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Old 10-01-2013, 11:05 AM   #46
Annadesu
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I'm the youngest of three... my older brother was 9 years older than me, and my sister is 6 years older (my mom was told she couldn't have kids anymore after my sister, and then a few years later I was like: "HELLO!!").

But my brother passed away in a car crash, so now it's just the two girls. I don't want to be morbid, but would you both be ok if your only child passed away? Or if you and your husband passed away, would your kid would have no siblings or direct family members to help them through it? Some things to think about, if anything else.

If you can handle one kid, you already know what do with #2. It's just a matter of if you want to deal with an infant one more time. I'm told they grow up "fast", so...

Personally? I loved having siblings. We argue, yes, and my parents had to spread out the resources a little thinner. But it would have been boring as hell in my house without the three of us running around. And I'm sure you'll love your second kid just as much as the first. You might even wonder why you hesitated. Good luck deciding.
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Old 10-01-2013, 11:48 AM   #47
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1- If you only have one child, why did you decide to (assuming you had the choice which I know is not always the case)? How is it raising your only?

*** We decided the minute I found out I was pregnant that we were only having one child. DH and I actually "shook on it". We decided to do so because both DH and I are the oldest of 4 children and didn't want our child to go through what we went through. We wanted him to be doted on and be able to provide for him in a way that we wish we were provided for. He is 16 now - almost 17 - and we have never regretted having only one child.

2- If YOU are an only child, how was your life affected both as a kid and as an adult? (This is one thing I struggle with...DD being alone as she gets older and we do as well...)

*** Not applicable.

3- If you have more than one child, did you ever have this issue, debating #2? How did you handle it?

*** Not applicable.

4- Is more harder than just one? We have our hands full with DD, she's a spitfire that's for sure. DH is concerned that having #2 will not help and possibly cause DD to be "worse" (I hate that word but for lack of better...)

*** Not applicable.

5- What's the age difference between your children along with the pros & cons?!

*** Not applicable.
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Old 10-01-2013, 11:55 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by dismom22 View Post
DH and I are in discussion of having our second child. DD will be 4 in February and I *thought* our plan was to take out my Mirena when we got back from Disney...so, uh, now. What I thought was our plan has quickly changed and become more of a debate. I realize this is a serious decision that only DH and I can make; I was just hoping to get some insight from a variety of people. Some things I'm trying to consider:

1- If you only have one child, why did you decide to (assuming you had the choice which I know is not always the case)? How is it raising your only?

2- If YOU are an only child, how was your life affected both as a kid and as an adult? (This is one thing I struggle with...DD being alone as she gets older and we do as well...)

3- If you have more than one child, did you ever have this issue, debating #2? How did you handle it?

4- Is more harder than just one? We have our hands full with DD, she's a spitfire that's for sure. DH is concerned that having #2 will not help and possibly cause DD to be "worse" (I hate that word but for lack of better...)

5- What's the age difference between your children along with the pros & cons?!

Anything else you'd like to add, I would certainly appreciate. I would love brutal honesty. I am on the fence but leaning towards DD getting a sibling. I don't want to fight with DH about this. I respect his opinion and do understand his concerns because I have them too, I suppose I just see the bigger picture. For instance, he's concerned with finances, being "stuck" for the next 3-5 years, normal stress of baby (late nights), DD's current behavior and future, our lack of organization around the house, and the fact that our relationship could use some work, nothing terrible, just typical married life stress, etc...

Whew, that's a lot. Sorry so long...just something constantly on my mind lately and need input. Thanks!!
I'm an only child and I never desired a sibling when I was young and nor do I now. A sibling doesn't guarantee a good relationship between the two later in life.

We didn't have our second child till my older spitfire was 6. He was a lot to handle. We love the space between the two and they are as close as two brothers can be. They each refer to the other as their best friend.

Pros to having children spaced far apart - college, car insurance not all at once. There are no cons for us.

