Why Always TWO Children? What's Wrong with Just One???

Updated on March 28, 2011
A.S. asks from Fort Worth, TX
97 answers

I'm a first time mom at age 44. I never thought I'd have children b/c of my age and then....Mr. Wonderful showed up! My little man is now 14 months old. I can't tell you how many times I've been asked when I'm going to have a little girl. When I respond with, "I'm an older mom to begin with and I just don't think it will happen". The respond that I often get is, "Only children have real issues". We didn't have any problems getting pregnant at all and, I didn't have any issues, whatsoever during my pregnancy. However, towards the end of my pregnancy, my doc really started to freak me out simply b/c of my age - my son is perfectly normal. So, my question is....Why does everyone always seem to have at least 2 (or more) children?? Is it so they can have a playmate while growing up? Is it b/c that's the way it is? I have a brother and, we aren't close at all. And, he wasn't nice to me in the least bit growing up either. My husband and his brother aren't close either. Thanks in advance for any input, A.

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K.B.

answers from San Francisco on

My girlfriend is the mother of an only child. When people ask when/if they are going to have another child her response is "why? What's wrong with this one?"

11 moms found this helpful

L.A.

answers from Austin on

My husband and I loved only having 1..
When people ask, he tells them ~
"We got it right the first time."

People just assume people want 1 of each.. Strange..

7 moms found this helpful
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M.M.

answers from Dallas on

B/c it stinks being an only child. I am the only one responsible for my parents and step parents. Holidays are a bore. My kids are three years apart and very close, 10 & 13. I sit in awe of their relationship. I only wish I could have a bond w/ someone like they share.

5 moms found this helpful

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A.H.

answers from Dallas on

Gee, if I was an only child I wouldn't have had my head held underwater in the pool until I thought I was going to drown, I would have missed out on the horrors of having my face pushed into the toilet as it was flushed. I also would have been neglected the opportunity to get lost at the store by myself without the help of my older brother. My Barbies would never have been caught naked and in compromising positions when I returned from the bathroom. I probably would have had less Indian burns, class ring dents in my cranium and learned the proper way to play rock, paper, scissors (*nothing was ever proved that it was sandpaper, thus dulling the scissors and sanding sway the rock).
I AM THE ONE WITH REAL ISSUES, ask my therapist(s)
~A.

12 moms found this helpful

T.F.

answers from Dallas on

We have an only child BY CHOICE because we immediately felt that our family was complete. We have no regrets at all.

When the "only child syndrome" is brought up to me I get po'd. Our daughter is very well adjusted, bright and God forbid...... she gets along with others... imagine that... She is very independent.

I see PLENTY of helicopter parents in the school system who have more than 1 child so whomever it was on here suggests that onlies have helicopter parents does not know what they are talking about. It was a comment meant negatively...just as negatively as the rude questioning of why 1.

There are PLENTY of spoiled brats in families with 2+ children. It depends on how they are raised.

Our daughter is cared for financially/emotionally, lives in a stable, secure loving home with 2 parents who are NOT divorced. She knows we have her back at all times and we are all a team through any drama that may be going on at school to supporting her decision to attend whatever college she chooses to attend.

So when you are asked the question, either take a breath and let your eyes do the talking or jump in with a full blown verbal response which is just as rude. I prefer to take the higher ground and not bow down to the idiot's level.

EDIT: to the person who said "Every only child I know has issues" That is because THE PARENTS CAUSED THE ISSUES.......not because of an only child. GEESH

7 moms found this helpful
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D.P.

answers from Pittsburgh on

A., sorry you've gotten so many (unknowingly) harsh responses. Family dynamic is family dynamic. It's not always "more fun" just because there are MORE PEOPLE. Sheesh.
Here's what's fun--knowing an only is right for YOU and YOUR family.
I have an 8 yo only. My husband & I both wanted it that way. I had him at 39, but that was not the determining factor.
Just tell people "We're good." or "O. and done!" or simply--say nothing. Anyone that comments that your life is less than perfect because you've chosen to stop at on is an idiot. Don't waste your breath. Not everyone buys into "doing what everyone else is doing" because that makes it seem normal. I don't. Enjoy your little guy!

6 moms found this helpful
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S.H.

answers from Phoenix on

There is nothing wrong at all with only having one.

No worries, if you had two people would say that is enought. When pregnant with the third they would ask if you knew what birth control was. When you have two boys, they would ask if you wanted a girl because a boy and girl are perfect (yeah like wanting one gets you one). And when you have your third boy people will tell you that they are sorry (like when someone dies). When you have your fourth they will ask if you are getting your tubes tied next. And so on....you get the picture.

People have opinions on your family makeup no matter what it is, and I don't know why these people can't just keep their mouths shut. And family is perfect just how it is!

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L.M.

answers from Chicago on

I have one child and there are no issues. It's people telling them that they are either a problem or going to be. We are fine with our decision and I don't believe in having another child just so they can have someone to play with. That is not a good reason as to why you should have more children. I believe it's up to the parents and that's all. I have a lot of friends who are similar to our situation having children a little later in life. All of them are happy that they were blessed to have one and here comes someone intruding telling them to try for another. Everybody just can't do that. You do what's best for you and your family. Don't allow other's to make you feel like your child is going to have problems. Love your child and don't let anyone sway you into something that concerns you and your husband.

6 moms found this helpful
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T.S.

answers from Dallas on

I had a high risk pregnancy with my son and a miscarriage at 35 years old. My son is now 22 and he likes being the only child. He received all my attention and was not clingy or demanding as other children were. I joined a babysitting co-op where he socialized with other families. But he preferred to be in his own home with his friends. I never had to deal with sibling rivalries so less stress. Overall, I am glad I had one child. My sister has 3 kids and its stressful to see them fight and not get along. So my advice is to enjoy your child at every stage and encourage his interests. My son and I are very close and have an open communication. Good luck!

5 moms found this helpful
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K.H.

answers from Richmond on

the last time someone told me, oh, dont stop at just one. i said, i gave birth to this baby in a bathroom and i dont want to go through that again..ever.only children dont have issues, that just dont have a sibling that they can glue to the floor, or blame things on.course what really stops em cold is saying fine, i will have another one and you can pay all my maternity bills and raise it, whats your name, number and address?? and then follow them down the sidewalk when they try to quietly walk away from you, you follow them for about ten feet, pen and paper in hand, and the next time they see you, they will cross the street to avoid you.
K. h.

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C.K.

answers from San Antonio on

My son is an only child. My niece is an only child. A dear friend of mine has only one, a daughter. None of them have issues, but are well adjusted teenagers.

When I was asked when I'd have another baby I always said never because it might be a girl! Not sure what my sister responded with, but my dear friend always said never because she hated the one she had, so why have more? That shut people up in a hurry. Of course she doesn't hate her daughter, but loves her very much. But her comment was so shocking people would leave her be about the subject.

Personally I think having more kids so they have someone to play with is ridiculous. Some siblings are not close, and some just outright hate each other. The number of children you have is a personal choice that only you and your husband should be involved in making. Do what y'all feel is best and forget what anyone else thinks.

4 moms found this helpful
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S.L.

answers from Dallas on

Don't let other people's opinion infringe on your own. I know that I've had people think that later in life when the parents are gone their children need someone else, but that again is a matter of opinion.
There are great people who are only children and not so great people who are only children. There are great people who are sibilings to one or more siblings and there are not so great people who are siblings to one or more siblings. Get the picture? Don't let the opinions of others infringe.
As long as you love your child. I would tell people to mind their own business. And next time ask them why do they have 2 or more? LOL!

4 moms found this helpful

S.T.

answers from Washington DC on

some people are twits. having one child is a sensible, thoughtful choice. have a pat answer ready for these folks. maybe two......one courteous one for people who are clueless but nice, and a snippy one for the idjits.
khairete
S.

