For only children & parents of only childen. (kinda long).

TaraWaferDecember 12, 2001

I will be posting this on the Parents forum too, since I want to get all the responses that I can.

Okay, our DD is almost 2 1/2 years old. For most of her life, my DH and I have only wanted to have her. My mom would like us to have more kids. My dad says he's fine with us just having our DD. And we haven't really talked with DH's mom about it.

I don't want to start a debate. We really only want to have our DD. Although we are willing to be open about it. And maybe in 3 years or so adopt or try to get pregnant again. But having another child would be for our DD, not really us.

We are afraid that we aren't being fair to her by only having her. What if we were to die? She would have no sibling to go through it with. She would have no immediate family there. Are we depriving her of wonderful relationships (bickering and all) with siblings???

I am hoping to hear from only children and parents of only children. How do you feel about being an only child? Do you feel like you missed out? For the parents, why did you decide to only have one kid? Do you regret it? What did you do to make sure your only child was socialized and well-adjusted?

Please any advice, stories, thoughts, whatever would be greatly appreciated! I don't want to make a decision that would hurt our DD. We are just so happy with just the three of us. We want to keep it that way. Thanks in advance!!!

-Tara W

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The only reason for couples to have a child is because they want the child, be it number one or two. Its a decision you and your spouse should make, never have a baby for someone else.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2001 at 9:52AM
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I'm not an only, and though DS is currently an only, I do expect that will change -- though not for a few years.

I won't have more than 2 children -- well, at least, I don't PLAN to -- because I think 0 pop growth is an obtainable and responsible course of action. Plus, I couldn't handle it; financially, physically, or mentally. But I do want more than one. And I also think that a sibling/family relationship is something really important. I have a cousin who is an only, and one of the things that she doesn't have is nieces & nephews; her kids won't have cousins. So, my decision is based on DH, me, DS, and our future child and grandchild(ren).

BUT: You say that you're happy with the 3 of you and want to keep it that way. Then do so! It is a personal and family decision. My reason may not be relevant, or may not apply to you. You're the only one who can make that decision, and you have to have your own reasons, not mine or someone else's -- and not your mother's! -- for doing so.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2001 at 10:55AM
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Okay, let me clarify a little more. DH and I wouldn't ACTUALLY have another child just for DD. We would have to want another child. And we don't, at least not now. ANd not for a long time. What I was saying was that's the only reason we would want another one right now. But not that we would really do that to another child... just have them so DD has a sibling. Does that make more sense? I hope so. LEt me know if there are still questions. I think I was somewhat misunderstood... Sorry about that. :)

-Tara W

    Bookmark   December 12, 2001 at 12:55PM
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There is a really good book out there called You and Your Only Child that reviews issues like whether Onlies are spoiled, and whether they are lonely and so on. What psychologists are finding is that Onlies do just fine!

I can't have any more children and simply want to find ways to encourage my ds to have caring and strong friendships with other people. The best way for me to do this, is to do it myself! I am not in the least worried about the fact that he is an Only.

However, if you DO want another child - don't take it for granted that you CAN have another one!

Good luck with your decision.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2001 at 12:26PM
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I am an only child.. I may be able to give you some insight as to what my childhood was like..
First of all.. I had very responsible loving parents who were smart enough to know how expensive it is to raise a child.. and I don't mean the diapers and formula.. I mean the music lessons.. the class trips.. the designer jeans and high school band ..
My parents knew that they could only afford one child.. and truly thought that by having only one they could give me the best. However.. they failed to realize the valuable lessons you learn by having siblings. You learn alot about how to get along with others, give and take, sharing, and being respectful of other people in the household. I see alot of selfishness in myself that as an adult, I try very hard to correct.
The big question everyone asks "onlies" is " weren't you lonely??" as a child not really.. We had absolutely no family around us.. so there were no cousins to play with .. but I had school.. and activities.. and I was never without a playmate in the neigborhood.. .. we lived in a big city.. I think the lonliness comes on later in life.. for example when my father died last year.. it would have been soo nice to have a sibling's shoulder to lean on..
In summary, I think you should have more children because YOU really want them.. not because other famlily members think you should.. I'm always amazed at the grandmothers who beg for more grandchildren..but when they finally get some.. they can't be bothered to babysit or help out.. do ONLY what feels right to you and your husband..

    Bookmark   December 13, 2001 at 8:32PM
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Hi there,
I can certainly appreciate the way you are feeling. My DH and I currently have one son 3.2 years old. We waited some time after we were married (6 years) before we had our son. We weren't sure if kids were for us, etc.
Now, we are going through all the same thoughts again, because it seems "time" for a second child. We're having all the same thoughts and uncertainties that you have.
Are we trying to have another child simply so that our son won't be "alone", etc.
When we really try and "break down" our feelings, etc. we always waver back and forth. I think when it comes right down to it some people (couples) tend to over-think things. If you're that kind of person (couple), you'll NEVER know for sure - you'll always second-guess yourself. But...think about your daughter. How would your life be different without her? She is probably a joy in your life.
"A parent's love is not divided by another child, it is multiplied."

    Bookmark   December 15, 2001 at 4:45PM
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Hopefully I can give you a little bit of insight into both sides of the debaate. Untill I was 11 years old, I was an only child. Psychologists say this psychologically makes me an only child! I loved being an only child. I was very creative and friendly, I was very curious and intellectual. I loved to sing with my dad and do crafts with my mom we loved nature and the three of us took long hikes and camped alot and travelled. I am very musical, my parents were able to support me in piano, violin, brass and voice. But more than anything else they were there for me emotionally 100%! I loved being an only child!

When I was 11 years old my parents had another daughter. They have often said to me and other family members that they regret having another child, not that they don't love her, it was just very hard and very different raising her. There were complications at the birth which led to my sister having a conduct disorder. She is a very self centered, manipulative and mean person. And I am not saying this because I am jealous or anyother hidden agenda, I am just stating a fact. It was so hard on my parents being in their late 30's and starting all over again and all of the trials they had to deal with, still are dealing with at age 21!

Two years ago my father passed away, trust me it was not my sister I turned to for support, but my husband and friends I have had for many years. Onlies create surrogate siblings; one of my best friends is an only and two of my cousins that are close to my age I view as my family. We have the same relationships siblings have.

With my family now it was a heartbreaking decision to go from one child to two, but in the end we decided to have more children, and I thank God we did our second child is sweet and loving and kind. That was my greatest fear, that we would hurt our first born by having a second child, but their mother's history has not repeated itself! My husband has 5 siblings, and his stories and relationships are amazing! His mother has 8 siblings, and you should see Christmas, what an amazing celebraton of life and heritage! When we got married I told my husband, either we have only one child or four! I think the key is having them really close together, shared history and growing through life's joys and struggles is what makes siblings gel and become interlinked! As a child I didn't know this was something I was missing, as an adult I get to experience it through my own children! Best of luck! Trust God and he will guide your family!

    Bookmark   December 16, 2001 at 1:42PM
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studies show that only children do well in life and like another poster said, if something should happen to you and hubby, she will have friends and other places to go.. my DD is 2 and we are not sure if we will have another, because husband had testicular cancer and was in radiation, etc. and we dont know yet what we will do, but i know my dd will have a wonderful life with or without a sibling. she will be a productive, dynamic, happy, and wonderful person. some people have siblings and they are not close at all, so you cannot go by that..some people choose only children and that is a blessing from God and you are lucky and so are all the people with children, adopted, or otherwise....dont do anything for anyone else....nobody lives your life but you and your DH..

    Bookmark   December 18, 2001 at 9:04AM
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