Good luck.
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Old 10-01-2013, 12:54 PM   #49
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I was NOT an only child but spent my childhood wishing I was! My daughter is an only child but when we go on vacations she usually brings a friend with her so she will have someone to hang out with. Most of her friends are onlys too so she gets taken on a lot of vacations with them too!
My decision to have just one was totally financial- I could afford one, I can only afford to send one to college so that is what I had. My daughter is fine with it because she never wanted a sibling. She would come home from a friends house that has a few siblings and say "thank god I don't have to live like that" lol. Wen I am out with people who have more than one i always am glad I only had the one-if I had to hear "thats not fair she got more than me" or any other variety of " that's not fair " on a daily basis I would have to wear earplugs all day!
That's funny, I was the exact opposite, I could not get enough of the big families and wanted to spend all my time over my friend's houses who had the craziness and family stuff going on...our house was too quiet.
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Old 10-01-2013, 01:10 PM   #50
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I am an only and I despise it. It was okay as a child, I had cousins nearby and lots of friends, but the older I get the more I wish I had siblings. It's a lot of worry and responsibility with my parents getting older and it's just me. I made my DH promise we would have more than one child! We have two, 22 months apart, and I wouldn't have it any other way
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Old 10-01-2013, 01:14 PM   #51
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I am 6 1/2 years older than my sister. We are NOT close. I had been an only for too long when she came along, and she was high maintance right from the start. I was the chld that said "yes, ma'm" when told not to do something. My sister siad "what will happen if I do?". She hated me for always being the "good child". I resented the chaos she brought to the household and the fact that she could throw a fit and get her way becuase my parents got tired of dealing with the drama. It is still pretty much the same. She only calls me when she wants something, and is the source of most of the family drama.

My DD is an only partly by choice and partly because we are afraid of a repeat of some complications I had during pregnancy. She is happy, and our household is peaceful in a way mine never was after my sister came along. We all get along well, we are able to allow her to do dance and competitive cheer, take vacations when we want, we sent her to private school for early elementary. We can take her anywhere and do just fine. None of this would have been possible with 2.
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Old 10-01-2013, 01:18 PM   #52
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I am an only child. I hated it, hated it, hated it. I was alone with adults a lot. Vacations were usually just me and my parents. I vowed to never have only one. We have 3.

More of a spit fire? No. I think she will learn it isn't all about her in the long run.

I never debated a #2. I knew we had to have at least 2 children.

Dawn
My husband is an only and hated it and still hates it. He had the same problem with vacations growing up. He doesn't understand the relationship I have with my sister, either. In some instances, he was never allowed to be a child as he was expected to just be one of the adults as far back as he remembers.
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Old 10-01-2013, 01:29 PM   #53
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I am one of three siblings with an only child. I am estranged from my side of the family, so again - no guarantees. My sisters and I were fairly far apart in age - the older two are 3 years apart, and I am six years younger than my middle sister. I never really "played' with my sisters, so in that area, I was pretty much raised as an only. I was lonely but our family dynamics made it better for me to be alone than have someone else close to my age there. And as it turns out, it really didn't matter how many siblings I had, as I'll probably never really associate with them again.

My DD is an only partly because of physical issues, partly because of financial issues, partly because of her (mild) special needs, and partly because of relationship considerations. We are a very happy small family, but I know she would enjoy having someone around more. We have fostered children, and she got along very well as a sibling, and has "sisters and brothers" all over our province. The teen girls we fostered were a challenge, although two of them are children of our heart and still have a place in our family (a couple of others did not work out so well.) My dream would be to adopt an older boy so she could have a big brother, and we could have a son, and a boy out there could have a great family who has been waiting for him to come into our lives. I know there are birth order issues, but I think they would be somewhat overcome with the difference in gender. So, know that your options are never completely closed, no matter what decision you make in the immediate future.

Good luck!
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Old 10-01-2013, 01:38 PM   #54
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We have one child. He is 8. DH is an only child.

We always wanted more kids, but when the age timing was right, our financial/home situation was not. By the time money and house issues were resolved, we felt our DS was too old for us to start over again. We would have preferred to have them 3 years apart. DS loves being an only child, as did DH. I worry about him when he's older, but hopefully he'll have a family of his own by then and be ok.
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Old 10-01-2013, 02:05 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dismom22 View Post
DH and I are in discussion of having our second child. DD will be 4 in February and I *thought* our plan was to take out my Mirena when we got back from Disney...so, uh, now. What I thought was our plan has quickly changed and become more of a debate. I realize this is a serious decision that only DH and I can make; I was just hoping to get some insight from a variety of people. Some things I'm trying to consider:

1- If you only have one child, why did you decide to (assuming you had the choice which I know is not always the case)? How is it raising your only?

