In praise of only children - the great things about having just one!

(263 Posts)
flobbleflobble Mon 04-Jul-05 18:54:53

Just wanted to start a positive thread about how fab it is to have an only child! In reaction to all the threads worrying about how sub-optimal some folk find it not to have more than one...

So here goes - to start off a list in praise of only children :

- you can take them to stuff appropriate to their age group without having to drag along a disinterested sibling

- peace and calm at home with no sibling rivalry and squabbles/ violence

- you can do something with another family without involving 2 cars/people carrier

- far easier to combine one child with work/social committments

- easier to provide financially for 1 child

Perriwinkle Tue 15-Jan-13 21:51:20

Oh, almost forgot the old chestnut of sharing the burden of looking after us when we're old...

Who is to say that your only child will not have a caring and supportive family of their own that is quite happy to share that "burden" with them when the time comes?

Also, if I had a pound for every time I've heard a person trotting out a tale of woe about how "my useless brother(s) or selfish sister(s) don't lift a finger to help with my mum/dad" I'd be rich.

Life is too short to worry about "what ifs" like this anyway. Who knows what might happen. You could be wiped out in a car crash, die suddenly, or peacefully at home in your sleep without ever becoming a "burden" to anyone.

ruthyless1 Fri 18-Jan-13 20:54:30

What a completely gorgeous thread! Having one child is ace and such and amazing blessing. Love being a family of 3 and if it aint broke why fix it!!

carameldecaflatte Sun 03-Mar-13 10:59:25

On leaving the mat ward after a scary emcs, a few years after our first was stillborn, second miscarried, the midwife cheerily said, " see you in about 2 years then!" Um no.

Love this thread, well most of it. Ds will be an only and the positives are cheering me on no end!

redmusic Sun 03-Mar-13 21:29:04

To anyone who thinks having only one child is selfish:
What about the impact on our planet ? We don't actually need more people, and having any children at all could be called selfish as they are adding to the strain on the planet. (I have only one at the moment, might have more..undecided)

People who criticise parents of onlies need to be more sensitive too, as there are often fertility issues, past miscarriages, difficult pregnancies, possibly relationship issues that the person might not want to discuss.

I think in the UK its just socially acceptable to have two, not for good reasons, its just the status quo. In China and Japan its completely normal to have one.
Having said that, everyone should do whats right for them, because happy parents means happy kids.

It would be not very clever to have more than one kid just because you want to be like everyone else, if its going to put a huge strain on your finances and your marriage/partnership and you end up splitting up.
rant over !

Lovemylittlegirl Tue 26-Mar-13 15:30:51

Just wanted to say what a lovely thread this, I have one dd who will be an only child. Finding it very difficult to come to terms with this as I've had two miscarriages and other medical problems and reading this has made me feel so much better about the situation.

FeckOffCup Tue 26-Mar-13 17:14:33

I'm almost completely sure that my 2 year old DD will be an only child, I don't feel the same urge to have another child as I felt to have her, in fact the thought of pregnancy/labour and birth/newborn sleep deprivation and endless crying fills me with dread. I love that my baby has turned into this amazing little person who can hold a conversation and do more stuff by herself all the time. For me, one child means more quality time, less stress and financial worry. I can't quite bring myself to give away the moses basket and other small baby stuff yet but I'm pretty sure I won't use it again.

noddyholder Tue 26-Mar-13 17:18:15

My ds is 18 he is such a pita I couldn't have coped with another wink No seriously its great one child families hugely on the rise according to press the last few days and 3 child families which has always been the n=most common falling sharply. I wanted another but couldn't although my open house policy over the years means I have a lot of teenagers around. I think it gets too much discussion tbh. there were 11 only children boys in ds school and so it felt quite normal.

persimmon Sun 14-Apr-13 21:47:00

I love my two brothers but have absolutely nothing in common with either of them and see them maybe twice a year. We had very little to do with each other as children. I've always regarded my friends as my 'siblings' in a way and have maintained several close friendships since childhood.

erikab922 Fri 12-Jul-13 00:11:42

Just want to give this thread a bump as it has been an enormous source of comfort to me this evening/early morning. My DD is 14 months, I will be 41 in a few months and am coming to terms with the fact that she will probably be an only. I make it sound like I'm not OK with that when, in fact, I am - it just feels very strange to completely close that door. Thanks to all who have responded positively, thank you so much.

elQuintoConyo Fri 12-Jul-13 19:38:09

There is no way Jose that we're having another DC, for a variety of reasons.
It makes me a bit sad, it makes me a bit relieved in equal measures.
But this thread has actually taken away my guilt - so thank you, everyone who wasn't negative
DH is one of six, five of whom live within a 3-mile radius. Four have DPs and between us eight DC. Our DS will be far fom lonely with a shedload of cousins and school friends (when he starts school), not to mention our friends with dc, too.
I'm another person who doesn't get along with a sibling, my DSis. We live in different countries on different hemispheres! We're civil to each other and do Skype, but there has never been a strong bond between us. She herself ummed and ahhed about having a second dc due to our relationship.