4 moms found this helpful

B.C.

answers from Norfolk on

We have one son.
We never had a lot of people ask us when we were having another.
We're so happy just focusing on one.
My husband is an only child. I have a sister and we fought like cats and dogs and still do till this day.
I don't know why people say a single child will have issues.
It just doesn't match up with what I've seen over the years.
Maybe people project their own fears and desires into predictions like that.
Having more than one child is no guarantee that any of them will have anything to do with you when you are old and gray and very often they don't share any burdens with helping with elderly parents.
I loved being pregnant but it only happened once for us and I don't feel I'm missing out on being pregnant over and over again - I'm not a preg-o-holic.
I love every stage of our sons development but I'm not depressed because my baby's growing up. Raising him is a joy!
It's a parents job to slowly put yourself out of a job and when you're child becomes a well adjusted independent adult, capabile of raising their own family - it means 'ya done good!'.
Our son is gifted, gets straight A's in school, gets along well with everyone (of all ages). He's a 2nd don black belt in taekwondo and we just found out he's been selected to participate in the All City Band - his band instructor is very impressed with his clarinet playing. He's one of the highest Accelerated Reader point holders in his school.
He gives us so many opportunities to brag about his achievements sometimes it's hard not to burst at the seams - he makes us so proud!

4 moms found this helpful
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E.M.

answers from Johnstown on

I think 2 children is also something that's drilled in us from the very beginning, referring to Cain & Abel. Yes, there were other children later on, but you are constantly reminded of the 2 children.

Most couples like to have 2--one child for each parent...and children DO do that--one will favor one parent over the other.

If you're happy with just one, that's wonderful! There's absolutely nothing wrong with just one child.

4 moms found this helpful
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T.M.

answers from Philadelphia on

I had 4 children so they would always have someone. Not just to keep each other company now, to have later in lfe, to help share the burden when my husband and i are older. I also love the big family holidays, dinners, game nights.... just all 6 of us in the living room watching tv is fun!

I feel that an only child is lonely. That is just my opinion. I know they can find a cousin or friend. They are not there all the time. We used to jump in each others bed as kids. My sisters and i lost a sister. We were so close and still are. My 4 girls are very close already. I love it. I dont judge those that have one. I cant help but wonder why though. I would never ask the mother. It is not really my business.

4 moms found this helpful
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T.V.

answers from San Francisco on

Nothing is wrong with just one if that's what you and your husband have decided on. No one else pays your bills or walks in your shoes. There's no need to defend yourself if someone is foolish enough to question you concerning a personal matter.

Blessings....

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K.U.

answers from Detroit on

I am 38 and DD is 3.5 and I am not planning on having any more. I had issues with blood clots right after DD was born and I've been told by my doctor that it's really not in my best interest, between the blood clot risk, and my age, to try to get pregnant again. Plus, DH has 2 teenage sons from his first marriage, so as far as he is concerned, he's done. If we were both younger (he is now 43), and I didn't have the health concerns, and he wasn't already paying child support for his sons, we would probably consider a second child. My stepsons live with their mom out of state so for all intensive purposes, DD is, and will continue to be, an only child.

And I am not the least bit concerned about it. Part of me would love to have DD have a relationship with a full sibling like I have with my brother but apparently it's just not meant to be. Besides, when it comes to things like a trip to Disney World, or music lessons, or braces, or college tuition, I'm really happy I only have one! The whole concept of only children having "issues" is a myth anyway. And I've never believed that wanting your child to have a playmate or sibling is good enough reason to have another child. And I love when people ask if you are going to try to have a child of the opposite sex from what you have already - like you have any control over it. Like you've said, siblings don't always end up close as adults anyway.

It's easy for others to say that you should have another child - they are not the ones having them. Keep in mind to that some of those siblings are "surprises"! Maybe one response for those who think you should have more should be "We believe in quitting while we're ahead!"

3 moms found this helpful

M.F.

answers from Denver on

We have one child. I am 31, she is 5.
My husband and I ALWAYS respond in 2 ways to the "when will you have more" question...

1) We got it just right the first time, why mess with what is perfect. We are happy with our one.

2) This one is to his mom, every time she asks. We will have more when you buy us a bigger house and pay for additional health insurance, diapers and clothes. If your not willing, we will stick with what we have.

We don't say either in a mean way, but just very matter-of-fact.
But, truthfully, even if she offered all those things, I don't want to be pregnant again. I unlike a lot of people, did not enjoy it.

As far as behavior. I have a brother, we don't get along. My husband has 2 sisters, we only really get on with one. His one sister has 3 kids and when those 3 and our daughter are together, ours is always the angel. :)

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A.S.

answers from Boca Raton on

I'm a big believer that children are a gift from God and I wish I had more (have two amazing sons).

That being said, I'm always amazed when people feel free to chime in on a person's family size, be it big or small. That is such a personal decision and there are lots of factors that go into it.

True happiness comes from within . . . not from siblings, friends, jobs, money, houses, cars, etc. Parents have the biggest impact on your life, and even that is for a relatively short time period. The bottom line is that It's not what you have - it's what you do with what you have that counts. However God blesses us, we should be thankful. JMO.

Don't worry about it, unless there is something inside you that is calling you to another baby. Good luck.

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C.B.

answers from Boston on

My daughter's best friend is an only and she is very well adjusted, happy, outgoing, can entertain herself very well but also gets along with anyone and everyone. I do not know if she is sometimes lonely, but then those with siblings sometimes wish everyone would leave them alone! I am lucky that my 2 daughters get along well, but they have plenty of friends who complain about a sibling who is a nuisance. A co-worker just had her second and is exhausted by lack of sleep, worried about number 1 who is acting up, argues with her husband because she would like more of his help and he feels he does more than she already, has an hour commute to work each way and wish she could quit her job, etc.etc. Besides highly personal feelings about being a parent, there are economic, sociological and even selfish reasons to not have more (or any) kids. Maybe answer the questions about when you will have number 2: "after you adopt me and start supporting me in all my emotional, physical and financial needs".

3 moms found this helpful
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L.B.

answers from Dallas on

I have one wonderful son and I am greatful for him. I did have problems and was told that I may not be able to have children. My Dad, Father-in-law and best friend are only children. They don't seems to have any problems being only children. I have a sister and a brother. I am close to both but I can tell you that at times I wanted to be an only child. Ha! Ha! My son loves people and he is great at entertaining himself. I think whatever you decide is right for you. I do think that it is none of anyones business on how many children you have. You will never win. If you don't have children they ask why and if you have lots of children they look at you like you are crazy. Enjoy your family and change the subject. Happy and darn lucking to have my one son. I thank God for giving us our son. He is a hoot!

3 moms found this helpful

D.B.

answers from Boston on

I have one child and he's great.

I never use terms like "just one child" or "an only child" - they imply that there is something missing. I say "single" child.

When people ask dumb and personal questions, I take a breath and pause. Usually they fill the silence themselves and realize they've made a mistake. Or, I ask a question like "Are you saying there is something wrong with one child?" or "Exactly how many children make a family perfect?" Often I simply say "Families come in all shapes and sizes."

If they say, "Only children have issues," just say "No they don't. There is no research to suggest that." (Or, you could be really sarcastic and say, "Well, you have siblings and look at YOUR issues, like being intrusive and insensitive!" Well, no, don't say it - but THINK it! LOL!)

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M..

answers from Youngstown on

I am part of the "one and done" club lol. We went through this too after our daughter was born. We must have been asked 1,000 times "when are you having another one"? We got so sick of hearing that question. We just told people "not for awhile, if ever". That usually shut them up. After awhile people stop asking.

We won't be having anymore. I love having just one. It's the perfect fit for our family. Other people have 2 or more because that's the perfect fit for their family. You don't have to explain yourself to anyone. People ask stupid questions, not realizing how personal and inappropriate it is to ask about someone's reproductive plans.

Enjoy that baby boy!

