One and Done: Should We Have An Only Child?

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READING TIME: 2 min.

For the last year, I’ve been trying to convince my husband that we should have another baby. He has vehemently refused.

I don’t blame him. I had a very difficult first pregnancy — preeclampsia forced me on hospital bed rest for three weeks, followed by an emergency c-section that delivered my son six weeks early. He spent the first three weeks of his life in the NICU, and it was a scary time for all of us.

The thought of going through all of that again is terrifying.Toddler and Puppy

For a while, I thought I would be ok with only having one child. We get to shower him with love (and surprises from the grocery store). We get to focus our attention fully on his needs. We get to pretend and play and be there for him completely.

When he was one year old, we took him with us on vacation to Paris, France. He took his first trip to Disney World shortly after he turned two. If we have more children, there won’t be the budget for those kinds of things.

But lately, my son has been acting very lonely. He calls the children of our friends his “brothers” and asks to see them and play with them almost daily.

Last week, we had a video call with my sister and her sons, who live out of state, and Andrew sobbed when it was time to hang up with them.

I do my best to make sure that he is loved and I play with him often, but it feels like it isn’t enough.

I’ve talked to my husband about my concerns, and he says that Andrew will get over it and learn to adjust. He won’t budge on the issue of having another child. He says that not only is he afraid that I would have a high-risk pregnancy, he just doesn’t have the energy for another child.

I am having a hard time reconciling my personal feelings of desiring another baby, my feelings about my son wanting companionship, and my husband’s feelings about not wanting another child.

So, moms of only children, do you have any suggestions? How can I help my son transition to being an only child? Will my aching womb get better with time?

Feel free to visit our Facebook page and share any advice with me!

 

7 COMMENTS

  1. Goodness-of course the only people who can decide is you and your husband. That said, I went through some of the same feelings.

    For me, I didn’t truly desire a second child. I would have been totally content with just one. That said, I also knew if we had a second, I would be happy. And the sibling thing, oh did that weigh heavy on my heart. Of course your son will be 100% ok without one. And there isn’t any promise he would even like him/her!

    Penny wasn’t planned but now that she is here-I am able to look at things a bit differently. It is new, but I now know I would have regretted not having a second. I never thought to myself while pregnant I wish I hadn’t gotten pregnant, and my family feels complete in a way if hadn’t realized it could.

    You have a component though I didn’t have-a spouse who is content with his family size which isn’t wrong, just different. I will say-until Evelyn was almost three I was adamant in every part of my heart and mind I didn’t want another. So while you have to sort your feelings with the assumption he won’t change his mind, I personally was surprised how I changed my hearts path. I hope othe moms will help give you words that help find peace.

  2. I am no help at all but we are in the same place about Third Baby. I don’t really want one but my husband does. We have been going back and forth for a year. There’s not much help there except to say that even if you had a second, you could still have the same issues about whether to have a third… 😕

  3. I agonized over whether to have another child either by birth or adoption. I thought it would be best for my child, but after much contemplation and heavy heart, I know it’s not for us. I don’t think it would be best for me or my husband for several reasons. I don’t think we would have the patience, we both have demanding jobs and if we get another strong willed child, I seriously don’t know how we would handle it. I know I had to come to grips with my own ideas regarding this, as I thought another sibling would be best for my child, but if I’m exhausted, short tempered and otherwise grouchy frequently, that will be worse that her not having a sibling. I definitely had to get over the guilt, but now I’m comfortable that we’re doing what’s right for the one child we have. I think if you’re completely honest with yourself about why you want another child, that’s the first step. And if you’re very passionate about it, you’re husband will likely come around if he believes in your passion.

  4. I am in a similar situation. I have a 2 (almost 3) year old daughter who really wants a baby brother or sister. Most of her friends have newborn siblings. My husband and I had planned to have just one child but now I have completely changed my mind. In fact, I wouldn’t mind to have a few more children. My hubby isn’t budging though right now but I believe he will agree to more children eventually.

  5. I have just one, he is almost 5. He would LOVE to be a big brother. We would like to have another but after illness putting that on hold and recently a miscarriage we just don’t know if that would happen. My son has always wanted a baby brother or sister. I will say this, do NOT make the choice based on your child’s wishes. Really evaluate what you want and then have a serious conversation with your spouse about it, if you decide that is what you want.
    The good thing about my son being older is he has been out of diapers for a long time and with him starting school daycare is now more affordable.
    When he was younger it was harder for him to see his friends with brothers and sisters, but now it doesn’t bother him as much.
    Good luck in your decision.

  6. Although this decision must be agreed upon between you and your husband, as an only child myself, I wanted to share. I would love to have a sibling. The social skills and interdependence siblings provide are ones it takes years to build (if your parents lack in that category). Having someone to learn from, lean on, and build memories with is invaluable. As my parents age, I fortunately have someone to take care of them with (husband), but if not, I would be alone. I understand it will affect your lives now…. all I’m saying is that it will affect your only child a lot longer. More kids are more fun and they’re all different and bring different trials and joys to our lives. We are on our second of hopefully 3 or 4. Hope this gave you a different perspective. Blessings and best wishes!

  7. I have a 7 year old son and have always thought about having another but every time we really start to discuss things, we realize we are content being a family of three.

    I had an ectopic prior to getting pregnant with him (and was scared off trying again for a long time until dye testing showed it was a total fluke and no blockage). Then my pregnancy wasn’t easy, gestational diabetes and borderline pre-e, plus he arrived about 3 weeks early. We put off having a second at first and just never really looked back.

    Like yours, he was a world traveler before age 1, first Disney World trip at his 2nd birthday (with every year since) etc. He’s smart as a whip because he was able to interact more with adults at a young age, so at times it’s been like talking to a mini adult. He’s super outgoing and makes friends easily so even though he doesn’t have that built in companion (and there is NO guarantee siblings would even get along), he has tons of friends and has plenty of activities and play dates to make up for that. He’s athletic and plays multiple sports and besides the benefit of teammates, I don’t have to worry about one of us not being there because we are with a second child at their activities. It’s not just the financial issue, it’s the time. We can easily afford to have more, but I like not knowing we have to sacrifice anything. I like knowing I will never miss a game or will never have to choose one child’s activity over another, or tell him he can’t go to camp or play a sport or go to the college he wants to because it conflicts, is too time consuming or is too expensive. I love that he’s very independent and confident and has no trouble entertaining himself, but plays well with others at the same time. He just spent his first time away from home at camp this summer and not an ounce of homesickness (so that blows the “dependent” myth out of the water. In fact, he came home and asked to go next year for 5 weeks (not that we’d let him, lol, but I like that he’s confident enough to do that)! He’s never had an issue with sharing or all the other “only child” myths about being spoiled or self centered or disrupted. He’s never had disciplinary issues at school.

    I think it’s just a personal choice that a couple and only a couple have to make for themselves. I DO NOT believe that having an only is a bad thing. And for those moms who judge, look in the mirror, who’s to say your family is any better than mine?

    Here’s a great article about the myths of only children! http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/09/opinion/sunday/only-children-lonely-and-selfish.html?_r=0

    If you decide he’s an only, help him transition by being there for him but not doing everything for him. Help him gain the Independence to entertain himself but get him involved with other kids be it sports, playgroups, etc. When he’s in school, things will be that much easier!

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