IsisOhIsis Sun 04-Aug-13 15:14:17

Fab 8 year thread! I always only wanted one as I did/do not have a good relationship with my siblings and my parents dealt very badly with us, favouritism and so on. I then went on to have a very traumatic birth and have a lot of difficult emotions surrounding that so vowed never to have another for that reason as well. I do get "broody" at times, holding newborns and looking at pregnant women but do I really seriously want that? No! I'm just, at 2 years, coming out of the no-sleeping stage (and moving into the tantrum stage grin ) and although I have loved every second of DD's life I did find it very difficult. I don't particularly want to go back, I love the new stages and seeing her grow and develop, she is an absolute delight and so much fun. I feel, for us, it's right just being us and although I guess I could change my mind, as I am still young, I do think I would be perfectly happy staying the way we are.

I think people have a problem with it because if you make a different choice to them it can be seen as you criticising their choices? Even if, as is generally the case, it's for a variety of PERSONAL reasons, maybe choice or maybe not, that have absolutely nothing to do with anyone else.

SunshineMMum Wed 28-Aug-13 16:13:22

I only have to listen to mine craft chat in one ear at a time! [happy] Not having to divide time, attention and being able to tailor days out for DS1 specific interests.

Snog Sat 07-Sep-13 09:24:31

ooooh! I started this thread 7 years ago, and it has been revived!
to update, my lovely dd is now 13 and we are still very happy with our "fille unique" as i found out the french say!
dd has always been happy to be an only. She likes her friends and also likes her own company and spending time hanging out with me.
We have had a new addition to our family....a rescue cat! who is much loved. So I wholeheartedly recommend 1 child and 1 cat as a fantastic way of life!!
As it turns out most of my best friends also have one child and i think probably both working and socialising with friends are easier to do with one child than with many.
I am shocked by how much it costs now to go to uni or put a deposit on a house and feel relieved not to be trying to save to help more than one.
I think life is easier in so many ways with one and certainly a lot of fun!
smile

thehorridestmumintheworld Wed 02-Oct-13 01:02:02

Wow this thread was started when my dd was 1 yr old. We didn't exactly plan to have an only child but so far it looks like she will be. The nice thing is the close relationship we have and being able to afford to give her some treats we might not be able to afford if we had more kids.

cabernetshiraz Thu 24-Oct-13 19:32:32

We had problems TTC, 2 MMCs... Hubby said after DS was born, no more - so I'm glad to not have any of that to worry about.

I love how portable we are, a unit of three... we can visit family or go places, in a normal car, without much fuss.

I actually avoid certain family situations, because the chaos and racket from all those kids makes my head throb.

Time to ourselves, instead of ferrying kids to afterschool clubs etc...

Babysitters are much more forthcoming too... ;)

It really pees me off when people moan about how hard having umpteen kids is... well duh!

happygoluckyinOz Wed 06-Nov-13 06:37:07

I'm so happy I've found this thread!

DH and I are at the 'talking' about having children stage - been in this stage for a about 3 years now grin as we keep going backwards and forwards with whether or not we are ready to completely change our lives buy introducing children (plural).

DH suggested not so long ago, how about we compromise and just have ONE child. The thought never really occurred to me, just thought you are supposed to have more than one... and all the silly reasons why circling round my mind.

But actually, ONE makes perfect sense for us! I feel much more relaxed about the idea now (as I did wonder if we'd ever get there, I see hundreds of children running around in cafes etc and shudder at the noise and mess and think 'get me out of here now') and all the examples of happy little threesomes fills me with hope that it could be us.

DH is one of three boys, the youngest, and has a further two step-brothers, younger than him. He is not close to any of them and hated being the younger brother and doesn't have fond childhood memories. I on the other hand am the oldest with a brother 15 months younger and a sister 9 years younger. Brother and I grew up together and I have very fond memories of playing with him as a child (not so much my sister as there was such a gap). So you never can tell if siblings will get along really so it's not a great reason to have more than one.

sewingmummy Mon 30-Dec-13 20:18:58

I love mumsnet!

I'm so glad I found this thread to smile

I have one gorgeous 4 year old daughter, she makes us so happy and is growing into a bright, caring, sociable little girl

...and yet, I beat myself up on a daily basis about the fact we don't have a second child. It doesn't help that I don't know a single person with one child, not one. Everyone I socialise with has 2, 3, 4 children...so I feel like a freak for only having one

I have been asked by countless people from friends, family members, hairdressers and people on bus stops "are you having any more?"...in the past I found it annoying, but after having a miscarriage in August of this year, I find the question downright upsetting. I never, ever ask people if they are going to have more children. How do I know whether they have fertility problems, have suffered miscarriages or simply, heaven forbid, just want to have one child!!

So, we're currently at the stage where we don't know whether to try again for #2 and we're seriously considering stopping at 1...

