Are parents with one child happier than those with more?

I visited with several friends last month who just have one child and their lives seemed so much more together than mine.

Walsh and I went to see “Cars 2” with a dear childhood friend, her husband and their son. My friend was so cute with her husband. They were very romantic and seemed like they actually had time to be a couple! He chose the love seat in the theater and immediately put his arm around her.

My other girlfriend’s life just seemed so together and organized. First off she didn’t have toys from 10 years ago still hanging around that had been passed down from child to child and are still in use. Everything was neat and orderly.  They had a schedule and patterns. They were in a completely different stage of life than my family even though our oldest children are the same age.

So what do you think? Is one child just the right amount of kids? You can get them to events, help them with homework, feed and clothe them without going broke or crazy. Or is there something to be said for a big family?

81 comments Add your comment

penguinmom

August 4th, 2011
1:31 am

It has got to be less stressful to only have one kid. However, I wouldn’t trade the fact that my kids having siblings for any amount of free time for me. I think there are some parts of being a family that you only learn by having siblings. Not all of those are good things but overall, I think having siblings is a positive experience.

I think parents of only children have to work harder at instilling a sense of community and thinking of others first in their kids than those who have multiple kids. We all still have to do teach that but there is are more daily opportunities to practice in a family with more kids. Also, it is not cheap being a parent of an only child. Only children tend to be involved in Lots of things which all require fees, uniforms/costumes, fundraising, etc. Taking one child to 4 events is still time consuming even if it is not as hectic as taking 3 children each to one event (which all seem to be schedule at conflicting times.)

As a parent, I also wanted to build in a back-up plan for grandkids in case one of my children decided to not get married or to not have kids. I figure with 3 kids, I have a pretty good shot at having several grandkids. With just one kid, you are stuck with whatever children they decide to have. One of my aunts only had one son and he only has one child so she only has one grandchild. Both my mom and my other aunt have more grand kids (7 and 6 respectively). So, the pain/stress/expense of having multiple children paid off in the end with more grandkids to spoil. :-)

first time poster

August 4th, 2011
7:17 am

@Penguinmom – As the parent of an only child I have to disagree with your entire post. Perhaps you know families of onlies who fit the mold you describe, but I can assure you that not all one child families do. My child isn’t in multiple activities that require lots of fees and time, she’s learned how to share and compromise just fine without siblings, and as far as grandkids go, having a lot of children doesn’t guarantee one many grandchildren. I come from a family of 5 children; my mom has 11 grandchildren which averages out to 2 grandchildren per child.

Father Jane Goose

August 4th, 2011
7:54 am

Only children are more independent, driven and are able to have fun by themselves which builds creativity and imagination. Because of family resources, only children normally are able to take tennis lessons, dance, soccer – more money to invest in fun. I find it very funny that people will comment on only children when they have never been one or had one.

Plus, only children get all the inheritance.

Sk8ing Momma

August 4th, 2011
8:14 am

I am an only. I had a wonderfully happy childhood and wouldn’t trade it for the world!

As the parent of two, I can *certainly* tell the differences from my upbringing and how my children are raised. The differences between having one child and more than one (regardless of the number) are stark. There is a huge difference when I only have one child at home for the week.

The reality is that resources (time, money, attention, energy etc.) are limited and dynamics change. Having an only is not per se better than having more than one; it is just different. Difference is often a good thing.

I wouldn’t trade my two troops for the world…It’s just that parenting more than one child looks different that parenting one. Enjoy and embrace the season you’re in!

yuki

August 4th, 2011
8:28 am

My husband is an only child. I have one sibling. He doesn’t seem to regret not having any siblings (or won’t admit it) but it is kind of boring at the holidays. I enjoy having my sister and her kids, makes for fun vacations and family get togethers. That being said, I would have been fine with only one child but I’ve always really wanted two. My son is 3 and we are expecting our second (a girl) in a few months. I’m really excited that he is going to have a sister and I’m excited to have one of each. I really don’t feel that in having two children (especially almost 4 years apart) that we are going to go “broke or crazy” trying to feed and clothe them. We are financially stable and they are far apart enough we will be fine when they start driving, go to college, etc.

