Sep 242008

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 Posted by at 1:55 am

  228 Responses to “Discussion Forum”

Comments (228)
  1. Jamie:

    I understand how you must feel. When ever you read a post from me I have to let you know that when I was growing up things were not the same. Jobs were flowing like a water fall. That’s why I sound like I do. You didnot have all these lost jobs,high unemployment we have today everyone had somewhere to go and somewhere to be. Back then it seem like just few.Now it’s every where.

  2. One thing that comes to mind is,If we were to have another child and then(knock on wood)something happened where it was hard to pay for certain things or the economy was to get worse,Is that fair then to your child to suffer more BC you felt he/she needed a sibling to grow up with????Having one child is less expensive but you really DO have to look at the financial side of this.LIke for our famiy it has been 10 years,things have changed MILK $2.89,GAS $3.64 everything is going higher and who knows when it will stop.I am a stay at home homeschool mother,I can’t go to work(way to long,12 yrs ago)My spot is here at home and we can make that work comfortably with just one child.

    Can you imagine actually having another child and then when they are grown up having nothing to do with each other,IT HAPPENS,My siblings and I can’t stand eachother.I always wonder how my life would be if I were an only child.

    My husband and I are going to make sure that we have enough funds set aside for just incase situations,this will make sure that our son can do what he needs to and everything should be okay,We can’t predict the future so why try to create the what ifs/

  3. Thank You very much Emilia. Your concern means a lot. Jr.

  4. My best wishes for you and your mother.

  5. I had to rush my mother to the hospital last Sunday by EMS because of a swollen toung,this to me is where the rubber meets the road.Your all alone not knowing what the out come is going to be.I know a lot of you have made fact about children fighting and not getting alone; but the worst thing that can happen to anyone is to be all by yourself in a time like this. The docters don’t know whats going on and your the only one it’s not easy to make it through by yourself.When you have other siblins it give you support and you don’t feel alone. I ask that you pray for my mother and I that we will come through alright.

  6. Hey you all,the group that I opened up on YAHOO isn’t just for Homeschooling onlies.You can join in if you have one child inyour family.It is a great place to talk all the time.

  7. Even tho I don’t know anyone on this site it’s amazeing to know that there are several onlies that fell and do the same as I do. Talking to yourself,playing the TV anything to hear voices. when I was younger I use to watch TV showes with family settings and may like I was one of them trying to fell how it would be with someone other than myself.I wish I could talk to some of you person to person and really unload how I fell.

  8. This is one of the most useful posts I’ve seen… thanks!

  9. I´m a 36 year old mom of a two year old girl. My husband and I were married for 5 years before we decided to have our first. We always thought we´d have 2 children. No more, no less. We were both 1 of 2 siblings.
    I always knew that I wanted to have my kids close together, I wanted them to be able to play together. When my baby girl turned one, I knew the time was coming to start trying to conceive the second one. I dreaded it. I hated the idea. Months passed and I didn´t feel any differently. I was pressuring myself to pick a month when we´d start trying for the second one. And then one day it struck me. “Who says I have to??” And I sat down with my excel spreadsheet and I outlined all the reasons why I didn´t want another child.
    1. Finances (I never expected my first child to cost that much!!)
    2. Time with my husband (we´d become co-owners at a daycare!)
    3. Another 4 years without traveling (this has always been my passion)
    4. My weight. (I´ve been battling weightloss my whole life and the post pregnancy weight was the biggest nightmare I´ve ever had to overcome)
    5. Time (My spouse and I both have to work and I wanted more time to dedicate to my little girl)
    6. My car ( I dont´want to have to spend more money on a bigger one!)
    7. My house (Staying at our smaller condo has allowed us to buy a small second home where the 3 of us can spend the weekends!!! An upgrade would have cost us the dream of owning a beach property)
    8. Do-Over (The idea of spending another 3 months of NO SLEEP didn´t appeal to me…)
    9. Fights- I dont´want to spend my life as a referee like all my friends

    And then I went over the reasons why I did want another child
    1. The grandparents expect it.
    2. To give my girl a playmate
    3. To give my girl a companion when my spouse and I are dead

    I quieted my mind on those three issues very quickly. I talked to my mom and she was surprisingly receptive. She was totally supportive of me when I told her how I was feeling. My husband dealt with my mother in law. She was just happy to have a granddaughter.

    My brother and his wife have a little girl 2 months younger than my girl. I´ve made sure that they spend atleast one hour a day together, everyday except weekends when I make playdates with other kids. That´s going to be her life companion and I will make sure that they grow up together. Farther along in life, I will hope that they continue to be close, but that´s not something I can guarantee.

    I can only hope that if I stay fit and excercise regularly I will live long enough to see her married and with a child or children of her own. My spouse and I are also making sure to save enough so that she will not be burdened by us if we should fall ill.

    After I made the decision, I found peace, I really did. Sometimes I´ll catch myself looking at a pair of sisters and wondering whether she´ll miss that, but then I think that she´ll have us, her parents more fully. And that in us being happier, she will lead a good life. Could it have been better? maybe, maybe not. But this life she´ll have will be just PERFECT!

  10. I am not in your shoes BUT I really do feel for you and send my LOve to you and your family.
    I have been wanting to have another baby off and on for years now and then I chage my mind and so does hubby.I would consider him to get a vasectomy or I would get my tubes tied but then taht SHUTS that OFF!!That is what I probably need so that I QUIT thinking of babies.Our son does ask off and on for a sibling but I really don’t think he understands fully how that will change our family of 3(like upside down.He wants someone to play with and well imaginie him at 15 he won’t want to really play full time with a 5 year old???
    I just wish I could be content with having one,I really feel pressured seeing friends with lots of kids all happy but I am sure that they have there moments.
    I can’t even guarantee that if he had siblings that they would be friends for life.I come from an older brother and an younger sisiter pluse 3 step brothers and we all live in the same county BUT can’t get along we don’t speak and don’t do hoildays anymore.Lots of family drama and hubby and I have chosen to live happily without all that and they drink and party a lot(grandparents)They even don’t come around anymore,sometimes we bump into them out and about.

    So we all can’t see into the future to guarantee anything BC if we could then we would know what was right or not.

    I am thinking of starting an YAHOO GROUP FOR ONLIES,any input.We need somewhere to go and chat with each other.

  11. The one thing I don’t see on this site is that parents of special needs kids often stop at one because that is more than enough to handle. My little one turns 4 this week. For the first 3 years and 3 months I was up 10-20 times per night, every night. There were times when I was up every 15 minutes for weeks on end. I truly am not exaggerating. There were times when the sleep deprivation was so bad that I lost part of my vision, stuttered and had a tremor. And yet people still ask me regularly when we are having a second. And they are so sure that it will be ok this time, really all babies make you tired. I adore my son. But I have diagnosed PTSD from never knowing if he would sleep or stop screaming. Things are just now, after 1.5 years of occupational therapy, uncountable doctors appointments, two types of sleeping meds in combination and 3.25 years of extreme sleep deprivation becoming just a little ok.

    I know I repeat myself here, but who does everyone else think they are to tell anyone with an only that their child will not be ok? My child would not have been ok if I had had a second. I could not meet my sons very extreme medical needs, why would I risk the health of a second infant, my sons health and my own health to have another. And yet here I am filled with guilt and putting off my husbands vasectomy – maybe someday two will be ok… But two won’t be ok. I want to have some peaceful time with my little guy – something we have so rarely had due to his medical issues. I don’t want to feel guilty for that. But I do worry. Will he be lonely? This is a big one for me – I have four brothers and countless extended family members and I can’t imagine having grown up without them. We are so close and so much a part of each others lives. but I can’t give him that, no matter how much I wish I could.

    Off to bed. Sleep is precious here.

  12. as the time goes on and my son grows older, i find myself more and more accepting of his only status. i also find myself taking back the phrase, if you will, and responding with joy and happiness when i discuss having an only child. i think a huge part of our sucessful family life will be contributed to the ongoing attitude of YES. i know i sound like an infomercial, trying to sell you something on late night television… but it’s true. the more accepting i am of our situation, the more acceptable the situation becomes.

    now i get a great deal of help from my child himself who will tell anyone who asks that he does NOT miss having siblings and does not wish for a brother OR a sister. he just likes “mumma, daddy and me”. period. many times, in a guarded effort to ease my own anxiety, i have asked him: do you wish you had a brother? what about a sister? do you like your life? he’s only five, but it matters to me. a lot.

    and yes, because he’s only five, i realize that he doesn’t have a clue what he’ll need when he grows up (but really who does?!). but if i tell him now that something is missing, he’ll grow up believing that. and if instead, i focus constantly on what he has, on what a wonderful gift and experience his life is, then that will be the focus. and if he comes to me some day and wishes for more, for a sibling, we’ll talk about it openly and honestly. and hopefully i can help him cope with some of the feelings that that may bring up.

    i’ve said this before, but you just can’t know what you’ll get out of relationships when you age. my close friend hasn’t seen his sister in 15 years. they speak once/year around xmas or when/if they have to coordinate travel for their mom. one of my own brothers lives a mere half hour from me and i see him two, three times/year. RELATIONSHIPS are what are important in a person’s life. friends CAN give more than family sometimes. there is no black and white in this debate. only multiple shades of grey …

  13. All and all after reading these comments it seems that it all comes down to how a person was raised. If you are the only child or a parent of the child and you have people droping in and out of your life off and on you don’t really feel alone because you have someone around. And you also have your alone time where you can unwind and rest. But if not you feel left out. I find myself talking out loud just to hear a voice as if I’m talking to someone.

  14. A –
    Try not to worry about what your son’s life will be like years from now. Who knows what will happen. Enjoy your family today, as it is now. I am an only, dealing with my mom in a nursing home. People ask me if it’s difficult doing it myself. Well, yes, it is. But I think it would be worse if I had a sibling who wasn’t helping. At least now I know what my role is and where I stand. And I am not alone in my life – I have a great husband and 2 great kids. Just the other day someone asked if I am lonely. I laughed. Yeah, maybe I was lonely 40 or 50 years ago, but now being an only is sort of a moot point.

  15. I guess my biggest concern is that feeling that time is passing by so quickly – even more so lately it seems. I just don’t want to have any regrets. I don’t want to resent my carefree husband who flys by the seat of his pants and doesnt seem too concerned at all about this. I hate to feel like our little family is here by accident. Unplanned. And somehow we’re just doing our best to work around it. Makes me feel so lonely, shallow and selfish. I love love love my almost 9-year-old son and it just breaks my heart that I couldn’t or can’t make it right for him. I brought him into this mess and I can’t start over again. Honestly, my logical side knows I’m crazy to really consider having another child now. It makes very little sense. People don’t ever ask me when I will have another one either. It’s like they are jealous of our little family. They tell me how lucky I am to have the best of both worlds. How I shouldnt consider starting over now. How tiring raising multiple children is. How the economy is so bad and we are smart to stop now. How siblings don’t make it easier either because they end up fighting a lot and might just be very different in personality so that they are never close anyway. And all of these things make sense.

    But here’s the thing: they aren’t the ones who will be an only child. They aren’t the ones who have a higher risk of being alone on family-oriented holidays. They aren’t the ones who will have to carry the sole burden of ailing parents….alone at the funerals….they make a point when they imply we’ll be better off now financially– but really, what’s more important – money or family? Can you really put a price on love? I don’t know. Most days I’m happy and content with the way things are….and then I find myself overwhelmed with these fears that I’m making a huge mistake.

  16. I am sorry to hear your story BUT I wouldn’t push to have another child just to have another prson to take care of us when we get older or to help out in certain circumstances.

  17. I’m an only child and it sucks.I have no close friends because when I was a child I had and still do have epilepsy.I am now 55 and I have a mother who had a stroke.I take care of her by myself.I don’t drive any more so you have to find someone to take you where you need to go I hate this I fell like a burden.I was married but not now.It felt funnie with my wifes family she came from a family of 14 children.We still talk and have 2 children.

  18. Hi all,
    I am an only who currently has a 2-year old son. After having one, I know now that I do not want another for the various reasons posted above (finances, career, stress levels, my own happy childhood, etc.). But, my husband does not agree and this is causing a lot of friction! Does anyone have any tips about how to talk to a spouse about this? I would appreciate any advice, thanks!

  19. Well, I agree that some people do have more kids when they can least afford it! For instance, I once read a book where a woman with one child and living on social security (British version of welfare) was undergoing artificial insemination to have another. Mind you, I don’t have anything against welfare for people who really need it, and I might have been more understanding if this woman had become pregnant accidentally and didn’t want an abortion or didn’t have any children at all, but here I think she was overstepping her bounds.

    I understand as well when you say that maybe having another baby would disrupt your present lifestyle. In my view, I’m open to adoption when my daughter is a little older. But while often people want to adopt small babies, I might be inclined to adopt a six-month- to two-year-old (unfortunately many children older than that have undergone abuse and may have behavioural problems, and I wouldn’t feel equipped for that challenge) because number one, I’ve given away most of my baby stuff and two, I’m not sure I’d want to go through the colic, waking up during the night, etc. Not that either was too bad with my daughter, but I think I’ve done my duty in this regard!

  20. Emilia,sorry if I sounded wrong there.I am talking MORE of people I know about having more kids and NOT thinking.

    I would L O V E to have more kids but it has been 10 years now and we are finally comfortable with our financial standings.The thing is hubby said OK if that is what I want,I don’t know what I want anymore.YES if it would be an easy pregnancy on me(????)and if we could afford an add on(we only have a 2 bedroom,so if we had a girl))The economy is playing a big role in our decision(for me)I don’t want our family to suffer at any cost BC of my want in life.The fact that our famiy would change dramatically. Zachary is at that age where he is ok with being an only(((at times)).Do I really want to go through the whole baby stage and all that comes with it.I guess it would be easier if I or hubby got fixed(haha that just sounds funny:)
    Maybe I should try this year to give this desire up!!!!!Anyone else feeling this way.

  21. To Diana, I’d say don’t have another baby unless you’re absolutely 100% sure that’s what you want to do. And maybe you might want to wait a few more years even if you do decide to have another.

    To Jamie, my brother and his wife have three kids. I think the third was a bit of a surprise but not so much of a surprise. From what my sister-in-law told me, they weren’t using reliable contraception, and they had kind of been discussing having another child for some time. But now my sister-in-law is adamant they’re done! So I don’t think they necessarily had a baby without thinking of the consequences. I am sure if they were having financial troubles they would have used trustworthy contraception. Yes, some people do have children without thinking, but for others it’s a deliberate decision, even if it might be the decision I would make (for instance, I like having more one-on-one time for my daughter, so for example having children less than two years apart would have a non-option for me).

    I spent some time with my brothers’ kids this week (a six- and three-year-old and a seven-month-old baby). I really love seeing them, but it corroborates in my mind that there is no way I would have more than child close in age at one time. Then I always like going back to my quiet household with one child…

  22. I wonder if those families that are having more children even think about PRICES and COSTS of having another kid at all.We have been thinking on IF we were to have another child could we even afford it,would I still be able to stay-at-home and homeschool???????The cost of everything is always going up and gas prices now are CRAZY..
    How do they actually live comfortably withoput worrying if they can give their family the neccessities that they need.
    My brother has 3 girls and they are always buying NEW clothes and the newest items on the market BUT then at thea same time they are hurting BC I see it and they even lost their home and now are renting.
    Why is it that some can just keeping having kids without even thinking???????

  23. Hi Everyone,
    I am new to this discussion, but find it oh so helpful! My husband and I always talked about having 2 kids, but now we are enjoying our 2 year old daughter so much, happy that she is hitting her milestones and questioning whether we want to start the whole process over again. My biggest concerns are companionship for her as she grows up and making sure she has family around her after we are gone. I know, rationally, these concerns are easily addressed in life – but it still all weighs on my brain.
    Thank you for this forum to get parents talking!

  24. Does anyone know of any BLOGS or GROUPS(yahoo)that are for us,you know the ones with onlies.
    I would like to have somewhere to talk with you all about lots of things.

  25. Hello, happy holidays everyone. Sorry, I’ve been lazy and haven’t contributed lately.

    My brother and wife and three kids are going to be coming (were stalled in England due to the bad weather there), so I’m wondering what’s going to happen with all four of the children together.

    I have to say yes, sometimes I get little twinges for another child. But spending time with my niece and nephew (now there’s a second niece from their side of the family) makes me realize that although I love spending time with them, I’m happy to hand them back to their parents at the end of the day. Don’t get me wrong: if anything happened to my brother and sister-in-law, I would take the kids in a heartbeat. But I realize how much work more than one small child at a time would be and that I’m happy with the girl I have.

  26. I havent heard anyone lately so I thought I would Wish You all a HAppy New YEar!!!!!How did your CHristmas go????We actually had a very nice relaxed Christmas with just the 3 of us.We went to my brother-in-laws and noticed with 4 girls how much he spent onChristmas.We actually was able to spend a little more on SPECIAL items with just haveing one child.BUT with also seeing that whole craziness family thing with all the kids running crazy does make me wonder a little(???about having more)but then I think WHY what is wrong with our family of 3.

  27. I am slowly starting to think the same thing.This is concerning the $$$$$ it takes to raise another child and the $$$$$ to further education and so on.It is cheaper to have just ONE and we can actually start traveling without the diapers and someone crying.
    I really agree with the comment #199 about the environment and overpopulation.Maybe someone whould tell the Duggar family about that!!!!!!!
    Blessings you all and have a safe Thanksgiving

  28. To one and only:

    Thank you for sharing. I can not tell you how what you wrote about growing up as an only and your feelings about raising an only mean. All the reasons that you give for having an only child are exactly what my husband and I feel; however, there is always that nagging feeling(or other people’s opinion) that I am failing our daughter on some level without giving her a sibling (or life long partner as my brother likes to call it), but to hear that people who are onlies do grow up and live happy, normal lives is a relief. We are happy with our family of 3 and I can only hope that the happiness we feel will be shared by my daughter and that she will know that we are doing what it best for all (we hope) in the long run. Happy marriage/parents = happy child. I also hope that we will be able to give her more attention, a college education, traveling experiences, etc… since we both work and I can not stay home. I can only hope that the time we do get to spend with her will be more meaningful and she will know that she has my undivided attention whenever possible 🙂

    Thank you again for sharing.

  29. I am an only child myself and absolutely loved it growing up. I never felt I missed anything except bickering or getting beat up by a sibling (that’s mostly what I saw of multi-kid families and my extended family. I always had what I needed and went to public school where I flourished and eventually got a degree at a top university. I am now happily married with an 18-month only of my own. Sometimes my husband puts the pressure on about having another child, but I am completely content raising my little girl and having a life too. Having an only child means: a more managable life situation in general, including ability to travel sooner and with more ease, a calmer family existence, more finanical means (e.g. only have to save for one college fund, only have to pay once for preschool, can live in a smaller house/apartment, etc.) and most importantly for someone like me, less stress! Let’s face it, in my situation as a stay at home mom I am doing the bulk of the work with the child, and if I feel having an only is best my husband will need to truly think that through and support that, until he can find a way to get me a lot more help. Also, I have a very, very active only and she needs lots of attention (not only for affection but to stay safe) and it is important to be realistic about what I can truly manage. When someone chids me about having an only, I remember also that I am helping the environment and our overpopulation issues as a society and a global citizen by having just one child.
    There is lots more to say, but the bottom line is I have to make the best decision for me and my family-and as someone who is an only child myself with a positive experience I am very happy and content with my decision. Best wishes to all only childrena and parents of only children out there!

