Only Child or Not? Torn!

Updated on May 03, 2013
S.L. asks from San Carlos, CA
37 answers

Hey ladies,

I have a 3-year old son, and I love him to bits but he can be quite a handful. Before having kids I thought I would have 2, but now I really don't think I want a second.

I'm torn over a few things --

- Am I robbing DS of a sibling bond? My sister and I are close, we bicker, but we're still really close. I can't imagine not having a sibling or such a strong affinity with someone else. But then again, I hear plenty of stories of siblings that aren't close at all.

- I seriously don't think my marraige can handle another kid. DH and I have been bickering more since our DS was born, mainly cuase we're stressed, tired, and/or haven't spent enough time together

- I finally feel like I have a routine, I'm more relaxed and I have time to myself and with DH now that my son is 3. I'm not keen on starting over again with a newborn.

- With our one kid, we can give him so much more in terms of resources - financially and with our time. With 2 kids, we can make it work but I don't think it'll be easy.

- I kinda want a girl. I know, there's no guarantee I'll get a girl, but if I do have one, I feel that we (DH and I) will have someone who will remain close to us as I'm super close to my parents. Everyone tells me that boys grow up and become their wives and won't visit or care for their own families. I've seen adult men do that! I'm so scared he won't visit us or be close to us when he grows up. It makes me sad even thinking about it. This is actually my biggest fear. That my son will grow up and grow apart from us.

-Will I regret not having a second? Or will I have a second and regret it? I'm not one of those moms that are delusional -- I know life was a heck of a lot easier before DS. But I love DS to bits and wouldn't trade him for the world. However, a second may (or may not) send me over the edge.

I find myself seeking out adult who are only children and asking them what they think about being an only kid. I know it's crazy, but I just dont' know what to do.

I'm turning 35 in Jul and I've given myself 1 more year to make a decision then move on. Problem is I can't seem to come close to a decision and I'm not sure I"ll be moving on.

Thoughts? Advice? Help!

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So What Happened?

Thank you all for your insights and thoughtful responses.

To answer some of your questions:
- I work as a Marketing Manager at a start-up in Silicon Valley and my hours are often more than 40 a week. But I enjoy it... most days.
- My husband is super supportive and we share the load in all aspects, including child-rearing. He's on the fence about having a 2nd, he thinks it'll be fun to have 2 kids but realizes the amount the work, resources and patience it takes. I think he's waiting on me to make the final decision.
After reading your responses:

- You're absolutely right, I need to work on my marriage... and I need to work on "me" and feeling good about myself.

- I completely agree with most comments: that I need to be okay with having either gender, that siblings aren't always close, and that I shouldn't rely on my son taking care of us in our old age. In fact, 2 kids or not, my husband and are saving up for our retirement, creating a will, and putting money away to be taken care of by nurses or whatever. I just really hope I earn the respect from my son, that he'll want to take care of us.

- It helps to hear stories of boy's being so close to their own families. My own husband Skypes with his parents, who are in New Zealand, every week. And I know that I will help take care of his parents in their old age (even though I'm not a huge fan of my in-laws)

- Yes, I know my son will grow up to have his own life, but I sure hope he calls and visits us regularly. It's just that everyone around me wants a girl because "A daughter is a daughter for life..."
- I still really am unsure about #2. I feel that pressure as my friends (most of whom work full time) are having their second babies and I'm getting a lot of questions from family/friends as to when we're having a 2nd.

One of the best responses is to try and focus on the present. Right now, I don't have the deep longing for a child as I did when we tried for a first. I do know that I don't want to have a child when I'm in my late 30's. So either the urge to have another comes in the next year or we move on from this decision and enjoy our only son.

I'm really loved reading everyone's responses. Feel free to post more!

Featured Answers



answers from Pittsburgh on

If you are looking for permission to be OK with having an only child - then you have it!

My husband is an only child. He's very close to his parents, talks with them almost daily. And he talks about how great it was that his parents could come to every game of his, etc, because there was no juggling of kid schedules. He had a very happy childhood as an only.

Disclaimer - I have 2 kids, and love it and can't imagine my life without both of them (two boys by the way). But the first year of having two - with a toddler and an infant - was the hardest year of my life.