2- If YOU are an only child, how was your life affected both as a kid and as an adult? (This is one thing I struggle with...DD being alone as she gets older and we do as well...)

3- If you have more than one child, did you ever have this issue, debating #2? How did you handle it?

4- Is more harder than just one? We have our hands full with DD, she's a spitfire that's for sure. DH is concerned that having #2 will not help and possibly cause DD to be "worse" (I hate that word but for lack of better...)

5- What's the age difference between your children along with the pros & cons?!

Anything else you'd like to add, I would certainly appreciate. I would love brutal honesty. I am on the fence but leaning towards DD getting a sibling. I don't want to fight with DH about this. I respect his opinion and do understand his concerns because I have them too, I suppose I just see the bigger picture. For instance, he's concerned with finances, being "stuck" for the next 3-5 years, normal stress of baby (late nights), DD's current behavior and future, our lack of organization around the house, and the fact that our relationship could use some work, nothing terrible, just typical married life stress, etc...

Whew, that's a lot. Sorry so long...just something constantly on my mind lately and need input. Thanks!!

I am a parent to an only child. She will be 10 in December.

Here are my observations as they pertain to your questions:
We decided to have an only child because I almost died when I was pregnant with her. As it was, she was born 9 weeks early, and I don't feel it would be fair to her to risk my life to give her a sibling. (she might get a sibling, but lose a mom). We thought about adopting, but when we were ready, it was cost prohibitive - we didn't have that kind of money.

I really, in my "dream-life" wanted 3 kids - I always wanted to have 2, then adopt a 3rd. I wanted to be a stay at home mom always. In reality, we had the one much earlier than planned - early in our relationship, and early in the pregnancy - and it was all we could do to stay afloat - relationship-wise and financially - with the one. Later, when we felt we were "ready" to rock the boat and add another, we were surprised by the financial realities of adopting (out of the multiple places I contacted, it was a minimum of 17,000 to adopt a baby that was abandoned at the hospital. We were willing to adopt any gender, race, and health condition.) We were not able to front that kind of money at the time and were unwilling to go into debt to grow our family. (hey, let's have another kid and FINANCE it! uh, no, sorry, that's not how our family does things.)

I do have to say, I really enjoy being the mom of an only. I feel I am able to give her the attention that I want to, and am able to focus on my relationship with her, something I never felt with my own mom. I think she's made me a better daughter, a better sister. I am able to be very involved in her school and activities, which she really likes. I know that if I had another child, I would not be nearly as involved in the community, etc.

Now, as she grows, and as my parents age, I do become more and more concerned with how she will deal with DH and I as we age. At this point, my parents are aging, and not well, and although my sister and I are very different people and don't see eye to eye on nearly anything at all, we are there for each other. DD will miss this as she gets older, but I also think she's been growing a really tight-knit group of peers that she will be able to lean on as well. (yes, I know she's a kid, but hey, she just stood up in my best friend's wedding - he and I have been friends since we were THREE!). A few of her childhood friends are also only children - there's one in particular that she and DD lean on each other alot now, growing up. Even if she ends up not keeping in touch with any of these kids she's so tight with now (they've all been friends, as well as us with their parents, since the kids were 3), I hope that her friends and loved ones will all be very supportive when she has to eventually deal with Dh and I aging. Because honestly, when I was dealing with my dad's devastating diagnosis, I dealt with it mostly on my own with my friends and DH, and mainly talked to my sister about the clinical implications and logistics.

DD's teachers have made the comment that it's very apparent she spends a lot of time alone or with adults, which is fine with me. I'm not sure how much of that is her personality and how much of it is parenting, and how much is only-child-ness. But she's content to play and entertain herself, but will always at least approach other kids that are her age or even older to play. I will say that observing the kids in the Girl Scout troop and the ones at her school, it's pretty easy to tell what kids are only kids... they seem more independent, to me anyway. The really immature ones in my Girl Scout troop both come from large families (8 or more kids), like they are fighting for attention, positive or negative doesn't really matter. I don't know if that's coincidence or not. Could just be poor parenting.