  30. I apologize, Jamie, if I came across abrupt in my last message. I did not mean to offend, and wish you the best of luck in whatever you decide. Having children is rarely an easy decision.


  31. OKAY sorry for the misunderstanding message that I wrote.I am not saying to or not to have another kid for a playmate.I simply understand this situation BC my son is the same way right now.BUT on the other hand I am not for sure if I am totally not finished with having kids.I always have this feeling of being a mother to more children.I am not for sure totally NOR will I ever be for sure.We are not trying yet we are still discussing it.I just am not going tohave another kid for my son to have a sibling/playmate.He has friends and 5 dogs.ALL I AM SAYING IS I AM NEEDING TO FIND ANSWERS SOMEWHERE TO MY OWN QUESTIONS BUT SO FAR I HAVEN’T.Sorry for the confusion in my writing.

  32. Dear Jamie:

    Thanks for your response. But, it seems like you are contradicting yourselfin your own message. you start out saying don’t have another kid to provide a playmate, but then it seems like that is exactly what you are doing. Maybe you need to take your own advice?? REmember, yes, your son wants a sibiling, but he does realize it will be a baby for sevearl years and not a playmate right? And guess what, that baby will be your responsiblity, not his. So, you have to have this baby because you want it because you will be the one taking care of it and staying up all nigth with it, etc., not him….soemthing I also think about a lot. But, remmeber that this baby will not be a baby forever. So, about 4 to 5 years in he or she will start to be independent and all those wonderful things they get at this age, as I am sure you remember. So keep all of these things in mind before you make such a huge decision. I think that is what makes it so agonizing, is once you have one, you can’t take it back if it’s not working out like a new outfit. They are there for life.


  33. We all will feel liek we are depriving our ONLIES of the playmate BUT we need to find elsewhere to look for that NOT by having another baby that they can’t play with until 5 yrs or so.My son just turned 10 and he is always saying that he is bored by himself and wants a sibling really bad.
    WELL I stopped the pill but now I am wondering if we are really thinking clearly.Hubby says just let it happen BUT I am having doubts WHY WHY WHY he is on bored BUT I am having doubts now.I feel in a way is it worth going through all that again,10 years later,all the baby stuff,no sleep and the $$$$.I feel that I am coming up with reasons to NOT have another baby then there are times that I see babies and want to have more.I AM GOING CRAZY

  34. Hello All,

    Having a bad day on the only child issue today and needed to write. I feel like everywhere I turn I see 2 siblings happy and playing, and being with each other, having each other’s company, and it rips at my heart like words could not explain. My husband and I personally do not want to have another child, but the guilt is so strong on most day, I fear I will do it for my 5 year old son who is the most social boy I have ever known, and who constantly wants his friends to come over because he is lonely being the only child in the room. He is a very happy guy, but I know he longs for some company. Part of me knows that if I had a baby now, which I cannot afford anyway, he would not be able to play with him/her like he wants. He wants another 5 year old. And, I fear that I will resent him and the baby if I had another and did all the sacrificing for the baby that I don’t want to do and he didn’t play with him/her, and had the same issues, I think I would freak….because I know I had the baby for him and not us. Oh, I am not sure this is all making any sense. My head is spinning and my chest heavy heavy with guilt, I don’t think this guilt will ever go away…will it?

  35. A writer from the New York Post wants to talk to parents of onlies…

    “… looking for couples who’ve decided to stop at one child because of the economy. This is tied to the recent reports about how the US birth rate is dropping because of the recession….”

    Please let me know if you are interested. You can post your response here or send us an Email at

  36. Hello ladies,

    I had an epiphany tonight, which you would think would be obvious. There is no denying, and every mother would tell you whether they have 1 or more children, that having kids is difficult, tiring, and comes with so much sacrifice, that it is just something that you cannot do without knowing for 100% that this is what you really want, as that is what will get you through those difficult times. I know when I wanted to get pregnant with Jakob that it was right, I knew it and I felt it. Now that feeling is not there, and unless it returns and I just know it in myself that I want another, 1 will have to do for everyone.

    Thanks for “listening” ladies, it means a lot.

  37. Please, please don’t let anyone else tell you, guilt you, pressure you into having another child. I got so tired of it that I started researching only child parenting to prove it was possible to have a “normal” only child. Then, I started an only child blog at I have been posting a lot there lately. I just wrote a post about being “selfish” just last week. Check it out and let me know if there is anything you might want to learn more about. I would be happy to do some research for you (and my other readers).

    Alicia Staz

  38. I feel bad reading Janice’s post, because she is getting all of this input from people who are making her doubt her own feelings, and making her feel guilty.


    Do not feel guilty! Do what you feel is right for you. Having a second child to appease friends, neighbors and family is silly. Unless those people plan on coming to your house and raising your kids, they don’t get a vote!

    Also, your son is now 5 years old. If you get pregnant tomorrow, there will be a 6 year spread in your kids’ ages. Not ideal for the “sibling as playmate” scenario.

    As for “thinking past the baby stage”, here is something funny to think about. I have 2 kids, one in high school and one in college. The day after my son left for college, a family member commented on my daughter’s behavior by saying “She’s already acting spoiled, because now she’s an only child.”

    In case you are wondering why I have 2 kids (not to mention 3 step kids, too) and I am posting here, it is because I am an adult only child. I always wanted 2 kids, because I didn’t want my kids getting the grief I get about being an only. When we started our family and I had a difficult time getting pregnant, we immediately started looking into adoption. The result – one adopted, one biological. Those early years were tough, but we are past that baby stage. And we are past the school age stage, and we are almost past the teenage stage. And it’s all been a challenge on some level.

    So after going through so much to give my kids a “normal” childhood, my daughter is dubbed an only now that her brother is gone?!?? She thinks it’s funny, because we’ve always gotten some grief about our son being adopted. Someone once said that he isn’t a “real” child, so we tease him about not being real, and we tell her that since he isn’t real, she’s an only and should demand to be spoiled. (I always joke about my being an only and thus terribly spoiled.) Add the 3 step siblings, and it gets even funnier. Recently she was filling out a school form that asked how many siblings she has, so she had to decide if she has no siblings, 1 sibling, or 4 siblings.

    She always says she has 4 siblings. And my son knows that he is real, and loved. And my daughter doesn’t act like a “spoiled only child”, she acts like a normal 16 year old. And I get accused of being a “spoiled only child” even though I am neither spoiled, nor a child. That’s life.

    Families come in all shapes and sizes, and they all have a story. Enjoy your family, make your own stories, and don’t change anything to appease others.

  39. To Janice,

    Great, another Canadian on this board! I live in Toronto, which isn’t really near to where you are, but it’s in the same province and general area.

    Just a few words of advice… well, maybe not advice; I’m not a psychologist. I always think that it’s better to regret not having a second child than to have a second child and later regret having him or her. That is not to say that you would regret having a second, but I do think you shouldn’t have a child because you feel you must have one for your existing son, for your family members, etcetera. I know that the one-child choice may not be the majority choice and that maybe most women with 2+ kids in the same age bracket are happy, but I know myself well enough to know that I personally wouldn’t be.

    Now to the “selfish” thing. I know parents of only children are often accused of being “selfish.” My answer to that is that we’re all selfish. I was thinking of myself and what I wanted when I decided to have only one child. The woman who has 10 kids was thinking of herself when she decided to have 10 kids because that’s what she wanted. The couple who decides not to have children at all are thinking of themselves because that’s what they wanted.

    About “depriving” your son of a sibling, maybe we’re all depriving our children of something or other. I’m depriving my daughter of a mother who goes on camping trips with her because I hate camping (when she’s older she can go with her school). So do what feels comfortable for yourself, not what others want for you and your family.

  40. Wow, I may sound crazy right now after reading all of the posts since my original message in May I want to cry..with joy. To see that I am not alone and that so many women from all over feel just like me gives me such a freedom I cannot put into words. I have been plagued with this same subject of all of these posts, whether to have another child or not, pretty much since my son turned around 1. He is 5 now and nothing has changed. I still struggle with it pretty much constantly. As I mentioned in my earlier post, I KNOW I do not want another child. And as so many of you have mentioned that makes me laugh because it is so true for me as well, my husband is so content and sure about only having the one child that I want to choke him sometimes! I have read through all of your comments and you are all exactly like me, people who reason, think through things very thoroughly, probably not accused of being spontaneous very often, and people who weigh pros and cons of most things in our lives. Sometimes I wonder if that is always a good thing, or sometimes a bad thing…should we all be picking apart every angle of this or should we be more risk takers or just not so analytical with this.I have a friend who is currently pregnant with her third and I envy her to no end as she is sooo content with her children, who by the way have not been easy. They are both under 4 and she is probably the happies person I know. My sister-in-law one days said something to me that stuck with me. She said, why don’t you want another one? When I said I don’t want to have to deal with all of the responsibility, she said, “their not small forever, after 2 or 3 years they are off playing with their sibling and starting on their way to be as independent as they do become as they grow older”. I had never really thought past the baby stage, which I hear the most from everyone on this post. Do you guys every think of that?…the fact that the baby part is really not that long and then you have a kid to deal with that is nowhere as challenging. Do you think this is worth considering or would/should it influence the decision to have another? At the same time, I think, wow, 2 kids to feed, bathe, do homework with, pay for sports, take to sports, deal with issues with such as socially (friends, lack of if that were to happen, etc.) and it makes my head spin. Also, by the way, she has 3 kids and is quite miserable in her life. Not with her kids, but I think all of the baggage that comes with having multiple children; money constraints, minimal or not time for herself, etc. I really, really do not want that to be me. But I listen to myself and it all seems to speculative. You just really do not know what will happen if you have another. Are we just too scared? What if we have another and it made out lives that much richer? The speculating in either direction, whether life would be “better” or “worse” drives me mad. I often wish I could be someone else, feel like someone else. Why can’t I have the patience, desire, ability to keep it together like other moms I see with 2 kids? Why do I have to be this person who is more interested in getting back into shape and starting to look attractive again and care about that again like I used to, want to go back to school, have a life with my husband again, which has only started again in the last year since Jakob has been 4 and more independent which feels great too. I know you can’t think about trying to be someone I am not, but I know I would be the devil woman if I had another, the patience just isn’t there, neither is the desire to give what little time I do have for myself, to another child. I know I am rambling here but it feels good so I will keep doing it. Well, I am trying to come to terms with the fact that I am not that all encompased mom that loves being with her kids and not needing to anything else in any major way, that is just not who I am.I don’t just want to be mom, I love being a mom, my son is the light of our lives, but I also want to be a woman, a wife, an individual, and have a part of my life for myself too. I just often feel that this person that I know I am is not fair to my child becase he is missing out on a life with a brother or sister and maybe a great friend and companion, because I am selfish and wanting to spend that time for me and not them….sigh…oh my, I think I am beating myself up quite a bit here but I guess it is who I feel, disappointed in myself but unable to change to that person I wish I could be but am not…..sniff.

    Just also want to say how much I absolutely love this post and appreciate so much all of you guys and your comments and willingness to be open and spill your guts about all of this, it is really therapy for us all. I love being a woman.

    If anyone writing lives in the Simcoe County area in Ontario north of Toronto, do contact me. I would love to connect with another single child mom in my area face to face.

    Keep all of the posts coming ladies, it is food to our souls.

    Janice xo

  41. Dear Parents of Onlies,
    We were recently contacted by one of the bigger radio shows in the UK. They would like to speak to parents of onlies for an upcoming production.
    They, however, do require participants to be physically present in London or thereabouts.
    If anyone is interested, please either drop us a line at or just post on this forum.
    Manika (Admin)


    Here is a short video that captures the feelings/thoughts of EVERY ‘only child’ at one time or another. Please post feedback. Thank you…….Jeff

  43. This is a great resource! I am the mom of an only child. We are not having any more children. I like to say that my husband is “fixed”. He didn’t want any other children and I convinced him to try for another when my son was 18 months old. I lost our 2nd child at 18 weeks gestation. We decided at that point we were happy with our family of 3 and we have not looked back. We are so sure that I write an only child blog called the Only Child Option.

  44. Dear Carolyn,

    Thank you for your contribution. I’m always interested to hear what the experiences of only children themselves were – how our children might come to look at their own childhood.

    I find it interesting that you’re raising two children. My daughter now says that she wants two babies (I guess she’s not going past the baby stage at this moment). But I tell her any number of kids she has is fine by me.

    Oh, and for people who say that only children are selfish, I’ve got this response from a woman who was an only children and wrote about it on her website: St. Nick was an only child.

  45. I am an adult only child, and while I can’t say I had an ideal childhood, I grew up fine. My biggest only-related problem at this point is the insensitive and unfair comments I get from friends. They tend to assume to know what my childhood was like, and assume that everything I felt or feel is somehow related to my being an only. It’s a form of prejudice, one that I find offensive.

    A lot of factors make up someone’s childhood and ultimate adult outlook on life – economic status, personalities of the parents and the child, type of neighborhood, etc. I grew up in the inner city, fairly poor, with a lot of people around me. I played in public parks, went to a large public school, lived in a small apartment, and had to rely on public transportation, as we could not afford a car.

    I now live in suburbia, where I am raising my 2 children. We all live in big houses, families go on nice vacations, most of us drive nice cars, and all of the kids get a lot – sports, clothing, cars, parties, etc. I’m not saying they are spoiled – that would just be another type of prejudice – but they certainly have more than I could have dreamed of as a child.

    So I find it… what?… funny, offensive, annoying, ironic – that these suburban parents assume that I was spoiled and selfish. Not to mention that most of these people are not raising large families – most families I know have 2 children. Do they really think they would be living totally differently if they only had one child – I think not.

  46. Dear Linda,

    My (admittedly amateur) advice is that if you’re not 100% sure of doing something, whether it’s having a child, getting married, buying a house, etcetera, don’t do it. But if you’re so upset about being undecided, maybe you (and your husband; how does he feel about this?) could go see a counsellor or psychiatrist to discuss your feelings and come to some kind of resolution, whatever your final decision is.

    I mean I can see some advantages of having another child (having an older child, you won’t have to divide your time as much between the two, the pleasure of enjoying your new child’s babyhood) as well as some disadvantages, like starting everything over from scratch, the higher risk of Down Syndrome, and so on. So maybe you could discuss whether the risks outweigh the benefits or vice versa.

  47. Thanks to all for replying here. When I first found this blog. i was every excited. These days, i am so occupied with the idea of having another child or not that my normal life is greatly disturbed,even my health. I want to forget this idea, but it’s so hard for me. I know clearly that there are advantages and disadvantages for everything. But i just cant control myself from weighing the two sides again and again and again. I know my age is almost a critical point. I don’t know whether i will regret for the rest of my life if i miss this last chance. And I am also afraid that i may make a wrong decision to have another child. For these days, i finish every day with the idea of “no another child”, but begin a new day with the idea of “may be two”. Now i can’t have normal sleep and diet. i am so obsessed with this problem that i begin to hate myself so much. I hate my hesitating. i hate my undeciding. I just want to find a way out so much.
    Anyhow, thanks so much for writing back here.

  48. I feel that way as well.I will always want to have another child BUt,I need to come to terms and enjoy our son.Who knows if we had another child what will happens until it happens.I am the middle child and I feel I have no father BC I am ignored(the one they have nothing to do)THat being said,I always tell my husband that we need to have another child so that our son will have another family memeber to grow up with.BUT then I need to realize that they may groww up and never speak to each other or the age gap(10 yrs old)may be too much for them.And as I read other comments I begin to think if that was to happen(having another child)we would start all over again and our lives would change dramatically,I am not saying that in a bad way but everything would change.there is one major thing with the economy the way it is,what would happen,would I actually have to get a job,how could we afford a add on to the house,homeschooling 2 kids soooo much more.
    I LOVE THIS BLOG it really helps me realize the truths behing having a only child.

  49. ah, the “only child myth” or is it a myth? one of my biggest fears is very similar cloudy. that i am raising a spoiled brat. my therapist tells me the very nature of being concerned about it is a great first step in making sure it doesn’t happen that way.
    that said, i do think it’s easier to make allowances and be lenient with one child because they are all you have to deal with. with another kid in the mix, or more than two, there are additional people to consider, likes and dislikes, personalities and requirements. an only child can in turns much more flexible but also much more specific about what he or she needs or wants.
    i would challenge you a bit, cloudy, when you say you worry if you’ll be up to the challenge of raising an only child to not be those things you worry about, that having a second child is absolutely no guarantee that your first will be or act or behave any differently. know what i mean? kids are who they are, from the time they come out of the womb. yes, we shape them, help them understand their world and learn right from wrong. but if you have a spirited child or a little buddah, that IS who they are. my son was born spirited. he’s never ever been still or quiet or slow or thoughtful. not to say he’s unthoughtful, but he’s not pensive.
    anyways, all i’m trying to illustrate is that easy is relative, and challenges come in all shapes and sizes 😉
    i don’t think we need to prescribe to a stereotype and let it lie. i believe that only children can grow into wonderful thoughtful generous human beings.
    really, all i need to do is look at my own family – i’m the oldest, and my middle brother is definitely the most self-centred brat of the three of us. he’s married to a middle child who perpetuates his behaviour with her own. so you don’t need to be raised without siblings to be self-centred and spoiled. having another child is zero guarantee that your daughter will be well adjusted and happy, not to be harsh, but that’s my perspective.
    linda, i think children need to come from the deep, dark desire, weighed against all other aspects of your life. as someone who goes back and forth a lot with this struggle – my own, understand, because the option is off the table in our household – i can relate to WANTING another, i just know it would impact so many other areas of my life in a way that would not be positive. as emilia liz said, and i strongly believe that number of children we have won’t impact our loneliness in old age. the number of siblings we have won’t dictate our pleasure with life. it CAN but there are no guarantees that it’s all positive impact.
    i do believe, and this is what i strive for, that the greatest impact i can make on my son and his upbringing is to find and make peace with my decisions in life and demonstrate to him how a healthy relationship works, and what it means to honour yourself as an individual.

    here’s hoping anyways.

  50. I’ve got a daughter and would like another child, but my husband wants to focus on his career and says he can’t do that with another baby. I work too. Either we’ll start trying in the next six months or we won’t. I’m 42, so even if we DO start trying, no guarantee we’ll have another.

    So I’m trying to come to terms with the idea of having an only child. I’ve just bought a couple of books (including “Joys and Challenges”) and am trying to be open minded.

    But here’s my problem. Of the only children I know who are my age, most ARE spoiled, don’t understand loyalty, and/or wish they’d had a playmate when they were younger. They have other good qualities, but I find (as someone with both full and half siblings) most have a certain selfishness that I think is on the unhealthy side. I’m a scientist and interested in psychology, so I don’t think this is just prejudice. My observation is that there is something there.

    Obviously the fact that I know some where this is not true says that it’s not necessary to spoil an only child or to let them be lonely. But it’s a challenge. I guess part of the question is just how hard a challenge and whether I’m up to it.

    Also, it’s possible that this was a generational thing… that I would find only children in their 20s much better adjusted then the ones I know in their 40s.

    I guess I just want to confirm that the so-called myth of the “only child” isn’t only a myth. Because only if I know that we share this common view can I then build on the knowledge of the community and trust that I will be able to overcome the difficulties and make my daughter the happy and generous person I’d like her to be.