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J.D.

answers from Dallas on

Question from before:
http://www.mamapedia.com/questions/5669450488538595329

Helpful website:
http://www.onlychild.com/home.html

My daughter will be an only. I don't have the option to have another child. She is an amazing and very confident 3.5 year old. I am a more focused parent and she has all the love she needs in our family. We have the best relationship and everyone loves her when they meet her.

All her little friends have or are having little brothers lately. She asked me if she was going to get one... I told her she would have to share Momma and Daddy and she decided our pets are a better options as a siblings. :-P

Check out the links above and make the decision that is best for you and your family. Don't get caught up in the guilt trip. It's not worth it! Enjoy your little family and all the time you share!

3 moms found this helpful

S.M.

answers from Dallas on

I have three but I can certainly respect someone's choice to have one. and I know several kids that are well adjusted without siblings, and several that are not well adjusted with siblings... children don't have issues because of there "only" status, they have issues because the parents don't raise them to be well adjusted. and anyone who tells you otherwise is wrong!

next time someone tells you that "only children have real issues" tell them "Mine doesn't, but I can see how yours would if You only had one!" :)

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T.S.

answers from Dallas on

Im an only child, I have no issues, a college degree and 4 months shy of my second degree. I hear that often snd really take, offense to it. I also chose to only have one child because, my then husband was not a good husband/father. Once my son was 6 I was over baby fever and mentally decided no more and yes ppl freaked out! I had to learn to get over what they said to me. Then I met my current husband who came with a dtr and now ppl say we need to have one together. Basically its always gonna be someone saying something. If u and ur husband are happy with your decision, thats all that matters and have confidence in your choice/voice and all will be fine.

Good luck

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M.C.

answers from Pocatello on

I was an only child and I don't THINK I have too many problems... and i happen to know plenty of dysfunctional kids with siblings, LOL! That said, we are expecting baby #2 and I am excited to go on this new journey...! I think people might be asking because they LOVE babies lol... if you had 2 they would be asking when you'll be having baby #3, and if you had 3, it'd be asking if you are going to have 4 and so on...

Didn't people pester you about when you were going to "settle down" and get married, and once you were with someone, when you were going to have kids? Don't make too much out of it! Do what is right for your family and love your baby with all your heart and he'll grow up just fine... well, until you start asking him... "hey, when are ya gonna git me some grand-babies to spoil?"

Hahaha!
-M.

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R.Y.

answers from New York on

There is nothing wrong with having one if that's what you want. We live on an overcrowded planet after all. We have 2. That was our plan from the beginning since each of us has 1 sibling. I see my grandmother and my parents are close to their siblings as they are getting older so it may take a while to see the benefits. I'm pretty close with my sister now that we are grown. We bickered as kids but got along since our teens.

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B.O.

answers from Portland on

I think that people are just trying to make conversation:) I have one and only plan on having one..sometimes people ask me the same question and I just say that one is enough for me. Sometimes people say the same thing about only children having issues, and I just try to respect their viewpoint during the conversation. I do get their point, and take it gracefully. But I don't have to agree or worry about enough to where it bothers me:)

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S.L.

answers from New York on

It depends on the parents. Some parents need a second child to force them not to helicopter so much, and thats where that myth comes from. I'll be honest, Some parents smother their only child and if a second one comes along it is such a relief for that first child. I've seen it, If the other parents are dropping kids off at the door and you're walking him in to class to help him take off his coat and hang it in his cubby then either your kid needs OT or you're over mothering. If you go on the class field trip but cant help with more than just your child because you need to check every minute if he's too hot or too cold or if he wants to sit on your lap, then you need to step back. You don't need to have a second child to not be that mother. there are LOTS (probably the majority) of parents who do a great job raising one child!

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M.A.

answers from Houston on

My husband and I only have one (two if you count the bird;) I have noticed that when I get that question, and answer, "we are too old'...I seem to get medical concieving advice from complete strangers. I am 40, my hub, almost 49....it THEN seems to require me to explain that, YES, we COULD concieve..THAT it not the issue....my husband doesnt want to retire, go to his kids 5th grade play and answer the question..."no, I AM NOT her GRANDfather, I am her father"....there is a certain LINE for us...not for all, but for us.
I would talk about being able to provide an education, cars, a start in life, etc...but the last time I did that, I got TERRIBLE pm's from people that prefer to have many, many, many children.

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S.W.

answers from Minneapolis on

I had my daughter when I was 41 and I had a great pregnancy and birth experience, also. (I only saw midwives, not doctors, to avoid some of the "age" talk). I love having one child, and always wanted just one. I don't want to be outnumbered :-) Parenting multiple children is different than one. I raised two stepchildren who are now in their late 20s (so technically my daughter has two half-siblings, but much older) so I know the difference multiples make.

Yes, she went through a stage where she was asking why she didn't have a younger sister or brother, but she now, at 9, understands that life would be a lot different if there were "more of her".

There is absolutely nothing about being an "only" child that causes issues. I agree that siblings are not close just because they are siblings. I have three of them and we talk or see each other two or three times a year and don't have much in common except history. My daughter is the most outgoing, caring, well adjusted child I know (and others tell me the same). I, at times, missed the chance to experience pregnancy and birth more than once, but I wouldn't change my family size for anything.

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C.B.

answers from Dallas on

We get questions like that too. I think people are being polite and just making conversation. It is cliche' to say that an only child has issues. Time to stand on higher ground and just change the subject.

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F.O.

answers from Los Angeles on

I don't care why other people have multiple children. I only want one and if she needs playmates there are endless outlets for her to get that social interaction with her peers. LOL, what person in the world doesn't have at least one issue?????

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A.F.

answers from Pittsburgh on

We didn't feel that our family was complete with 2. Others find their families complete with one, or four or none or 19, etc... You need to stop when you feel your family is complete and it is really no ones business but yours and your husbands (though considering input from your doctor due to age and complications in last pregnancy are always a good idea too). People have different reasons to have their family complete, whether it be that they really only desire x number of children or age is a factor or money is a factor, but you should not have to explain that to anyone. Before we had children it was "when are you going to have kids?", then it was "when are you going to have another?" (for many of the reasons you listed above) and now I have heard again "when are you going to have another?" (would be my third). I find a polite answer when I really want to say is "well you know I have fertility issues and don't relish shots in my rear again in order to get pregnant and you know with 4 miscarriages some would consider me a mom of 6 and emotionally I can't handle another loss and frankly if you need more kids in your life then you have them." Yeah sometimes I don't always have a good hold of my anger issues when people ask questions that are none of their business and if only they knew, but so far this rant has only been in my head... Ok, I have went off topic more than once here, so I will call it an end : )

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J.C.

answers from Columbus on

I don't think there's anything 'wrong' with one. People have more than one for lots of reasons: their child/ren will have sibling support when they (the parents) die, they want their child to have a playmate, they just want more, they love babies, BC doesn't work for them...I once knew a family with a pill baby, an IUD baby, a tubal baby AND a vasectomy baby!

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A.H.

answers from Dallas on

I kind of grew up with both worlds. I have 2 siblings but they are so much older than me that most of my life I was more like an only child. (They were out of the house by the time I was 7 and were really more like aunts and uncles to me) I think I turned out just fine! :-)
There was some old "birth order" research that showed issues with onlies (as well as with oldest, middles, babies) but it has since been debunked. In fact, I think there was some research recently that shows that onlies are often quite successful in life (as well as socially).
I taught elementary school for 8 years and never saw any social (or other) issues that were isolated to only children- it just depended on the child's temperment and personality.

Bottom line- you have to do what is right for you... who care what others think. Try to come up with some response that is not rude but lets people know you are not interested in discussing your decision. I think a few moms had some good ideas.

Good luck to you!

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E.K.

answers from Columbus on

I had four children--all girls--and the one thing I hated about having more than one was the sibling rivalry. The constant bickering and "It's not my turn; it's hers" and "I didn't do it, she did" drove me crazy.