Good luck with your decision...
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Old 10-01-2013, 02:54 PM   #56
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Quote:
1- If you only have one child, why did you decide to (assuming you had the choice which I know is not always the case)? How is it raising your only?
1. I currently have one child (she's 10 months). I am pretty much 99% sure it will stay that way. There's lots of reasons why we'd stick with just one, and not many I can think of for having more. DH and I were just discussing this yesterday and the biggest argument I have against providing DD with siblings is, "I wouldn't do that to her without her consent." Yes, I see siblings as an "imposition". This is likely because...

Quote:
2- If YOU are an only child, how was your life affected both as a kid and as an adult? (This is one thing I struggle with...DD being alone as she gets older and we do as well...)
2. I am an only child. So is my mom. So DD is, and is likely to remain, a 3rd generation only daughter.

I loved being an only child. My mom loved being an only child. I loved being an only grandchild and my mom loved having free babysitting all the time from my grandparents.

I was never lonely much as a child. I had many friends, I had an active imagination, and I read a lot. I'm not going to say I wasn't bored from time to time, but being an only child, I figured out early on how to entertain myself (as opposed to annoying my siblings for fun).

Growing up I enjoyed not having to worry about certain things my friends did. I always knew my parents would be able to fund my education. I always knew they were involved in my schooling and extra curricula. I certainly didn't get everything I wanted, but I also knew that if I made a reasonable request of my parents they'd probably be willing to fund it. For instance, if the Spanish club was going to Spain, I knew my parents would jump at the chance for me to have that kind of experience. There's a lot of things I got to do as a kid that I might not have done if my parents had given me a brother or sister.

I often see people say that you shouldn't have an only child because they'll be all alone when you are getting old and sick, and when you die. Please allow me to say that this is bull. When my grandfather died it was hard on my mom, and she did bear the brunt of a lot of the funeral arrangements and the like, but she was not alone by any means. She had me, she had my dad, she had my DH, she had her friends...all of us chipped in. It's the same with my grandmother who's now in assisted living. Sure, it's hard on my mom, but I don't think it's easy on anyone to have parents that are declining. My mom knows she can always lean on me for support, because with me being her only child, we're very close.

Meanwhile, having siblings is no guarantee of freedom from trouble involving aging parents. Take my FIL for example. His mother passed a few years back. Before she died there were some shenanigans involving his siblings, whereby they circumvented his father's legal power of attorney to put his mom in hospice. The bad blood that erupted from this ended up with these siblings refusing to attend their mother's funeral and one of them breaking into her father's house to take items she thought GFIL would withhold from her while everyone else was out picking out flowers and a casket.

So yeah, siblings are no guarantee of happiness. I don't know too many folks who are still good friends with their siblings as adults, but I know a heck of a lot that can't stand their brothers and sisters and who look forward to family reunions with dread.

When I say "I wouldn't do that to my DD," what I mean is that there are things I want to give her: a college degree, travel around the world, equipment and fees for whatever sport she shows interest in, ski trips up north and out west, piano lessons and swimming lessons and horseback riding lessons...and that if I give her a sibling, I might have to cut back on some of these things that, in my mind, already belong to her.
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Old 10-01-2013, 03:00 PM   #57
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I forgot to mention in my post that my dd, who is the oldest, wishes she was an only child. She tolerates her brothers only because she has no choice. She was the apple of daddy's eye for 3 years before brother #1 came along, and the competing for dad's attention has never stopped. I suppose that will never change.
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Old 10-01-2013, 03:15 PM   #58
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I grew up an only child and hated it. When I was in my late teens, my parents blessed me with two siblings. Both our parents have passed and I am so happy I am not alone! Yes, I am married and have children and grandchildren, but its not the same.
I smiled at this.

My sister was 13 when I was born, 12 when my sister was born 11 months earlier. She was always like our "other mother". She was THRILLED to no longer be the "only" child and thought it took the microscope off of her!!

She did complain about how loose my parents were with us because they were already "old" parents and not just trying it out with her! She said Mom and Dad were HARD on her but really let us do anything we wanted. I liked it like that!

Now that we're ALL OLD and our parents are both gone, we have each other. It's such a blessing. My sister was furloughed yesterday and told me she was going up to Tennessee to be with my oldest sister who just got out of the hospital. It's what we do!

I love my sisters with all my heart... which is why I'm sort of sad I didn't give my son a sibling. He does have very close cousins but he is an only and on top of that, I'm his only parent. I just pray he finds a nice lady with a large family (like my Mom did) to fill the gap.