  51. Hi, Linda. It is always interesting to hear from people around the world about having an only child. I’m Canadian, and we have a few other Canadians who’ve posted here, but most of us are Americans.

    I can kind of understand your situation: I’m 41 now too, and while I’m pretty sure I won’t be having any more children, at least biologically (I’m open to adoption, even though I know adoption is easier said than done), it still is at the back of my mind that if I want a child, I should have one now.

    I guess my (admittedly amateur) advice to you is only have another child if you want one, not for your existing child, and don’t not have a child just because you think your son is not keen on the idea. As for loneliness, I don’t necessarily think children are a remedy to loneliness in old age; many times children move far away from home, and even if they’re in the same city it doesn’t necessarily mean they will be emotionally close to their parents.

    The one advantage, as opposed to disadvantage, about having a large age gap between your son and any future children is that they won’t fight over things like toys, games, etcetera, and you’ll be able to devote more time to a newborn without another young child demanding all your time too. That’s why even if I did decide to have another child, I would wait until my daughter is at least seven years old.

    I don’t know what the situation is with maternity leave and so on in China. Maybe you could arrange to work part rather than full time, at least during the baby’s first year, if you find your workplace too demanding? But again, I would say maybe you (and your husband) could discuss between yourselves and perhaps other family members or a counsellor (if you have those in China) about whether to have another child and come to a conclusion that way.

  52. Hi,everyone.
    I am now in the delimma. I don’t know whether i should have another child. My situation is that most people here (China)have only one child in their families. I am an ethnic minority and have the right to have two children. But, when my son (13 years old now) was young, the idea of having two children never occured to me because of the difficulties of raising a baby for a working mother and the financial situation. But now with the improvement of financial conditions and the growing up of my son, the idea of having another chid occured to me very often. However, my main problem is that my job, as a teacher in a university in China, is especially demanding. With another baby coming, i wont have enough time to cope well with my teaching. That will put me under greater pressure. And it is not a practice here in China for women (especially teachers) to quit their jobs for having a baby. Most of my collegues at my age can devote more to their teaching and academic researching with a growing up child. Also, my age (41 now)is a consideration. Am i too old to have another baby now? The idea of having a teen when i am in my late fities is somewhat frightening. And i am afraid that the child will not feel good with parents looking like his grandparents. My son doesn’t care much about the idea of having a sister or brother. Most of his friends and classmates are singtons. He is 13 now, so a sister or brother won’t be his playmate because of the age gap. I am thinking about having another child just because i am afraid that six years later when my son leaves us for university study in another city (there’s few universties in my city and not good ones), we might feel very lonely. It’s true that you can not gurantee to have your children to live close to you no matter how many children you have. But the chances are more with one more child. Another reason is that I am afraid my son will regret I didn’t take the priviledge (as a ethnic minority)to give him a sibling when he gets older and when he feels lonely and when he himself has to take all the responsibilies of taking care of aging parents. Am I too selfish to want to having another child at this age just for the sake of having a child with us when our son leaves for his college in the future and just for the sake offering my son a helper in taking care of parents? But on the other hand, am i too selfish not to have another child just for the sake of my job?

  53. Hi! I just wrote an article that kind of has to do with having another child. I’ll just print it now.

    Winding down: My journey towards menopause

    About a year and a half ago I wrote an essay about having an only child. I said in it that although I was fairly certain I would not have any more biological children, I had decided against a tubal ligation in the small likelihood I chose to have another baby. Now nature seems to have made the choice for me. I’m going through perimenopause, the phase of a woman’s life just before menopause.

    While menopause is thought of as the complete cessation of menstruation, ironically one of the first signs of perimenopause is that a woman’s periods come more often. My own menstrual cycle, for example, has gone from its previous monthly schedule to between 21 and 25 days. Eventually, though, menstruation becomes less frequent than usual and ultimately stops altogether.

    When I realized that my consistently short cycles were not merely one-time aberrations and that I was indeed undergoing perimenopause, I had to take in the implications of that – beyond of course the temporarily increased spending on feminine hygiene products. The most important question was whether or not I would be able to have another child. My doctor told me flatly that if I really wanted to, I’d better start working on it now. I still appear to be ovulating. However, at my age – I’m 41 and three-quarter years as I write this – the eggs I have left are less likely to be fertilized in the first place and, if they are, more likely to end in miscarriage. Even if I were successful in getting pregnant, there is also the higher risk of Down syndrome and other chromosomal abnormalities in the resulting fetus. I don’t relish the idea of being forced to choose between having an abortion on one hand and bearing a developmentally disabled child on the other.

    There’s also the question of the dynamics with my existing child, now three years old. She’s a fairly easy and even-tempered girl (she’s never given me a sleepless night, even as an infant), and we’ve sort of settled into a comfortable rhythm with both of our schedules. But another baby could throw this symbiosis completely off-balance, especially if he or she were not quite as adaptable as my daughter. And no matter how “good” she is, my little one is still after all a little one and I’m not sure I could handle two kids under a certain age at the same time. To paraphrase Mohammed’s advice in the Koran about taking another wife, if you fear you cannot deal justly with two or more, have only one.

    So I’ve, again, concluded that I only want one child, at least for now. I’m open to adopting later on when my daughter is older and less dependent on me. But with the decision to forgo any further biological reproduction comes a certain sadness. It’s a visceral emotion, essentially, as I’m perfectly content with the child I have now and don’t possess any overwhelming urge to procreate at this point. Yet there’s a certain bittersweet feeling that I won’t ever experience pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding again, that I won’t have another genetic child whose looks and temperament and so on I can compare with my daughter’s and say, “That’s where he/she gets it from!” This sadness quickly passes, though. Not only am I satisfied with my daughter, but I “have” a lot of other children – a bevy of nieces and nephews and now a great-niece (the daughter of one of my sister’s biracial sons and his wife).

    I suppose the other thing I must confront in approaching “the change” is the fact that I’m getting older. I remember once when I was working in a hospital as a college student during the summer I had a 60-year-old patient tell me she felt sad seeing the tampon dispenser in the hospital washroom because it reminded her of when she was young. I said most women my age would be pleased NOT to have a reason to use the dispenser. Two decades later, I’m more understanding of her. Over the years I’ve taken my menstrual cycle for granted: even if it could be a nuisance, it was just “there.” But as I know from my older sister, who’s undergoing her menopausal transition right now, and from friends who’ve already passed theirs, life goes on. Not to mention that I’ll be spared from shelling out money for sanitary pads and another IUD!

  54. i read a cheeky comment on another blog site about a mom saying her regular response is something along the lines of, i already did it once and i have the perfect child, why would i need another? babies ARE a gift and a blessing from god, but is god there in the middle of the night when no one’s slept in a week and nothing you’re doing can get the baby to settle? is god there to play with your older, feeling-left-out child while you are focussing on the first? is god gonna pay for college?!? i realize that some people who have a lot more faith than i do, might say that yes, god would provide… well what god has provided ME is the ability to think and reason and come to the conclusion that one child is really the best thing for our family. so maybe i’ll say that to people who ask/tell me different!
    i think another thing to keep in mind is that people are really nosy and rude and we shouldn’t HAVE to have an answer for them about how many children we’re having. any of us! the ONLY people it ever matters to and for are those of us in the thick of the family relationship. in my house, it’s the three of us who matter most, and two of us who make the major decisions. and even with only TWO opinions look how long and complicated and drawn out the decision is and although it’s made, make no mistake, i still linger sometimes in the “what-ifs”. so all i’m saying is if we as a family go through this, and other random friends and even strangers want to weigh in … well, they are going to have to take a really low priority. hahaha

  55. marc’s mom
    I really agree with you,I am trying to enjoy living in the moment and as a family of 3.I am going to try to ignore those prgnant bellies and the cute baby clothes too!!!!My hubby made a very good point yesterday,our financial spot is growing so good and he will be able to retire when he wants WHY change that with trying to have another baby.So point taken from his view.I am also trying to avoid comments from others like this {{babies are gifts/blessings from god,take it if you can}}Well that is another topic,BC I don’t know really if it is in our future plans at all.How do you know the answer to that??????

  56. i met my new nephew for the first time this past weekend. and it wasn’t nearly as difficult as i suspected it might be. which was a good thing… i didn’t want to be tortured by his presence. LOL i guess one thing i’ve learned is that there really is nothing absolutely nothing like holding your own child. cuz altho i love my little nephew, he’s cute and sweet and small and squidgy, i don’t feel that THING that i felt – still feel!- with my own son. this deep primal urge to nurture and protect and celebrate. so anyways, met the babe, felt good and not overly disturbed by his baby-ness and then my husband and son went to play at the local park and i did some fussing around the house and then leisurely walked up the street to get some groceries … and i was feeling comfortable, and relaxed and fairly casual. and it hit me like a ton of bricks – my life is great! it really really is! i have the best of both worlds, i really do. i would not be doing what i am doing if i were pregnant, or trying to get pregnant, or nursing a newborn. everything would change. it would affect every thing i do in every way. and no, i am no where near willing to let it go, to let all of what i know and am so happy with, be disrupted, for the sake of a child who does not exist. so this is acceptance at the moment, this week. haha … doesn’t mean the longing won’t come back again, but today, right now, it’s waned significantly. i think it’s really about looking IN, focussing on ME and US, and yes, ignoring those lovely round pregnant bellies and avoiding the sweet infant clothes aisle at our favourite stores… looking in, and finding contentment with what i find there.

  57. Well I guess the decision has been made,I called in to refill my birth control.And Yes I hated it,why there of course I see 2 pregnant young moms.I walk by all the baby stuff at Walmart it will eat me up though but hubby and I think it is best for my health and probobly meant to be.

  58. I think whatever decision we make – getting married, having a child, having a second child, etcetera – we always have some second thoughts. I suppose that’s why I chose not to have a tubal ligation – I wasn’t 100% sure that I would never want another child biologically. However, now that it appears I may be undergoing premature menopause, I’m faced with the dilemma that my ability to bear a child may be nearing an end. But I’m 100% confident that having a child right now, when my daughter is still very dependent on me, would be a disaster for the whole family. And I’m at peace with the idea that I may lose my last chance to another biological child. I’m still open to adoption in the future, even though that’s an unknown, given how hard it is to adopt. But all in all, I’m content with having one child.

  59. Yes admin I am getting them to.
    I am still going crazy about the whole thing.I had a doctors apt w/OBGYN and we discussed it and she said I need to loose 19 pounds and start prenatle(sp) vitamins.She has dais that we(I) need to let stress go and keep out the people who cause stress.My blood pressure is perfect,but I am concerned about PPD I had it really bad after Zachary and what if I get it again I hated that feeling of being mean and crying and not having anything to do with my baby boy.
    Shane and I talked last night and he said to stop worrying and if it happens then it happens if not then it wasn’t meant to be.BUT I am a planner I need to know if we are and get prepared but at the same time I feel that I am talking my way out of it.Make sense to you??????I love our family of 3 I really dopn’t know why I keep having the feeling along with stress about having another baby.
    I really am so happy I found you all.

  60. Thanks for the feedback Marc’s mum and Ciec.

  61. Admin –
    Yes, I am getting all the new posts and comments. I now just need to find time to make replies.

  62. hi admin,
    yes, since my first post the other day, i have been notified of each additional comment, via my email address.
    i may be single-handedly trying to boost the conversation! it’s going on in my head, i might as well put it out there to others who can maybe relate!

  63. Those of you who subscribed with your email addresses: Are you getting email notifications when new comments are posted here?
    Please let us know by putting a comment here.

  64. sooooooooooo interesting to me how i can feel so distinctly and strongly, two different ways. Emilia Liz, what you wrote, about not being prepared to risk what you have, that is me to a tee. i am not prepared to risk what we’ve worked so hard for!
    and yet, onemomonedadonechild writes about her friend giving her the epiphany … and she realized she really didn’t want to be someone else’s mom. well, i would NEVER give marc up for anything, but i could be mom to another, i know in my heart of hearts, i could love another child as much as i love marc. i just don’t think i could also have room or time or energy to love my husband, or – even more importantly – myself – the way we need to be loved and cared for. and i am nowhere near as good at taking care of myself as i should be. again with the guilt, but also quite literally not having the time, and not having the time to figure out how to carve out the time. and i think all this and realize, MAN i would be a fool to have another child.
    the other thing onemomonedadonechild writes that really strikes me – nothing is missing. i feel something is missing, but again, it is not necessarily a new baby, it is more likely the contentedness that seems to elude me. i do want more than what i have, but i’m starting to allow myself the space to recognize that it doesn’t have to come from mothering a second child. in fact, if i ever want to truly connect with and support my self again in a meaningful way, i am far better off to look in ALL other directions, than that one.
    it never ceases to amaze me how i can work through little bits of this at a time and find a new way to be okay with it. i am realizing more and more how much of my feelings are tied to longing for OTHER things as well, far beyond another child. things like moving back home, continuing to grow my career, and finding new creative outlets.
    thank you to those who’ve written before, and since i posted. there’s no doubt this site has brought me support and encouragement in a very short period of time.

  65. For those of you in agony about the choice to have another, I can only say I was there in Jan-June 2009. It was horrible. Every day, every night, the question of whether to have another or not. It definitely wouldn’t have been our desire to have another child for our sakes. It would have been a decision made solely not to deprive our child of a sibling. We went through all the pros and cons above. My husband was very at peace with one child. But I was really torn. Then, one magical day in June, I was talking to a friend of mine who has one biological child and who was adopting another. She said the magic words that finally pushed me off of the fence: “I want to be someone else’s mom.” And I thought, “Wow, I really don’t want to be someone else’s mom. I’m very happy being my child’s mom and if she is the only child that ever makes me a mom, that is perfectly wonderful.” And from that discussion, I was finally able to put down the decision and move on. I have never looked back. Our child has asked for a sibling less than a handful of times and I feel that there is no strong desire (at least at this point) for a sibling. Her life is full and good and she knows she is completely loved and accepted by her parents and that NOTHING IS MISSING. We talk to her about the pros and cons of being a single child. We’re up front about not having to have her toys broken, but also not having a go-to live-in playmate. We have made our decision with open hearts and a desire for the best life for ALL of us. We are one mom, one dad and one wonderful child.

  66. Hi, Emma. Happy to see yet another Canadian here (and I’m happy we attract people from all over the world too). I understand somewhat what you are going through, even though my situation is not comparable to yours. Though I’ve rationally decided I only want one biological child (as I mentioned, I haven’t ruled out adoptioni, but my chances of being able to adopt are probably remote at best), sometimes I have the longing for another (biological) child. Even though I might not be able to do so (I’m 41 and going through what might be premature menopause), even though I couldn’t deal with two small children at once, and even though if I want another biological child I better do so now. But then I ask myself this and say no, I’m not prepared to risk what I have now and go off my birth control and try to conceive and disrupt the equilibrium in my household. But sometimes I still get the urge for another, even though that urge doesn’t come too often.

    I just want to say: don’t feel guilty about not having another and “giving” your son a sibling. If another child would negatively impact your relationship with your husband, would that benefit your son? Of course you might someday decide to have another – but don’t do it because you feel guilty. From what you are writing here it sounds like your son is happy the way things are.

  67. i’m not entirely sure i’m doing this right … other forums i’ve belonged to were set up differently, but i’m looking to hook up with other parents of only children and this seems to be the place to do it! so, here goes!

    my name is emma, i live in vancouver, bc, canada. i am 38. my husband is 52. our son marc turned 4 in january. marc is an only child. recently, in a group setting introducing myself and my family situation, i said “my son is an only child and will remain so because my husband and i decided we wanted to stay married.” everyone (all moms) laughed, WITH me, not AT me, and commiserated. i laughed a bit back, but reiterated that it wasn’t a joke. after several years of therapy – both as a couple and individually for me – we have come to the conclusion that adding another child to the mix would be the proverbial straw on the camel’s back of our marriage. we have never tried to have a second child, we do not know if we would struggle or triumph. we will never know.

    this is not a decision that we made lightly, although i will clearly state that my husband was the driving force behind it. our son is incredible, lively, interested, intelligent, curious, sweet, loving and adventurous. he is also what “they” would call a spirited child. he does everything with a gusto that can be overwhelming to put it mildly and his constant need for attention and interaction are exhausting. he’s well suited as an only child; and in spite of recent requests/curious inquiries about having a brother, i do believe he’s going to live a rich life full of promise.

    and it’s SO important to me that his life be rich and full and good and fun. not a struggle. not full of strife. not weathering yet another screaming match between his stressed out, exhausted, over-worked not-so-good-at-caring-for-themselves-or-eachother- parents. so because we have worked so hard to overcome our differences and our parenting challenges and our communication breakdowns, it seems incredibly counterproductive to bring another child into our family and start the entire process anew. disintegration of the relationship and all …

    but some days i struggle horribly, pining desperately for another child. i never planned to be the mother of an only. i don’t know if i would feel worse or better if we HAD tried and failed. the longing is there, regardless of the reasons. but accompanying the longing is the knowledge that we truly have made the best choice for US as a family. i live a strange and interesting balance between the two states of mind. recently, for example, my brother and his wife had their second son. were i to do it again, i would so want another boy. and there they are, with two sons, just what i want. i am jealous, i will admit it, to almost everyone but them (but that’s another story altogether) and i feel achingly sad that i will never again feel the swell of my growing belly, suffer the incessant nausea and heartburn, feel those fluttery movements that give way to hearty kicks and punches. i will never again feel that overwhelming power of the contraction, experience a birth, feel my child’s head pushing out of my body, nurse a newborn, or smell that incredible, intoxicating scent of a new baby’s head.

    and then i look at my son and husband, similar heads bent in concentration over the colouring book; hear his triumphant shout as my son scores on daddy’s “nhl in the living room” net; and i feel a great sense of pride in our decision. we did NOT go blindly into that good night. we did not just choose to throw caution to the wind and see what would happen. we methodically and purposely analyzed our situation and came to the conclusion that makes the most sense for all of us.

    and for some reason that is where the guilt comes in. wow … interesting … i don’t think i ever wrote that out before, which makes me wonder if i’ve never quite realized it this way before … okay so, i feel guilty because i am choosing my marriage and myself over a second child. i really feel like we have two choices: give marc everything we can as an only child; OR give him a sibling. what happens after that, there’s no guarantee. we can and DO, do one kid amazingly well. it is our intense fear of what the second would do to us, that has led us to this final choice.

    my husband lives contentedly with all of this. he is very happy with this decision, with our lives. I am jealous of that, of his ability to just accept. but i also hope to learn from him, to draw some of that comfort, that okay-ness, into myself, and move toward ultimately living in and with it, on a daily basis, without having to weather the extreme ups and downs of wanting what i will never have.

    ultimately we will return to southern ontario, where my parents (all 3!) are, my husband’s small but warm family, and my crazy huge extended clan of aunts uncles and cousins on my mom’s side. returning home to family and long-time friends will change things again, shift our focus outside of our threesome, where it is firmly placed often i believe, because we are alone here, without much family (and those local do not strive to include us). so down the road, our world will expand beyond our daily lives, and with that change and broader perspective, i look forward to what I believe will be the final stages of true acceptance of my son, as an only child.