My oldest daughter only had one. He's 12 now and you couldn't find a nicer, more well-adjusted kid. (It's not just me who thinks so!) I was always prejudiced against having only one child until I saw how well he is doing. He has asked for a sibling from time to time, but I don't think he really cares.

There are horror stories with kids no matter how many you have. Kids--and parents--are all different. It sounds perfectly reasonable that you're having just one and I wouldn't worry about it one bit. And by the way, congratulations!

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K.S.

answers from Kansas City on

I guess the same question can be asked by those who want more than one. I am pregnant with my third and can't tell you how many times I get asked by mothers who only have one kid "why do you want so many kids?" and then they try to analyze the reason I want a few kids. It's soooo annoying!

My husband jokingly says he wants a bunch of kids, so he will know for sure we will be taken care of when we are old. He's joking of course, but does have a valid point.

I think we both really want a lot of kids because we just like having lots of children around. It's a happy time seeing everyone happy and giggly all of the time (ok, most of the time). I grew up with four kids in my family and my husband had three, so we are used to a somewhat larger family. Plus it's nice knowing that the kids will have built in friends and support with each other.

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G.T.

answers from Modesto on

There are tons of people with just one child, I dont think it's abnormal. When people ask it's really because they are just starting some kind of conversation, they really do NOT care how many kids you have, or how you can survive raising 5 or any of that. All you have to say is "one is enough for us and I'm sure our little man will be fine just hangin with us..". Because the fact is, he will. The other answer that shuts people down is "If God wants Tommy to have a brother or sister then I'm sure it will happen". Because that's what it's really all about. I wasn't planning on having ANY kids but God knew I was going to need the two I have, so I'm pretty glad he's the one ultimately in control of the situation. No kids are mistakes.

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P.M.

answers from Portland on

"Everyone" doesn't think you ought to have two. Only the people you're hearing from. Almost all the onlies I know, including my daughter and 5yo grandson, have been terrific. Very well socialized, polite, able to hold their own in conversations, generous, mostly able to entertain themselves creatively, etc. As for "issues," I know far more siblings with issues than onlies with issues – or at least the issues that are big enough for other adults to notice and comment upon.

Good parenting works at least as well for only children as it does for multiples. Better, perhaps, because you don't get spread so thin.

I have three younger sisters, and we were only sporadically compatible growing up. Most of my memories of childhood are truly miserable; fights, tattling and blaming, fights and yelling, forced babysitting, fights and hollering, stealing sisters' things, fights, and group punishments. And even with three little sisters, I was achingly lonely for an actual friend. As adults, two of those sisters have really serious issues and are a constant worry to our mom. Siblings don't come with guarantees that they'll be well-matched.

Look around, A., and notice all the singletons who are doing just great! Those "everybodies" in your life are force-feeding only one of many possible points of view. Enjoy your son and the blessings of a smaller family! I have never regretted stopping with one, nor has my daughter. Even my grandson knows he's happy to be an only, and already plans to have one child of his own.

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A.M.

answers from Kansas City on

i don't get why people find it so hard to believe that some of us are actually HAPPY with one child. yes people, it IS possible. truly, 100% happy. honest!

GRRR!

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A.D.

answers from Washington DC on

I agree with the first part of the question, "WHY 2?" but for a different reason...like a PP. Seems like the general consensus is that you have 2 kids, one boy, one girl...if 2 of the same you can MAYBE get away with trying for a 3rd...if you have 1, you get "educated" (ahem) about how LONELY they'll be, if you have 2...you're in the clear...especially if it's a boy and a girl, if you have 3, you are "educated" about "middle child syndrome", if you have more than 3...you are "educated" about what makes babies and overpopulation and how none of them will ever get enough attention! You just can't win! I agree...you have the number of children that is right for you and your family! No need to make anyone else happy here!
Please note that my "educated" comments are completely tongue-in-cheek!

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M.P.

answers from Pittsburgh on

To be perfectly honest, for me the family dynamic is more fun with more people. We have a blast together and my boys are super close-I can't imagine them not having eachother to play with.
I always thought I wanted 2 kids and now do have them. I wish more than anything I would have kept it going and had more. I also waited to have kids and then by the time I realized I wanted more it was too late.

I cannot believe people would actually say to you that only children have real issues. Seriously beyond rude.

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C.J.

answers from Milwaukee on

Having a sibling isn't going to ensure that they are going to be close.

I went to help my sister break down over 150 CASES of Girls Scout cookies for her daughter's troop and she hasn't even called or emailed me and that's almost three weeks ago. A "thank you" would have been nice since I was dripping in sweat once it was done. I'm in much better shape than her, if she would have had to do that project it alone she'd still be working on it.

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R.A.

answers from Chicago on

We have only one - we adopted our son when I was 42, and almost immediately got the "are you going to adopt another?" question. There have been times when I've gotten baby fever; but the truth is, at almost 50, I'm deeply grateful for the one I've got and equally glad he's our one and only. Sleep deprivation alone is a reason fertility peaks when we're younger; we also have more resources and energy to devote to our son. He has a lot of friends, including another "only" with whom he's very close. There are pros and cons to absolutely everything in life. If you like your family unit the way it is, that's no one's business but yours.

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B.W.

answers from Dallas on

I had my first child at 42 and my second at almost 44. I am now 61 and this is what I have learned - I will not live forever (their dad is now deceased) and they will have each other - they do not seem close (boy and girl) as in they don't hang out a lot together but they are very close and understand it will really be 'just them' and some cousins when I am gone - now I don't plan on going anywhere for at least 30 years but still.....they were great company for each other growing up (mostly I was single mom) and enjoyed each other....now, does that mean YOU need to have another? absolutely not! Do what you and your guy want to do as those are the only opinions that matter.....and congratulations!!!

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E.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

I think families come in all shapes and sizes these days. What may be the 'right fit' for one family may be WAY out there for another.

Personally, I've always wanted a big family. But I totally 'get' wanting just one as well. It's tough sometimes making sure all 3 of my daughters get enough attention and one-on-one time. Having just one would definitely be easier in that respect. But I don't think I would have felt complete as a mom with just one.

Your family of 3 is just as valid as a family of 2 or 20. As long as there's love, commitment, devotion and respect - you've got a family :o)

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S.M.

answers from Columbus on

I grew up as an only child because my brother passed away, so I missed having having a playmate more than a child who never had any siblings. I had trouble in kindergarten because I wasn't used to being around other kids, but that could have been prevented if my parents had socialized me at all. Only children don't have problems simply because they are only children. I think parents are more likely to spoil only children, but isn't always a bad thing. There's lots of research now that only children tend to be more independent thinkers and self-motivated. Besides the fact that people who tell you how many kids you should have need to mind their own business!

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R.M.

answers from Topeka on

I am an only child...and I don't know that I had any more 'issues' growing up than anyone else did...no matter how many siblings they had!! Don't worry about what other people say to you...it may just be a "topic of conversation" for them..and they really don't mean anything by it at all.
I will tell you the line that I have used for YEARS when someone makes a comment ( joking or otherwise) about the fact that I am an only child.... I tell them... "Well...when you get it right the first time you don't have to try again"...and finish with a great big smile on my face!!
Don't give more weight to other peoples comments that you want to...they have a right to their opinion and you have a right to yours!!! AND...being an older parent can be great for the child..my own Mom was 40 and my Dad was 48 when I was born...and I loved being the center of their universe!!! lol

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M.G.

answers from Chicago on

The number of children people have is just a matter of personal preference. Why do some people only have one? Why do some have six? For me after we had our twins, my family just didn't feel complete. We are expecting baby #3 and now I feel like our family is the perfect size. It's what we want. If your family feels perfect at one child, who cares what anyone else thinks? As for the questions about more kids, even with us we were hounded. My twins were just born and we were still in the hospital when we were already starting to get the questions, "When are you going to have one more?" Are you kidding me?! I just gave birth to TWO! Let me adjust to that first! Anyway, don't feel the need to justify to anyone the number of children in your family.