4 moms found this helpful

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answers from Dallas on

I have to disagree with anyone saying, "you will never regret having a child" That is so, so incredibly false. I have known many people who do regret adding more children. Not to say they don't love and enjoy the child, but they realize they made a bad choice...and should have considered more heavily what they were doing. You can ask "what if" until you are blue in the face. I have siblings and don't have relationships with them. My parents really tried to foster relationships, but we were never close. We simply only share DNA. To be very honest, I know very adults who are close with siblings. Truly, I know a lot people...and almost none are close. Now, that doesn't mean yours would be. I just don't think it's a good idea to have a child, just in case they would.

Stop with the what ifs. Start asking the important stuff. Do you BOTH: want, DESIRE, another? Do you feel joy in the thought of bringing another? Do you feel peace, thinking about having another? You should. If you don't, there is your answer.

With all that said, I think it is very unwise to bring a child into a struggling marriage. FIX the marriage first, think about baby second.

**I know many men who are close with their parents. I don't really get that line of thinking.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I have one, a wonderful singleton. I can't imagine having a second child in our family.

Pros: no bickering, only 3 years of compromised sleep, enough income to help pay for college when he's old enough (he's 6) and he gets enough of me: hugs, homework help, someone to play games with, go for walks with.

Cons: he is the only kid. So sometimes he asks for a brother or a sister, however, if pressed, he'll tell you that he wants a sibling his age or older who will do what *he* wants to do. That's when I pick up the phone and make some playdates happen.

I am a fairly introverted person and need some 'me' time to feel grounded and centered. (Not the kind of 'spa' me time getting pampered, but some beloved QUIET.) I like our routines, I like the predictability of our days. From my work as a nanny, I know that this lessens when you have more than one.

As for sibling relationships: my family is atypical, but the one sibling I grew up with most-- she and I aren't close at all. My other half-sister and I met when I was 14 and didn't really get close until I was 30 or so. I also have a best girlfriend who I am close to like a sister. I think that when we don't have siblings, we choose friends who become like sibs, to a degree. My son has one such friend, a neighbor girl-- her dad used to take care of him and we often trade care, so it's not like they get tired of each other and just go home. They learn how to be with each other and rise to the occasion or we figure out how to take a break, just like real siblings do.

My husband and I have no regrets. But we do have a happy kid.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Baton Rouge on

None of the things you listed above are good reasons to have another baby.
I have a sister and while I love her, we are not close. We have little in common beyond the gene pool. Our personalities are just different.

I have one child. She has told me that she is glad she was an only. She never lacked for bonds with other people - she has lots of friends.

I didn't have a child in order to have someone take care of me in my old age. That isn't her responsibility. She didn't ask to be created, and she is not obligated to change my diapers simply because I changed hers.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Don't put the cart before the horse. You are wondering whether you should have another child, when you really should be wondering how to heal your marriage. Let that be your focus before you even consider adding to your family. Your kid (or kids) need you to have a strong marriage. Put that first, and let the outcome of working on your marriage determine whether or not you try for another baby.

ETA: But for the record, I am one of 5 kids, and loved having lots of siblings--we're all still close. My 4th baby is coming in a few months, and I love seeing the bond between my kids.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Huntsville on

If you're having trouble with your marriage, don't add the second child. The birth of our second child sent my now ex-husband over the edge. We would probably still be married if we had only had one child. And now, I'm a single mom with TWO kids, something I never thought would happen. I love my son very much, but life would be easier in this situation with just one kid.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Every decision includes trade-offs. There are advantages and disadvantages to having a family of any size. And no matter what we decide, it's way too easy to question our choices when those trade-offs show up.

But I've made a great discovery about trade-offs: We don't have to torture ourselves forever with "what if." "What IS" is way more important. Give yourself 100% to the life and the family you have now, and you are likely to be happy. "Now" is the only time in which we can truly live, anyway. We already did yesterday, at least to whatever degree we were present for it. We can worry about tomorrow, but that takes us out of today. That means lost time, lost life, lost joy.

There is NO guarantee that you'll never or ever regret your choice, either way. You can minimize that risk by being really clear about your reasons for choosing yes or no. I had one child and have NEVER regretted stopping with one. Another discovery: choosing not to regret is a decision, too.

My daughter wanted a little sister for a couple of years, but I had just left her father, was not in a relationship, and it was just a wish. It passed. She was overall so happy being a single child that she has chosen to stop with her one son, now 7. He, too, is happy to be an only. Other people would have different needs, expectations and priorities, so when you ask a bunch of strangers what they would choose, I'm not sure the responses are going to help much with your indecision.

You give some awfully good reasons not to have another child, at least until your marriage feels more stable. I'm glad you're giving yourself more time to decide – bringing a new person into the world is not a decision to make lightly. And it's pretty clear you understand this is not only a question of what the heart wants. Reason is important, too. You must accept that much more responsibility and spread your time and energy farther.