  68. 153/Ciec
    You have hit the spot with all of the above.My name is Jamie,from Indiana.My husband and I always! said “ONLY ONE CHILD” BC of the way both of us grew up,very dis-functional,we wanted to give our son the best of this world.All the love that he needs.I had a very bad pregnacy.
    1.hard to get pregnant(clomid)got pregnant on day we were not to,
    2.Blood Pressure,Bed Rest
    3.I was in the doctor office every week
    4.Started having contraction to soon.
    5.Family made me crazier during the pregnancy
    6.I BLEW up full of water.
    7,Delivered almost 2 months early
    8.No complications during pregnagny son was healthy.
    9.PPD very very bad,I didn’t want anthing to do with my own child(HOW could thi sof happened to me)
    10.I became very angry over him crying he wouldn’t breastfeed.He wouldn’t take bottle for me.My hubby stepped up,bless him!
    11.He had his nights and mornings mixed,so he never slepped.
    12.WE went through 3 different formulas.
    13.Even my mother was no help!she couldn’t keep him at the house while we moved dor 1 hour.By the time we got home she was holding him at the door waiting for us,BC he was crying.
    I could keep going,we are always going back and fourth to have another or not,I try to think of all the reasons to and not to.I am the one who really does and I really don’t know WHY,maybe BC I want a baby to dress and cuddle and a litttle but BC I want to be pregnant(sorta)Hubby is finally on board but I am always trying to convince myself NO.Wha tis goin on.I really thing I need a doctor or a book to tell me no!WE homeschool and I am not for sure if Icould handle another kid to school at the same time and the age gap my son is turning 10.We are finally getting on the financial track that we want to be.Our son is not spoiled,he is very thankful and respected.He gets comments all the time onhis behavior.I want to be there for him all the time and support whatever he decides to do in life.
    I am sorry for gabbing on and on,Iam so happy to find this place.
    Here is my blog please feel free to visit us

  69. Dear Des,

    You shouldn’t feel guilty about not wanting another child. And I would ask the people who say your daughter needs a sibling whether they’re willing to stay up all night with a colicky baby if you have one. I’m kidding here of course, but the fact is that they’re not the ones who would be raising your second child.

    And you’re right that siblings don’t always get along – or maybe they won’t fight, but they might not be particularly close either.

    I also think children should be wanted for themselves – not to provide a sibling for an existing child, to “save” a breaking marriage, etcetera. So it sounds like you’ve thought well and hard about why you don’t want another child and come up with some good reasons for yourself.

  70. Wow! I love this site! Ceic, I feel like your 5 reasons could’ve been written by me too! What a difficult decision this is; to have one or to have more? I am the same I do not want anymore children but the guilt weighs on me. We have close family friends who have an only child, one daughter who just graduated from University, she is a happy well rounded, adjusted young woman. When I think about all the reasons people tell me my daughter needs a sibling they just don’t make sense to me.
    I have one brother, we’re not that close, we live near eachother but only see or talk when we are at our parents house, there’s no hostility, we just aren’t that close. We have different lifestyles and values. Also I have always felt that my mom has favored my brother, this has hurt me very much and I do not want my daughter to ever feel this way. And I have always wanted a sister :)so I think, no matter what you have in life, or in your childhood, you always seem to want something different.
    My main reason for not having another child is that I do not believe I would be able to do a good job raising more than one, I think it is going to be a difficult job through the teenage years, and I want to be able to focus my energy on my daughter and I want a life with my husband too. I don’t think I could have more than one and do it well.

  71. Hi, Janice. I’m not that far away from you; I live in Toronto. About your son wanting a sibling, I think it’s easier to resist pressure to have another child from family members, in-laws or even a spouse than it is from a child. On the other hand, you have to remember that it’s not your son (or in my case my daughter) who will be raising a second child; it’s you and your husband who will. So don’t have another child out of a sense of duty or guilt. That’s my view, anyway.

  72. Wow, I found you! I have been thinking for so long about whether I could find a place where I could “talk” about my guilt feelings of having only one child. My son is one of the happiest 4 year old boys I have ever seen. My husband and I love him to bits and are very close and strong family unit. The only thing is that he does ask for a sibling and with his personality I feel fairly sure he would love one. Only thing is that my husband and I both have no desire for another one. Is it right to have a child then for my child? Sometimes I think if I did it I would love that child regardless and give my son what he probably deserves. Any others out there feeling the same? and what have you decided if at all yet?

    Also, any single child families in Barrie, Ontario looking to hang out with another single child family? we find that friends with multiple children don’t have as much of an interest to do things with other kids on week-ends and such since their kids have each other, so we are trying to find a way to connect to another family like us.

  73. Dear Ciec,Your list of 5 wrong reasons for having a child could have been written by me too. I completely understand where you are coming from. Most of the time I feel content with my decision to have one child but sometimes I get overwhelmed by guilt or inadequacies and I just don’t know what to do. My first pregnancy was unplanned but it was a wonderful and welcomed surprise at the time. If I were to get pregnant again, I think I would definitely be okay with it. But, actually sitting down and deciding that you are ready to be pregnant for someone like us is a torturous mental experience. I just tell myself that the only good reason to have another child is because I want that child. And, until I can say that with certainty I will continue on being the mother of one wonderful daughter.

    I hope that this helps you to find some peace with your decision.

  74. My only advice would be don’t have a second child for the wrong reasons, one being the idea that if you don’t your daughter will have a deprived childhood. Plenty of only children turn out to be very happy people, and in my view a child should be wanted for his/her own sake and not to provide a sibling to an existing one. As for pleasing your family and in-laws, ask yourself this question: are they going to help raise the second child (i.e. stay up all night with a colicky baby, etc.)?

    But if you decide to have a second child for yourself, that’s perfectly fine too. But don’t do it for anyone else, including your child, family, friends, etcetera.

  75. I am writing because I find myself torn about having more children. Almost a year ago I was in the same place that I am in now. For a time I was able to quiet the battle in my head about having more children. I was content with one and the thought of enjoying her childhood and not worrying about doing it all over again, etc…BUT as of late everyone around me is having # 2 or # 3 (school, neighborhood and church) and I am all of a sudden uncertain again. I feel a lot of guilt for feeling uncertain about more children or not want to have more. I worry my decision will hurt my daughter in the long run, will she resent me not giving her a life-long companion(as my brother calls it), will she be lonely, etc…but I find myself wanting another child for all the wrong reasons..
    1. just do it and get it over with, so I can be past this part of my life…get to the next step of the children’s development (not a baby person, neither is my husband)
    2. to please others (my family and in-laws)
    3. because I feel guilty
    4. that is what I am supposed to do or what I envisioned my life would look like
    5. so she will have a playmate or life-long companion

    …but I do not want another child because I have this aching need to have another. On the flip side there are tons of reasons not to have another….

    1. I love my daughter and want to give her a good life
    2. Pregnancy did not agree with me (High-Blood Pressure, Water Retention, Placenta Previa, C-Section, PPD for over 15 months)
    3. Not a baby person and having a child with colic was very hard on me and my husband
    4. Finances do not really allow it…although people say that you do not wait to have children until you can afford it, that you will find the money…I do not want to live so tight to have 2 children that I can not give them meaningful experiences
    5. I want to be able to help my daughter more than my parents were able to help me (college, support, time, etc…)
    6. To have my own life and time with my husband.

    I want my daughter to have a full and happy childhood; however, I do not want to lose myself or my relationship with my husband to do it. We had a very difficult transition from married life to family life(who is to say it was not just the colic and PPD, but who is to say that having more children is going to make if fill more fulfilled or feel further apart, because we have less time for one another…I know this sounds selfish!)

    I just wish there was a magically simple answer! How do I move on? How do I make this decision…if we have another will I feel better? If we decide to have an only…how do I make the guilt or feelings of inadequecy go away?

    I am writing because I need your ADVICE – Help!!! How do I quiet my mind and others that question having an only child?

  76. Yes, in Canada the terms “South Asian” and “East Indian” are interchangeable. Also, they refer to people not just from India but from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Pakistan. In Toronto, where I live, there is a big South Asian neighbourhood with shops, restaurants, etcetera, but you can generally find Indian restaurants anywhere in the city.

    I just wanted to say that in a lot of Western countries we have seen fertility rates fall rapidly. For example, Italy, where my father was born, has about the lowest birth rate in Europe, if not the world. But often people have this idea that Italians have huge families, number one because they’re Catholic, two because movies like The Godfather tend to reinforce that idea. So the West has changed a great deal too.

  77. Emilia Liz , what do you mean East Indian population ( do you mean South asian?).

  78. basically it seems to me looking at the above that we have3 types of situvation
    1) people who are okay with 1 child and just find other people too snoopy
    2)People who are trying to decide on the 2nd child
    3) People who want to have another and are trying hard for it.

    I think i belong to the 2nd category. So i am asking if there are anyone who grew up alone and what was the experience like .

  79. Thanks both of you to answer my question. I live in Mumbai ( one of the bigger cities of India). Things have changed a lot for us in the past 15 years. My mother in law had 5 children and nearly 20 years differnce between the 1st and last. She had only basic education (10th grade)enough to read and write and than complete Home science course which basically teaches you to be a good housewife and mother and cook a variety of cuisine.
    But today things have changed in India that most women do not marry till 27-30 and usually are carrer women (not working ladies) and have kids when they hit 30/ 31 . Unlike in the west , we have moved at a very fast spedd (1.5 generation) and no one really knows the consequence of having an only child (34% population in cities choose that). We are increasing looking towards the west for our answers….

    yes to answer your question only old ladies ask these question ..others just dont ask you (they probably do wonder)…but in cities people are too tactful to be caught like that. Hence they never ask directly atlest

  80. I live in New Orleans and I would say that people down south tend to have larger families (but maybe it just seems that way to me). We really don’t know any other families of three like us (by choice). I am sure they are out there but we just haven’t met them yet. All our friends have already had second kids or are trying at least and they constantly wonder/question out loud when we will do the same. Sometimes I actually get the impression that they think we really are trying to have another kid but don’t want to say anything until after we’re pregnant – even though I am very serious when I say to them, “No more kids for us, we are happy just the way we are.”

  81. To Reema, I live in Toronto, Ontario, Canada (where we do, by the way, have a large East Indian population). I was just wondering: where you are, have you faced any criticism, disapproval, etcetera, for having an only child? I like to think in Canada things are getting better, but you’ll still hear the occasional “Oh, how selfish you are to have an only child” or “You’re raising a spoiled brat,” etcetera. I just let it go over my head, but some people still think they know what’s best for everybody else…

  82. This forum is quite useful and i am glad i found it. if you mind would anyone share where they are coming from. Culture and geography can make a differencd. I belongto India BTW

  83. Cat – thank you so much for your response. I think what worries me the most is that Rose cannot be put in daycare or dropped off in school like other kids. We tried home care nursing and are giving up. For multiple reasons we’ve seen 18 nurses come and go through our house within 2 years. We are done! So my husband had to quit his job and is now home to take care of Rose (it made more financial sense). For safety reason Rose can only be left with either me or my husband. Currently my husband stays in school with her. As things stand, we are barely getting by on one salary… How could we possibly take care of another baby? If we had another child, we would not be able to afford daycare for that child. My husband would have to stay home with Rose and the baby. Rose would not be able to go to school… She LOVES school. This is crazy! I am racking my brain and cannot find a solution! And I can’t ignore the fact that Rose has reached her two million dollar lifetime cap on my health insurance. Yes, you read that right: our monkey has had over two million dollars in medical bills. She is now on private health insurance. She is “sick enough” that her monthly premiums are covered by the state. The day her trach will be out (when?), she will no longer qualify and these $560/month will come out of our pocket. Also she cannot be left alone at night so either my husband or I sleep with her. My husband and I have not slept in the same bed for months! We have been juggling multiple surgeries and procedures (she has been close to 50 times under general anesthesia – her longest reconstructive surgery was 12 hours long). She still has 13 doctors and surgeons following her. Even though Rose is now stable, we are still in survival mode and cannot imagine more chaos in our lives.

  84. Amelie – thanks for sharing your story with us. While I don’t have any experience of having a child with medical issues my oldest sister has an extremely rare mitochondrial disease (she is 42 and we just got a diagnosis last year). We did not find out that she was sick until she was 13 and my parents already had three kids so they didn’t have to make any the decisions you are faced with. And, I can say that much of childhood revolved around what was best for my sister and how I could help her out. This used to cause a lot of resentment on my part but now my sister and I are very close and I am thankful for the wonderful relationship we have. As it would be in your family, I protect and take care of my older sister and I am glad that I can be that person for her.

    I totally understand that you feel exhausted as I often feel that way with just one healthy child. So, I think that only you know what you can take on and hopefully your husband will understand that too. I don’t intend to have any more children but I definitely have times that a go back and forth in my head and question my choice. I wish you all the best in coming to a decision that is best for your family.

    I just wanted to let you know that younger siblings can learn a lot from an older sibling with a serious disease and grow to become very close friends.

  85. My 3-year old daughter Rose was born with a very rare condition and is trached and g-tube fed. We spent the first year of her life in the hospital. Oddly enough she is on target developmentally and she is the shining star of our lives. She has the best sense of humour and gives us so much joy. I could not dream of a better bond with a child. She is absolutely wonderful. (PS: she is the Passy Muir ambassador: , her pic is right on the homepage). The thing is: she needs a LOT of care. My husband wants another child but I find myself completely EXHAUSTED. I just don’t think I have it in me to take care of another baby. I know as I am writing this that I have made my decision but I keep going back and forth and back and forth in my head. It is draining. Are there any of you out there in the same situation? Whose first child had a medical condition and had turned your life completely upside down? Did you decide on having another child anyway? Did you have the strength? It’s never spoken about in articles. It’s typically about the mother having medical issues, not the first child. Any feedback would be wonderful.

  86. Dear LA,

    Thank you for your comment. If you want to set up an only child network, you might want to put a notice in your town or city’s Craig’s List or other venue.

    I must say that where I live (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), there’s no shortage of only children. But come to think about, in my hometown (Windsor, same province, same country, right across from the American city of Detroit), when I was growing up there were few only children in my classroom, neighbourhood, etcetera. The only one I can remember is a girl I babysat who was adopted. So I presume her parents were probably infertile and couldn’t adopt another child – this was the time in which the supply of “healthy white babies” was drying up.

    Speaking of adoption, in theory I’m not totally closed to it. But I’m realistic, and I know my chances of doing so are fairly remote. And I have to admit I’m not a saint, so I wouldn’t knowingly adopt a child who had emotional/mental/psychological issues.

    So I’m going on the premise that my daughter will be my only child.

  87. I’m so happy to have found this site and I can definitely relate to most posting especially Emilia Liz’s #140. We are also a family of three but most if not all of the families we socialize with are families with several children. I would like for my daughter to know that there are other families out there like ours.

    Has anyone tried to set up a Only Child Network and if so do you recommend doing this?

    PS. Admin, how do I go about setting up a local Only Child Network ?

  88. Having an Only Child

    The other day my mother and I were sorting through my daughter’s old baby clothes. We put them in two piles, one for things she could wear in the upcoming months and another for those she had already outgrown. We debated what to do with the second pile of clothing: should we give it to my brother and sister-in-law, who are considering having a third child; send it out West to my newly married cousin and his wife; or donate it to the Salvation Army or some other charity? For now we’re keeping it on hold. One option that didn’t come up, though, was saving it for me in case I have another baby. It suddenly struck me: my daughter Gabriella Michelle will probably be my only child.

    I didn’t deliberately set out to have only one child. Over the years my ideas on family size have changed. When I was young, I wanted four children, just like my mother’s family of origin with her, my aunt and their two brothers. After I got engaged in college, my former fiancé and I pictured a family of two children, a girl and a boy. But eventually I came to like the notion of an only child. This preference was driven home to me by various babysitting experiences and, more recently, by an outing to the park with my daughter, my brother and his two kids. I remember desperately trying to keep Gabriella and my nephew, both fourteen months, in my field of vision as they scampered off in different directions while my brother tended to my niece. To make the story short: I wished I were a bird (most birds have a 360-degree field of vision). I realize I can’t handle more than one small child at once.

    An alternative to having an only child is waiting six years or so for when my daughter is no longer so dependent on me. Given that I’m forty years old now, however, by that time there’s a good chance I’ll either be infertile or, in the event of a pregnancy, at higher risk of problems like miscarriage or Down syndrome. In the case of the latter, for instance, I’d rather not find myself pushed into choosing between having an abortion and bearing a Down syndrome child. There are other options besides the so-called “natural way,” namely reproductive technologies and adoption. I’ve never seriously considered the first: while I’m by no means against reproductive technologies, what might be appropriate for, say, a childless couple in their thirties would not feel right for me, a woman over forty with a biological child.

    On the other hand, I have looked into adoption more closely. But my chances of expanding my family this way also seem slim. Foreign adoption is expensive, not only in terms of fees for the process itself but in wages lost from time taken off work to travel to the country in question. In addition, my age (and my husband’s; he’s 56) and the fact I already have a biological child would probably place us at the bottom of a prospective adoptive parents list. I’ve explored domestic adoption as well. Unfortunately, most of the kids available here in Canada have emotional and/or developmental problems due to neglect, prenatal exposure to alcohol, etcetera, and I don’t personally feel capable of raising a child with these kinds of issues. (Of note, I once ended a relationship with a man with manic depression partly for fear any children we would have might inherit his condition.) On one website I examined there was a single child I would have considered adopting – a beautiful East Indian girl with a purely physical handicap – but lo and behold, the next time I checked the site she was gone, placed with a family. And I’m sure that if I had applied to take her I would have been competing with other families viewed as more suitable than mine, for the reasons mentioned above.

    So now I basically have come to the conclusion that I’ll probably have only one child in this lifetime. Most of the time, I think of the positives in this. They include being able to spend more time with my daughter, in volunteer activities, and at solitary endeavours such as writing this article. The extra time with my daughter has created a special closeness between us (not that parents with two or more children can’t be close to each one of them). For me, it’s not so much the “quality time” that I cherish but rather the simple things like singing with her as I do the dishes, carrying her around the neighbourhood in my “pouch” (Baby Bjorn), and reading her the stories she loves. I also appreciate the fact I don’t have to deal with trying to divide myself between two small children who both need my attention, worrying about money, or breaking up sibling squabbles. Don’t get me wrong: I admire people like my brother and sister-in-law who can handle two or more small children at one time. I just don’t know if I could do the same.

    With any decision, whether it’s living without children, having only one child, or reproducing a la Michelle Duggar, there are pros and cons. On the rare occasion I’ll get the urge for a second baby, small and sweet like my little girl. My biggest questions, however, have to do with my daughter herself. Am I harming her by depriving her of a brother or sister? My mom once told me the good thing about siblings is that they are still there when your parents are gone. One book called siblinghood the longest-lasting bond. On the practical side, if I become incapacitated in my old age will my daughter resent not having someone else to share the burden of caring for me with? Overall, though, I’m confident she’ll be fine. I’ve researched the academic literature on the effect of being an only child versus having siblings, and it’s been fairly reassuring: some studies show only children do better than their peers; others suggest they suffer disadvantages; and still more find no difference between the two groups.

    Of course my lifestyle is not for everybody. Though I don’t like societal attitudes that label parents of onlies as “selfish” or only children as “spoiled brats,” I don’t have any problem with the two-child family being the norm. And I can’t entirely rule out the possibility that I might have another child, either biologically or by adoption. But in all likelihood I will remain a mother of one, and I am content with this.