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A.L.

answers from Washington DC on

We have one by choice and are perfectly happy that way! If I didn't have such a hard pregnancy we might have opted for another, but we really are perfectly happy as a family of 3. Only children do not have issues -- there was an article in Time magazine last summer about the benefits of being an only and debunking the "myths" of the onlies. Google it, I think you'd find it beneficial.

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M.B.

answers from St. Louis on

Every only child I know has issues. I think every child deserves a sibling. My daughter was 3.5 before I had a second child. I really started feeling bad for her that she was in it alone. Watching them love each other is another whole love I never expected but its one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. Of course they are mean to each other sometimes, but they have a bond and a love that I think they would have regretted not having.

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C.W.

answers from Shreveport on

Besides having a playmate for my older son we decided we didn't want our first being alone if anything were to happen to us both. Either at a young age or older we couldn't stand the though of our son going through life without a sibling. When my husband and I are older we didn't want just one child to help if we needed it. We didn't want the burden of aged parents to fall on only one child. I have seen that myself a few times with several family members who decided on only one child. I have listened to those only adult children wish they had more help in dealing with aged parents. They aren't mad at their parents just a but overwhelmed. I have watched a couple who were happy with one child change their minds thanks to knowing first hand how much work it has been to deal with aged parents with no sibling help.
I have one brother who even though there was plenty of times we were cruel to each other as children we are there for each other almost at the drop of a hat now.

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A.H.

answers from Chicago on

You shouldn't worry about what anyone else thinks - if you feel that your family is perfect, than it is. Congrats on meeting Mr. Wonderful and for your son. :)

We chose to have 2 because both my husband and I are very close to our siblings and we felt that giving our son a sibling was the greatest gift we could ever give him. We were blessed with a baby girl and now we feel that our family is complete. But if I had the experience with my siblings that you and your husband did, I might have felt the same way you do. There's absolutely nothing wrong with having 1 child - there are advantages to having one and advantages to having more. Every family is unique.

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A.B.

answers from Pittsburgh on

I love the women who have mentioned "...and we felt/knew our family was complete". (My mom said that, too.) There it is, right? What do YOU feel? What do YOU know? Every family is different and provides its child (-ren) with unique experiences whether or not they have siblings. I think only children can have issues because parents can indulge them, but this is in the parenting, not the number of kids. I know plenty of families with more than one child who have plenty of issues of their own!

Every family and household is its own culture with its own dynamics. I know it can be hard not to compare or question when you get these types of questions from others, but truly, only you and your husband know what's right for YOUR family.

All the best!

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N.F.

answers from Portland on

There is absolutely nothing wrong with being an only child. In fact, there is fantastic research out there that shows the positive aspect of being an only child.

With that said, I grew up with a sibling as did my husband. As adults, both my husband and I have amazing relationships with our siblings. It should be noted that my sister and I absolutely dispised eachother in our youth (my Mom always said, "you may not like each other now...but someday you will be so happy you have eachother". She could not have been more right).

My husband and I have plans to have one more. We hope for our children that they will have a loving relationship as we do with our siblings. I do know a few people, my sister in law included that are very happy to be an only child. I also have friends that are so sad that they never had a sibling. But all, and I mean all of my only child friends are well liked and super sucessful in their lives...they also have fantastic relationships with their parents. I however, couldn't imagine being the only one to carry on family traditions. I couldnt' imagine what it would be like to not have a sibling to chat with and remind me of what I was like as a child and teenager. The truth is that there are so few people in this world that we can call true friends, but a sibling is part of you no matter what! I always get so sad when I hear that people do not have good relationships with their siblings...but everyone has a story.

I hope in the end, you find what YOU need as an individual a mom and a wife!

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L.D.

answers from Las Vegas on

I have friends who were raised as only children and they are perfectly normal. I think that if you give your child a lot of love, widen your social circle so that he has a fair share of playmates and adopted family (close family friends), and you don't make a big issue out of it, your son will be just fine. I don't believe that every family has to consist of 2+ kids. You should have the family that you feel comfortable having.

If it makes you feel any better, I am one of 6 kids growing up. It was a very chaotic household growing up and I'm not really that close with any of my siblings -- we are just all so different! My running joke that I tell my friends is that I would do really well being an only child because I had fantasized about it often enough. I know others can't relate but, for me, I just couldn't stand all the noise that comes with being a part of a big family and all the bickering that ends up happening. And don't even get me started about the lack of baby pictures that occurs when you are baby #5!!! I can laugh about it now but, for me, that was just one of the reason why I chose to keep my family small.

Anyway, you do what you feel is best. Other people's comments are just their expression of what works for them and their dreams and goals. As long as you understand that their comments are about their mindset and not about you at all, then maybe you can just smile and give them a polite little canned response before moving on with the conversation.

Hope this helps.

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H.L.

answers from Cleveland on

I'm 44 too, with an 8 month old. She was our very delightful little surprise. We also have a 16 and 13 year old! lol So, in a few years she will be the only one in the house and with the age gap, in many ways she will be an "only." And I have no intention of having another, too risky for me. Enjoy him, and let it roll off of you. People will always have comments, no idea why. Just as a for instance, I stopped at an outdoor shopping mall and an elderly couple waited while I got her into her stroller. I thanked them when they got out, said something about running into the stores after work, then the gentleman says something to the effect of, "oh, you should stay home and raise such a sweet little girl." Really was none of his concern if I work or not and while I loved staying home with my first two, I just started a second career and have my own student loans to contend with, not to mention I have two going off to college! So yes, people just love to express their opinions - just let them slide off your backside!

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S.M.

answers from Dallas on

I think it's a natural question when you have one as to "when are you going to have another", but honestly, it's not anyone's business. I think you are already more gracious than you need to be by explaining that you think that at your age, it just might not happen. For someone to go on and say only children have big problems is just BEYOND RUDE! Maybe you can say something smart aleck like "Thanks for your concern, the situation is what it is, but don't worry, we are saving as much for his future future psychiatry visits as we are for his college fund." Maybe that will put that person in his/her place. Or, maybe you can be more diplomatic and say "we each have to deal with the situation we are given. I'm sure there are many children with siblings that will also have big issues for whatever reasons". Either way, know that person is completely rude. The shortest answer would be "thanks for your concern" and walk away. Maybe they'll get the point!

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R.S.

answers from Dallas on

I was #4 of 5. Trust me, you can be very lonely in large families too. My husband was #1 of 2. Trust me, a sibling can be just as self-centered as 'onelie's' are accused of being. My mother is growing ever older. Can you guess how many of her 5 children will choose to be responsible for caring for her in her old age?

I have one beautiful 5 yr old daughter. She is smart, funny and the joy of my life. I worry about her being lonely. I would worry about it even if she had a sibling. That's why I pray for a special friend for her. There is a bible verse that says, "a friend sticks closer than a brother." I am living testimony to the truth of that. My worry comes from just being a mom, not because I am the mom of one child.

If God provides us with another child via adoption, wonderful. That child will be the joy of our lives as well. If He doesn't, wonderful. I couldn't be happier with my precious girl. Anyone passing judgement, however naively, on another family's size is choosing to be ignorant and not worth my time. Those same people would likely be the ones passing "concerned" judgement if I were to get to adopt outside my own race. I have been amazed, in my lifetime, to see how many people express "concern" about those who choose differently than they would. My amazement is with how quickly that "concern" melts away in the face of real world problems.

Be the best mom you can be for your son and don't worry about the rest. Sorry for the soapbox...as you can tell I have some strong feelings about this. And this is the edited version!

A.S.

answers from Iowa City on

There is nothing wrong with having one child or more provided you can provide the basic necessities required for child rearing (yes it is best if you can provide the extras but not possible for the majority of the world's population).