I think it’s fine either way. It just depends on the family. My husband thinks people are crazy for having a bunch of kids but I think as long as you can take care of them financially and mentally, then why not? I think it would be a lot of fun and chaos. But for us, our little family of four will be just fine!!!

Lori

August 4th, 2011
8:28 am

I completely disagree with penguinmom as well. I have an only child who is 8 (at least for the next few months until my next is due). He’s not more expensive than other kids. I allow him to participate in activities, but not excessively. He plays soccer and takes piano, and Karate (but his church has free classes for that). He is very independent and extremely courteous to others and respectful. He has shown time and time again that he is a very thoughtful person, always trying to help out when I’m sick, or showing concern when his friends are injured in soccer or at school. I don’t think being an only child or a child with siblings has anything to do with any of that. It’s how they are parented. It’s probably easy to spoil an only child, but it’s just as easy to raise them to be thoughtful, well rounded individuals.

RJ

August 4th, 2011
8:37 am

I can’t imagine being or having an only child. When I had my first, I had to find playmates because we lived in an older community with a lot of retirees. Once I had the second, that problem was solved. They’ve enjoyed each other’s company. I don’t think that having one child means you’re paying for more activities. Both of my kids have been involved in fee based activities since they were 4. Now that number 3 is on the way, this kid will be more like an only child due to the age differences. But I won’t be having a playmate for this one:)!

Kathy

August 4th, 2011
8:48 am

Well said Lori.

I have an only who is 6. Our family is just the right size for us. When we made the decision to start our family, we looked at our life down the road. We knew that I would stay home and how that would impact our finances. Raising a family is expensive and we knew that we did not want to have to live paycheck to paycheck. We wanted to be able to give our daughter lots of experiences and we knew that we would not be able to do give lots of children that. We have stress and chaos every once in a while, but it is not more than we can handle. I don’t think that my daughter needs a sibling to be a well-rounded, thoughtful, considerate person. She will get that way if we parent her appropriately. I have a sibling that I have struggled to forge a relationship with and it has given me nothing but heartache. I feel like an only child most days. Sorry, penguinmom, but I think it is selfish to plan your family based on your future grandchildren. I would also like some clarification about your statement that there are parts of a family that you learn only by having siblings.

To each his own, but our family of 3 (mommy, daddy, daughter) is just perfect for us.

motherjanegoose

August 4th, 2011
8:52 am

I cannot speak from experience on being an only or having just one. I wanted two and also have two sisters.

As most here know, I have two. A son and a daughter, who are five years a part within a week. As you also know, I adore both of them but certainly not 24/7. There are days I just have to back away and zip it up. I will not succumb to the arguing and mean spiritedness that my mother displayed with us. Sometimes it is hard to do but I typically can manage.

My two each bring different things to the table and my husband and I are lucky that we each have
” a buddy” who sometimes likes to do things with us based on their being male or female:
i.e. mani and pedi/lunch out or travel with myself and my daughter and guy movies/eat hot wings or travel with my son and husband. Although, sometimes my husband does things with our daughter
( he loves to shop at the mall…not me) and I swing by to meet our son for lunch or dinner and pick his brain about things I do not know.

We all enjoy each other and it is typically fun to see which personality/genetic traits they have picked up from us, as parents. NOT always though…both of mine can be procrastinators and that does not come from me. They like to tease each of us, as parents, which ( bad) traits they acquired from either parent. “Thanks Mom…I got THAT from you!”

Parents of only children certainly have more time to “do what is best” and they also only have one shot at it. Some things I worried about with my son, are not on the short list for my daughter.