  89. Here’s Wishing all Parents and Onlies a very Happy New Year!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    May you find happiness and fulfillment in 2010!!!

  90. Elissa, I find your story very interesting, how you started out by thinking you would have 5 kids. A lot of parents make specific plans before having their first child and then everything changes… If you are confident in your decision, it’s probably the right one for you.

  91. I am writing today because I need some advice on how to handle a particular situation. My mother-in-law was an only child and she seems to still have a lot of anger and resentment about it. She always talks about “my second child” or “how such and such will be different with number two” and I always tell her the same thing: We are not having any more kids. Then, she makes comments about how I can’t do that to my current child or how that’s just wrong or how I will change my mind.

    I actually have a good relationship with her and in most other ways she is helpful and supportive. I realize that her feelings here have a lot more to do with her issues then with mine but I still want her to understand that her comments are not appropriate. I believe that she would stop saying things like that if she knew they hurt me. However, I just can’t seem to get up the guts to tell her that.

    Has anyone ever had to have this conversation? Please give me some advice on what I can say to smooth over this situation and not mess up our otherwise good relationship. Thanks!

  92. Hi guys, this is such an awesome site! I have googled ‘only child’ so many times, searching for others out there who have a family of three and expderience similar feelings to me.

    I come from a large family, I am the eldest of 4 girls. I love all my sisters so much and 2 of my sisters are my best friends. I loved my childhood as part of a large family.

    When DH and I got married and started trying for a bub we planned on having 5 kids. It took way longer than expected to get pregnant and when I had morning sickness we decided on 3 kids. Then in the last few weeks of pregnancy I declared I would only ever do it one more time,so it was decided we would have 2 kids. The night DS was born I was really looking forward to doing it all over again one more time.

    When DS was 3 weeks old, he got sick and ended up having surgery and staying in hospital for a few days. While DS was in surgery (it was also my birthday) DH took me shopping to try and keep our minds off the surgery and our tiny boy. On the way back to the hospital we were standing at the traffic lights, we turned and looked at each other and said at the same time “no more babies”. We promisedourselves we would never put ourselves through this kind of pain and stress ever again.

    When DS was 18 months old I was finally diagnosed with PND and ended up needing medication. I am still on the medication, and DS is now 3.5 years old. I love being a mum so much and DS is just the bestest, however I really dont believe our marriage could handle another child. At the moment we are so happy just the 3 of us. DH and I are starting to have lots of time together, lots of date nights, DS is so self suffucient these days.

    I get clucky A LOT, and deciding whether or not to have another bub has been agonising at times, but I have recently come to the realisation that the reasons I want another child arent good enough to bring another child int o the world. I want a cute little baby to dress up and show off and nuggle and smell. However I dont want the sleepless nights and I dont want to have more children to deal with on a daily basis.

    Luckily this year 2 of my sisters had baby boys so now I know that DS will always have his cousins, I know that they will all grow up with a sibling like relationship as we sisters are very close and catch up on a weekly basis if not more and we all babysit for each other.

    DS is such an outgoing little boy, always making new friends where ever we go. He will find a playmate all the time, he just walks up to kids and says “will you be my friend?” then he has a little friend for the rest of the day!

    DH and I plan to have an open house policy. DS will be able to have mates around when ever, sleep overs all the time. He will be given the option of inviting a friend when we go on holidays.

    We are lucky that I come from a large close knit extended family, so he has lots of little kids to grow up with, I know he will never be alone or lonely.

    ANyway, that is my story in a nutshell

    Thanks for such a supportive site

  93. Ladies: Please share your experience with others. This is a free site, and we would like to keep it that way.

  94. Cat, don’t sweat it. People often want to justify their own choices by making sure everyone else makes the SAME choices that they did. It’s BS. What’s right for my family is not right for everyone. What’s right for your family, Mr. or Ms. Nosebody, is not right for everyone. Statistics show that only about 50% of siblings have good relationships as adults. So, it’s a crap shoot. Another child might be your child’s best friend, or worst enemy or a complete nonentity. So, just learn to smile and say “this is what’s best for OUR family.”

  95. Alright guys…we are having a record number of visitors this week, and still almost no one is posting their Only Child experience 🙁
    Please, please, please, put your comments here. It helps everyone.
    Thanks for visiting!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  96. Moustachue – Congrats on your upcoming adoption! It sounds like you are very happy with your situation so why should you change it.

    I’m actually very close with all 3 of my sisters so I do feel a bit of guilt and regret that my daughter will miss out on those relationships. But, at the same time, I don’t feel like it’s the best choice to have another child to try to make my current one happier later in life. We have a number of cousins that live near us so we try to organize lots of play dates and sleepovers. So, I hope that she will remain close to them as she gets older.

  97. Hi everyone,

    I’m one of those who have been stalking the forum without ever posting my story. Thank you Admin for giving me a nudge in the right direction. 😉

    Katharine, I know exactly what you’re talking about. I’m very introverted myself and absolutely need my alone time (for my sanity!). Also, the time I spend with my son is very important to me and I feel that it wouldn’t be as much quality time if I had to take care of more than one… I would definitely not be as good a parent. Only speaking for myself here, obviously.

    Here’s my story : My girlfriend and I are foster parents (soon to be adoptive parents) to a 20-month old boy. He has been living with us since he was 3 months old. A year before he arrived, we had been mothers to another baby boy but the adoption process fell through, a situation that will not happen this time, thankfully.

    Our son is a very very charming and funny kid. We LOVE him. I have a hard time imagining what life would be like with another child. I’m very happy this way and so is he, so far.

    My only concern is not for now or the next few years but rather when he’s older. I personally know a few adult onlies who wished they had a brother or sister even considering the relationship wouldn’t be perfect. I get it… I’m the youngest of four and eventhough we’re not all that close, it means something to me to have them around. So it’s adult life I worry about. Not that much but I do think about it.

    With that said, I feel there’s a 95% chance our son will remain our only child and I really do believe it’s the right thing for our family.

  98. Thank you Admin and Melissa for your kind wishes 🙂
    And yes, Cat, I can understand your anger when people assume they know what is best for your family. I have been called ‘evil’ in a jokey manner by someone for wanting to stop at Callum and it made me even more determined to stick to what was best for us. Right now we have a great life being able to focus and enjoy our little boy. The dynamics of our family will change when the new baby comes along and we will grow with that but in the meantime we will relish the time with Callum. The good thing is that having one child is becoming more common so hopefully one day people will learn to accept it and not feel compelled to press their opinions on parents of onlies. Have a great week 🙂

  99. Cat-I feel your anger!!! I totally agree and I like how you put it- I don’t look in your grocery cart, so don’t look in mine!!!HA!
    It is like some people think you have to have a dog, white picket fence, and 2.5 kids to be “normal” in society….I (and family are/am) happy to NOT be in that category.
    If you and your spouse are happy, that is great! It is your life to live, your decisions you must live with, no one else’s responsibility.
    Take Care everyone.

  100. Rebekah- Congratulations!
    As far as a “surprise gift” happening- I can’t have any more children, but you bring a good point- sometimes life happens and you get pregnant again. I agree that one should be careful with birth control and also bear in mind that obviously these surprises can happen. I just realised that i didn’t really share my story about my only daughter…I will have to do that soon!

  101. I just found this website today after being so annoyed with everyone’s comments on my decision to have just one child. I just don’t understand why people feel the need to tell me that “You absolutely must have another kid” (like it’s as simple as getting the latest shoe trend) or “How could you do that to your daughter?” I really get angry when people act like I am a bad mother to the one child I have because I don’t have any more kids. I have no idea why having another kid makes you a better mother.

    My daughter Zoey is only 2 but I feel very content and confident (most of the time) about my decision to not have any more kids. My husband and I both come from families of four kids and we always thought they would have a bigger family. But, after a difficult pregnancy, I just knew that one was enough for me and our family of three seems complete. I even decided to take a year away from my career to be at home with Zoey and cherish the time we have together.

    I truly feel for those of you who unable to have more children and really want them because I know how much I longed for my first kid. I just wish people would mind their business about why we have 1 kid or 10 kids. I don’t comment on the groceries in your cart so don’t comment on the number of kids in mine!

    Thanks for listening.

  102. Let me be the first on this board to congratulate you!
    ‘do the crime, you do the time’:
    Well, its not doing time really. Its a lot of work, though!
    Just like we all preach about the benefits of having an Only, we can also come up with the joy and advantages of having a large family.
    Our philosophy has been: One is nice, two is nice too, three is nice, four is nice too…But please don’t tell us One is bad- that’ll tick off a lot of people 🙂
    I think you are the second one on this board to get into this situation almost right after making a “My Only Situation” post.
    Please continue sharing your feelings and emotions as you go through the Only phase to a non-only phase.
    Best Wishes!!!!

  103. Hi again…needed to share this as we’re still in shock and find it all quite bizarre. I had bought 2 books on raising an only child which were great – ‘Parenting Your Only Child’ and ‘The Future of Your Only Child’ and after reading them felt really positive, inspired and happy that Callum would be our only child. I had finished reading one on the Thursday night.
    The ironic bit…I was a bit late with my period but as this often happens,thought nothing of it…but to give ourselves peace of mind, in a rather off-hand manner I did a pregnancy test on Friday morning. It was early and my husband had already left for work. I nearly died of shock when I saw a positive result. To be honest we are both very subdued and not jumping for joy.
    I know for those parents who want more than anything to have a second baby our reaction must seem ungrateful and almost ridiculous (you’d think at our age we would know how to use birth control…it was a case of us trying to use the Billings Method and obviously getting the timing wrong). I hope I’m not offending anyone by posting this, I just wanted to say that if you cherish and enjoy your only child family status and can’t envisage another child, be careful with birth control. It will all be good, of course we will love and adore the next baby (Callum was also unplanned and he is light of our lives) but it will change things beyond what we can imagine and quite frankly I’m scared! But you ‘do the crime, you do the time’ I suppose! Thanks for ‘listening’ and all the best to all you great Mums out there 🙂

  104. Nicole:

    Ditto on that!!!

    “sometimes i feel like i am one of very few parents with an only and it can be isolating.

    Looking forward to future discussions!”

    This is a good site, maybe one of the few on the internet. It is good to realise that we are not alone and it’s OK and even great to have an only child.

  105. To admin: That makes a lot of sense!!!
    I haven’t been on the home page for a while. I didn’t know we had a lot of visitors not posting.

    I really appreciate the site.
    Blessings everyone!

  106. Hi admin….. Your post make more sense now 🙂

    I have posted a few times, but i know it took me a while to sort out my thoughts and a few visits to finally get to a stage where i could write what was on my mind etc. I find there are a lot of feelings and thoughts to process.

    I know that i love contributions people make because sometimes i feel like i am one of very few parents with an only and it can be isolating.

    Looking forward to future discussions!

  107. Sorry Melissa 🙂
    We have a lot of visitors coming in everyday, but very very few postings. Those lines were sitting on the main page (home page- where it made better sense) and got cut and pasted here to “encourage” folks to post. Yep, I agree that the wording looks funny sitting right inside the discussion area.

    Will transplant or re-word soon.

  108. Hi admin, don’t you think people are speaking freely???
    Whom are you addressing??

  109. Thanks everyone for posting your personal experience here.

    We have way much more visitors than posters. For those who aren’t considering sharing their experience and feelings: When you write things down, it helps you better understand your problems and concerns. Its like therapy :))

  110. Hi Parents of only kids! Great reading all your comments. My husband and I have a gorgeous 2 year old son (who wasn’t planned) and we’ve gone through so much angst wondering if we ‘should’ have a second child. We have nearly come to peace with the fact that Callum will be absolutely fine with his cousins, friends and eventually, pets. I say ‘nearly’ because I just adore kids of all ages and am very clucky with babies. But…we both have careers and although I work only part-time it’s still a juggling act, plus we’re both ‘older’ (I’m 36 and hubby 44).
    Plus being the oldest of 3 girls, I can say that having siblings does not automatically mean a blissful childhood as I really clashed with my second sister but got along well with the youngest (what if my Mum had stopped at 2??)
    Ciec – I totally know how you feel with the guilt feelings and torturing yourself about whether to have a second or not. Research on onlies and talking to others too has helped me to realise an only child will do just fine. Still a hard process though. Good luck 🙂

    Bek from Western Australia

  111. It’s great to see this site and to read all of your opinions on this subject. I have a 7 year old boy and often wonder if having only one was the right thing to do for him – I know really that it was right for me. My son is so happy and well adjusted and sociable so God knows why I worry so! There is so much societal pressure to have more than one – I have a brother who is 3 years older than me and we loathed each other through childhood, and now have a phone conversation about once a year which usually has me grinding my teeth with irritation even then – yet still I fall for the “happy-2-child-family-straight-out-of-cereal-packet-advertisement” as though that’s the ideal family. It’s not. Every family has it’s pros and cons and we should be firm in our convictions, arrange lots of playdates, and love our children without worrying how they’ll cope alone once we’re gone. My brother wasn’t there for me when our father died, but my best friend and my husband were. Encourage close friendships, even from the youngest age, and they’ll never be alone. Parental guilt, even when there is nothing to feel guilty about, is such a strong emotion – we must bash it on the head!

  112. Hello,

    My husband and I have one daughter Emily who is 7. I know this does souldn selfish, but I love taking her to gymnastics or dance and being able to watch her or read a book and not be distracted by a toddler or another child. I also love that when she is at a sleepover my husband and I get alone time.

    I know these things sound selfish, but my husband and I are both introverted and do best with lots of alone time. I think we would be stressed out and unhappy if we had more children to appease others around us. I think people know what is right for their family.

    Glad to have found this sight and look forward to the comments of others.

    in Texas

  113. I am glad to have found this site. My husband and I are parents to an only child, a boy named Mason! I will be returning to this site regularly for the articles and discussions!!

  114. Melissa – i had 3 brothers and was lonely!!!! Siblings may or may not provide the solution your daughter wants unfortunately. If she is not close to anyone in particular, perhaps she could look into a hobby etc. This is great for a distraction and if this hobby has a club then she might find like minded people there.

    Are there other ‘onlies’ in her class? My son had none at kindy, but there are a number in his class at school. I like to point out that he is not the only person with this family structure, also there are all sorts of families with varying numbers.

    keep us updated – all the best

  115. Hey there parents of onlies!

    My daughter is 13, and for the last while she has been expressing anger that she doesn’t have a sibling. She says also from time to time that she is lonely. Myself and her dad try to talk with her often to help her draw out of her what she is feeling. We are successful alright! I am glad that she is honest but I literally say to her “well, I understand your hurt but it is not reality to have more kids.” She has friends but no one very close. Sometimes I try to push get-togethers with others but of course this is annoying to a teen….anyone have any advice? It is like a punch in the stomach to hear it, yet at least she is open with us.

    I really appreciate this site and all the great comments.

  116. I’m so happy to have found this site. We have a daughter who’s almost 5. For years we were content w/our decision to have just one. Lately, I’ve been wavering. Still coming down on the “one” side, but with more angst around the decision. It’s good to have a place where it feels more “normal” to have a single child. I don’t think it’s right to have a second child as a gift to a first and that’s what it feels like it would be right now.

  117. I’m amazed at the selfishness of many women who decide to have large families. Kids become teams of “staff” to which they can delegate. Here in the Midwest, (Catholicland-Chicago) the size of one’s family is considered some sort of status symbol. I have friends who have kids 18 years apart. It’s crazy. Often they ignore the needs of the adolescent while building their dynasty of little soccer players. A mother said to me this week that she couldn’t afford to send her child to a great college next year while she is pregnant with her baby brother. As my endocrinologist said to me 18 years ago “the world needs more only children.” Onlies don’t often fit the stereotypes about self-absorbed kids who can’t function socially. Quite the opposite. Onlies tend to appreciate the company of others and to behave with more social respect and non-competitive teamwork than kids who are often neglected while their parents joke about not being able to be in four places at one time.

  118. Thank you for the comments. I appreciate hearing from others.

    Portia – My husband and I are both about to turn 30.

    Nicole – I think you are right…leaving the option open for now and we can revisit in the future.

    For now I am going to enjoy my daughter and not plan on having anymore, but later on if I feel the desire to expand our family there is always that option. I can only make the decesion based on what is going on at this moment and my life. Time will tell what in the end will happen.

  119. Ciec – i decided not to have a second for most of the reasons you mentioned above. Bad pregnancy, PND, relationship with husband etc. If you are talking about ‘getting it over and done with’ then perhaps now is not the time to be thinking of it. Perhaps you might be ready in the future and it is an option you can always keep open, BUT if you suffered from PND and are saying this, then perhaps it is not the best time to have another.

    My brother has 3 children and they want more……. this is someting that they are sure about and it ‘suits’ them. But, not us. Do what is best for you.

    All the best

  120. May I ask your age and your husband’s age? Do you have time to wait and think this over?

  121. I am writing because I find myself torn about having more children. I have a wonderful 13 month old daughter, who I adore, but is a very hands on, demanding child (from day 1). My pregnancy was not easy(lots of complications), then my daughter had colic for 3 months and I suffered from PPD and in some way I am still working through issues. I am a teacher (who loves children) and have always envisioned having a mutli-child home; however, after having the first I am not so sure. I feel a lot of guilt for feeling uncertain about more children or not want to have more. I worry my decision will hurt my daughter in the long run, will she resent me not giving her a life-long companion(as my brother calls it), will she be lonely, etc…but I find myself wanting another child for all the wrong reasons..
    1. just do it and get it over with, so I can be past this part of my life…get to the next step of the children’s development (not a baby person, neither is my husband)
    2. to please others (my family and in-laws)
    3. because I feel guilty
    4. that is what I am supposed to do or what I envisioned my life would look like
    5. so she will have a playmate or life-long companion
    6. because my husband wants a little boy, but does not really want another girl

    …but I do not want another child because I have this aching need to have another. On the flip side there are tons of reasons not to have another….

    1. I love my daughter and want to give her a good life
    2. Pregnancy did not agree with me (High-Blood Pressure, Water Retention, Placenta Previa, C-Section, PPD)
    3. Not a baby person and having a child with colic was very hard on me and my husband
    4. Finances do not really allow it…although people say that you do not wait to have children until you can afford it, that you will find the money…I do not want to live so tight to have 2 children that I can not give them meaningful experiences
    5. I want to be able to help my daughter more than my parents were able to help me (college, support, time, etc…)
    6. To have my own life and time with my husband. I want my daughter to have a full and happy childhood; however, I do not want to lose myself or my relationship with my husband to do it. We had a very difficult transition from married life to family life(who is to say it was not just the colic and PPD, but who is to say that having more children is going to make if fill more fulfilled or feel further apart, because we have less time for one another…I know sounds selfish!)

    I just wish there was a magically simple answer! How do I move on? How do I make this decision…if we have another will I feel better? If we decide to have an only…how do I make the guilt or feelings of inadequecy go away?

    I want to thank you for this site, because it has eased some of my feelings, but I would love to hear from others who have dealt with this issue or some advice of how to move forward.