There are siblings who are close, siblings who are distant, siblings who do not love or like each other. There are grown children of both genders who remain close to their parents and others who don't. In my family, I'm one of 4 daughters, none of whom is "close" to each other, or to our mother. Partly dysfunctional upbringing, partly clashing personalities, partly financial and mental health issues. I'm fairly sure that we'd have grown up with less stress if our family had been smaller. (And I'd even volunteer to be one of the not born – I would never know what I had missed, so how could I miss it?)

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I can't comment on the regret thing. I have only one. But re. the sibling bond - you CAN NOT guarantee this. I have a younger sister and though I would be there for her if she needed me, we would not spend time together if we lived near each other as we have very little in common.

If parents have healthy relationships with their children, and with their children's spouses, they will not lose that. I have a great relationship with my MIL - if we lived close, we'd be there all the time. The husband SHOULD be more connected to his wife - that's what happens when you get married. Your parents are not your primary family any more. If parents EXPECT that level of commitment, then they may push their kids away. It's spouse/children first, then parents. That's normal and healthy.

If you want another child, have another child. Don't do it for your kid. It's your decision. I wouldn't mind having another, but I'm 45 and I don't know if I'd have the energy. I'm glad I can give my attention to my son so I'm good either way.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

My husband is an only child and he has good things to say about it. However, being the spouse of an only child sucks! My father in law has since passed but in his last 4 years of life he was unable to care for himself so guess who's shoulder that burden fell on. My MIL is now having health issues and we constantly get calls for help. We have no help from anyone as there is no other family on his side--no one to share the burden. I always tell people not to marry an only child because when you vow 'in sickness and in health' you are also vowing to take care of his parents with no help.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

One child or more, does not make a family.
More children, does NOT mean, everything will be close and cozy and hunky dory.
It does not mean, the siblings will get along.
It does not mean, that having a girl or the opposite gender... will make it a family.
It does not mean, that having a girl, will make the family close.
It does not mean, that having a girl, she will be close to you and remain, close to you.
It does not mean, that having a boy, they will leave you and forget you and be closer to the in-laws.
It means, there is no guarantee, that having a 2nd child of any gender, will make things a certain way or not, or make it a "Hallmark card" feeling of a family.

The thing is, there is NO guarantee, of how things will be, once you have more kids. Of either gender.

Siblings, do not always get along. No matter what age they are.
No matter what gender they are.
And, each child, is different. Even if they are raised the same.
Gender, does NOT determine, the atmosphere of the family or the closeness of it or not.
Age difference between siblings, also does NOT, determine if siblings will get along or not.

You do not seem, to want another child.
And your marriage, does not seem to be able to handle another child.
Whether it is having one child or more... having a child or children... IS a handful. And it is not easy.
So you have to determine, if you or your Husband, can handle... another child in your family.
Because, no child should be "resented" by the parents or other sibling. It will affect them, negatively.
NO child, should feel it is their fault, that the parents do not get along.
And a child should not be looked at, as being something to make a family feel closer.

You and your Husband, do not seem, to need or want another child.
You both have marital problems, since you had your current child.
It will probably get worse, if you have more kids.
Kids do not, "fix" a marriage.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Richmond on

sibling bonding, yeah, right..a hallmark way of saying, " you better get used to getting NO sleep, no privacy and certainly NO money..
in this economy you would be much better off limiting how many mouths you have to feed and clothe..
i stopped at one baby, and unless someone starts dropping bags of money out of the sky right in front of me, ( and makes childbirth completely painfree) i am stopping at one. i am forty three and our daughter is three
K. h.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

There is not one right answer. If you have a second, you will love him/her and adapt to your new routine and life. If you don't, you will be able to settle into a nice life with more flexibility earlier than if there is a new baby involved. Your post sounds like you're quite happy with one. My husband and I had no trouble getting pregnant when we wanted to and stopped at two. I was your age when we got pregnant with our second. But we always said if a moment came when we regretted not having more or couldn't, we would welcome a child who needed parents and would happily foster.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

I know it seems like an impossible decision. Been there. We thought we'd have more than one, but had medical problems having her. So we thought we'd try other ways to have more (fertility treatments, adoption, whatever). Then we realized- we didn't feel a void. We are head over heels in love with her. Same as you, we worried about later, but those weren't good enough reasons to have more. You can't have a child to lessen the burden on the other child when you get older, so not fair. And you are right, no guarantee that they will get along later.