Mine were not close as younger children but they are a joy to watch as young adults. They can still bicker about things but since my husband and I still bicker ( after almost 30 years) I do not find it unusual.

I often see harried parents with a troup ( sp?) of kids and wonder if they even thought about how much work it would be when they had so many babies and the babies grew up. Or even how expensive. high school, cars and college will kill you, if you are not prepared.

@Ski8ing…what differences can you tell? I would love to hear your insights.

I guess I will see if the character count has yet been installed today.

Lori

August 4th, 2011
9:03 am

The “playmate” issue seems to be another reason people have more than one. I had a sister growing up and we NEVER played together. She was mean and hateful to me. We did not get along at all. My son has never had any issues finding playmates. In fact, I think his social skills are better than most, because he has to seek out people to be friends with and build those friendships rather than relying on a sibling who is there just because they live together.

My husband was an only child until he was 15 and his sister came along. They were both basically raised separately because of the age difference. Both of them are extremely successful and social people. Neither has every had any problems making friends or fitting in. Myself, as the younger sibling in my family, am the one with the social “issues” because I was never really pushed in that regard.

JJ

August 4th, 2011
9:04 am

I’m happy with my only child. Our little family of 2 is perfect for me. Plus all four of my fur babies….

DB

August 4th, 2011
9:09 am

I was basically an only child for 13 years, as there is that much space between me and my younger brother. I think it was hard on my parents, raising what was basically two differently only children :-).

I don’t think there is any “better” — some people can handle multiple kids serenely, others fall apart over just one. It depends on the parents, how much support they give each other, and how well the children are disciplined (to pick up toys, to share in the running of the household, etc., etc.) Having three “hotel guests” for 20+ years is going to get wearing. Having three more members of the family who can take increasingly more responsibility for their living space and is considerate of those sharing the living space is much more pleasant.

uconn

August 4th, 2011
9:10 am

I am an only. I loved every last second of that. still do, although dealing with my dads passing a year and a half ago was rough. I don’t know if having a sibling would have made it any easier.

I have friends who tell me I am missing something without a sibling. Yeah all the fighting that goes on,or taking sides against other family members. And right now my husband and hid brother don’t talk for what reason, who knows? I don’t need stress like that. Um no I do.t miss that and I can’t miss closeness between siblings because I don’t know what its like. You can’t miss what you never had. And I never asked for a sibling or wish for one now that I’m older. I am very independent and I’m sure it has something to do with being an only.

I am still on the fence as to whether I want one or two. I am on the “only” side of the fence, but do I want to deny my future kids all the fighting and not talking to each other, and I will admit I tend to play favorites, so there’s that. I can’t say one is better than the other but I liked being an only.

Ps. Please don’t correct my errors. I am on a phone and I am an accountant not a writer :)

motherjanegoose

August 4th, 2011
9:20 am

My husband has three siblings and, to me, they are not close. They are less than five years a part. Lately, he sees them only at funerals. They all live at least 1000 miles away. The sisters have each been to our house, here in the metro, one time each. The brother maybe 3 times. We have lived here for 22 years.

I have a meeting near his sister and when I do, I ask him to come along. I enjoy visiting with her and the family. They MIGHT talk on the phone once a month and usually I have to remind him to call. I call my sister here, at least once or twice a week and we get together as much as possible. I call my other sister at least every few weeks. I try to co ordinate business trips with her and she comes to spend the night with me at the hotel.

Not all families with several children will be close. I think sisters tend to be closer than brothers…anyone else?

PHR

August 4th, 2011
9:21 am

Hey Theresa! Thanks for the nice words about our family. We truly enjoy having one child. Sometimes I wish we had more, but we are super close and I love that. It is a benefit for our son that he does get all of our attention and doesn’t have to share with a sibling.

justmy2cents

August 4th, 2011
9:25 am

I think it boils down to personal preferences, and (hopefully) financial ability to provide for them. If you can’t pay your bills, it is probably not a good idea to pop out a half dozen children. As far as scheduling, the adults get to make those choices, not the children. So over-taxing your schedule is your own fault.