  122. My nine year old only child has struggled with having relationships in elementary school as I previously wrote about in this website. I am seeing some silver lining in the clouds. Grace who is shy has not had a BFF like most of the other girls her age but she has been very selective about the kids at school that she genuinely likes. She doesn’t attract toward the kids who are popular necessarily. She likes the kids that are nice to her when she or they make an effort. If they are not nice kids she will tell me and it is clear by the way she tells me that she is choosing not to be with them. She does not view it as they are not choosing to be with her which I think is the healthiest thinking. She has found a little boy her age who is also shy and they play together at recess. Recently, we invited him for a playdate. He and she were so well matched for friendship. They both like Webkinz and they laughed and giggled in what seemed a very equal conversation. These children somehow found each other. Needless to say I am a relieved mother after years of hit and miss relationships. Also, this weekend my daughter received a phone call from a little girl who runs with the popular group of girls. She asked her to spend the night this weekend. We have known this girl for three years but have never been included before. Her mother told me after the sleepover that her daughter who is not an only child is struggling with some of the mean girls in the group she runs with.We talked about how television, including Disney, promotes the girls with attitude. If I had one wish for these children, it would be that they’re parents discuss how to treat others on a regular basis. It is not ok to be mean because you are popular. Everyone deserves respect. The race for popularity should be who can be the nicest not who is best at the exclusive games that seem to be played.
    On another note, I thought it interesting this morning that the woman who had 14 children attributed her desire to have alot of children to having been an only child who longed for siblings.I wish to instill in my only child the wisdom that children take a lot of time, attention, and money to succeed in life and they rely on us parents to make sure that we can provide those things to each and every one of them. I wish her well but I think she has bitten off more than most can chew. I hope she was not motivated to be a spectacle so as to make money for her and her children.

  123. How can I find friends for my daughter to play with on a regular basis? Our neighborhood doesn’t have any kids her age. She is 6. My family lives in another state. She has one friend but he lives far away. They see each other during birthdays and occasionally throughout the year.

    Also, I can tell she wants friends that are girls to play with doll houses and things. She has so much energy and I stay constantly worn down trying to play with her everyday. I enjoy playing with her and she loves it to but my body isn’t in the shape it use to be when I was a kid. Also, my daughter is very outgoing and loves to interact with people. And she doesn’t like to play alone.

    I was an only child and was very lonely. I didn’t develop friendships until I got in Jr. High school and High school. I don’t want her to experience this.

  124. What a blessing to find this website and know that all my fears are real and shared. I am struggling with guilt for my 9 yr. old son. He is amazing of course. We had him late in life 40 yrs. and were blessed!!! But, then we tried for over 4 years to add to our family naturally – no luck. Now, I am so guilty – in menopause and no natural way left??? My sis-in-law is my age 49 and through IVF and donor egg is expecting triplets. I have been having a tough time – jealous and not. I love our small family – but, I have craved more for our son. I wish there was a cure for the guilt??? Not possible. Part of life and part of onlies not by choice! Thanks to all who shared and help me with your brave words. Peace!

  125. @Sherri,
    If loneliness is the only or main problem, you could set up a local Only Child Network. It will be something like:
    You could then manage the site, arrange for local only child activities, and get others involved. Others can sign up onto your site.
    Let me know.

  126. I am so glad I found this website. I always wanted a big family, but my husband and I have only been able to have one, beautiful, bright and hilarious 9 yo boy. Even though I am 45 I would love to have another baby. But it took 4 years to conceive our son. I never thought it would be a problem – my Mom has 4 children and that’s not including a couple of miscarriages. For a reason undiscovered I do not conceive easily. To add to that our economic circumstances and a rocky relationship have been prohibitive as well,even if biology was no factor. I feel guilty very often, though there have been occasions that I have accepted our family as it is. In fact I was feeling pretty at peace until recently when my ds has brought up his desire for siblings several times. Most recently was today. When I asked him why he wanted siblings he said because everyone else has siblings. And he said our dog did not make a very good brother (he’s always called him his brother, which breaks my heart). And he said, “you have your sister.” Eventually he admitted he was lonely. It just broke my heart!! I explained to him that there are good things about being an only (although I was hard-pressed to think of any) and bad things about being a sibling and that no one’s life is exactly the way they want it to be. But I feel so badly about it. Mostly his loneliness!! We have no family close by and he is the only grandchild in my family. There are no cousins on my side – only 2 on ds’s side, but he and his sister are estranged and they live on the opposite coast anyway.

    That said I grew up with a slew of cousins and two brothers and I am not in touch nor close to any of them now! Many of them, sadly, have drug and alcohol problems.

    We’re also new to our area, which is hard. He plays soccer, but no one seems to make friends on the soccer team…and we are involved at church and with another group, but it’s still hard to make close friends. Though he had a birthday party last year and 25 kids came (I was so surprised and grateful)! But he wasn’t invited to one birthday. No one invites him over. But he seems well liked. So I don’t know…it’s just hard. In our old home, we had friends to get together with.

    He plays well by himself, but he just has to do it too much.

    But it’s nice to know there are others out there and I am not completely alone.


  127. Thanks for this book review, it made me buy the book b/c it’s one of the most recently published.

  128. I am so grateful that I was an only child and having to deal with my father who had Parkinson’s disease. It was a real blessing for I never had to argue with a sibling over his care, going in/out of a court system sharing the liquidation of his assets, or the emotional side with another person. It was a real blessing and many friends were available to provide me help when I needed it.

    • I have a friend whose father had parkinsons and she tried very hard to deal with it together with her brother. They were never very close but still in contact with each other. Many fights etc occurred in the final years and it was horrible to watch it all unfold. My dear friend has decided to have just one child – i believe in most part due to her experiences etc throughout her life. I think she would be very apreciative that you posted your view point. I will pass this on. All the best.

      • I see many people in life who have difficult, sometimes toxic, relationships with siblings. I’m sure those people would think they’re better off without a sibling. On the other hand, I know people who consider their sibling their best friend. I am an only child, age 50, who believes that God has given me the family that I have and I have not spent alot of time bemoaning circumstances I have no control over. When I was told I would never have a baby after cancer, I cried and then I got on with my life. God had other plans. My 8 year old was an unexpected miracle. But, again, she is an only child and she bemoans her circumstances. At her school there are very few only children in her class. Sometimes when she is left out or doesn’t fit in she dwells on the fact that they all have brothers and sisters and she doesn’t. Sometimes, I think a sibling relationship represents something that others can’t share or take away from you. Her father tells her about the difficult experiences he had with his sisters and brother. I tell her that someday when she is married she can have a larger family if that is her choice. She tells me she can’t concentrate at school because she is thinking about having brothers and sisters. My husband tells her to get over it. I love my child and would love to make her life as perfect as possible but alas I can’t. So at this young age she must learn a valuable lesson of life. We don’t always get what we want. And, sometimes God knows better than we do. Be careful what you ask for because you might get it comes to mind. In Sott Peck’s book The Road Less Traveled, the first sentence says Life is Hard. And so it is. I believe it is hard for everybody for different reasons. At 8, this is her reason. Someday she will have enough experiences in life to find some pros as well as cons to being an only child. In the meantime, we work to give her some perspective abouthow it all works in this big world.

  129. I would then ask: why bother? But that’s just me…
    If there’s more than an average risk accompanying having a second child, maybe you should think within yourself, and ask WHY you need a second child. May be write a list of priorities 😕

  130. Hi Everyone out there,
    Read all the messages submitted here, also happy that there is a space to add on my thoughts too..having an only child is really inducing so much of guilt in me too….my problem being having had a c-section and then another surgical procedure for incisional hernia….do i jeopardize a second pregnancy and strain my lower part of my body…what if the weight of the pregnancy causes another hernia..then i will require a c-section procedure anyways to deliver the baby and another open surgical procedure to repair the hernia…the third operation would be done for sure to take out the baby, and the next lies on a clause – ‘if my intestine weakens again’. If it does….do i take care of myself, the baby born or the first child…hahaha…my predicament would be pathetic…and for all u know, all the great advising folks would now start talking why i should have jeopardised my health knowing all these facts…do i circulate a notice and send it across to all…or plan how well i can bring up the darling one whom i have now….God only knows….Hope i will hear an answer to my hearts fears….

  131. @portia: The fliers, not yet. Give me a week.
    Same applies to you @ana.
    I need time to change the software to accommodate the changes to make it all happen. Maybe a week or so. Thanks everyone for showing initiative.
    The fliers: when we are ready with the details of the site, can be put at primarily at the local libraries and playschools- they both are very receptive. Also at local Universities, because some of the grads have kids, and are kinda lost. Bookstores like Borders, Chucky-Cheeze are somewhat ok.
    Many Libraries have story times, and that’s a good time to distribute fliers.
    Many of the local events and places of interest are crowded with parents of onlies: Wildlife centers have periodic open houses, libraries have ice-cream socials etc.
    Will let all of you know when I have the software set up. This is a powerful software, and people can auto sign in if you set it to. The users belong to your particular group, and you can make posts private- users will need a password to read posts. The list goes on…

  132. I thank you for offering to set up a web page for my locality that I would manage. I would be happy to have the opportunity to connect with local onlies and their families.I live in Noblesville,Indiana, adjacent to Westfield, Fishers, Lapel and Indianapolis. Do you recommend that I distribute fliers locally to make people aware?

  133. It takes some perseverance and effort on your part…
    Looks like we are all from different time-zones!
    Give me a week or two and I’ll look at the response. Keep watching this particular topic, or rather subscribe to it- its much easier.

  134. Sounds interesting, but how will go about setting about like a 1000 of these? I mean one for each city kind of thing.
    I would like to do this for my neghbourhood, but not for the whole city. Maybe first form it for the whole city and then subdivide.
    So, what will it take for me to get one going on this website, I mean like the example you gave above?

  135. Being an only child myself and never knowing about this resource, I would like to know how this project got started. Who started it and why and when and where? All the prejudices I have lived with because of my only child status, in my own extended step-family, came rushing back to me after I read about all the misconceptions. I would like to be involved in educating others about the real challenges only children face.

  136. Thank you for your rapid reply. You must be a night owl like me!Do you think families with only children would seek out a network of other onlies? Have you received similar inquiries?

  137. @portia,
    To set up a local network: I can set up a web page for you on here, which you will manage, for your local area.
    If you are interested, please let me know.
    If you want one for, say, Bloomington, it would look something like this:
    You can add users yourself or allow automatic registrations, manage users, discuss stuff etc- all on your site. Web-savvy users can also change the way the pages look, pictures etc. This site will be a little bit independent from the main site.
    It is a good way for local onlies to get together- provided there is sufficient interest. You can leave your reply here on the comment page if you are interested…

  138. I am an only child,age 50 and I have an only child age 8.My Mother tells me I was never selfish with my material things because I was happy to have friends to share with. My Mother always said it was the children who had siblings,who had to share all the time,who were selfish with their things. As a child, I was keenly aware that people viewed only children as unacceptable. Those same people now have grown children who are not particularly successful.Although I was shy, I did have to learn some extroverted traits to make friends. I have always done better in one on one relationships than in groups.I am inquiring about how to help my daughter socially. She is lonely at school and doesn’t know how to make friends.Is there an only child network available in local communities? We live in Indiana

    • Hi Portia. I read your post above as well, it is so good to have some insights.
      I really feel for you when dealing with your daughter’s shyness. I and my husband are shy and my 5year old boy seems to be following in our footsteps. I am not sure when you developed your ‘survival techniques’ to combat the shyness, but mine did not come until i had left school and was working. Your little one is still young and may change in the coming years. As an aside, i had 3 brothers……. so, it was just within me to be a shy person. As a result, and i think this is your concern, it may not be because your little one is an only, but this is her personality. I find generally with shyness comes a thoughtful and caring person as well – HTH
      Is there something that she really enjoys or that you have noticed she excels at? Perhaps focusing on this may distract her and build up her confidence. I have also found that i needed to teach my little one some conversation techniques such as asking particular questions when he meets someone – for us shy people it is really hard to think of what to say sometimes.
      I am not sure if i have been of help, but i definately feel for you. Let me know how all is going!

  139. i lkie this article
    i have also only child
    in second time there was miscarriage
    and me and husband decided to done vasectomy
    after that i felt very sad that i have not 2 children
    but when i read this article i feel great that i have world’s best only child

  140. I had a sister and I felt the same way. I don’t think it is the fact that you are a single child, it is your parents who did not engage with others and did not make your holidays and vacation special.

  141. Thank you for both the pro and con articles to homeschooling an only child. We are still debating the subject for our son. So many articles you read is about a family of 2 or more children, and I was wondering the impact on an only child.

  142. my only son is 9yrs old. When he is around children he seems to get along with the layed back kid not trhe hyper or pushy one. And one At a time. So if any more that one kid comes around to play with he seems to have a difficult time socializing and being “let in” and then feeling left out. What can i do about this??

  143. My reasons for having only one child is becuase my husband and I are both happy with our only daughter,she is 8 and a smart, healthy girl , but recently she has started to complain about being the only one, she thinks there is something wrong with her life, she sometimes even expresses her fears of future, when there would be no parents, that has made us revieiw our decision , I am 34 and was always thinking that one is enough, but it seems that our daughter doesnt appreciate all she has, and just thinks about the only thing she doesnt have : Sibling .
    I m afraid this would leave her with lots of other issues, any suggestions for me?

  144. Let’s hope after we pass away our children will all have spouses, children and alot of friends to network with. My biggest concern is a normal childhood.

  145. oh, and to ammend– I know that the lack of second child is not a “loss”

  146. Great article!! yes!! I need to come to terms with my own cravings in order to prevent my daughter from feeling the same loss or emptiness. Im just trying to figure out how to deal with my physiological (not logical!) craving for a child. Women out there, know what I mean?? That deep sensation of wanting to feel “full” again…

  147. it can get a little overwhelming scheduling all the playdates. but i know it is necessary. but i do envy families with a lot of children sometimes. the tribal element is so powerful

  148. Hi Christine,

    I can understand your son’s attraction to other kids. My dd is very fond of people too. She seldom asks for toys, but always asks for friends. Initially, when she was 2, I used to feel very bad when she would ask for friends to play with. Over time, I figured out that “information is vital”. I collected information about various activities that took place in our neighborhood: libraries, nature centers, malls etc, and passed the information to other parents. Most of the parents appreciated it. After the so called activity (story time at the library or puppet show at nature center), we mothers hung out with the kids for sometime or had small picnics. It was a joy to watch my little one having fun.

    Now she is 8, and I still do the same! I conduct some activities during the long holidays and invite her friends, or take them to museums etc. Some parents reciprocate, and some will take a free ride. Initially, it irked me that some people were taking advantage of me. But I changed my attitude. I learned that it doesn’t matter: if my dd is having a wonderful relationship with her friends I need to nurture it.

    Also, dh reminds our dd that, in spite of having many friends, there will be days when she may not have anyone to play with. And even if there are friends, she might not get along with some them that day, and these are normal things.

    Providing playmates for our little ones is a long process. It takes time and effort. I still spend a lot of my time (advantage of having an only child!) planning things so that she will have as many friends as possible around her.

    Regarding your only child decision- since you have a very close relationship with your sister, encourage your son to have a close relationship with your sister’s kids. See if it works out, and if they get along well, he will not miss having siblings. It takes some effort on your part though: planning vacations together…

  149. I’m 39 and my son is 2 1/2. My relationship with my husband is not great (strained most of the time) but we both love our son very much. I am so torn on this whole issue. I had a friend that was an only child and she absolutely hated it. I do everything with my son but I see how he lights up when other kids are around and when we go to the playground he always asks where the other kids are. I think about the financial aspect of having another child and putting additional strain on out finances. However, my sister always tells me that I will be able to find the money. I think about when I die, who will my son have? My mother died 6 years ago and I can’t imagine not having my sisters. I have been struggling over this issue daily for about a year now.
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  150. I too feel the heartache of having an only. She just turned 7. I pray with all my heart and with every ounce of my being that my daughter will not resent us as she ages and will not look back on her childhood and be sad. My sister told me yesterday that she was pregnant. Baby two. Of course i was one of the last to know because of the delicate matter of my not being able to conceive another child. Still bitter. Almost a year after being told we could not conceive naturally I am still angry but I can honestly say I’m happy for my sister. She has a son who is 14 months old and now pregnant again. I am so happy she didn’t wait because as i sadly learned opportunities sometimes don’t knock twice. On a happy note, very happy, my daughter was invited to her first birthday party that was not family related. This warms my heart to see the excitement on her face. My goal is to do the best I can for her and hopefully when she’s older she will understand.

  151. I have a 11 year old only daughter…me and my wife decided to have just one but since the past few months when i see my daughter I get the guilt feeling “who does she have after we pass away”…there could be times when she needs someone to talk to….

  152. I have one daughter, aged 19, and I must admit that I would have been more inclined to have another child if I had known then what I know now. She was raised by me almost exclusively, as my husband was and is a workoholic. We never had any family close by. My daughter has told me over the years that she never felt much like part of a ‘real’ family. She has always felt she missed out on the big family celebrations, that she didn’t get excited about Christmas because she didn’t have siblings to get excited with, that family things were always very flat. I did my best and she acknowledges that I did, but she can’t help the way she feels. She has always enjoyed being in other people’s households full of people coming and going, full family dynamics etc. She and I both watch the show “Jon and Kate Plus 8” and it makes us both cry. I copped out when I only had one. I had pre-eclampsia and was in hospital for a month prior to her birth, but I could have had another child. I chickened out and deprived her of a normal family life. I feel an enormous amount of guilt about it. I have a friend that has 3 kids, works full-time and is an amazing mother. All her kids interact well together and they have an amazing, nurturing, family unit. I’ve always been an under achiever, and only having a single child exemplifies that for me. I’m not saying that other people who have onlies are wrong or selfish, or anything of the sort, but I feel this way myself. I do believe that growing up without siblings may have more profound affects than we can predict.

  153. Stephanie – a little less explaining and a little more imposing a consequence would help. Explaining doesn’t slow a 4 year old down. Tell your child the behaviour is unacceptable, tell her what the consequence will be if it happens again, and then do it. There will be tears and then the behaviour will stop.

  154. Although I’m not a parent yet…god forbid, I’m still in university; I too, was an only child. I will admit, that being an only child does come with its share of challenges, parents of only children need not feel guilty of their choice. Most children I knew growing up had one or more siblings and I remember hearing the constant complaints of lack of personal space, snooping (and oh boy this was a biggie) and disrespect for privacy therefore, having multiple children in a family does not always guarantee happiness. Although your only child will experience his or her share of adversity, rest assured, they will grow up becoming independent-minded, well adjusted individuals (mainly because at a very young age, they learn that they have no scapegoats and that they also cannot get out of doing boresome chores because they have to ‘subjects’ to bestow the work upon). Therefore, all you can do as parents is to be there for your children in times of need and know that you can only do what you can to ensure their happiness…it is up to your child as a person to discover what truly makes them happy.

  155. Admin,

    I am not sure why I still have these fears. I suppose it is b/c I have a sibling who is 3.5 years younger. We certainly have had our issues, but are close as adults.

    As far as aging, I really don’t think anyone can count on their child/children to take care of them. It is just an unfair expectation. We are lucky enough that we are financially secure and are planning for retirement so our son would not have to worry about money. Of course, we would like to spend time with them, but in my opinion, having 2 children does not guarantee anymore security than one. My parents have 2, but they are not planning on us having to take care of them financially. As far as us passing away, I can only hope that our son has his own spouse/partner/family to fulfill his life. Since I don’t really have a choice (in having an only), I try not to stress about this.

    Alas, it would not be my choice to have one child, but I don’t believe our son has to have a terrible life because of it. In fact, there are definitly some pluses. He will get more of our attention, will have access to more educational opportunities, and more opportunities in general due to the fact we only have one child to support.