DD is now 13 and the happiest kid. She is super social and has tons of friends. I also have a few friends who are onlies and have very positive 'reviews' of it.

My husband has two siblings, he gets along ok with them, but they are very irresponsible. They will be NO help to us when it comes time to take care of his parents. In fact, they will be a hinderance. So I have to disagree when people say they don't want to have an only so that there is help later on. We are living proof that this doesn't work that way. I also have a friend who has one sister and they are not close at all. This weights heavily on my friend, so it is a large burden for her. Again, no guarantee and not a valid reason to have more.

Only you and your husband can answer this question. Don't obsess over this during the next year. Let yourself feel your feelings- mostly just look for the one answer to this question- do you feel a void or a longing for another child? This is all you need to know. This question is answered in your heart, not your head. You either feel like you want another or you don't. I know this is easier said than done, but really, just try to let feelings come to you over the next year. You'll know what you want to do. Good luck!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

mine are 18 months apart.. so by the time I got used to having 1.. I had 2... but mine are so close.. they really love each other they play all the time. It is wonderful to watch them play and interact.. however they do fight..

but... all of those special moments with one on one with your son.. those don't happen with 2 kids.. it is hard to have one on one time with 2 kids..

rarely happens... maybe once or twice a month..

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answers from Dallas on

No one can tell you what would be right for your family. We can only tell you what was right for our family and you take that info to digest and consider for yourself.

We have one child (18 yr old daughter) with NO regrets. I never had a desire or urge for more children. My daughter has not been a handful. I have been very blessed and I treasure each step of the way with her.

With our one child, we are able to do so much more together. We are a team and we all work together, travel together and play together.

There are no guarantees that siblings will bond.

Our house is still full of kids on weekends and there is no lack of socialization. As for the comments you get with onlies being spoiled brats, etc .... You will find plenty of spoiled brats with siblings as well.

You have to look within yourself and decide what is best for you. Also think about the financial aspect of it. Adding to the family can add a lot more stress and hardship so it is vital that you are prepared for that potential as well.

Good luck.

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answers from Washington DC on

Which is the worst situation:
Not having a second child and regretting it.
Having a second child and regretting it.

Given your mind set in this post, I say that you are more content to not have a second. You just need to hear someone say, that is okay.... That is okay!

I have two. I had 3 pregnancies, two kids. None of my pregnancies were planned.

Yes having a second is more stressful, but my incomplete second pregnancy made me realize that I did want a second. Made my husband realize that HE wanted a second. Until that failed pregnancy, we were happy with how our life and family was. After my second was born, I KNEW I was done. Not only could I not see me trying to function daily with 3 kids wanting my attention all night, I could not take the stress and 'maybes' that come with a pregnancy.

If the feeling is just that you want your single to have a playmat. Get a pup. Seriously. Most of your feelings can be satisfied by getting a pup.

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answers from San Francisco on

Only do it if BOTH you and your husband REALLY want another child, boy or girl.
My son is almost 20 and my oldest daughter is 17 and I am, and always have been, much closer to him. I love my daughter to death but she and I are very different in almost every way. Mother daughter relationships are often full of drama and tension, no matter how much you think "that will never be us" more often than not, it is. Even my younger daughter, who is much easier, is still a challenge. They start PMS-ing at around 11 and it lasts for a good 5 to 6 years. They don't tell you that when they hand you that sweet pink bundle of joy!
And there is never a guarantee that siblings will get along that well anyway. Even if you're the best parent in the world (like me LOL!) they have their own personalities, styles and interests. I have three sibs and I barely speak to two of them. My kids were pretty close when they were little but I can see that even though they still love each other very much, they probably won't be super close as adults.
Give yourself some time, don't rush it, and don't feel pressured to have more if that's not really what you want. Only kids do JUST FINE.

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answers from Boston on

Only u and hubby can decide this. We were torn about a third and discussed it for months. Given your age, I wouldn't wait too long if u plan to try. It was much harder for me to get and stay pregnant after 35. We decided if we would have a regret, it probably would not be the child, but the absence of expanding our family. It is a very hard decision and I can see both sides. Plan for it to be a boy just in case, then if its a girl u would be thrilled.

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answers from Los Angeles on

I have 8 kids. My second was like the one you describe. But I can tell you that having one is the hardest on mom and dad and hard on the child. When you have two or three or more than the kids have someone to play with and to occupy themselves. If you have three close together, they learn so much from each other. They play together and have fun together and all kinds of things. When you have three, if they are playing and one gets mad, the other two will continue to play and the mad one gets over his mad quicker because no one is playing with him and he wants to play too.