I’ve got two, but I would have been fine with 1, or even none. We have our routines in place, which includes them cleaning up after they are done playing. That eliminates the messiness. Kids need structure and to know what the expectations are…once those are in place, it doesn’t really matter how many you have!

JJ

August 4th, 2011
9:29 am

I have a younger brother. We have always lived in the same city, close to each other. While I haven’t been to his house, or him to mine, in over a year, we still see each other often. I got new floors last summer, and my brother and his neighbor came over and installed them for me.

We just got back from a family trip, with mom, brother, daughter and nieces. We all gather about once a month, but now with two of the kids in college, it’s not a complete “family” when we get together. Our little family of 6 is perfect. It’s an even number and we can all fit into one car when going out. And it’s very nice to have a small family around the holidays. I have one cousin remaining, out in Utah, but he is a ne’er do well, an alcoholic/druggie, in and out of jail, etc, and I have not spoken to him or seen him since my father’s funeral, back in 1993…

A

August 4th, 2011
10:12 am

I also have to wholeheartedly disagree with @penguinmom. I have an only who is 8 1/2. He completes our family so perfectly and is a very well adjusted, sweet, kind and compassionate child. My husband and I are able to devote all of our time and energy just to him, rather than having to split our attention or make sure one child isn’t favored over another, and we think he’s better off for it. Yes, he participates in several activities such as sports, music, etc. but I don’t think it’s any more expensive than parents of two or more. Our house is a very peaceful place with no shouting, yelling, kids fighting, etc. which to some may seem odd, but for us it’s normal. And I do think @penguinmom’s comment about grandchildren is very selfish. Even if you have 5 kids there’s no guarantee you’ll have grandkids at all. It’s not something I ever think about. If I become a grandma someday, of course I’ll be thrilled. But if for whatever reason it doesn’t happen, I’ll be fine with that too. That was my attitude about having children myself. If I had one, wonderful; if it didn’t work out, I could have still had a full and happy life.

motherjanegoose

August 4th, 2011
10:20 am

I would love to have a big family for the holidays. We are always here in Atlanta with just the four of us and my sister. We have a big time with a small group. We cook so much food and play games but it is sad that there are so few. The problem is that the road only goes one way and so, unless we go somewhere else, no one comes here. We got tired of being on the plane for every holiday.

A few years ago, my stepmom went to see her son ( at Thanksgiving or Christmas) in New England. My Dad refused to go with her, as he hates cold and snow. She told me about it before she left and I told her it was fine, do not apologize. Dad was home eating hot dogs over the holidays….literally.

WHO on here said I have a perfect family?

Warrior Woman

August 4th, 2011
10:21 am

My mom used to say she had several only children, because my sibs and I are spaced pretty far apart. I love having three girls and can’t imagine having just one. Having three hasn’t made us eliminate sports, dance, etc. Each has participated in multiple activities over the years.

@Father Goose – Onlies are not more creative, independent, etc., when compared to other first children, although they are more likely to get all the inheritance.

@TWG – the difference between your friends’ lives and yours could be parenting style as much as number of children.

All in all, I agree with justmytwocents – it comes down to personal preference and ability to provide for the children.

DB

August 4th, 2011
10:38 am

@uconn: Just because your husband fights with his siblings doesn’t mean that all siblings fight. I’ve thanked God I’m not an only child right now, as much as I enjoyed being an only child for as long as I was. My parents live 500 miles away, my father’s health issues have been severe the last year, and my brother lives close by to my parents. When my dad was in the hospital/rehab for almost four months, he was there EVERY SINGLE DAY to help and give my mother a break (except for the occasional weekends he spent with his own family responsibilities — he has three kids, 10-18) Even now, he drops in on them every day for a few minutes to make sure they are ok and give my mom a small break. I make it up there about once every three month or so to give him and my mother a break, but having him there and his support made me feel MUCH less “guilty” about not being there as much as I felt like I should have been. It has shared the responsibility of caring for my parents, and I’m grateful that he’s there.