    Due to my very long history of infertility and the fact I had cancer 12 years ago, my husband just does not think we need to go through another process such as adoption. I am working on acceptance, but know it will take some time.

    Thank you,

  156. I guess your answer lies in your comment:
    “My husband is 11 years older than his sister, so he is much more like an uncle. He just does not have the same fears as I do.”
    If your husband doesn’t have these fears, and if you think he turned out ok, then why do you fear for your son?
    But I need to remind you of an issue that is sometimes touched upon on this website: What happens when you (and husband) age? What after you both pass away?
    There are a couple of articles on those issues.
    Thanks for sharing your story with us…

  157. Just wanted to say I am glad I found this forum. I was up late looking for blogs on only children (not by choice). It took us 2 IUI’s, and 5 IVF’s to have our miracle son. When I started this process, I was 30, I am now 36. With our history, the chances of success with IVF are slim to none and we just don’t think we can handle another “process” such as adoption. Dh has ruled it out, while I am still on the fence. But, unfortunately, we spent much of our savings to have our son.

    Our ds is now 2 and is happy as can be. He has loving parents and very involved granparents. I am lucky to be home with him and just do some part time work at home to keep us afloat. We have a good life and I am happy. It is just hard b/c everyone I met when I had ds, is now having a 2nd child. I have tried to explain our infertility story to them, but they don’t understand. How could they? It only took them one or two trys to get pregnant.

    I just can’t stand to hear another person say the best gift you can give your child is a sibling or look at my stomach to see if I am pregnant another time. I am so worried that ds is going to be lonely and ask for a sibling. My husband is 11 years older than his sister, so he is much more like an uncle. He just does not have the same fears as I do. Any advice?

    Thank you for listening.


  158. Yes, thank god we all are different- would be boring otherwise. Just her personality maybe. She might change completely when she gets into her teens!
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  159. Angela,
    Different children have different personalities. Yours might be the type who loves to be with people. Some love books, some love imaginary games with imaginary friends- they are all different.
    As Tammy says, 3 is too young for you to worry about. In fact, many families have kids spaced 3 or 4 years, and the first one is an only for that long.
    If you are worried about how it will turn out in the future, please read some other posts where readers have offered suggestions on how to keep their onlies busy.
    Toys per se are not bad, maybe you could consider letting him have just one or two toys per play session. That way, he won’t get bored easily.
    Arts, library, scheduled play dates…

  160. Thanks for your comment. Its always nice to hear from authors whose work has been reviewed here.
    The comment is followed by a smiley, and was not meant to be taken literally.

    I agree with many of the things that you say in Part 1 of your book. However, many readers of this site (Only Child Project) point out that when they read through the articles, the general tone is pro only child, and imply that it reads like propaganda to them. I just smile 🙂 🙂 May not agree, though!

    I have another review of the same book and will put it online when I find it. Must be in my old drive or someplace ❓

  161. Thanks for your post J.
    The sources for this article are various: books on only children, research papers on only children, and those on birth order.
    Why I say this is that many forget that their first-born was an only child for a few years.
    As you say, yes, some of these studies may be ‘vague’. But it is quite difficult to dismiss birth order studies- same family, same social class, same parents too :))
    Having higher IQ in itself does not make a happy child, nor qualify parents as being the best. For argument’s sake, you could call higher IQ as a ‘side-effect’ of being an only. And this applies to the first born too- even in a family with lots of kids.
    Once again, thanks for stopping by and posting. It helps all of us when we have a discussion when everyone shares their thoughts. And as I glean from your post, sometimes other people feel that parents of onlies are an island to themselves. Are we cheering for the home team? 😕

  162. I’m still deciding whether or not to have another child or stick to just the one I have. I found this article insightful but can’t help but question the sources, particularly the study about first borns having a higher IQ. It appears to be written to appeal to parents of single children by stating information that is more or less ‘in the eye of the beholder’ as fact based on vague studies. I recently discovered this site and will continue to read on I…thanks for posting these articles.

  163. Angela…it is very normal for a child of 3 to get bored, He would get bored even if he had a sibling. I also have a son who is 21/2 and we live in a isolated area,but I let him find things to do to entertain should not feel the need to always keep him busy. My nieces complain all the time that there bored and there’s nothing to do, they have each other ,but thats all they do is fight! I’d rather have one little bored boy then 2 fighting little girls!

  164. Great article. This is an area that we often struggle with. Most think it is adorible, but I feel like a failure when my daughter would rather have adult converastions then go out and play with children her own age. Although I was much like her and I am from a family with 4 children. Maybe this is more a personality thing then an only child thing.

  165. I understand the guilt and heartbreak your son’s longing for a sibling must have loaded on you. I have an only son also, although he’s not quite three, I know the day will come when he vocalizes the same longing. Try not to beat yourself up too much; I can remember as a child wishing I DIDN’T have a sibling!!:-)
    We have gone back and forth about having a second child, but without going into too many details, we have accepted that this is how our family was meant to be. Our wonderful son IS adopted, by the way. We never actually tried to conceive on our own; our son came to us in a way that could only be fate and I could not love him any more if I had carried him in my own womb. I tell you this in case you ultimately decide you want to expand your family. Adoption is a wonderful thing.

  166. My reason for having one child is simple: we are fulfilled and happy as a family of three. I love that I can enjoy my son completely and not have to divide my time between 2 or more children. I love the close relationship my husband and I have with our son. My son is independent, social, considerate of others and enjoys the company of other children. It all comes down to what is expected of and modeled for your child.

  167. I am so glad to find this site. We have a 5 year old and have tried 5 ivf’s in 4 years but no second child. We decided to throw in the towel and embrace/enjoy the life God has given us. But today driving home from a playdate, my son sadly said he “wished he always had someone to play with at home like a brother or sister.” I knew that would probably come out one day but not this early. I didn’t know what to say. He was tearing up and tried to wipe away the tears so I didn’t see them. It totally broke my heart in a way I have never known. There is no other option for us as far as more siblings unless we adopt, which we decided we weren’t going to do. Anyway, the pain eases when I read all of your posts. Thank you for your support.

  168. There is a lot of helpful, comforting information on this site. Thank you!

  169. I just found this website and I have been crying for twenty minutes. Everything I am feeling, right here, without judgement. I unfortunately had to have a hysterectomy and although I am blessed with a wonderful son, I always thought there would be more children. A house full. Coming to terms with this is hard, finding this website will help. Thank you.

  170. It’s hard not to focus ALL your attention on your only child. Sometimes I feel like my husband and I expect WAY too much out of our 4 year old. Jeez, I hope she doesn’t feel like she has to be perfect. I love my one and only!

  171. I really like this article. It brings to light the bad habits you start to form with an only child. One of our main problems is interrupting. I don’t know how many times I have tried to explain to our 4 year old not to interrupt! She still does it though! Anyone have ideas that worked for them??

  172. I like that story. My husband and I decided to have a vasectomy after our 1 and only child. A couple of years later we thought that we had made a bad decision and maybe wanted more. We think about it sometimes. It’s not impossible to have it reversed, but it’s too expensive for us and not really an option. I think though that we were just giving into the pressure from others to have more. (EVERYONE else is having more, why aren’t we?)
    I think it’s important to remember how precious your only is or they will be grown up before you know it.

  173. Google is slow. I just saw your review of my book, Parenting an Only Child. It’s designed to be supportive of those considering or who have an only child. I think the comment in your note is a bit strong: “manifesto.”

    You can learn more about singletons at my new blog for Psychology Today Magazine by clicking on Singletons in the blog section.

  174. Jan,
    Thanks for sharing your experience here.
    What are the top 3 things that really bother you about having an only child? Maybe listing them might help you as well as other readers. After you list them down here on your next comment, others might offer their views and help you feel better.
    Don’t forget that sibling relationships sometimes turn out very bad.

  175. I am the mother of a 10 year old son and am consumed with guilt about denying my child a sibling. My husband and I both come from large families and I had always assumed that we would have more than 1 child. However, despite the unquestionble joy that our son brings us, my husband never envisaged it would have such an impact on our day-to-day life and chose not to extend our family. Our marriage also went through a difficult time and I know that this influenced his decision. I am now silently resenting my husband for the choice he made and also feel devastated that I didn’t do more to convince him otherwise; before it was too late. I guess I feel guilty too that our relationship clearly wasn’t solid enough at that time to extend our family. If anything, having an only child has proved harder as you are consciously mindful of their need for play-mates at home, on days out, family holidays, etc. It breaks my heart when my son occasionally states that he is lonely or wishes he had a sibling to play with. It is too painful to even think about when we are elderly and the impact that this will have on our son. The objective side of me knows that there are some advantages to having an only child, but at the moment I’m really struggling to identify with those. The last thing I want to do now is allow my feelings to rock the family that I know we are very lucky to have.

  176. Thank you lo and Dani for stopping by. Good to know this site was of help!

  177. This is a great website. Lots of nice articles and information on resources for the parents of an only child. This website has been very helpful in reassuring me that my decision is ok. Thanks for this wonderful website.

  178. great website. so comforting and reassuring

  179. Zacahry,
    Just a suggestion here: try persuading your mom to read the article titled Adolescence and Your Only Child on this website.

  180. Zachary, your post made me very sad. Have you tried to talk to your mom about how you feel? Maybe she is distracted and doesn’t realize what you are going through. I can tell you, however, that sometimes being 14 can suck, even if you DO have brothers or sisters! It is just a part of life we all go through.
    Not dismissing your feelings – please try to talk to your mom or someone else you are close with. I am a mom of an only boy and I KNOW I would want you to come to me if you were my son.

  181. I am an only child and you know what, IT SUCKS!! I am always lonely, I have nobody to talk to, I just sit in front of my laptop and television and think of how to make a friend since there is no one to interact with. When I try to play with my mom she just yells at me then I go sit in my room and cry.

    My name is Zachary, age 14

  182. I have a son that is 3.He gets bored very easily.So I have to constantly entertain him and find him things to do and playmates,etc.etc.
    I get it done the best I can..but unfortunatelywe live in a very isolated area.No tother kids around,so that is hard.He is by himself alot,so we have always tried to compensate with toys,lots of toys,anything he has ever wanted…which by the way is the wrong thing to do….he gets so much I believe thats why he gets bored easy,if that makes any sense.Anyway its hard..don’t really know what to do.

  183. I often say, after people make polite stereotypical comments about my being an only child, that growing up an only child was as they described or the exact opposite. My comment is usually met with puzzled faces. What seems to be overlooked is that many only children are onlies because they were not planned. They were accidents, a surprise… whether or not they were ever told the truth about how they came to be. And the parents made sure that “mistake” didn’t happen again. Some people don’t want a child, yet find themselves with one. They are not bad people, or poor, or abusive in a legal sense, they just had no desire to be a parent. I would say that my experience growing up has been the exact opposite of the stereotype…I was left alone all the time while growing up, I got very little attention, direction or guidance. I lack the little details, the little bits that one only learns from being around others. I can relate to Pippy Longstocking and George of the Jungle. I don’t know how to play cards or board games very well. I don’t come across as I intend. I never suffered those little injustices that children fold into who they become later in life, the stuff that builds character. I never had someone walk into the room and change the channel when I was watching tv, if I left food in the frig…it was always there when I returned. I was alone, but have NEVER been lonely. I often relate to the quote that “a room full of people is the loneliest place in the world.” I am embarassed to say that I talk to myself, outloud, as if speaking to someone…I have done this all my life, well into adulthood, and can never imagine not doing so. I was into my 20s when I was innocently relating my childhood experience to a friend, who turned to me and said “how sad.” That was the first time I realized that others had a very different kind of upbringing…one that involved holidays and summers playing with siblings and cousins, childhood pranks and silliness. You might think Christmas is fun when you get all the presents. It’s quiet, nothing much special is done when it’s just one, it doesn’t seem worth all the trouble. Christmas caroles, trimming the tree, family traditions…seemed silly for one. There isn’t a lot of laughter when you are almost always the only person in the room, but there is happiness. My world was one of make-believe and fantasy, my animals, my stuffed animals were my constant companions, and I was never in the house without the tv on, whether or not I was watching it. Well into my 20s I had fears that most long leave behind in their childhoods. If you met me, you would never know this to have been my life experience. I am well-educated, well-traveled, blond and blue-eyes. I am a soulful person, considered inteligent…pensive, mindful. I have a global perspective…my focus is outward. I have been referred to as like Princess Di…being drawn in life to wounded souls. If you saw me on the street, you would never feel sorry for me…more likely you would attribute a charmed life, that I come from a “good family” and have been afforded every opportunity in life. Now, I say that I would never do that to a child. I want a large family, adopting 5-6 kids hopefully. I want a home full of kids, animals, people running all over the place, organized chaos. A home teeming with love, life and laughter. I want my home to be the one that all the neighborhood kids hang out at. Yet I dear and troubled friend of mine once wrote to me, “you and I are destined to walk this earth alone…and to feel and kind of aloneness that is permanent.”

  184. Christy, I might want to say you took this article as an attack against families of three rather than as a support to strong friendships… When the article suggested to take a friend along for a museum, or have them join vacation, they probably didn’t imply that being alone with her parents would not be of ultimate importance. I do though, disagree with the article when they say that a child can look upon her friends as siblings. I have 4 sisters and the bond is so special I could never imagine that closeness with someone outside the family. If I did not have sisters, maybe I would have learned to bond better with my friends, but that never happened, to me friends are fun to have, but they change with life situations, sisters stay. Therefor, I’m going to be pretty incapable to push that bond in my kid toward his friends. With his only cousin I am doing that though. Unfortunately they live oceans apart…
    But Christy, you are right, your family IS whole, and I think an only child has a very special relationship with his parents. I must say that in our pack of five girls, our parents are sort of outsiders, even still as we are adults and we sit down for dinner, I feel bad that we dominate the discussions, and my parents are almost left out because they’ve had such a different life from ours, they we’re young farmer parents and we are thirty something -old world travelers… Our youngest sister has this incredible relationship to my mom, which I’m very jealous of, I never had that. And now with my only son, I see things happening in our relationship, that makes me think.. did I ever have that with my parents, and… would he ever have said that or thought this way, had he a little brother right there fighting for toys with him. Even though I still hope for another kid, I really hope that this special relationship we have now, will last and I’m soo thankfull that we had these years alone.

  185. I’m writing back to you guys with incredible results. The same night I wrote here, I read another discussion about how to get your kids to spend that alone time, infact I was sure it was this website, but cannot find it anymore. There was a couple of women who had cut of tv completely from their kids and that had worked for them. Since the whole issue of tv had been bothering me allways, it was an easy decission for me. The next day we woke up to a new world, no tv to ease out the morning crankiness, no tv while mommy takes a shower and no tv when mom cooks dinner. I started telling him “Mommy doesn’t like it, so there’s no more tv in the house, you wanna play instead!” And that of course worked.
    We fixed breakfast together, and by the time I was in the shower, I think it allready klicked on him, that hey, I can imagine alone, I can make up fantasy worlds!!

    It’s been two weeks now, and he has only asked for tv tree times (for real!!!) and every time the same answer works, and I play with him for 5 minutes and suddenly he is so deep in this fantasy world, that I can clean, cook and all that. We’re still working on that mommy is alowed to read a magazine part, but i think it’ll come. I am so thankfull to those ladies, whom ever they were, for leading me to this direction, I cannot believe what a difference no tv has made on my kids indepenence and CREATIVITY, you should only see, he plays with anything, constructs new inventions, and talks talks talks…. Exactly how we were as kids, now I know an only child CAN do the same.
    If he want’s mommy time, he already knows the trick, he calls me out to do puzzles or read a book. I think he secretly likes not seeing his tv shows. The characters sometimes are involved in his play. Today a sock was Curious Charlie, don’t know if he forgot George’s name already or this is a new character 😉
    My hero, the lady on a website said that tv might buy you an hour of peace but it robs your child the ability to create, he will think he constantly needs entertainment and when tv is not on, the show is on you.

  186. hmmmm, no replies yet- maybe I should jump in here.
    Kelley: Kind of a difficult question, a difficult situation to analyze 🙁
    Let me see….My first instinct would be to say that there would be a cancellation between the only child characteristics, that is, both will learn to get along. May be some difficulties in the beginning though.
    It would help us if you can tell us something about the dynamics of this group of 9. Would be very interesting for readers here…
    I feel that the onlies would end up getting along better, but a lot of it depends on parenting. Instead of accentuating the “stereotypes”, I guess it would only reduce it!
    I would suggest you fix playdates with all the 9 if possible, and look at the dynamics. One on One playdates. Would be a nice little experiment 😉

  187. My only daughter is 3 1/2. she is currently attending a waldorf inspired “kindergarden” 15 hours week. Of the 9 kids in the group 6 are only children. her 2 best friends are onlies and these are who she plays with the most. I wonder how having other only child playmates versus ones with siblings maybe accentuates the only child stereotypes.

  188. Since no one has replied yet, I thought I should share my thoughts here.
    First of all, you are doing many of the right things.
    As far as the things you feel are not going right- like having to keep him engaged or entertained- don’t you think he is too young and this is rather on the normal side of things?
    Of course, it is time you started transitioning him out of that mode, but that is precisely what you are doing with playdates.
    One thing I would suggest is that you should consider increasing the number of playdates- target 5 per week, and you will eventually end up with 2 or 3 per week. They are at a parallel play age, and there are chemistries to sync. Besides, it is important for the parents of both kids to get along well. And there are issues like scheduling, transportation, logistics, nap times etc…Sounds like a military operation, doesn’t it?
    The only child will become independent if parents inculcate that in their child.
    Consider these 2 points:
    1) Since they have no siblings to guide them, in many ways they become independent faster. 2) However, since all of the parents’ time and attention is spent on the only child, he will stay dependent longer.
    So I guess it all depends on the personality of the child, social circumstances, parenting, schooling and a lot of other factors.
    It is normal for parents to be more stressed about their first child. By the time the second one comes, they are less stressed, more experienced (and if I might say so, less concerned). Being an only child’s parent, you just will be stressed for a much longer period!
    Supporting his time alone:
    You could start with more playdates. Consider going to the library twice a week, and let him lounge around and also pick books by himself. Lego sets are good- the interest in this might last for several years if they start young. This is the age when they are interested in water- lots of pans and cups and trucks going through water pools. Playdoh and lots of molds. A mini sand-pit can also keep little ones engaged. Try setting a trend of self-play from the very beginning (instead of you playing with him).
    Good luck, and let us know how it goes.
    PS: one activity at a time, stretched over half a day or so. Put the water, playdoh, sand and legos in together at the same time- and you end with mess all around and a disinterested child with a short attention span who will keep coming back to you to be a playmate. Your mileage may vary. Batteries not included 😉

  189. I totally agree in the importance of alone time. I know that is what I did a lot, even though i had 4 siblings.
    My only son is now 3, and it worries me that he will not play alone. he needs me, his father or his grandmother to play as his mate, whom he totally uses as a robot that does what he wants.. after all we adults don’t really want to get into a fight about what the doll is supposed to say to the other. I’m worried that he’s getting a totally wrong picture of how the society works and is getting worse and worse at playing with other kids. I arrange play dates maybe once a week.. Should I strive to do more of those, or is there another way to support his independene in this realm.
    We co sleep and I breastfed him thill 2, I feel that this might have caused him to not find his independent self as early as others..
    Any ideas how to support his alone time?