If you have two real quick, you will be amazed on how much easier it is to have three than it was to have one. (I know you weren't thinking about three.) My parents were both only children and they both hated it. They had two so their children would have a sibling.

As far as siblings not getting along and bickering, that is up to you as parents. My brother and I weren't friends. NEVER friends, but for one short period of 3 or 4 years. My dad and brother used to delight in teasing me. They made my life miserable. When my little brother did well in school, my dad would ask me why I didn't do as good as my brother. Later I found out that wen I excelled in something my brother didn't then my dad would ask my brother why he didn't do as well as I did.

I never allowed teasing in my home. I never asked my kids why they didn't do as well as one of their siblings. I made it a point to praise each of my kids for their accomplishments. I worked with each of my kids on heir homework and Boy Scouts and other things. We did well and each of my kids is a friend to all of my kids. (I have 27 grandkids now and each of my kids makes it a point to make sure the cousins have a chance to play with one another as much as possible.

Good luck to you and yours. We are a happy family.

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answers from Jacksonville on

Only you and your husband can decide. I don't know if knowing if singleton children are happy with their experience or not would be all that helpful. Just like asking kids with siblings. They ONLY know what they know. Not "what would've/could've been"... they know nothing else. So, if their personality is the type that makes the best of things and sees the glass half full, then that is what you will get in your answer. If they are not, then you will get a glass is half empty answer. Regardless of which person (singleton or siblings) you ask.

Like everything else, kids change over time. You are currently relishing your ability to have 'me' time right now and worry you will lose that with another child. Well, we have 2 kids. Husband has a good friend at work with a single child. His son and our son are the same age. They talk about books and movie and such... and he is always trying to figure out how we watched this or that movie with the kids home. Easy. They go play or do something together or whatever. We close the bedroom door and watch the movie (even if it is rated R and the kids can't watch it). He and his wife can't do that, because their son is bored and "has" to watch every movie WITH them. He has no one else to do anything with, unless they invite sleepover company.

So... there is a flip side to every argument on both sides. You just have to decide what you want. DO you want another child? Do you feel like your family is not complete?

I will say this about another child sending you over the edge.... your son is 3 now. If you were to get pregnant, he will be 4, not 3. A four year old can be a huge helper and a fantastic big brother. At 4, they are not nearly as "needy" and are a lot more independent. I was petrified that I wouldn't be able to buy groceries, b/c my son was 2 and such a handful. Busy busy busy busy....walked early, very stubborn and independent, didn't like to be held, etc. Well... he wasn't really 2 when his sister was born. He was practically 3. And that made a HUGE difference. And we managed just fine. And he was (and is) an excellent big brother.

Good luck with your decision.

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answers from Washington DC on

"Sibling bond": There is zero guarantee -- zero -- that siblings will be close. Or even that they will like each other. Sure, it does happen and that is wonderful. But do not have a child to provide a sibling, playmate, companion, friend, whatever, for an existing child. Unless you want the second child for his or her own sake, do not have a child just to provide a "sibling bond" for your existing child, because no such bond might exist. They might have utterly different personalities and no interests in common as they get older.

You want a girl: Well, there's also zero guarantee that you would get a girl the second time. Don't go by the patterns of baby gender in your family or your husband's; don't fall for old wives' tales about how to "guarantee" a baby's gender with certain douches etc. If you get pregnant you must, must be able to be OK with another boy. If you have misgivings about that, ask yourself if you should get pregnant at all. You must want that boy just as you must want that second child -- for his own sake, not as a poor substitute for a girl, and not as a playmate for his brother.

Resources: You are right. You can give your one child much more of your time and attention, as well as your financial resources. I have one child and find I am far freer to volunteer at her school (and get to know her classmates and teachers well); to be a scout leader; to volunteer at her dance studio (and get to know everyone there, and get to see her classes); to do whatever we want on the weekend based on her schedule and ours, without juggling another child's schedule. I have friends with two to three kids and they all say how hard it gets to juggle schedules as kids get older, and how conflicted they feel about "I volunteered for X at Billy's school, I really should volunteer for Y at Sally's school" etc -- because kids are not idylically at the same school their entire school lives.

You will love your second child if you have one, absolutely. I'm just saying that the reasons of "sibling bond" and wanting a girl are reasons to dismiss because neither may happen -- and how will you feel then? I also believe parent of only kids can know much more about their kids' lives, friends and interests. That's my experience-- only you can know what you want in the end.

