5 Reasons I Want an Only Child

I was walking through the grocery store (ok, ok, it was a Target) when a well-meaning older woman started interacting with Binky boy. She cooed at him and asked how old he was, she smiled at him and admired his gummy return smile, and she eventually inquired about when he’d have siblings join him. Sometimes, it amazes me what strangers are willing to pry out of pregnant women and mothers. Other times, it amuses me to see their reaction to my response. Along with being non-traditional, I’m also outspoken. I don’t want my son to have siblings, I don’t want any more kids, and I want an only child. The truth is that only children have a slew of positive qualities that I look forward to.

I Want an Only Child

(A quick disclaimer: I know that these things can be accomplished by families with siblings. I don’t claim that having an only child is the only way to accomplish these things…and I don’t even know that having an only child will even accomplish these things. I am also well aware that these are all very self-focused decisions. Call me selfish if you’d like, but this is my decision to make and I will use my own, “selfish” reasons to make it.)

1. I want a well-balanced lifestyle.

I enjoy working, blogging, and spending time with friends and my husband…all of which are done without my son (with the exception of occasionally spending time with friends in the form of play dates). I want to consistently balance the things in my life that I enjoy and I know that adding more children will create an imbalance in my life.

2. I don’t want to be pregnant or to raise a newborn again.

My husband and I are thoroughly enjoying Binky’s journey through toddlerhood. He explores new things, he values time with us, and he soaks up knowledge. I’ve cherished every stage of life with my son, but there are certain stages that we’re better suited to enjoy. Pregnancy and the newborn stage are not one of them. (We’ve entertained the idea of adopting, should we decide later to add more children to our family.)

3. I want convenience.

I first decided that I want an only child when my husband and I decided that we wanted to live in another country. We have a strong idea of what our future together looks like and we feel as though having an only child best fits our idea. Moving to another country, just as an example, will be more convenient with an only child. Not to mention, going to the grocery store, taking a road trip, and house hunting, just to name a few others. 😉

4. I don’t want my son to have to adjust.

I know that my son would have a hard time adjusting to a new baby in the family. Most of the reasons I want an only child are selfish, but I just can’t ignore his needs in this instance. I know that many children adjust to new siblings well and, obviously, he’s going to have to learn to adjust to new situations. I just can’t face the reality of a broken-hearted toddler and a newborn who are both my responsibility. I trust my intuition and I believe this is a gut feeling that I should listen to.

5. I can always change my mind.

We feel strongly about our decision to have an only child, but the great thing about choosing not to have more kids is that we can always change our minds. (It wouldn’t be the same story if we chose to have more kids and then tried to change our minds. 😉 Haha!) We’re open to changing our decision if it ever feels like the right thing for our family and our life goals.

Like I mentioned in my “disclaimer,” I know that having an only child isn’t the only way to accomplish these things, but it feels like the best way for our family to accomplish these things. I love the dynamic between siblings and I adore the chances I get to observe large families. These are simply the reasons that I want an only child, not to say that everyone should want an only child.

What is your favorite thing about having the number of children that you have? Comment below!

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32 Comments

  1. July 21, 2015 / 9:30 am

    I don’t think your decision sounds selfish at all! If people come at it with that assumption, I’d argue deciding to have more children could be considered just as selfish. From an environmental standpoint it is. If you love the feelings you get when your kid/s connect with you and you want more of that in your life. If you have the idea that a bigger family will make life happier for you, etc. We all try to make decisions that benefit us in the ways we want to be benefited. I think you sound really reasonable and like a great mom who has a clear idea of the life she wants to provide for her son, as well as how to be the most fulfilled person she can be—which will also benefit your son. Plus, I’m an only child and I appreciate when people WANT/CHOOSE to raise an only child 🙂

    • July 25, 2015 / 5:10 pm

      Thank you so much, Brooke. It’s especially nice to hear supportive feedback from people with more than one child! 🙂 Ah you’re an awesome person, so it’s wonderful to hear that you’re an only child! 😀 😉

  2. July 21, 2015 / 9:55 am

    My hubby is an only child and he LOVED it! And that being said, we seem to know many only children (as our adults friends) who also had great childhoods and didn’t feel like they were “missing” anything. I also know quite a few moms who are choosing only one child, for many different reasons (some similar to yours). Like you say, this is your decision for your family. We all have to do what we feel is right for us. And yes, you are VERY right in that adding more children to the mix complicates MANY things! I’m living that reality and while I don’t regret that at all, I acknowledge how much my life has changed since having my three kids. The only thing I would recommend to those choosing to only have one child is to make sure their child is well adjusted to interacting with other kids via playdates, preschool, etc. I do know of a couple only children who struggle to interact in a positive way with other kids because they don’t have to learn sharing along with other principles at home, that would naturally present themselves if siblings were present. But I think you are doing a wonderful job and admire you for once again putting yourself out there to share this! xox

    • July 25, 2015 / 5:13 pm

      Thank you so much; this was a little emotional for me to post! I know what the “ideal” picture of family looks like…and it just isn’t what I happen to picture for myself. I do think there are sometimes extra measures that I will have to take with an only child to ensure that he’s getting the best of both worlds, but I think that’s true for children with siblings too! Owen gets to go to daycare a few days a week, so he’s learning all of the wonderful ways to react to other kids…like pushing or saying please haha!