Scooby

August 4th, 2011
10:52 am

My former neighbor gave birth to her 10th child yesterday. They have a bumper sticker on their van that says children are like flowers, you can’t have too many. Personally, I think more than one is too many, but that may be because I grew up with 4 siblings and didn’t really care for it.

Tiger Ochocinco Mellencamp

August 4th, 2011
11:01 am

I’m the parent of an only and I can’t stress enough how WRONG penguin mom is in most of her assumptions.

I could go on a rant about it, but I think that’s been pretty well covered. I just must note that the whole I’m going to have a bunch so I have a better shot of grandkids is really a bizarre reason to determine the number of kids to have. really bizarre.

I honestly think what TWG is coveting the most in her blog today is the benefits having an only child provides to the parents. Less children equals more time and resources, it’s just that simple. I’m sure every parent would agree that children have a “distraction” effect. There is a finite amount of concentration and time you can devote to the relationships in your life. Children, rightfully so if you’re a good parent, command the priority of that time and concentration. And what they get, your spouse loses.

The true benefit I believe you gain by having only one child is that it allows for better balance between all relationships in the family. We have adequate time for all three of us, for mom and son, for dad and son, and for mom and dad (i.e. leave the kid with grandma and take the red eye to Vegas!) And because we have that, my wife and I feel as if we share an equal parenting load and take on equal responsibilities. And because of THAT, we don’t resent each other and let the stress build up to the detriment of our relationship…and our kid sees two parents who truly love and adore each other as much as we love and adore him.

When people meet my kid (i.e. teachers, co-workers, etc), we get a lot of comments about how we’re doing a good job and we should have more kids because the world needs more parents like us. Our response is always, the reason we’re doing a good job is BECAUSE we only have one kid.

Jeff

August 4th, 2011
11:08 am

I’ll throw my hat in the ring formthe sake of the community (did I get even one laugh?).

My sister and I have nothing in common. Are we better off without? Absolutely not! As a father with one child (that I’m aware of), I date women with kids so I have the chance to have other kids. We’ll see.

A

August 4th, 2011
11:12 am

Well said, Tiger! We also get compliments quite often about how nice and well-behaved our son is. It’s hard to say if he’s like that because he’s an only or because of our parenting or both. And now that he’s almost 9, we don’t hear questions like “when are you going to have more kids” anymore since I guess people figure if we’ve gone this long with just the one, we’re not likely to start adding more now!

jarvis

August 4th, 2011
11:27 am

If you like organization I guess it’s better. Me…I thrive in chaos.

Tiger Ochocinco Mellencamp

August 4th, 2011
11:27 am

@A….I remember once we at a social gathering we told a lady with three kids that we were stopping at one and she said we’d really have to work on not spoiling him because only children are typically spoiled and selfish. She said this while her kids were having meltdowns being generally terrible people because they didn’t get their way at the party. I asked her if just only children were spoiled and selfish how she explained her kids. My wife was SO mad at me for my inability to hold my tongue that night! Of course the lady was her sister, so that may have had something to do with it.

jarvis

August 4th, 2011
11:33 am

This might be terrible to say, but families with more than 3 kids kind of gross me out. I can’t explain it…there’s something so lower-mammal about it to me.