Everyone is going to have a different answer as to why they have two children: We have two children because we wanted two, our birth control failed, we really wanted 6 but could only afford two, we actually had 4 but two died, we wanted one but had twins, we were trying for a boy, etc.

When people make comments about your child(ren) they are generally just trying to start a conversation and it seems that most people assume that everyone wants one child of each sex so if they see you with a boy they ask about a girl. We have two girls and people are always asking when we are going to have a boy or when we are going to have another child because we make cute babies. Yes, they are cute but is that really a reason to have a child, you crazy folks?

As to the only children have issues statement...of course they do. Everyone has something. I have met sibling-less individuals who are self-centered (since that seems to be the big complaint about only children) and people with 4 siblings that are self-centered. Pretty much nothing is exclusive to any one group.

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L.H.

answers from Dallas on

My daughter who is 7 is my only child. I never thought I'll have only one child. I always dreamed of two or three. But my daughter was born with a minor birth defect, and that made my husband and I to come to the decision of not having anymore. The birth defect was not genetic, and it was random. It was very upsetting to me because I took care of myself so well during my pregnancy, followed the docs rules to the tee, and did everything right. But I had anxiety attacks throughout my pregnancy and ended up having gestational diabetes when i was 7 months pregnant, and was put on a stringent diet and had to take insulin shots. All this coupled with the fact that my child was born with a birth defect which was no fault of mine, made me decide to not have any more children.
I would love to adopt a child someday though. My child is a very kind and caring young girl, and she would be delighted to call someone her brother or sister. She does feel lonely at times. And I do feel bad for her that she doesn't always have a play-companion.
That being said, i have an older brother and we were never close to each other while growing up. We always ended up fighting so much that it would get physical most of the times. Even now I don't get him at all, which is very sad considering we are both adults and parents now.

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B.S.

answers from Dallas on

It's a choice. I have 4 but I started young. I think having 1 is fine. You shouldn't let other people get to you! Enjoy the 1 you have! they grow way to fast!

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G.B.

answers from Oklahoma City on

At your age you are able to look at the big picture and focus on the important things in life. Having more kids is obviously something you could do. If you choose not to then just say we are not planning on more and let it go. Kids do learn a lot by having siblings and life is way easier when the have some one to play with while you are cooking dinner or doing laundry. They will have someone when you are gone too.

L.M.

answers from New York on

Nobody should judge you for having one child, and i think saying only children have real issues is BS. Based on what?? Seems to me there are pros and cons on BOTH sides. An only child will have alot more attention from mom and dad, and also you will have more money to devote to him and his activities etc etc. I have 2 kids and am 8 months pregnant with my third child. (My choice). People judge me for having so many kids - "Oh my god another one?" Etc. I am a great mom, my kids are doing really well, and I started earlier, and knew I wanted 3 or 4 kids from the get go. Personal choice. I DO NOT believe there is a "right" and a "wrong" on this. Your child can have plenty of playmates, it's called friends! Good luck to you and your family! Tell people to find a hobby and butt out of your business!

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M.F.

answers from Youngstown on

I think sometimes asking if you're going to have more is like an automatic question or something, people can't control themselves. I have 3 boys 8,5,and 11 3/4 months and you would not believe how many people ask me if I am going to try for a girl! It gets on my nerves sometimes. My friend has one child and he is the nicest kindest boy..he is nicer than my 8yo and they are buddies! She is content with one. I didn't have 2 more to keep my oldest company I just wanted another baby and #3 was a surprise. Some people are content with one and some want more it's a personal preference.

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C.N.

answers from Baton Rouge on

For some people, multiple children are the right size family. For others, one child is perfect.
My daughter is an only child, and she does not have issues because of it. She had plenty of playmates among her friends at day care, school, and the neighbors.
I have a sister, and we seldom played together as kids. Our interests were not the same. She wanted to play with dolls and hated to get dirty or sweaty. I wanted to climb trees, play ball, and fly kites.

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M.B.

answers from Washington DC on

I think it is great that you got to have one! and it is equally as great that you have the right man to share your child with!

I'm not judging those that just have one here, but we had more than one because we wanted more than one as a family, and we particularly wanted our children to have siblings.

(Yes, sometimes siblings don't get along when they get older, BUT...) I just feel that there's a very important relationship between siblings. No one chooses to have siblings, its up to the parents. This gives children the CHANCE of having a fantastic relationship with a sibling... if it doesn't work out as they get older, then that is unfortunate- BUT, it gives them that chance that only parents can provide. When that choice is made, this gives the child someone to grow with in the family, someone to share parents with, share holidays with, someone that can stick-up for you, share secrets with, be a child with, an in-house playmate.... and when they get older, they may be aunts and uncles, have nieces and nephews, a sister as a maid of honor, a brother as the best man... and when they get even older than that, someone who they can discuss with who is going to take care of their parents as they age, someone to grieve with who knows exactly how you feel because you share the same parents... sure, a friend could replace SOME of those things- but it is different. One of the most important reasons? (again, not being judgmental) It helps children develop into the idea that the world DOESN'T revolve around them- that love can be shared.

Of course there are those that can't have more than one, and there are those that just plain don't want more than one. I respect that, but if I couldn't have more children after I had my one, I'd personally adopt. Just my opinion. NOT trying to say it HAS to be this way... just answering your question as to why we personally had more than one. To be more specific, we have four girls: 7,6, 4 and 2.

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S.C.

answers from Dallas on

I have one six year old daughter and always had planned to have more, but it didn't work out. I worry about her being lonely....she is the only grandchild too, so she is around adults only during family gatherings. But I do NOT worry about her being self-centered. Maybe it is because she has had to deal with a lot at a young age (she was two when she was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis and has since been diagnosed with other chronic illnesses as well as life threatening food allergies), but she is all about others (she picks up on other's emotions/feelings that many would miss) and she is far from self-centered. So maybe *some* only children can be self-centered but I think it is unfair to generalize. I know plenty of people with siblings who are all about themselves.

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P.W.

answers from San Francisco on

Nothing is wrong with it. The only thing I've noticed about "singletons" (I hate that word), is that they can tend to be a little self-centered and have a hard time sharing. So do things to make sure your kid learns to share. Other than that, enjoy the ease and simplicity of having just one child.

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L.F.

answers from Dallas on

Not a thing is wrong with having only one child. I have one child, a daughter. My sister has one child, also a daughter. It took several years and medical intervention for my only; my sister was advised to stop at one because of genetic issues. We're both very happy to have our daughters and since we live close the girls have played together all their lives. It's the best of both worlds: a "sister" to play with, but then she goes home to her own family. No sibling issues (or at least very minor!)

L. F., mom of a 15-year-old daughter

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V.S.

answers from Montgomery on

It is all up to you...I think that your age is a little bit older than most but dont let that be the only factor of having any more kids if you want the, you are no a senior yet so I say if you have eggs left go for it, easy for me to say because I am in my 20s and dont have any kids.....on the other hand if you dont want any more dont have any more dont do it because of what everyone esle has to say you know what you and your body can and can not handle...

Updated

It is all up to you...I think that your age is a little bit older than most but dont let that be the only factor of having any more kids if you want the, you are no a senior yet so I say if you have eggs left go for it, easy for me to say because I am in my 20s and dont have any kids.....on the other hand if you dont want any more dont have any more dont do it because of what everyone esle has to say you know what you and your body can and can not handle...

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A.C.

answers from Columbus on

We decided for a lot of reasons to just have 1. But that was after we had our son.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with having just 1 child, though historically society pressured families to have more (and to some extent, sociey (our freinds & familiy) often still do).

Please read this article. You will probable feel a whole lot better about just having 1 child:
http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,###-###-##...

