesn't have a buddy to play with.

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What can I do next?

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My husband and I decided to only have one and we are completely satisfied with that. He was an only child and loved it. Not only did he get his parent's full attention, but his friends to this day are his "brothers."

1 mom found this helpful

Kids have FRIENDS, it's cheaper for going out to eat, vacations, college... Think about the quality of life you can give the child. Can you afford to stay home with 2? Why send 2 kids to day care?

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I'm a single mom of an only child, and for me it's perfect. I grew up with 2 little brothers, but never really had a 'buddy' to play with. And yet my son has many 'buddies', and makes friends wherever he goes (despite being autistic).

An only child can be sheltered and lonely, but they can also be very confident and outgoing.

Just as a child with siblings can have built in playmates, but also grow up isolated and lonely.

It depends on the parents and the child. So it really is up to you.

More Answers

I am an only child, and am raising an only child now. My son is five years old, and has never lacked for a "buddy to play with." He is involved in activities (sports, school, etc.) and makes friends wherever he goes. He is a very social little boy who speaks well above his age and communicates well with both adults and children.
He does ask for a brother or sister sometimes, but I don't think he truly comprehends what that means. He doesn't understand the long term needs and attention requirements if another child is added to the picture.
As a kid, I never felt left out, neglected, different, isolated, or any of those other things people seem to think only children feel. I'm sure other people will disagree if they had their own experiences as an only child. But, I've never understood people who feel that it is a parent's responsibility to provide a sibling for a child.
I even had a mother ask me one day, "How could you do that to your child?" My response has always been, "Do what? Devote my free time to bonding with my son? Being able to provide him with everything he needs and most of the things he wants? Not having to split my time between the needs and desires of two or more children?" I don't believe these things are harmful to a child.
If you socialize your only child properly and make sure he understands that the world does not revolve around him, he will be able and willing to find buddies in his activities, and can live a happy fulfilled life.
Siblings are not a bad thing. I know a few people who love their siblings and have great relationships with them. Unfortunately, in my family, both my parents hate their siblings with a passion and there is no love lost between any of them. This is my personal experience, of course, but it certainly did not make me feel that having a sibling was an automatic improvement to a family.
Pick a life path you are comfortable with and your son will thrive. You should not feel obligated to provide another child to amuse your son.

2 moms found this helpful

Hi L.,
I understand how you feel completely. I am the mother of a 5 year old boy (who was born 3 months before I turned 40). We had planned on having 2 kids but since I have to work full time (I have no choice), I soon realized that there was no way I had the time or energy for 2 kids. My son is the love of my life and I can't imagine taking what little time I have away from him for another baby. My husband really wants 2 but he understood my point and agreed to just one. I felt the same way about never having free time, etc. My friends with 2 or more kids spend all their time running around between different schools and activities - it's pretty crazy. They can't go anywhere without a major production. They envy the fact that I can take my one kid anywhere at a moment's notice. The 3 of us can sit together on an airplane. I don't need a minivan. And I can take one of his friends with us if we want to go to an amusement park.

That being said, my son has lots of friends and cousins his age. He says he doesn't want a brother or sister. We play with him a lot but he plays really well on his own and likes his free private time to play himself. He makes friends with new kids really easily and enjoys his time in camp and school. He does really well in school because we have the time to teach him things, travel with him, take him places. My friends with 2 or more kids are frazzled and hardly ever go anywhere.

We're at a point now where my husband and I can have some more free time because our son will play himself or he has sleepovers with grandparents.

Yes, I do feel guilty sometimes but then I speak to my friends who are only children and they turned out fine. It is better for my son to be an only child with a happy mother than to have a sibling and have a stressed out mother.

Ultimately the decision is yours to make. Don't let anyone make you feel guilty if you choose to have only one child. I have random people bugging me all the time to have another baby.... it's very annoying.

Good luck.

2 moms found this helpful

Do what is right for you-not the others or you may regret having a second and then no one will benefit. If you choose to have 1 make sure he is in all kinds of activities that involve other friends- sports and things like that and allow him to have friends over all the time. If he asks for a sibling remind him then he would have to babysit and when he gets tired of them they cannot just "go home". Really the only drawback I see as an only is if something happened to you and his father, then he has no one who really understands and will be there for him in that sense-but by then hopefully he is married with kids of his own and has his own family to concentrate on. I had 2 kids almost 5 yrs apart(I wanted 3 but miscarried the third). The spacing was perfect, I felt I did have "only time" with both of them and they NEVER fought! They are now 21 and 16 and are super close to each other and I am still having "only time" with the 16 yr old. They both feel in a sense that it was only them but then they also have each other. If you choose to have a second I highly suggest that- oh, and you can change your mind at any time. My friend did not think she wanted anymore and now her daughter is 3 and she wants another. Enjoy your baby now and don't worry about the other, you will know if and when it is right for your family.

1 mom found this helpful

With all due respect, you're approaching this intellectually, when you should be looking at this more emotionally. Assuming you can afford a second child, the only question is whether you (the parents) want one.

As the mother of 3 I can tell you that a second child is more than just double the work and time, it's exponential! You should applaud yourself for knowing that you require personal time, not feel guilty for it.

To have a child so that your existing chid will have a buddy is nuts. Who know's if they'll get along. It's not fair to the potential new baby.Your child will make plenty of friends at school, camp etc.

Ultimately you need to follow your heart, and don't really listen to other people's pro's and con's. The only point of view that matters is yours and your husbands.

1 mom found this helpful

It seems to me that bringing a child into the world is not something you should do for your existing child. It's something you and your spouse should do because it's something you want for your family to be complete. If you feel "done" then you probably should go with that feeling.

1 mom found this helpful

Kids have FRIENDS, it's cheaper for going out to eat, vacations, college... Think about the quality of life you can give the child. Can you afford to stay home with 2? Why send 2 kids to day care?

1 mom found this helpful

Slightly different angle -- I had three babies, plus a wonderful step-son. But when I had my third baby I knew I was finished. It was like something clicked over and said, "Done." I think that sense is built into each of us. Whether it kicks in after one child or nine -- when you're done, you're done. Listen to it, be grateful for it and revel in the gift of knowing you have exactly the family that is right for you. If the time is right for you to have more children later, you'll feel it. Until then, enjoy distraction-free time with your one-year-old.

I was the late baby, raised as an only child because my siblings were off to college. Growing up as an 'only child' certainly didn't ruin my life! I got to bond with my mom in ways my adult siblings envied ... because there was time. It's a huge juggling act to make proper time for each of my kids -- and it's never as much as they deserve. I never live up to the example my mom set for me. There just isn't time. I wish I could hire a cook and a housekeeper and a driver... so I could spend all that time having conversations and tickle fights instead. But I can't. It's the only downside, really.

A good play group, kindergarten, play dates, cub scouts, soccer, football, school plays and band practice -- there are plenty of ways to get buddies. But time with mom all to yourself; there's no substitute. Go with your instincts. Always.


1 mom found this helpful

I have a four year old daughter and since I had her I haven't wanted anymore. My daughter is very imaginative and creative and can play by herself just fine, and we have neighbors she plays with and there are other activities like sports or music etc that the child can get into...it is not fair to give this future unborn child a job...to entertain your first.

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