CobbParent

August 4th, 2011
11:39 am

I have an only and never considered having more. We are very comfortably well-off and I could have afforded more, but my career is very demanding and I always felt I would not have the necessary time to give to another. When my X walked out on us I was very glad to only have one child to comfort and raise on my own. Along came a wonderful man who now completes our trio and is a great stepdad. At times I think my son wishes he had a “built-in playmate”, but those times are few and far between as all summer long and every weekend during school my home is apparently “the place to be” for all of his buddies. Often I have to remind myself that I only had one child because I normally awaken to at least two “extras” under my roof. They are teenagers now, and boy can they eat! Family vacations always include a friend. Sporting events and concerts/festivals mean buying a couple of extra tickets. I bug them all about their grades and help with homework and projects. I only had one, but on most days it feels like I had a whole pack of children. I love them all, but am glad at the end of the day that I am ultimately responsible for just the one.

Augusta

August 4th, 2011
12:05 pm

I have friends, who have 4 kids. She had two when they married, and they have had two together since. Of these four beautiful children, they ONLY dote on the baby, who is about 18 months old. They have taken him on vacation twice this year, and left the other 3 children at grammas. They post nothing but pictures of the baby on facebook. Never do you see anything about the other three children on FB. No pictures, no comments, nothing about the other 3 children. Constant pictures, posts and bragging about the little one, but nothing about the other kids……

JATL

August 4th, 2011
12:09 pm

Ah penguinmom, you are way off-base! I’m sure thete are some families with one that are as ypu describe, but not in my experience. I am an only, and I’ve always loved it! I made friends in the neighborhood, preschool, church and school in order to have playmates. My dear circle of girlfriends is far closer than all but a few sibling relationships I see. I’ve been through the illness and death if one parent, and my friends were wonderfully supportive. I have two because I was interested in what it would be like, and I love them both more than anything, but YES, one is FAR easier! And one is also far cheaper no matter what he or she may get involved in as they grow -compared to the cost of completely raising a child? Not even close!

My parents were able to give me wonderful travel and educational opportunities that I would have missed with a bunch of siblings, and as I alluded to before, I don’t know many who are that incredibly close to their siblings, but I do know a lot who have huge problems with them.

I also did not have my kids so I could saddle someone with taking care of me in my old age or having grandkids for me. I loved the fact that my parents NEVER pressured me about children and they also made sure they could be taken care of with their own funds and insurance, and I’m doing the same thing. If you truly want more than one because YOU really want it/them and not for some future situation that may never come to pass, then go for it, but there’s nothing wrong (or selfish,lonely or non-community minded) abput having one!

JATL

August 4th, 2011
12:16 pm

And I concur with the other post regarding errors and typing on a phone! The errors are still better than auto correct, and I try to catch them, but some always get through!

Reality

August 4th, 2011
12:21 pm

You always know who did it. As an only child I will say that this situation sucked.

Tiger Ochocinco Mellencamp

August 4th, 2011
12:23 pm

@reality….that never made a difference in my house…if they coudn’t figure it out, my brother and both got the hammer smack down.

Tiger Ochocinco Mellencamp

August 4th, 2011
12:23 pm

meant “my brother and I”

DB

August 4th, 2011
12:33 pm

Yes, having only one child is easier. If you are someone with limited resources, energy or inclination, then for heaven’s sake, DON’T have more than one child.

However, as the mother of two, I have to sorta chuckle at the folks who are singing the praises of having to worry about only one child, having one child who is the sole focus of your energy, passion and attention. As I said — I was basically an only. My mother was an “only” for 10 years. Given the tendency to large age gaps in our family, the fact that I had two within three years was something of a marvel!

There’s a LOT to be said for having multiple children dividing your laser attention. It seems to me that a lot of only children have parents who are overly involved in their lives — because that’s all they have to focus on. The child becomes the sole focus of the parents’ hopes, ambitions, dreams and goals — for a lot of kids, that’s a pretty heavy burden, especially if their interests diverge from the parents’ expectations.

@JATL: There’s a difference between parents being self-sufficient money-wise and self-sufficient emotionally. My parents have no financial worries whatsoever — and yet, with the ups and downs of my father’s health isues over the last few months, it has required some tag-teaming to insure that my parents are supported emotionally, as well — not to mention supporting each other, having someone else to share the responsibility with, and someone that you can “check your assumptions” with. I certainly didn’t have two kids to insure that I would be taken care of “in my old age”. I had two kids because I have the resources, energy and love to share.