Good luck with your decision. I wish I had the option but I had my son very late and was a high risk. I'd love to have another but all I can wait for now is grandkids!
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Old 10-01-2013, 03:50 PM   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dismom22 View Post
DH and I are in discussion of having our second child. DD will be 4 in February and I *thought* our plan was to take out my Mirena when we got back from Disney...so, uh, now. What I thought was our plan has quickly changed and become more of a debate. I realize this is a serious decision that only DH and I can make; I was just hoping to get some insight from a variety of people. Some things I'm trying to consider:

1- If you only have one child, why did you decide to (assuming you had the choice which I know is not always the case)? How is it raising your only?

2- If YOU are an only child, how was your life affected both as a kid and as an adult? (This is one thing I struggle with...DD being alone as she gets older and we do as well...)

I'm an only and I HATED it. We lived in a neighborhood without a lot of kids, so I was on my own a lot. I also hated family vacations as I got into my teens. My parents would take me fun places, but who wants to hang out at an amusement park with their parents at age 15? As an adult, I'm ok with it. I have the best DH in the world, so when my parents need me to help with medical and/or financial decisions, DH will be right there to help me.

3- If you have more than one child, did you ever have this issue, debating #2? How did you handle it?

We never had this issue because I vowed to never have only one child - if I had the choice. We did have to give a bit of thought to whether to stop at two or go for baby #3 though.

4- Is more harder than just one? We have our hands full with DD, she's a spitfire that's for sure. DH is concerned that having #2 will not help and possibly cause DD to be "worse" (I hate that word but for lack of better...)

Of course two is more work than one, but it's not impossible. My #2 child could be a handful, but once #3 was born, he turned into the best helper and big brother around. I really think having a younger sibling made him a better person - he really enjoys having someone to take care of. He also doesn't mind the way his little brother idolizes him.

5- What's the age difference between your children along with the pros & cons?!

DD was 7 and DS was 5 when younger DS was born. DD instantly became my little helper and, as I mentioned above, DS did too. They adore him and he looks up to them.

Pros: The kids are now 14, 12, and almost 7. I have built-in babysitters for the youngest. They all get along great and really enjoy being together.

Cons: The older kids are super busy with school and sports and I have to drag the little one around driving this one here and dropping that one off there.



Anything else you'd like to add, I would certainly appreciate. I would love brutal honesty. I am on the fence but leaning towards DD getting a sibling. I don't want to fight with DH about this. I respect his opinion and do understand his concerns because I have them too, I suppose I just see the bigger picture. For instance, he's concerned with finances, being "stuck" for the next 3-5 years, normal stress of baby (late nights), DD's current behavior and future, our lack of organization around the house, and the fact that our relationship could use some work, nothing terrible, just typical married life stress, etc...

Whew, that's a lot. Sorry so long...just something constantly on my mind lately and need input. Thanks!!
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Old 10-01-2013, 04:06 PM   #60
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I am going to tell both sides of the story in my life.
My dkids are very close in age (born 1/92, 5/93 and 10/95),
It was CRAZY when they were younger. DH and I were exhausted, mentally and physically. (It didn't help that dd#1 was an extremely difficult child to begin with). Anyway, I would have waited a little bit more in between if I'd have realized the things we would go through.
I am an ONLY. I was adopted and have a brother (also adopted). I found both sides of my bio families (mom's side in my 20s, dad's side in my late 30s)and I am an only. I was hoping, somewhere along the way, either bio parent would've had another child. As an adult, I feel very alone. It makes me sad to my inner core. I'm sure not everyone feels that badly about being an only, and I'm not trying to make anyone feel bad about having only one...but the question was asked.
Your family will be right for you, whatever you decide/happens.
ETA As another poster stated, I don't want to be morbid, but I do know a couple who had one child when they were young. He passed away at age 21. The parents were in their early 40s and quickly had 2 more children after that happened. My heart went out to them.
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Me DH DD 22 DD 21 DS 19 And on 10/11/10 I became a DGM

Junior Brody Stella Luna Louie Ella the Bunny
Christmas 07/New Years 08-CBR (baseball), 2006-POR (cheering), 2001-Dixie Landings, 1988, 1975-Offsite
Trip was great...no new ticker for awhile!
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