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answers from Modesto on

You seem to know yourself pretty well. If you don't want another child then don't have one. I assume your hubby is agreement, otherwise that makes the issue more complicated. I know 5 families just within my circle of aquaintances that have only one child. 3 are single child by choice and 2 are not. All of these families are perfectly normal and very happy. Two of t he single child couples said they simply couldn't handle more than one child. The wife of the third couple has a brother with moderate-severe autism. They took the risk of having a child with autism once(they had a normal child) and were not willing to take it again. I think it takes courage to admit that you don't want another child. It takes courage to admit you don't want children at all. If you are fairly certain that you would be too stressed or otherwise unhappy with another child, then don't do it. It would not be fair to the child you have now or the new child to be a stressed, grumpy, mess of a parent who regrets her decision (because she really did know better). Don't let peer pressure or ideas of societal "norms" being multiple child households influence you. You know what is right and normal for you. Families come in all shapes, sizes, colors and abilities. Enjoy the life you have with your child!

PS Thinking a child will be closer to you because she is a girl is ridiculous. Relationships rely on personality traits, time investment and EFFORT. Raising your child to be a good human being who is responsible and people oriented, is your best assurance that you will always be close. Keep up with them and in touch with them even when they are adults. Why are you super close to your parents? It's not because you are a girl. Do for your child what they did for you.

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answers from San Francisco on

I think you've already answered your question :) I had someone ask me a question a while back that really made me think: 5 years from now, would you regret not at least trying? Every mom (and dad) will have a different answer to this question, and some will be able to answer right away and with conviction.

Just to give my perspective, going from one to two kids (I have a 6yo boy and a 3yo girl) was WAY easier than going from zero to one!!! I already knew what to expect, and while the newborn phase was hard, it has been SO MUCH FUN to watch my kids grow together. They love each other so much, and I'm really proud of how well they get along, how much they love to play together, and how my son teaches my daughter everything from putting Legos together to proper grammar!

And it's SO NICE that they play together because it gives me some time to make dinner or check email or answer questions or do my counseling without them needing constant attention. No, that wouldn't happen right away, and there's always an adjustment period (I think the first 4 months were the hardest for me just from a sleep standpoint), but I would say from about 8mo, my kids played together. And I have an absolutely precious picture of the two of them sitting in the rocking chair watching TV with their pacifiers in their mouths! She was about 5 months old, and he was almost 3.5 :)

However, there are MANY people who are an only child. I was an only child for 5.5 years, and honestly, I don't remember if I preferred one way or the other. I have 2 sisters that I wouldn't trade for the world, but I probably would've been ok as an only as well. Who knows?

I'm struggling with the decision right now whether to really try for a third (I'll be 36 soon). Part of me really wants a third, while the other part feels like I should be grateful that I already have 2 great kids. It's not an easy decision sometimes. Good luck :)

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answers from Kansas City on

We're good with O.. We knew that immediately after he entered the world.
Like O. wise poster once said: we got it right the first time. :)
If you concede there's no guarantee that your kids will have a close bond forever (and there's not) all of your other points seem to answer "O.."
Good luck whatever you decide.
My best advice? Do what's best for YOU and your husband. What other people think means nothing. They're not living your life, paying your bills and changing diapers in your house!

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answers from Lancaster on

Such a hot topic. I too thought I would have more than one but for many reasons we stopped at just one DD. It was the right fit for us. I sometimes feel guilty that she won't have a sibling and be close like my sisters and I are. You are right, just because you produce a sibling doesn't mean that they'll be close. As far as your other fear of your son not being close to you when he is an adult - my DH has 2 sisters. Neither of them is were very close to his parents. HE is the one who spends the most time with his mother who is now a widow. Don't assume that a boy will grow up and only be close to his wife's family.

I've never regretted our decision to have only one. She is the light of our lives and we're complete with her. Quite frankly, I don't think I would have wanted to start with a newborn again. I seriously don't miss those days. Things should be getting a little easier with your son in the next few years. Best of luck with whatever you decide.

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answers from Washington DC on


Welcome to mamapedia!!

In my opinion? The more serious question here is - "how do I fix my marriage?" From the sounds of it - your marriage needs work. Adding more to that - isn't going to change it.

Just because you have a child or children, does NOT make a family. there is more to "family" than kids....there are plenty of couples out there that are their own family and don't have kids.

