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Decision to Only Have One Child

One Child Isn't the Loneliest Number

One is not necessarily the loneliest number. Some say there are tremendous perks to having a single child — parents can focus all their attention on that offspring and it's the economical, even green approach to building a family.

According to the US Census Bureau, women approaching the end of their childbearing years in 2004 had an average of 1.9 children, compared with 3.1 twenty years earlier. While the number of children a family decides to have is often made for them due to health issues, others make the choice based on financial factors like ability to provide the best education, world travel and overall experience for their kids.

Women who are not “going for two," often find themselves having to defend their decision to well-meaning friends and family who inquire about sibling expansion. If you are set with a single child, how have you handled the pressure? Or if you never dreamed of having just one kiddo, tell us your reasoning.

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lindseyslone1369075671 lindseyslone1369075671 4 years
I have one child a son who is 2, I have no desire to have anymore children. He was born at 29 weeks, and we just love him so much!!!! It is much easier to have one, because our routine is already set!! Yes, we are asked when we are having another one my response is "when you can give us the money to raise another one", works everytime lol.
JessicaMcDonald56744 JessicaMcDonald56744 4 years
I personally would NEVER have only one child, if I can't have more than one ill adopt. Maybe I've met the wrong only children but they always have odd quirks. Lol. I think that maybe if you have cousins or children of your parents friends around or something growing up I'm sure it would be fine, but in my opinion it's just not possible to teach a child to share everything and care about someone the way you learn it from having a sibling. And I'm sure there are exceptions when children aren't treated the same, don't get a long at all or are significantly ar apart in age because that causes the same seclusion as being an only child. In my case, it is me and my sister who is four years younger than me and it was perfect for us. We are far enough apart that there was never any sibling rivalry but close enough where there were only a couple years where we didn't have anything in common. I learned a lot from having a sibling, including that sometimes I don't get what I want and sometimes I have to give up things for my sister but I think that has made me a better person and will help me teach my kids the same thing, however I think it is wrong and unfair to treat your kids differently in the aspect of love and attention, of course kids require different things and more attention in different areas, my sister for example always needed more help with school work and had a few mild medical issues that required more of my parents time, however I was and still am a lot more emotionally needy than my sister. My parents were always able to make us feel like the most important thing.
Vivian5 Vivian5 8 years
Wow! So many comments and I must say I am happy to see that! I am the daughter of an only child Dad and the Mom of and only child. I believe that the only child adults above that feel negative about their experience feel that way because they fell prey to the stereotypes of the only child. Kids come in all shapes, sizes and personalities if they are a family of 2, 3, 4 or 5. KEY WORD here "family of". The only child is part of a family of 2 or 3 and if you have grandparents living with you sometimes you are a family of 4 or 5 or more. There are plenty of kids with siblings who still feel lonely. Not every sibling gets along. A child’s sense of loneliness stems from whether a parent or mentor is emotionally and physically available for the child. I wrote a kids book on this subject, We're Three, A Story About Families and the Only Child to give the next generation the opportunity to look at themselves as something bigger....a big part of a family!
MissSushi MissSushi 8 years
We want 2, we have one now. I had 3 younger siblings, all girls. We grew up in one of those fantastically chaotic, fun and social enviroments. One of my siblings was incredibly spoiled, and i got the short end of the stick, but i wouldn't plan my own life on my parents failings. They spoiled one kid, that doesnt mean multiple children families are bad or that all parents will make that mistake. I personally cant imagine not loving both of my children equally. Its an intensly personal decision, but i just wish more people wouldnt live by their parents mistakes. Its supposed to be live and learn, the world and its decisions arent set in stone.
jimpolandy jimpolandy 8 years
I have one son and he is 7. We adopted him at 18 months and I wanted to spend all of the time I could to bond with him in the beginning. But, I learned quickly that time does fly. I turned around and he was starting school. Now, I don't know if I want to start at the beginning again with another child. He is so independent and self sufficient. We are a completely happy family and sometimes I wonder if we did have another child how it would change the family dynamic. I would be fine only having my son. He does have 5 1st cousins and we are fairly close with them.
starbucks2 starbucks2 8 years
Right now I'm pregant with my first child, and already people are asking me about siblings! Hello! I'm 22, baby was a surprise and I'm still in school. If we do end p having another child it will not be in the next 5 years. People get really judgemental. They're telling me I can't have siblings that far apart in age. We don't know yet, maybe she'll be an only child, maybe we'll end up having 2 more. We'll see...
careyjr3 careyjr3 8 years
I'm an only child and I LOVED it! I wasn't spoiled, but I was able to get a brand new car when I turned 16, and my parents were able to pay for me to go to college. I did grow up around adults, and I think this helped me as I never did drugs, never smoked, or drank or partied. I thought that was all so juvenile. And I'm very independent. I'm only having one!
kdottt kdottt 8 years
I think it's a hard decision and you have to really think of how it will effect you and your child.. I was an only child for 13 years and it was great. I got to have all the experiences that an only child has.. not having to worry about money, being able to bring a friend along, having my parents' undivided attention. Once my sister was born, I was old enough that my parents didn't have to do everything in twos, and I really got to enjoy her.. the pregnancy, the birth, and helping out as much as I could considering I was old enough. I'm almost 19 now, she's 6. She is super smart and can read and is so intelligent.. I can honestly say we're best friends, and I think it worked out perfectly.
Bunni56 Bunni56 8 years