  3. July 21, 2015 / 11:50 am

    You aren’t selfish at all, you are just doing what is right for you and your family. I’ve known I wanted a big family probably since I was a young teen. Right now I have 2 kids, but I am aiming for 3. That is what I personally am comfortable with. Now, I have a friend who didn’t want any kids and she ended up having one. It’s sad but I can see how unhappy she is whenever I see her with her child. I strongly believe you should do whats best for you and what is going to make you happy. This will only create a happier home for you and your child.

    • July 25, 2015 / 5:14 pm

      I agree – you’ve got to stick with what YOU desire and envision, because it can really become a bad situation when you’re stuck in a lifestyle that is completely off from your dreams.

  4. July 21, 2015 / 1:49 pm

    I love that you have this envisioned future for your family, and you’re sticking to your guns on making it happen. We always go back and forth on if we want one or two. Lately I’ve leaned a lot more to one, for a lot of the same reasons. I think people shy away from it because being “an only child” has held negative value in describing someone. Which I think should stop, ASAP. Do what is right for your family, which will never be selfish.

    • July 25, 2015 / 5:17 pm

      Thank you so much, Michelle! My husband and I are very clear on what we see in our future…and the great part is that we have the exact same picture! I know and FEEL so perfectly strong in this decision, so I don’t even care if people think I’m selfish! Haha!

  5. July 21, 2015 / 1:53 pm

    I feel sooo related to you. I have an only child as well and i have decided along my husband to keep it that way. First because the world is a very ugly place to bring more kids to, and also for our lifestyle’s sake as well as economically. It is not the same to educate and support 1 than 2-4 kids.

    Definetly agree with every point! Keep it up momma!

    • July 25, 2015 / 5:18 pm

      Thank you so much, Ella! I’m so glad that you connected with this! I hope you know that you’re not alone, you’re not “weird,” and you do not have to change your lifestyle or dreams to fit everyone else’s standards of what a family looks like! :*

  6. July 21, 2015 / 4:01 pm

    I really love number 2 lol and it totally makes since!! I wrote a post about how women shouldn’t be judged on the number of kids they want to have… whether it’s none, 1 or many! Your reasons are all valid and your own. Good for you mama! And I think #2 is funny because I’m the opposite.. I love the pregnancy and newborn part of parenting but this whole kid thing is so much harder for me!

    • July 25, 2015 / 5:20 pm

      Haha ahhhh you’re welcome to raise a couple newborns for me and THEN maybe I’d agree to having more! Hahaha! 😀 Thank you for your comment; I appreciate feeling the support from other mamas!

  7. July 21, 2015 / 5:46 pm

    I love it!
    Hahahaha they can’t go back, believe me I tried… Kidding kidding!

    I’m right where you are!
    For myself I only want one, but I love having two sisters so I also what that for him..
    I flat out don’t know yet how many we will or won’t have and that’s ok with me!

    • July 25, 2015 / 5:23 pm

      Hahaha definitely can’t go back! 🙂 🙂 🙂 You know, we’re sure to say that we are happy to change our minds if that is what feels right in the future. So maybe we don’t really know either?! 😉

  8. July 21, 2015 / 6:15 pm

    As an only child, I can say you’re spot on and I think my parents would agree! I love being an only child (and not just for selfish reasons!). I think being an only child teaches you to be independent and forces you to be very creative as a child without other siblings to play with or entertain you.

    • July 25, 2015 / 5:25 pm

      Ahhh and you’re a LOVELY only child! 😀 My sister is 11 years younger than me, so I basically grew up as an only child, too! I completely agree that only children end up being extremely independent and creative! 😀

  9. July 21, 2015 / 7:26 pm

    One thing i did forget to say is that i hate people who constantly keeps telling me when i am going to have my second child and get upset when i say do not want any more. Like.. you want a kid, have it yourself i got plenty thank you 🙂

    Ok, That’s about it 😛

    • July 25, 2015 / 5:25 pm

      Hahahahaha you tell ’em, girl! 😀

  10. July 21, 2015 / 8:24 pm

    My husband is an only child and I have one brother…and after going through a rough pregnancy, delivery, and the first 10 or so months of newborn-hood, we decided one is the perfect number for us! We love going outdoors to run and bike and it’s to the point where our little guy is old enough to join us and I really don’t want to start all over again. We are a very happy little family of 3 and with him just turning two, I’m definitely getting my fair share of when’s the next one coming. And I so hear you on #3…wrangling one to the store is quite the trip, I can’t imagine adding another to the mix!