As I said above, we're happy, we just feel like we 'should' have another child...but in all honesty, my daughter never asks for a sibling & is surrounded by love, so why am I upsetting myself about trying again?

In the past few months my daughter has been to countless parties, plays with other friends & her cousins on a weekly basis, adores her pre-school & friends she has there. She has loads of attention from us, we play with her all the time, we go out on day trips a lot, we have lovely holidays and a warm, stable family life...so that's a lot to feel positive about smile

violator Wed 01-Jan-14 15:14:35

This is a lovely thread!
We're 99% sure DC will be an only. Very severe PND is one big reason, it took me about 18 months to start feeling semi-normal after his birth.

Both DH and I work in a business which involves long, unpredictable hours. That aspect of it is tough but our salaries are very good and we both love our jobs. DH in particular is ambitious and needs to put in the hours at work, which I found very hard while at home alone with a baby when DC was little.

I'm 37 now too and not sure I want to start again. I didn't like being pregnant and I didn't like the baby stage, how much of that was PND I don't know for sure. I do know now that lots of women don't like the baby stage and it's OK to admit that, it's not a "symptom" of anything!

DC is 2.5 now and a joy. He's completely bonkers, a whirlwind of energy and typically demanding for his age.

I just know, because I learned a lot about myself in recovery from depression, that I would not be able for another.
A baby and a toddler would be too much for me. I would manage, because I'd have to, but I don't want to manage, I want to enjoy my child and my own life too!

Having just DC is fantastic. DH and I can both work, it's easy to have DC minded, we can take him anywhere and everywhere with us, which we do. Holidays are easily planned and executed (and enjoyable!) our stress levels are low and DC gets the attention he needs at his age.
We'll work hard when he's older to foster good friendships for him and keep him involved in various sports and hobbies. He's a very sociable little boy and I'm certain he will be an independent little soul.

He went off with his dad to visit his grandparents this week, I have the house to myself for a few days and it's bliss! Long baths, lots of good TV, lie-ins! I miss my DH and DC of course but I need time out from being a mum. That is not so easy with more than one child.

Lots of my friends have just had their second babies and not one of them is particularly happy. They are all stressed, whether it's keeping the show on the road with a baby and an older child, worrying about how and when to return to work, if at all, and basically consigning themselves to child rearing and nothing else for the forseeable.
My own sister had 4 children and she spent 12 years rushing around, stressed and pretty miserable if I'm honest. Her youngest is 12 now and the teenage years aren't easy from what I can see.

I genuinely don't envy anyone else's family. I think that in itself tells me I'm happy with what we have, I don't have a "hole to fill" with another baby.

turkeybaby Fri 31-Jan-14 17:50:10

I am currently trying to get my head round whether i want a second dc and this thread has been amazing to read, and has actually brought my thinking on a long way.

My DD is 2 and i'm nearly 39 so i feel its decision time. My feeling is probably no. My relationship with DP sufferred hugely with a newborn and i don't want us to go through that again.

So thank you all the posters for your stories. It would be great to get updates from all those who posted years ago to find out whether they stuck with 1 DC after all and how they have found it!

Reveller Tue 04-Feb-14 22:16:20

My dp was the youngest of 4 until he turned 16 and I feel like I have had to do a lot of work to get him to share and think about others. I was the youngest of 2 and never got on with my brother, we were as a teacher described us "like chalk and cheese".

TheMumsRush Tue 11-Feb-14 10:02:16

i've been looking for a thread like this! thanks so much

mamamiaow Tue 11-Feb-14 21:58:42

Wow, what a lovely, brilliant thread. Glad I found this almost 9 year epic. We have and will have only one - currently 3 years old. It's bloody hard work at times, but great for all the reasons outlined above wink

Lozcat86 Sat 15-Feb-14 15:15:21

Lovely thread. My DD is going to be 16 weeks on Monday and will be an only although she has two half brothers from her dad's previous marriage who are 9 and 14 so I think she'll have the best of both worlds. I was planning on more but I had a traumatic emergency c section and my dd was in NICU for 3 weeks and born 4lb 6oz. I'm too scared to go through that again and not be so lucky next time. This thread has really made me feel good about our decision to stop with our beautiful girl. Thanks all x

WhatAFeline Sat 15-Feb-14 15:24:35

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for this thread. smile

Millie3030 Sun 23-Feb-14 21:30:46

Great thread, I only want one and think my DH is coming round to the idea of only 1. He always said he wanted 2 (well so did I actually) but my DS can be quite hard work and has made me realise I can't keep my sanity and have another!
People always say "but they need someone to play with" well he has friends, and family and cousins and ME and his dad! I can play with him and bake with him, and swim with him, because I might not be so frazzled as all my friends with 2 and 3!
The not child myths are not scientifically proven about them being spoilt, selfish etc, I have done my research, they are MYTHS, only children will grow up well if they are loved, the same as large families.

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