I'm 15, I'm an only child. I feel lonely sometimes, I think would happen regardless of having a sibling. I hate the labels people put on only children, I am spoiled but I'm not some brat who has a hissy fit when I don't get something. I honestly if I had children, I would only want 1 or 2 at the least.
nikkisoda nikkisoda 8 years
My husband and I have one child. She is three years old and I am constantly being asked when we will have another or if we are trying. Which I find really odd. I feel like it is such a personal question. We like having just one child and will probably just have one. When I tell people that they are always shocked. I have even had the response, "You can't do that to her. She needs siblings." I just respond with I think I would be doing my child and any child I had a disservice if I was having more children to please other people. I have no urge to have more children, therefore I won't.
dani17731 dani17731 8 years
I'm an only child and while I was lonely sometimes, I think I turned out just fine. lol I just hate the stereotypes of "oh she must be spoiled" or "I bet she can't relate to kids her own age because she's around her parents all the time". My parents didn't make enough money to spoil me and they wouldn't have done it anyhow. I've been working since I was 14 and get along great with everyone. It just really irks me when people think I'm spoiled! But that aside, I'm an only child because my parents split when I was little and my mom never remarried or found a guy she wanted to make that commitment with. My dad remarried twice and the first time I got a step-brother and the second time I got 4 step-siblings. I never really got close to them though; I'm a lot older than them. Sometimes I still hope for a little sister (I'm 23) but I doubt it'll happen.
Chrstne Chrstne 8 years
Oh, I forgot to add. I have a huge family. Huge. My grandma has 30, yes, 30 brothers and sisters. Meaning, I have 30 great aunts and uncles. I also have a ton of cousins. My mom is the middle of three, my dad is the oldest of three, and I am the oldest of two. In each situation, I saw someone always getting left out or being pushed to the side. As a kid, I was practically disregarded. My dad was too. My mom's parents were very fair, though. I just cannot justify having more than one kid when I don't believe I can give undivided attention to each child until I die. I don't want to be the cause of someone's pain. I don't ever want to wake up and have to face the fact that I treated one kid better than the other. I mean, yeah, I talk about money and kids and how it's not exactly cheap to have more than one -- but the emotional impact is far greater, and no way am I putting my kids in that horrible situation. You don't have to raise your child to be spoiled. They can still be social butterflies. My parents had it tough being fair to two. Basically each time I got sick or hurt, I was lying...while my brother could actually lie and get away with it. I took the blame for everything he ever did with a smile. Ask for something at the store? I did it once and I got bitched at. My brother crying and whining at the store? He got whatever he wanted. I got hit, treated badly, verbally abused by my dad -- he got shiny new video game consoles and toys. Too bad for him, I had a very nice social life and he could never make any friends because of how he was raised. A spoiled brat. I will never have a kid like my brother, and I will never put myself in a situation to have one.
Moms Moms 8 years
I am the second of four kids and loved growing up with siblings, lots of cousins, aunts and uncles, etc. My husband and I initially thought we'd have five children, but now are going to settle on three. The bond between my daughter, son and soon-to-be baby is something that we can't provide as parents. I have just one brother and his lifelong best friend is an only child who we call our extra sibling. I think it just depends on the person.
simplyfab87 simplyfab87 8 years
I could never have just one child. I have 10 siblings and I loved it and would like my kids to have a similar experience (of course not with no many siblings ). When I decide its time to have kids, I be happy with 2 or 3.
facin8me facin8me 8 years
I am an only child and I have had a radically different experience than AngieB21. Maybe I wanted a sibling for about 5 minutes when I was six or seven years old, but now as an adult I realize I wouldn't trade my "only" status for anything. I think that there are a set of special considerations when you have an only child and you have to be ready for that. Since your child doesn't have a built-in playmate, you have to be ready to take the child out to socialize a bit more. Also, you as a parent have to be willing to encourage creativity and imagination in your child and teach them how to entertain themselves (a skill the is woefully lacking in most children these days). You have to be aware that your child may become spoiled with goods or attention, and take pains to be sure that they learn how to share and appreciate their belongings. Boog's mom, you shouldn't feel guilty AT ALL for having only one child. Only children are way more likely than others to have their psychological and emotional needs met as children, leading to well adjusted and thoughtful adults!
psterling psterling 8 years
my husband and I are thinking about starting a family in the next couple of years and we're torn between 1 or 2 kids. We've decided to have 1 and see but I'm curious to know about other people's decisions. While I like to idea of only 1, I hate to thinking of my child not having a sibling. I'd love to hear about other people's families!
Chrstne Chrstne 8 years
Not a mom, but if I had children, I would definitely want only one. I just think that logically, it makes the most sense. Running on emotion can be great sometimes, but some parents end up for more than they bargained for. I feel like some parents see like, 4 babies, but not 4 kids going to college, 4 kids learning to drive, etc. I just don't think that a lot of people who have many kids can afford it. I mean, even Jon and Kate Gosselin, even the Duggars couldn't afford their children without a ton of help and a reality TV show. Kids are expensive. You get all the benefit of having children with less cost by just having one. I'm sure people can come up with any excuse as to why more is better -- but they are also the people who complain first about how having two kids in daycare is really expensive, or how they feel stuck because they have no idea how their kids are going to go to college. Some people can barely afford their mortgage and opt to have more children. I think I can much better manage a life with one child. I would rather provide well for one child, then provide a mediocre lifestyle to five children. Plus, when it comes down to it, money is necessary, and I would rather not use an entire paycheck on diapers for 8 kids or's just not my idea of a good life.
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