    • July 25, 2015 / 5:29 pm

      We have definitely grown to LOVE the place we’re in with our son, too. We can’t imagine starting over, either!!

  11. July 22, 2015 / 9:08 am

    I think every family has to do what is best for them. I don’t think having only one child is selfish at all if that is what works. You are a great mom for thinking of all aspects of what having another child would affect your son’s life. You make very valid points, to only have one child. Great post! Thanks for sharing.

  12. July 22, 2015 / 11:35 am

    I love this! We have two children, they are almost 6 years apart by design because that is how long it took me to change my mind about a second one. People said all sorts of crazy things to us when we just had the one!

  13. July 22, 2015 / 11:58 am

    I do not think you are selfish at all. Sometimes as parents we lose sight of our dreams because of other obstacles that get in our way. I am not saying our kids our obstacles but I am pretty sure “some” moms have dreams beyond motherhood. Another thing, if having one child is living within your means (kids are expensive, the more you have the more expensive it gets), than by all means, DO IT! No one should tell you or your spouse how many children y’all should have, especially if they aren’t living y’alls life. Get my gist? I know how you feel about getting preggers again…I know if I happen to get pregnant again I would be thrilled and scared for my life at the same time, I have BAD pregnancies and labors. Like Wendy (Williams) says, “Your a WOMAN, you are ALLOWED to change your mind!”. Great post and points!

  14. July 22, 2015 / 11:23 pm

    I’m always amazed what complete strangers will ask people and the comments they’ll make without thinking. I think you’ve really thought through your decision and it’s great you know what you want!

    • July 25, 2015 / 5:32 pm

      Haha right?! People are crazy!

  15. July 24, 2015 / 9:06 pm

    Love this! We are “one and done” as well, and it is AMAZING how many people have strong opinions about how many children my husband and I should have. I’ve said before that the only “normal” number of kids anyone can have in this culture seems to be 2. More, and you’re a weirdo; fewer, and you’re depriving your child of the experience of having a sibling, plus s/he will grow up to be a clingy serial killer or something.

    I can definitely relate to a lot of your reasons, but for me, it is much more simple: I just plain DON’T WANT to have another kid! I adore my daughter and, yes, there are moments when I think about what a great big sister she would be. But I am not going to second-guess myself and get caught up in “what-ifs.” We are a happy little family, emphasis on the little, and I’m OK with that!

    • July 25, 2015 / 5:34 pm

      I agree that there is such a stereotypical view of what a family looks like – and it includes one boy child and one girl child. I’m ok with completely going against the norm, too. I think families like us can help pave the way so that other families don’t have to feel so pressured.

  16. July 24, 2015 / 11:21 pm

    I am a mom to six! It’s a blended family so I didn’t north them all – but I sure feed them all 🙂 amongst other things. That being said – every women should get to decide for themselves. I have a daughter that keeps telling me she might not ever want to have kids – she wants to be a doctor. And that is fine – that is her choice. The best thing for every child born is to be fully wanted. Like you said, once you have them – there is no changing your mind 🙂

  17. July 30, 2015 / 3:38 pm

    In the interest and freedom of sharing, WITHOUT JUDGEMENT, and because I myself always find it so interesting to read others thoughts, opinions and history I’ll add my own two cents into the mix. I am an ONLY child and my husband has one brother. While I do have good memories from my childhood, I have always looked back and wished my parents would have been able to give me a sibling. I was always secretly jealous of all my friends with there siblings ~ built in forever friends. And yes I know it’s not always bliss and they do get on each other’s nerves at times, but I would have taken it all in a heartbeat. Because it seems our children won’t have any cousins (and I wasn’t close to any of mine – distance and personalities) I want so much to give my children the magic I feel I missed out on. So currently we have 2, and while at first our oldest had to adjust to not being the only anymore, he has radiantly become the most amazingly loving big brother and insists on being at his little sister’s side always. I am finally a part of the sibling magic.

    • July 30, 2015 / 4:37 pm

      Thank you for your comment! I completely understand how your life experiences lead you to want to provide siblings for your children. I can say strongly and honestly that the things I mentioned in this post are so much more dear and precious to us than giving our son the experience of siblings. That may not be something you can relate to, but these are our genuine feelings.

  18. August 3, 2015 / 8:29 pm

    Girl you know what you want and that is awesome!

    I am the total opposite haha. I want more! We hope to adopt and would honestly have as many children as God decides to give us. I know, it sounds crazy. I only have 1 brother and a very small family. I teach ( a ton of my time goes to this), blog, and be a mom to 2 kiddos. It’s tough and inconvenient at times but God gives my as much as I can handle. Love your outlook and honesty girlfriend!

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