HB

August 4th, 2011
12:36 pm

I’m an only and I babysat a lot of onlies, and honestly, unless the parents spoil them rotten (which will make any kids, only child or not, a brat), I’ve found them to be better behaved and often more sensitive than kids with siblings. I think it’s because they spend more time as the only child among adults and tend to model grown-up behavior. I think they make friends just as easily and are as sociable as kids with siblings, but I have noticed they are often more easily upset by kids’ meanness toward each other (even when it’s not directed toward themselves) when they start school. They haven’t dealt with childhood power struggles much and if their parents treat each other respectfully, they aren’t used to the putting each other down, picking on each other, mean words, etc that happen in groups of kids and among siblings. They often haven’t built up as thick a skin and kids with siblings have.

Techmom

August 4th, 2011
12:38 pm

We have only 1 who is 16 and STILL get people asking if we’re going to have more. I had my son when I was 16 so I am young enough to physically have more children, I just don’t want any more. Part of me regrets not having another when he was younger so that he would have a sibling but at this point, it would be like raising two only-children. He used to ask for a sibling when he was younger but by the time he was about 8, I think he realized what he would have to sacrifice if he had a sibling and stopped asking for one. If people ask me if I’m going to have anymore when he’s around, he will answer for me. Even he gets sick of it.

One of the reasons for not having another was that we didn’t feel like we could have another child and not impact our son. He goes to a private school which we couldn’t afford if we had another and had to pay for daycare. I wouldn’t want him to resent us having another child. Not saying that he necessarily would have but it was something I took into consideration.

I have 1 brother who I am not close to and often wished I was an only growing up. My husband is the oldest of 3, is best friends with his brother and sister and would have a slew of children if he could talk me into it!

Tiger Ochocinco Mellencamp

August 4th, 2011
12:40 pm

@DB…surely you’re not implying that having two children is evidence that you have more “resources, energy and love to share” than those of us who chose to stop at one child. Kind of sounded that way.

A

August 4th, 2011
12:42 pm

@HB another excellent point. Our only is definitely more sensitive to real or perceived injustices. Even if he sees a kid taking something from another, he’d immediately look at us instinctively knowing it wasn’t right even though he’s never had to share toys or anything in our own house. Again, there’s no proof he’s this way because he doesn’t have siblings, but it seems I’m not the only one with this experience. I read somewhere while I was pregnant that families should not have more children than there are adults in the household, and I firmly agree with it. I’ve seen so many families with 3+ out and about that just seemed like they were dealing with a zoo.

Tiger Ochocinco Mellencamp

August 4th, 2011
12:45 pm

@HB…I agree with that as well.

Tiger Ochocinco Mellencamp

August 4th, 2011
12:49 pm

@DB

“The child becomes the sole focus of the parents’ hopes, ambitions, dreams and goals — for a lot of kids, that’s a pretty heavy burden”

So when you have more children, if one turns out a loser, you’re not as disappointed because you haven’t focused as much on him/her as if you had just focused on one?

A

August 4th, 2011
12:49 pm

@Techmom, we also appreciate that we don’t have to skimp on anything for our one child, including private preschool and kindergarten, after school activities, lessons, cultural events, etc. Also we are able to travel more and to various places involving air travel that would be harder for us if we had to buy more tickets. People have said they are jealous that we’ve been to Disney this many times or we’ve been here and there since they can’t comfortably go with their entire family. I of course don’t say anything snide since I do think family size is an individual choice, but in my mind I’m thinking that’s one reason we had just 1 child, and I haven’t regretted it a single day!

uconn

August 4th, 2011
1:02 pm

I am feeling like people who choose to only have one child are somehow wrong or selfish. When my dad passed I had a whole network of friends and my aunt and extended family.