This isn't a "my decision" only thing - this is something you and your husband MUST agree upon. No one here can help you make that decision. We don't know your financial situation. We don't know you. From what I can read - your marriage is suffering.

Yes, your child will grow up. Yes, he will grow apart from you. That's life. it doesn't take a "wife" to grow apart. If you raise your child RIGHT, you will raise a self-sufficient citizen who is educated and able to provide for himself. That's your job - to raise him to leave the nest and be able to care and provide for himself.

I have two siblings - one of each. I can't imagine not having them. Even though we live on opposite sides of the country - we talk and laugh...

My first husband had two siblings (one of each) and didn't like them. My husband has two sisters...they "talk" but it's messed up...urgh.

My daughter was an "only" until I remarried and had two boys. She longed for siblings. As there were not many kids around her who were "only's" - yes, she saw the fighting, sharing, etc. but she saw the love too.

Get your marriage right before you make the decision to have another.

Good luck!

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answers from New York on

I have a brother, we are close. My hubs has a brother and a sister, and while they aren't close, they get along.

We have one child. He's a handful. Toying with, but not jumping at trying for another.

Before having one, I ambitiously wanted three. My husband was happy to let me have that decision. I am no longer so convinced. Every time I get the inclination, I ask friends with new borns how many times they were up last night. An honest answer makes my current path of life with an only that much rosier.

Good luck to you and yours,
F. B.

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answers from New York on

What does your husband think. This is a decision only a couple can make.
I have four kids and eight grandchildren so you know where I stand. However, I can see wanting to give one child everything. It is a tough one.
Good luck.

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answers from Sacramento on

First, I know others have mentioned this (although I didn't read all the responses), you need to work on your marriage first. Carve out some time together; whether it is date nights or lunches or something on the weekends... that is VERY important especially when kids are involved. What does your husband think? That is very important as well.

As far as a sibling bond... kids have them and sometimes they outgrow them... my brothers and I are no longer close, but that is b/c we all have our own families and live in different states, etc. We aren't bitter or anything, but not as close as when we were single. However, I cannot imagine growing up without them.
Yes, you are going to have more time, more of a 'schedule' and more calm now that your son is 3. There is NO way to say how close your son will be to you when he is an adult, however. If he gets married and constantly were to choose you and your husbands needs over his wife or his new family.... would you see a problem with that? I would. I wouldn't want to marry a mama's boy b/c he wouldn't be a real man to me. My husband is really close with his family and calls/skypes with his folks every week and keeps them up to date on the kids and such. But we have struggled a bit in our marriage b/c he will (at times) consider his 'first' families needs over his wife and children... which he realizes is wrong. It is a good thing for a husband to be close to his parents, but he needs to be closer to his wife and kids.

You would never regret having a second. You may complain about your time, or how tired you are... but seriously... in a couple years they are sleeping through the night, walking, talking, even going to preschool. I can really feel that pain now as we are having our 4th (a surprise) and I was ready for those days of no diapers, not getting up at night, etc. But when I look at our current youngest (18mos) and he is walking, talking, and even interested in the potty.... I realize how QUICK it goes. I'm also 37, so I feel your pain on the age side as well. I wouldn't want you to regret not have another one.... after having 3 I realize how easy 2 was....

Put the time/effort into spending some good time with your husband, and really talk about this. I love our kids and so does my husband -- we have such a good time with them and we have both struggled with the stress of having another. But when we look at our other 3 we are so excited to meet another little one -- less sleep and all. GOOD LUCK!!!!

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answers from Chicago on

I honestly think you need to throw out all the reasons and just look deep into your heart. What does it tell you when you just focus on having another baby? Does it make you happy, sad? do you feel a longing? Do you feel like running? Don't focus on the reasons, just focus on the idea of a baby.

But honestly, only you know. Stop asking other people. Look deep into your heart. Listen, and really listen.....If you do that, you will make the right choice.

But I will say this: it's much harder to have 1 than 2, or 3. I have lots of friends with only's. They spend almost every waking moment with their kid. I, otoh, am rarely required to play with my kids. They are far too busy playing with each other..... Mom only gets asks to play or read occasionally....And now that they are older (3 and 5), they help each other if they have a problem and need help.