  190. Although in many places, having an only child is the norm (like in China), please remember that in some countries in Europe, its partly a growing trend. Some places like in the rural USofA and Africa do not have the only child trend. I am saying this because I beleive that the only child trend is growing even in places where it is considered ‘abnormal’. Take heart folks, its just a matter of time.
    Besides, isn’t it all a matter of the local culture? When the local culture changes, you will no longer have the feel of guilt.
    In the past, I have felt a lot better just talking about my problems in an anonymous place like the internet. Just talking it out and reading other people who are in the same situtation helped me enormously.

  191. I have such horrible guilt as of late. I have a happy, healthy 4 year old. We love her to pieces. And yet because of secondary infertility, I feel like I am denying her something so basic. I feel a tremendous amount of personal failure at times. And because of my age I also have so much worry about continuing to pursue having a second child. And then I think, as much as I would love to experience a baby again, I am one year away from kindergarten and how nice it would be to have a piece of my own life back, perhaps go back to work. I feel stuck asking friends for advice or counsel because I don’t know many people in my situation. These on-line chats help me to make sense of it all. I know in the grand scheme of life, I am so fortunate and try to keep focused on that.

  192. Long distance relationship with parents…hmmm…that must be me. But my parents are so very stubborn, they don’t want to leave their really old home and stay close to me. Even though I am their only child, and I have an only child.
    I guess they know when to let go, really let go…

  193. I cannot agree more.
    2 years after my child was born, we started trying for the second one. But it didn’t work out because of 2ndry infertility. We couldn’t afford treatment, so we kept trying. Hubbie was happy – or rather, he grew happy. He kept telling me that one can also be enough, and that we can give our only child all the best.
    I was resentful initially, but I too started accepting the situation. Once I got out of my hurt and anger mode, it became much better. Now my only child Sarah is 6 years old, and I couldn’t be happier.
    So, it was just the concept of accepting your situation- coming to terms with it. Then the rest becomes very easy.

  194. I was moved by this story.
    I too ended up in the only child category for reasons that were beyond our control.
    People still keep asking us about when we are going to have the second child. My first and only child is 6 years old, and why don’t people get a clue from that. When I say “Medical Reason”, friends continue probing: like “what medical reason”, “don’t trust these doctors”. I just shut my brain off or rather tune them out. And then, I watch their lips, fingers and other parts of the body, but on mute mode. People quickly stop the conversation when I do that. The little evil person in me.

  195. Yeah I agree. I already have the best child in the world. hmmmm, let’s see, then: why do people keep telling me I need to have more?
    Although the story was moving, I think there’s more to it. The instinct to have children is very basic. For some, it is too strong. They would hurt more, wouldn’t they?

  196. I come from a family of six kids. My parents still call me and check on things. Although I disliked it during my teens, I have grown up. I now appreciate them not letting go. They still advice me on a lot of life’s issues- without interfering in my marriage or parenting of my only child.
    Why I am writing this is to ask this question:
    When parents have 6 kids, they will have to spend equal time with all of them. But what happens if you have an only child? It is more difficult for parents of only children to let go completely or stay out of their lives.
    May be the part of nourishing your marriage/relationship might be a very good thing for in this situation. That way, when the child grows up, you have mom and dad giving each other companionship, without having to constantly be in your only child’s life.
    I would love to hear what others have to say.

  197. My son is nearly eight. I had such a difficult time living in a dysfunctional family, ending up playing reversal roles,in that I was the parent, parenting my 3 siblings. I felt that I had a lifetime lived before I married and had my son.

    Originally I didn’t want to bring any children in to what I saw as a miserably and painful existence. But when I met my husband, nature kicked in and I yearned for a child. I decided that unless I experience that yearning again I would try to just have one child, being responsible financially etc

    I do worry that he is developing normally and worry that he is more mature than his peers. I had siblings and yet I experienced the same thing. I was much more mature than my peers.

    We try to emerge him in clubs of different kinds so as to give him the opportunity to interact and make friends.

    I think no matter whether we have only children or not we will always worry and always wonder if we are doing what’s right for them. My brother has a large family and he worries that they will not have as much financially as other kids and worries that he doesn’t enough quality time with each child etc etc.

    The most important thing in the world as far as I’m concerned is that each and every child feels that they are LOVED!!! If the child knows that they are loved, I believe that everything else can be rectified.

  198. Found some more:
    ** We plan to clone our only child in 2008. Two, for the price of one.
    ** The last one didn”t come with any warranty or owner”s manual. The hospital refused to admit that they misled us. We are not going through with it again.
    ** But you can’t handle the truth.
    ** Why, why, why, oooohhhhh god, why????
    ** He had an accident, you know, there…
    ** My therapist doesn”t agree. Would you like a session with her, its only $300 an hour? May be you could convince her.

  199. Top 10 list of answers to the “When are you having a second child??”. There are more than 10 here. Not in any particular order. Apologies to the contributors- their names are not added in the list since it was taken out of a raw database. The forum will be re-installed soon. Waiting for a software update/ new version from WordPress…

    1) We forgot the art of having kids. Tell me, oh, please tell me, howwww?
    Changing diapers was fun in the begining, but as the baby grows up, it is not fun anymore. Why would I repeat this process?
    2) I live in a country where I am not allowed to make choices.
    3) I am trying to conserve resources and reduce global warming.
    4) Its been done to death. I want to try this new trend.
    5) It was part of my parole conditions.
    6) My cult doesn”t allow it.
    7) My spiritual master has warned me that my next child would not be a human but a Dodo coming back from extinction. I don”t like flightless birds, they are no fun to hunt.
    8) One is simpler than two.
    9) We tried artificial insemination, but the doctor is not upto it anymore.
    10) We live in a homeless shelter these days, and you know what privacy there is like.
    11) I signed a pledge with the government not to have any more. No, not the Federal Government.
    12) We claim the only child tax benefit. We file our taxes in the Island of Taramaro Republic.
    13) Our computer has been infected with a virus, and we are afraid it will spread to the baby that we conceive.

  200. Exactly my feelings. I know we can not afford fertility treatments and that makes me even more angry and mad and after I’m angry and mad then I’m sad. Either way, I haven’t been the fun and friendly person I usually am. Especially since my boss just went through the same treatment I would have to go through and she just found out she’s pregnant. (She and three of my other coworkers just found out this week that they are all pregnant.) Lucky me.

  201. Stacy – I hear you…..that’s where I am coming from as well. Fertility treatments are extremely expensive and when you have an only child and want another but can’t (especially when ART is the only option one’s got) that’s where a whole myriad of emotions come to the surface – especially the guilt. I wish I could say that I only ever wanted one child and no more…..then I don’t think the guilt I feel for not being able to provide a sibling would be as great as it is.

    I would love to see the top 10 answers to “when are you having a second child”…..I never know how to answer that anymore.

  202. Parents, grand parents and aunts don’t make for playmates or friends.
    In the absence of a sibling to argue and fight with and later make up, an only child may not know the dynamics of disagreeing and fighting over an issue. They may either fear or shy away from confrontations. Diane confesses to not knowing “how to argue or state her views tactfully” even after she turned adult. Peer quarreling is a valuable ground for the only child to pick up some lifelong lessons.
    Outings like visit to museum, park or a zoo will be more interesting and special for the child if a friend comes along.
    In the absence of siblings, the only child may look upon her friends as siblings and enjoy positive gains from the relationships.

    I copied pasted the above statements that were made in your article. I just couldn’t disagree more with them! My son LOVES his friends but LOVES going on weekend outings without anyone but his dad and me. We have a blast! Maybe if a child’s parents are dull and boring, it’s not much fun for the child, but my son does not need a “fill in sibling” for our outings. I also feel that my son certainly does not need to think of his friends as surrogate siblings! He loves being an only child. In our family we talk very positivly about him being an only child and he knows his parents are happy with the decision and he doens’t ever ask for a sibling or wish he had one. There is NO need to imply to him that a friend “can be like a sibling”..that would be implying in some way that our family is not complete and perfect the way it is. Friends are so important and invaluable for ALL children with and without siblings, but they do NOT have to fill in or be a replacement in the development of a happy child. (unless the child is in a negative home situation, but that’s a whole other story) Lastly I would like to mention that I grew up in a large family and had ample opportunities to “fight” with siblings and I know many other adults that have also. Believe me, many adults that grew up with siblings still hate confrontation and struggle with arguing in a healthy way. We have struggles just like anyone else would. I do think that society loves to look at an only child and are quick to comment “oh, he is like that because he’s an only”. “he’s so mature, spoiled, pampered because he’s an only” but these are all traits a child in a big family can display just as easily. I will always stand strong on the premise that a child learns best from his parents on how to behave, how to argue, how to treat others, how to play fair and even how to share. Friends/peerd are invaluable, but siblings are not necessary in the raising of a healthy, happy completely well adjusted adult. Remember to look at all the dysfunctional adults in society. I can bet a huge majority of them had siblings.

    We should all nurture our children and love them and provide them with caring and loving life lessons. make sure they have time to BE kids with other kids and also to have alone time to just be bored and get creative. With or without siblings. 🙂

  203. This is such a wonderful article and website as a whole. I thought I was a 100% sure I wanted an only child, and now I am struggling. In fact, this is what my blog post tomorrow is about.
    I don’t think people understand that parents of onlies struggle with these thoughts, it’s not like we just decide, oh, I’m going to have an only child, we carefully consider these things.

  204. I can understand your pain!!!

    We had a “top 10” list of answers to those who insist that you have a second child. It used to be in the discussion forums. We are trying to re-install the only child forum before the end of this month…

    In the meantime, may be you should ask them for the money for the treatment. Or ask, for example, Aunt Sally why she had only 4 kids- didn’t she ruin it for them? She should have had 8, just like folks did in the early 1900s.

    People just don’t get it- they don’t understand your feelings and inner turmoils.

  205. I needed this website more than anything tonight. Family gatherings are especially difficult when people keep asking, “When are you going to have another baby?”. Guess what? We can’t have anymore babies. We waited for six years to try for another child. When I finally convinced my husband, it was too late. Through fertility testing we have discovered that unless we have expensive procedures performed it won’t happen. So,yes, I’m guilty, angry, and a mix of other emotions. I want to post a note on my head that says “Just don’t ask!”

  206. boyer – there is a great difference between making the definitive decision to only have one child verses someone who has had no choice in the issue because they cannot have any more children. It’s a huge difference, in fact, because one is forced to try and come to terms with the fact that they cannot provide a biological sibling for their only child. The guilt that comes with that is awful. There is no preparation for that and there seems to be more cons than pros of having a single child when the decision is out of one’s control.

  207. Over this, over-that- get over all of this nonsense. Good parenting, sensible parenting, makes happy kids, only child or otherwise. I got tired of my in laws frequent interference in what is supposed to be our personal lives. To put it mildly, they are not the best parents.
    Last week I told them off, told them to be better parents- more like us. The silence on the other side was, hmmm, how do I say this…deafening. So much for “stereotypes” of only children. I have an only, two other friends have onlies. Beieve me when I say this- they are the best behaved among the lot. They ALWAYS wait for their turn, don’t whine and don’t compare and complain all the time. Self-content is the word I would use.

  208. Most people I know or met have told me that having an only child was not by choice, but for medical reasons or age-related.
    The ones who chose to have an only child- I mean made a conscious decision to have an only child- are not as guilty as the ones who had no choice. I guess the choice makers were prepared.
    Whenever I hear of the pros and cons of having an only child, I always wonder- doesn’t it also depend on whether it was by choice or not.
    I would like to hear from others here!

  209. HeathersMom says:
    “….is site…seems to be very pro only child”

    Maybe I would call it a support site like what “only with Only” points what. But then it is all perception!

    I think sibling rivalry alone is enough to want to be an only child. The problem comes when parents get older.

  210. Of course this is a pro only-child website. It is a supportive resource for parents of onlies so we need not feel inadequate for only having one child, often through no fault of our own.

  211. As an only child myself I can attest that alone time is great. Playing alone helped me develop a talent for voice impersonations that all my friends loved, as well as a passion for reading that persists to this day. I am glad I don’t have any siblings, and I am hard pressed to think of any of my “siblinged” friends who didn’t resent theirs, my wife included.

  212. Its interesting that this article mentions the importance of “couplehoold time”. We had a lot of arguments and went to bed without resolving them. That’s when some of out friends were mentioning the importance of mom and dad being on the same page. It is so apt for parents of only children more than anyone else.

    We chose to have an only child, and both are totally devoted parents- not helipcopter parents I can assure you.

    So this piece of advice should be taken to heart all you moms and dads out there!

  213. But sometimes it is very difficult to make out the difference between my only child being alone and feeling lonely.
    She is only 4 years old, and at this age they really cannot analyze their feelings, and even more importantly, can’t express themselves clearly. Its left to me or her dad to analyze what exactly she is feeling. Very frustrating, but I guess things will start changing as she gets a little bit older.

  214. In fact, how many people ask themselves the question “Why do I need to have a child” before having a child. Think deep down inside. I know of a lot of people who had the frist child as a biological side effect of intimacy. And then they start thinking about how to provide for the child etc. That’s when many of them decided one was enough. So, there you have it- accidental only children. hhhhhhrh gets me really upset.
    Meanwhile women like me having been trying to have a baby for years. We know why, we have the resoures, but biology does not favor us. I am jealous.
    But when the one comes along (which the doc says will be soon), I think I will stick with just one child.

  215. These are just generic comments. It doesn’t help much. Just ommon sense.

  216. Hello every one with an only child!
    I guess you are here because you all feel it is kinda different to have a single child. So I would like to say this- people can be generally insensitive and sometimes outright rude and tell you how to run your family and how many kids to have. But most mean well. So lighten up, don’t say anything back to them when they make comments, and slowly they will get the message, at least most them will.

  217. Isn’t this whole stereotypes of only child relevant to the situation- like are the parents middle class or what, family income and lots of other factors?
    I guess that is why they call it stereotypes I guess 🙂
    My only DOES NOT fit the stereotype, but my wife fits it very well, and she is from a laaaaarge family. When the whole family gets together, its carnival time, and I end up having a lot of fun because they let me be by myself- beer and football keep my company and I enjoy it 🙂
    I am from a what you would call a mid-size family- 3 kids.
    Have fun guys (and gals)- your only child will grow up very fast. Its just one you have, so no second chances to watch them grow 😉

  218. I have often felt bad about my daughter, an only child, sitting in her room by herself and playing with all her dolls and the kitchen set.
    My husband keeps telling me its ok, just look at the way she is having fun, how engrossed she is in her play and so on.
    He is an only child, and he says he can not stand large families. We have an only child not by choice (secondary infertility).
    I still worry about my daughter being lonely. But over the course of time, I have realized that what my husband has been saying might be true afterall. She has grown up to become a very outgoing and friendly child. ANd very imaginative!!
    So all of you parents of onlies- take heart- just because they like play alone doesn’t mean they are feeling lonely.

  219. I always felt that when searching through my experience about only child pros and cons, it always comes out that one side of my brain projects all the pros and the other all the cons. Its a mixed bag of feelings!!!!

    The pros are that you can spend all your time on your only child. In this globalizing world, kids have to be competetive. I don’t mean pushing your kids to become nerds. What I am saying is that we need to spend quality time with our kids. And we should do it when they are open and happy to spend time with us parents. Not when they are in their teens when they are embarassed by our very sight.
    There are negative aspects also to the above. BUt smart parents know where to draw the line, and this cons and easily be turned to a pro situation.
    Spending money on our only child is just plain economics- there is more when you have fewer kids. Some (like the neo-rich) seem to inculcate the habbit of a flashy lifestyle, and this is a dangerous thing to do. Count this as a major negative.

  220. Same thing with me. I was so caught up with my career that I forgot all about the ‘biological clock’ ticking very silently.
    My mother in laws frequent reminders and sarcastic comments were, as usual, automatically filtered out by my brain like a good old coffee filter. And hen I started noticing that fewer of my friends were calling me, they all were getting busy with raising a family.
    We got pregnant after about 4 months. I had planned on getting back to work after my only child Sussie turned 6 months. My MIL had volunteered to take care of her during the day, and my husband went part-time (he has a great job but low paying).
    Guess what, after 4 months of Susan’s arrival, my whole world view changed!!!
    I worked part-time until she turned 1 and half, then quit the job after giving my employer a year’s notice. Great job though, great company.
    My MIL was quite for 2 years and then her reminders for ‘completing’ the family, a companion for my only child Susan, what would happen after ‘our time’?????? all of it started wearing down my husband. He wasn’t too keen on a second, just because he is from a really big family. He doesn’t keep in touch with his brothers (all of them live far away). They don’t get together even for Christmas. He always complained of the strained relationship with his siblings. He is very close to his mother though- he’s a first born. They seem to be more like only children.
    The stereotypes don’t seem to apply to him. He remembers his best times as an only child, the brothers came after he turned 8.
    All this talk of only child psychology and the pros and cons of having an only child is very subjective. If you put a lens and observe a child, you can see areas of her characteristics that seem to be a spoiled only child.
    With time, I started cherishing my time with Sussie, and she remained my only one. I am very happy and content 🙂
    The only child myths are just that- myths and only child stereotypes!

  221. Excellant review. But too soft on the book me thinks. I read this book in the past.
    I felt like a terrible parent as I was reading it. Everything I had done seemed to be the devil’s work. By the time I was done reading the book I was a wreck.
    And then I read Sifford’s book, it was like an aspirin for the headache.
    My only one Ana is 8 and doing VERY well. No thanks to the 7 sins book. Thanks to Sifford, Dr Spock. And thanks also to the countless websites that support parents of onlies.

  222. LOL. A lot of what is written in this article applies to ‘super moms’ and ‘helicopter’ parents! Mom of an only child is easily sucked into playing out these roles 🙁 Well, I did, initially at least.
    It was my DH who tactfully pulled me out of this attitude of pushing my child to be #1 (or actually I was trying to make her acheive my dreams, the things I wanted to do or be). Bless you Mark 🙂

  223. Wow! great site- full of articles on only child!!
    …well, I don’t agree with a lot of what is said on this site…seems to be very pro only child 😉
    One thing I found very interesting in this particular article was where you say that the only child, never having to fight for her toys and space with her siblings, is more comfortable sharing. Only after reading that passage did I find it analytically true.

    “Consider this: Unlike in the multi-child family, the only child does not have to fight…… sharing does not mean giving away”

    Why I say this is that I observe kids in the playground and I find that girls from multi-sibling families are prone to defend ‘their’ territory and play equipment- even though it is all in a public park-like area. And get this- it is girls who are NOT first-born who do this! The first-borns are more only child like- and the more the spacing between the first and second, the more relaxed is the first-born!
    Yes, I do talk to all the new moms in the playground :))) Do they think I am a government census taker??? Maybe they do, ha ha ha……

  224. You are so right about raising kids being a full-time job. Maybe thankless sometimes- but sure is getting difficult as time goes on. May be the world is getting more competetive, and we need to have our child(ren) all rady and preapared.
    WHen it comes to the oly child, I guess it makes it a little easier for parents. Just imagine, with an only child, you get to spend all the time, all the resources on this only child. And to top it off, you get to spend more time with your spouse- which is what I get to do a lot more than my other friends. My only is 7 years old now, a bubbly boy with a ton of friends. I had to push him in that direction though- a little effort from our side went a long way!