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H.S.

answers from Johnson City on

I think it all depends on the family. For me, I grew up as an only child, and I didn't want that for my son. While many only children are perfectly happy without a sibling, I longed for one. As an adult, I still long for one. I am 27-years-old and currently pregnant with my second child. Our family is soon to be complete. I am young, and could have more children, but my husband and I only want two children. With one child, I didn't have that feeling of "completion." If you feel satisfied with one child, then don't let anyone make you feel bad for that. The same goes for families with multiple children. What works for one family, may not work for another. There is no evidence to suggest that onlies aren't as adaptable and intelligent as children with siblings. Oftentimes, only children thrive more than children with siblings. I would make the choice based on your personal preference, and know that with good parenting, your son will turn out fine. Best of luck!

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J.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

I had my daughter at 33, so I wasn't "old." It ended up being a difficult emergency c-section, she was born five weeks early, and was a crabby baby. Between the depression that followed and the divorce (not related to having my daughter), I never had another child. And, when I'm being honest with myself, I realize I'm perfectly happy with only one. She's very well adjusted, very "normal," and has friends. She's now in a private school where there seem to be more only children. No one there has EVER asked me why I'm not having another baby. There is no magic formula for the "ideal family." Siblings aren't a guarantee of happiness or well adjustment. And all those people who are asking you these questions are being inappropriate. If you're happy, shrug off those thoughtless comments as a product of the questioner's own insecurity. You sound great.

C.W.

answers from Las Vegas on

I have friends who are only children and they are just fine. I want more children, but honestly don't know if it will happen just because I have inner arguments about it (conflictions or whatever). I have a brother (2 kids) and I am not close to him at all and we are only 2 years apart. I talk to him when he's here but I don't talk to him when he's off at college or anything. I don't think only children have issues, as long as you don't spoil him to death lol... I had to check myself with my daughter (she's 2 now) because I would get her toys and clothes that she didn't need because I wanted her to have them... she doesn't act like a spoiled brat and actually has awesome manners, but still I tightened up a bit on it.
I think it's great you have your son and he's perfectly healthy. One blessing is still a huge blessing, especially when that blessing is a child.

My personal though, is I want(ed?) like 3 or 4 children because I like kids, I want a big family, that big loving homey feel. I do think some people want playmates for their children and worry that only children get lonely (I do with my 2 year old) but my daughter realistically wouldn't have a sibling (if I have another) until she was at least 6 (grad college and get career settled) so it would be pointless in that aspect.

C.A.

answers from New York on

There is nothing wrong with having just one. But I personally want 2 cause I was an only child and it sucked. I got blamed for every little thing. If it was broken I did it. On the plus side I was spoiled rotten. I got everything that I wanted. I am not spoiled now and nor do I expect to get what I want. It would have been nice to have a sibling to talk and play with as a child. Someone to be there when I was 19 and my best friend past away. Also on the plus side of being an only I had a very vivid imagination. I could make things up on the spot. So I wouldn't worry about what ppl are saying. If you are comfortable with just one then that is your decision. Good luck and enjoy every minute of your little one!

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C.T.

answers from New York on

I think there are pros and cons to both situations.

I also feel that your relationship with a sibling begins with how your parents present it. My children are relatively close - 3.5YO, 18m and 4wks. We hadn't expected the last two to be quite that close, but it seems to be working out really well and we have encouraged the children from the beginning to be "in love" with their sibling(s) - this started in the womb.

I grew up in house of 4 kids and while I would not have considered us close growing up, since we have become adults, I think we have gotten closer. I am not sure what I would do without my sister now!

You need to decide what is best for your family. If you are concerned about the child being alone or not having family when you are gone, then maybe you are looking at another child (and remember this does not have to mean a pregnancy and birth, adoption is always an option). If these are not concerns, then maybe a singleton is sufficient.

Look in your heart. You'll know if you are "finished" and your family is complete.
~C.

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S.T.

answers from Dallas on

I'm about your age, and I am done. I had stillborn twins after having my living child, and there are no more babies in my future. As for my child, she is loving, kind, smart, sweet, and her kindergarten teacher just raves at how quickly she picks up new concepts in class. If being an only child gives her "issues," most parents should be lucky to have a child with such "issues!" Harumph.

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C.A.

answers from Atlanta on

Well I think its a matter of what makes you happy and what will work for you and your family. Sometimes I think some women just don't feel "complete" with just one child. While others are completely satisfied with that. Others may not have had the choice because of poor birth control methods or other factors for unplanned pregnancies. Others like myself may have just been dealt the card of having multiples ;()) I think when we tried to get pregnant and then ended up pregnant with twins - I was okay with just having ONE but God had other plans for me obviously and gave me two healthy baby girls. Now I couldn't imagine my life with just one child so maybe its just a matter of what you are dealt with in life and adjusting??? I see nothing wrong with women who have just one child and are complete with that and furthermore women who have 18 kids in order to feel complete as long as they can support the children and not expect help from other sources because of poor birth control planning. That is just my opinion though.....Overall my sister and I are 4 years apart from each other and weren't very close either and fought often and to this day aren't "close" like others describe their relationships with their siblings but I think that is even more of a reason why I have come to respect my own two daughters relationship-they are VERY close to one another and most likely I think they always will be even through all the competitiveness and arguements at the end of the day they know they have each other and want each other too. This aspect may change a little the older they get but I have a cousin that has one son and she constantly complains how her son gets bored and wants her to play or wants someone else to play with-whereas myself with more than one child I have a built in playmate-lol! I don't think her son is missing out by any means though-he might differ with that answer but kids change their minds often anyways.

S.D.

answers from Phoenix on

I know many moms who have one and they are happy and content. I have two because I had a sibling and liked that they could have eachother when growing up . My sister and I are not all that close nor do we live near one another. I think life leads us to paths and we don't know what will be or not be....but having two is fun.

BUT having your little one is just fine too and there is nothing wrong with it.

It is like everything...people rush LIFE. You have a boyfriend...when are you getting married, you have a child, when you having another one....you have two boys, when you trying for the girl.....you have two girls.....when you trying for a boy. I think it is conversation. I would not take it personal.

J.F.

answers from Dallas on

It is really your own personal choice.....But yes I think its a playmate kind of thing so they dont get lonely and can grow up being close with a sibling....I have a brother a couple years older and we are close....I have 3 kids of my own ages 6, 4, and 4 months...I love that they have each other and play with each other and I love that I have the 3 of them as well!!! But many peopla have only one....you just see more with more than one...I personally only know 4 people with 1 child, but theres many more!! Its a choice you and hubby have to make together and whats best for yall....dont worry about what others have...look at what YOU two want!!! HTH :)

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C.W.

answers from Dallas on

Please don't let anybody tell you how to live your life or raise your child! My daughter will be growing up an only child after having lived with my 3 stepdaughters for a while and I don't think she'll be worse off now. I think a lot of people think that an only child is being spoiled by default and obviously it is you who has to prevent that from happening. As far as playmates go, your little boy will have friends to play with. Don't worry about it, enjoy and do what you feel is best!

B.C.

answers from Dallas on

Personally, I grew up with 5 siblings, so the thought of having just ONE was not an option. I want 3. I have 2 now who are 10 and 3. I think that having 2 is wonderful and couldn't imagine not having my girls, but that's just me. Focusing on just one is just fine! I am very close with 2 of my siblings and not so close to 2. One died when I was 7.
I wouldn't judge what others ask. It's a very common question. We still get asked about the next one and we have 2! Lol.

A.G.

answers from Houston on

I love having brothers, and i love that i have two kids who play well together. Theres nothing like watching your oldest love your youngest and care for them. I used to think "one is fine" but my little surprise was a gift from God and i would not have this any other way.

There are other reasons to have more than 1, im young, we can afford it, we have two spare bedrooms, more love to give, we want to do it all over again because its fun and awe inspiring. Not to mention its amazing and a credit to God that multiple children can come from the same parents, same upbringing and be vastly different, and i feel privileged to be privy to it.

But nothing is "wrong" with just one, for if any reason can be given for not wanting more than that reason is valid .