As for my husband and hid brother… His brother is a doof and who knows why they don’t talk. I have seen too many hostile sibling relationships to be sad I don’t have one.

@jatl my phone makes me crazy

Techmom

August 4th, 2011
1:13 pm

I definitely agree with you A. We have traveled many places with our son but we’ve also been able to travel with just my husband and I or even one of us having a girls’ weekend or guys’ weekend. It’s just easier to make arrangements for 1 child to say go to my parents’ house than it would be if we had 2 or 3 kids.

I certainly don’t knock people who have more children either, assuming they are able to care for them. I just didn’t feel like I could do it well enough until I was at the point of realizing I didn’t want to start over and the reasons for having more just didn’t seem like good enough reasons to me.

JATL

August 4th, 2011
1:15 pm

@DB-my post was more directed at penguinmom, but I’ve been through my own mother’s brain tumor and death, and having a sibling wouldn’t have made it any better. Sorry-it just wouldn’t have although I can think of several ways a sibling could have made it worse! I was/am there emotionally for my father, and my husband and friends have been there for me. Personally I have two children, but it’s certainly not because I have more of anything to share than those with one or none! Some of the most giving and loving people I know have no children at all!

MSRE

August 4th, 2011
1:16 pm

I have only one child (a daughter who is 9) and although we had planned to have a second one, it did not work out. It infuriates me when people make comments about our not being a real parent, family, etc. unless we have a houseful of children. I have friends who have 3 or 4 and they have a lot of help from relatives. My husbands parents are in their 70’s and live several states away and mine are both deceased. We do not have instant-babysitter access and can’t send them off to Grandma’s at the blink of an eye. I have never believed I MUST have another child so mine will have a sibling. The only activity she does is piano lessons but we are able to afford to take her to concerts (Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez, etc.) musicals and plays at the FOX and she has been to Mexico 3 times and Dominican Republic once. She does not understand why other kids she knows do not own passports. My point is there is NO WAY we could do that if we had 3 or 4 kids. My daughter is kind, has many, many friends, is compassionate, very intelligent and does not ask us for a sibling. I know family size is a choice for the most part and I respect that, however, I have one and am happy with my one. Too bad others can’t be happy for those of us with just one child.

JJ

August 4th, 2011
1:18 pm

I wasn’t being selfish to just have one child. It’s the way it worked out for me. I wanted about 3 or 4 kids, but it wasn’t in the cards for me. I’m extremely happy with my one and only and I can assure you I am far from selfish.

Techmom

August 4th, 2011
1:22 pm

@uconn I used to worry that having an only child would put undo responsibility on our son if something happens to us or when we pass away because he won’t have a sibling to go through that process with BUT having another child does not guarantee that wouldn’t still occur. My mom had 4 siblings and yet she was the only one willing to sacrifice to take care of her mom when she got sick. All it did was make my mom bitter toward her siblings. I hope he will have a strong network of friends and perhaps his own family by the time any of that occurs.

I’m sure I’ll be the one who takes care of my parents when they get older and likely my brother too (he won’t marry) so in the end, even though I’m not an only, I will still end up being the responsible one. On the other hand, I thank God every day that my husband has a sister who will be the one to take care of their parents (she’s an RN and very close to her parents). While we will help in whatever ways we can (probably financially since they did NOT plan well), there is no way I could live under the same roof as my in-laws if my life counted on it.

A

August 4th, 2011
1:26 pm

I also know myself and my temperament and know I would not be as good of a mom if I had more than one child. That’s just me. When mine was younger and another mom at the playground or wherever would ask me to keep an eye on her other one or ones while she took one to the bathroom or whatever, each and every time after a few minutes I’d totally forget I was supposed to be watching another kid. I’d have to remind myself constantly to watch that other kid or kids. I think I’m just hard wired to care for one child, so it’s good things worked out where I do just have the one!