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answers from San Francisco on

I'm 32 (with a 4 year old boy) and thinking the same thing! It's too bad it's so hard for couples these days. It seems like in the 50s people could easily live on one salary and have multiple kids. I kinda looked at your list and it seems like a lot of your worries are, of course justified, but something you could handle. Do you work? I work 40 hours and I feel like 2 could "put me over the edge" as you say. I don't even know how we'd afford child care. If I was home, I'd definitley have another. I have health issues that really affect my quality of life though. I have to be on painkillers. I was able to have my son while on them though. So, for now, we're waiting ... maybe forever. Oh, and there's definitely no guarantee on the girl. My sister knows a family that had 10 boys all in a row, then they had their girl. I think your son will be good on his own if it comes to that. Does he even ask for siblings? My son does not. When I bring it up he say, "wait until I'm 10, so I won't mind the crying." haha I have 4 siblings though and love them dearly.

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answers from Portland on

Ok, honestly, I'd stop with one. If one is already stretching your marriage and sanity too thin, then two will push you over the edge. I love my two, but they feed off of each other. When I have one on one time with either of them, it's a breeze and I wonder if only children's families are usually that quiet and in control. Yep, two is a beautiful mess. I personally wouldn't have it any other way, but if you are on the fence, I'd enjoy the one you have and remember that it will only get easier. There are seriously days when both of my kids talk at the same time or need me at the same time and it's a wonder my brain doesn't short circuit. I can reason with them now, but it still happens. On the flip side, having two is super fun!!

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answers from Chicago on

Many mamas have already given you some of the best advice -
- Work on the marriage
- Discuss with hubby and decide together
- Include practicalities of finances and time-management before you decide to go ahead and try for a second baby. You don't want to later think, "I shouldn't have had her/him."

Whatever you do, I'll add one very important advice - Once you make a decision and go ahead with it, don't look back.
If you decide to stop with your DS and 10 yrs later you regret not having had a second child, make sure your DS isn't affected by such feelings. He shouldn't ever feel inadequate.
Or, if you decide to have one more child, and (even if it turns out to be a boy, though you'd wished for a girl) if circumstances become a little more challenging than what you planned, again, don't ever let your second child feel as if he or she is letting you (and hubby) down.
Whatever decision you and hubby make now, make sure your child(ren) never feel rejected or unwanted.
All the best to you!

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answers from Washington DC on

I can only speak from experience. My first was a massive handful, and having him put a major strain on my marriage from which it never recovered. I seriously considered having only one child for all the reasons you mentioned. As difficulty as he was, though, we loved - obviously still do - him so much. He was definitely enough for us, in every sense. But I feared that we weren't enough for him. I might have felt differently if our first had been a girl, because I feel girls are expected by society to be more social, whereas boys are not. With a sibling, our son would have a built-in companion, a built-in reason to learn sharing and conflict resolution, and a built-in respite from being the sole focus of his parents' attention. And we'd have a built-in reason to not cater to his every whim, to make a more conscious effort to avoid the cycle of learned helplessness.

Having our daughter was the best thing that we could have ever done for him. He loves her so much, and it's brought out a kindness and generosity in him that we hoped was there but can never be sure until you see it. It showed us new ways to love him.

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answers from New York on

I feel your pain except I know I want another and due to finances and my age (older than you!) it won't happen.

However, it sounds like you might want to try individual or marital counseling vs. mamapedia counseling :-).

I believe you have to want a second child in your heart and that BOTH parents have to be on board (insert my struggle here).

the good news is that at 35, you do have some time (there are a lot of later-in-life mommies here) to figure it out/or move on.

I wish you luck.

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answers from San Francisco on

Hi. I don't have time for a proper response, but I did want to say that my brothers are much closer to our mother than I am. I live in England, they live in St Louis and one of my brothers sees her every day. He drops off his daughter at school and goes and has breakfast with her. Don't have a child in hopes it'll be a girl because you could be disappointed even if it is a girl. Good luck on your decision. x

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answers from Denver on

That's such a personal decision. Let me give you a bit of help just from my perspective:
I have 3 sisters and am glad, for the most part, that I do. We have all those wonderful (and not so wonderful) childhood memories to look back on together, we have each other to share the load as our parents start to age. I have built-in friends and confidantes as an adult. I would have been lonely as a child without a sibling.

We have had 5 children ourselves, and it is TOUGH. But, I love watching the relationships develop between my kids. Our oldest 2 are best friends (13 and 11, b/g), the older ones help out with the younger ones, our daughter is getting first hand babysitting experience and "mommy" experience! None of those are "reasons" to have another, just great byproducts of having more than 1.

You will NEVER regret having a child. You MIGHT regret the what-would-have-been. One thing to think about is that another child will eventually be a playmate for your 3 year old, which might actually make your job a little easier the second time around.
Good luck, its such a big decision.

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