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D.L.

answers from San Diego on

I know why we chose to have 2 but every family has to do what is right and works for them. Our first was a daughter and from my experience, only children (my husband being one) are more accustomed to the world revolving around them, they are by nature a little more selfish and self assured (I'm not saying that I'm right just that this is my experience). We talked about how a daughter will grow up to possibly become a wife and mother and that when that happens she will have to put her kids and husbands needs before her own often and being a part of a bigger family would help to prepare her for that. (Again this was just our reasoning) That being said I think the fact that you have a son makes him being an only a benefit. Men are expected to be a little more aggressive, driven, focused and being an only helps with that. (again no haters just my theory) We also decided that if something happened and we had twins the second pregnancy that we would have a 4th because of the odd man out issues. We had 2, a girl & boy and then my husband had the big V. So we are done. One more thing, a lot of the "issues" people talk about can be managed by lots of play dates.

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R.H.

answers from Boston on

I usually just say that I really love having just one, and just leave it at that. I get those questions all the time! By the way, 2 of my closest friends are "only's," and they are wonderful, smart (super smart, actually), funny, caring people. The most selfish person I can think of has a sibling. I don't think it really matters!

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W.K.

answers from Washington DC on

it is all anecdotal. the research evidence generally shows that onlies are the same as people with siblings. have 1 if you want. i am under the same pressure, and it is annoying! when i look at my childhood photos, i can clearly see that i had a genuine happy smile before my sister was born, and a strained forced one after.

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H.T.

answers from San Francisco on

My own opinion on having 2 (or more) children, is yes, playmates...it is so great to see/listen to my girls playing together, and to see how great their realtionship is. Also...when we get old, let's face it- someone has to be responsible for taking care of us. The more children, the less 'burden'/responsibility on them. There was just never any question for me that I wanted more than one...I am still only 99% (maybe 90%?) sure I don't want a third! But that's just my feelings, it doesn't make them the 'right' reasons.
And in regards to "trying for a boy" Even my husband, a total 'guys guy' jock, is content with his girls...and has no desire anymore to try for a boy, just for the sake of having a boy.
Have whatever family you want, screw anyone who tries to make you feel somehow wrong for that!

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C.H.

answers from Dallas on

Potential answers:

Oh, I can't think about that right now. (Then ask a question that re-directs them to talk about themselves, or give them a compliment.

Try: I have much bigger fish to fry right now. (Then re-direct)

Or I've been talking and thinking about it until I'm blue in the face. Pardon me for taking a break on the subject.

My personal take is more for adult reasons than child reasons. I did it because:
1. If one died or had a serious medical condition, perhaps the other one wouldn't and I wouldn't have to be sad all the time, and they might be of great benefit to each other in a growing up kind of way.
2. One child may teach the other child whatever strengths they have.
3. If you become ill, odds are only one of those children will take up the responsibility. (We have three of us. We're very different. Our differences have proven well for my 100 year old mom as we each are comfortable and good at helping mom in our various ways and when one goes off the deep end, we pull them back.)
4. When they are older, they will get closer and closer IF they have a functional family and were raised and parented well. Parenting well is key here.
But some people aren't cut out for it, are too tired to keep up, etc., etc., and perhaps they wouldn't be great parents then.

If you decide to keep one, read up on it so you don't fall into the pitfalls that people warn about. Being an educated parent is best no matter what size the family.

If it is your grown child and you haven't asked yet if they want another, I just said: I haven't asked for quite a while (since your child was born) and am just curious. Have you decided whether or not to have a second child? Then I listen to them talk. If they are still in discussions, I might tell them that siblings many times get close when they're older and may help each other out, especially after the parent is gone. If they don't want to talk, I raise another topic. But I never, ever ask people other than my son or daughter. I don't understand why they ask really...

M.R.

answers from Rochester on

My first thought is that there are lots of "reasons" for having only one child, and I know many families with one child only who is JUST fine. :)

We have three children (our youngest was one week old yesterday), and even when I was pregnant with him people would ask me if we were going to "try for a girl next." I am sure there are people who have more children hoping for something they don't have, but we just wanted more, whatever they turned out to be.

After we had our first, my husband asked if I really wanted more since we had such a happy, easy baby. He was pretty content with the idea of just one until our son was almost a year old. At that point, I think he just loved being a dad, he comes from a large extended family (he only has one sister, but his dad is one of six and he has a lot of cousins), and when we "pictured" ourselves down the road, we just saw more than one child. I think it was the same thing when he decided he was ready for a third (he was sure again after the second that we were done--I was willing to stop at two or try for another). Our older boys (4 and 2 1/2) have been so excited about having another baby and just love him and my oldest has already informed me that I am going to have his baby sister in my tummy next. I do not see us as a family having five or six kids (although at one time I was pretty sure I wanted that many), but wouldn't mind one more. My husband is really REALLY sure he doesn't want four. :)

I think that as long as whatever choice you make feels natural and comfortable for your family, it is the right one. There is no ideal size.

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A.G.

answers from Provo on

Sure...your child may have issues...and so may any of my 4 kids. I think there are a lot more things involved, other than just how many children are in the family. I know families with many children...and they almost ALL have 'issues'...I know families with many children...and they have some of the most incredibly wonderful kids I've ever met...and same with only children. Everybody can think of an only child that they know of that may have issues...I don't know why people seem so quick to blame it on the fact that he/she has no siblings. It is certainly a personal decision...I wouldn't let anybody try to convince you that you're doing your child a disservice. I do adore my brothers...we really have become some of each others best friends - and I adore my cousin who is an only child - and equally as awesome (and she's never hinted that she felt deprived!) :).

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L.S.

answers from Dallas on

i liked your post. i ALWAYS wanted at least 2 kids...maybe more. but i am indefinitely single now and realized i will be only having one baby. I came to this conclusion just RECENTLY and decided God is only giving me what i can handle, and one is all i can handle. so...it took some readjusting of my brain/heart to think of my DS (2 yrs old) of being an only child, but then i think of how UNBELIEVABLY close we are...and i just LOVE IT! i mean, my family consists of me, my sweet angel, and our sweet dog. and it's perfect for me and your situation is perfect for you. Regarding caring for us when we're older...1st of all, we never know what'll happen (die young, may not need caring for, etc) and secondly, our kiddos will have LOTS of friends, possibly a spouse, etc that they'll have with or without a sibling, so they're not going to be "alone" in this cruel, cold world. i love my older brother to death....but he's in CT & i'm in TX. we don't EVER see each other, rarely talk, and only occasionally email. my cool, funny brother is not saving me from any loneliness at all. our mom passed away at 57...she had a spouse caring for her & i cared for her on the wknds, but wasn't forced to. my brother was still in CT & didn't share the responsibility of caring for her. so...see what i'm saying?? of course you do, i'm just saying i agree w/you there's nothing wrong w/only's, not in MY family anyway. :) sorry for the long post. :)

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A.B.

answers from New York on

My son is an only. And for medical reasons wasn't really offered the opportunity to go for number 2. I probably would have had 2 so he'd have a live-in friend. Although having a sib doesn't garauntee friendship and have many kids doesn't garauntee they will take care of their parents either. I know my son wanted a sib but he sort of gave up asking and is a good friend and has great friends and he is happy. My sis and I hated eachother till we hit our 20's. As always do what's right for you and when people ask me where's the girl I just say "one and done!"

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M.S.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi,

I am sorry you have gotten the questions like that. Unfortunately, I think some people feel that they have the right to something to say about how many children, how you raise your children etc. I didn't get your specific question, but when people were nosy with me, I would look at them and say---thats a really good question, when are you going to have another? Then walk away--they always think about it for a min and get a bit embarrassed and make up some poor excuse to leave etc. Or, I just say---oh honey thats private- its up to me and my husband to decide if and when we want to have anymore children. Why are you so concerned?? Try not to let it bother you---there is NOTHING wrong with having one child. You sound like a great mama and so don't let anyone tell you different. Your child is normal and will be just fine whether he has a sibling or not.
M

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