There are lots of great reasons to have more than one child. If I’m being honest, I agree with a lot of them. Yet we made the choice to only have one child.
Most people assume that when parents of only children say they aren’t having more, it’s a choice based in selfishness. I don’t think that could be further from the truth! The decision to have one child is built around a lot of thought. Each couple has their own considerations and whether they’re known or not, they should be respected.
It’s incredibly unfair to pass judgement on any parents for their choice in having however many kids they chose! Whether you only have one child or you decide to have ten, or none, that’s a personal decision.
Why we choose to only have one child and don’t feel bad about it.
I didn’t have a difficult pregnancy, and although the birth was a little rough, everything ended well. I could easily do it again. We also are financially stable enough and in a position where we could have another child. Zach was also a really easy baby; he barely cried, slept well, never spit up, and nursed beautifully from day one.
Absolutely none of those big reasons that people find “acceptable” were reasons we chose not to.
To be completely honest, I actually do feel a “little” guilty about only having one child. But it is only because of my own internal battle. It has zero to do with others expectations or a feeling of what I “should” do.
I can be fairly indecisive when two options seem like they could be right. This is one of those situations.
I worry that the decision to only have one child may not be right for Zach. But if we decided to have more, I guarantee I’d feel the same about that decision. It’s just not an easy decision to make.
Originally, I had wanted more than one. I wanted Zach to have a brother or a sister. And when I was younger, I wanted lots of kids. But I’ve changed my mind. Here’s why we chose to have only one, and why others might, too.
It felt like choosing to have a second one was the selfish choice.
When I really thought about the reasons I wanted a second child, it felt like it was all for him. I wanted a sibling for him to play with. Someone to go through the difficult moments of life with.
That really seemed unfair to the second child. Not that we wouldn’t love him or her obviously, but we weren’t making the decision to have a second because we truly just wanted a second. It was all for Zach’s benefit. That’s not a good reason.
We don’t want to do anything to upset what we have now.
Obviously, we’d love another child. But we are super happy with our family now. I can’t even imagine bringing in another member at this point. We have a wonderful groove as a 3 person family.
Our schedules and routines are perfect. We feel like a complete unit. It doesn’t feel like anything is missing or needs to be changed. So why would we choose to change it?
We want to be able to give Zach as much attention as he needs and wants.
Some people might think that’s unnecessary. We don’t. I love that I don’t have many other things that I absolutely can’t put down if he needs me. He is always more important than whatever else I’m doing.
Would he turn out fine if he had to share attention? Sure, he most likely would. But if we have no strong desire to add another person to the family, why would we choose to make him share that attention?
We both love that if he wants to snuggle and watch a movie with us, we can. I love knowing that when he’s all grown up, I won’t look back and wish I had more time with him AND his sibling. I love how much time I get to spend with him!
There are no guarantees for any of the reasons people generally choose to have more than one.
A lot of the reasons people choose to have more than one are reasons I kind of agree with. But there is no guarantee that they will work out the way the parents have planned.
You have more than one so that your child has a playmate. Not all kids get along. I don’t just mean general sibling rivalry. I mean siblings who actually don’t get along. I’ve seen it before.
If there is a large enough age gap, they’ll be interested in very different things. You can shoot for a specific age gap, but things don’t always work out the way you want.
There is also no guarantee that kids will be close enough to really help each other through tough times when they are older. Lots of kids move away and see each other a few times a year. While there is still some solace in going through tough situations together, they’ll still each be dealing with it mostly alone if they aren’t really close.
Sometimes larger families even have bigger struggles. I’ve seen and heard family with several kids who were once close become the worst of enemies later in life. You just can’t guarantee anything.
Trust in yourself and your decision to only have one child!
There are just as many reasons to only have one child as there are for having lots. No matter what a person or couple’s reasons are, it’s no ones business. No one should ever have to justify their reasons to anyone.
The choice to have only one child has become a lot more common, but there are still many people who raise an eyebrow at the decision. There are many others who will ask repeatedly, or inappropriately, when you are having another or if you are “trying.”
Ignore those questions and comments. You know if you’re making the right choice for you and your family. No one else knows what’s right for you. Don’t let them make you feel guilty or question your decision!