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Only Child...input needed.

Discussion in 'Community Board' started by dismom22, Oct 1, 2013.

  1. mom2travel

    mom2travel DIS Veteran

    Nov 14, 2008
    I am the oldest of 4, and though we are spread out (age & geography) we are still close. I always wanted more than 1. DH, while not particularly close to his 2 sibs, agreed with me. We have 2 - DS & DD. they are about 4 1/2 years apart - just the way it happened. I never felt that having 2 was harder than 1. And despite the age and sex difference, they have always been close.

    I have a friend whose son was "difficult" (starting with colic as a baby & energetic after). Her DH was an only and didn't understand why she wanted more than one child. So they waited. And then once they were in agreement about trying for a 2nd, had fertility issues. They had their daughter right after their son's 8th birthday. She's what they call "difficult" too but they couldn't be happier

    At the end of the day, OP, as you said, it comes down to what you and your DH agree and will make you happy.
    Good luck with the decision :goodvibes:
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  3. wdwmom0f3

    wdwmom0f3 Thankful my embarrassing tag is gone!

    Aug 10, 2008
    I never thought twice about having any of my three children. I always knew that I wanted more than one and I have enjoyed every minute of it. I love having three kids because it truly is an adventure every single day.

    Having said that though, we are hitting the ages where it becomes very expensive. I'm facing buying two more cars soon and college years too. :scared: I'm not looking forward to it. Plus, parenting these kids and getting them through the everyday life struggles can be exhausting too. Some days I think it would have been much easier with just one, but the main reason for that is all about money. If it grew on trees, I would have had another one.

    My oldest daughter just had a baby and she swears that she is only having one! I think this is from the side effects of having little to no sleep though. :lmao:

    In the end it's up to you and your husband. My only advise would be to plan for cars and college when they are born. It rolls around faster than you would think.

    Side note, I'm very proud that I stayed mostly positive through that post because I have been fighting with my son all morning to get ready for school (he's saying he is sick) while my daughter is happily getting ready. :upsidedow
  4. mom2rtk

    mom2rtk DIS Veteran

    Aug 23, 2008
    You might want to read through this thread as it is nearly identical:


    I will say that as you make your decision, you should consider all the phases of you and your child's lives. My husband has lost both of his parents now. They have in fact been gone for nearly 10 years. Until you have experienced the loss of both parents, it's really hard to understand how alone someone can feel in the world. While he was never close to his only sibling (a sister 11 years older) it helps a lot that there is another person on the planet who shared his upbringing and shares his memories of childhood.

    But..... this is a case where 1 + 1 really isn't 2. It really is a lot of work going from 1 to 2. But if your DD is a handful, then at least you will be going into it with your eyes open.

    Good luck with your decision.
  5. Kellydelly

    Kellydelly DIS Veteran

    Aug 25, 2004
    I don't understand why some people are saying that going from one to two is such a big deal. Once you've had one kid you know the ropes :confused3. You already have most of the equipment you need. And most toddlers love having a sibling added to the family (most ;) ). I am one of four kids, my husband is one of two. We have four kids. I didn't have a problem going from one children to two at all, and then when we tried for three and ended up with twins (IF treatments), it wasn't difficult either. Babies are not expensive, trust me. What is expensive are preteens and teens! My advice is to have at least one more, maybe two or three :p.
  6. TheIncredibles!

    TheIncredibles! Winner (?) of the Crazy MIL Award

    Nov 7, 2010
    Agreed! Lost my mom when she was 54 and I was 31. Lost my dad last year when I was 42 and he was 66. Thank God for my siblings. (I have 3) I know how sad and alone I am without my parents and cannot imagine how much worse it would be to not have my siblings as well.
  7. Pigeon

    Pigeon DIS Veteran

    Jan 12, 2005
    We have two, and they are three years apart, same gender.

    We would have been perfectly happy having an only. Dh and I both came from huge families. Neither of us are close to any of our siblings. We aren't estranged, and we see them once in a while, but even though we mostly live in the same place, we just aren't close. I knew from the time I was very young that I would never have more than two kids, as I hated being part of a big family, as did dh. Now that our parents are aging, having siblings actually makes more difficulties, not less, in caring for them.

    Between us we have over 25 nieces and nephews. Several are onlies. With one exception, the onlies have it made. Most are now young adults, and they had enriched childhoods, with tons of extra experiences and their parents could afford outstanding educational opportunities. They have thrived and are doing exceptionally well. One of my "only" nieces is a spoiled brat. She would have been every bit as spoiled if she had siblings though, as my BIL is unable to say no to anything.

    Our kids were internationally adopted. That's really the only reason we went for a second one, as we felt it would be best for them to have another family member with a similar background. It's worked out well for us.

    Personally, I think three years age difference is perfect. Seeing all my nieces and nephews, any closer and there is too much rivalry and added fighting and competition. With a three year gap, they can still enjoy some of the same things, but aren't at each other all the time. Mine are teens now. I didn't want to stretch it out much further as I didn't want to be raising kids forever.

    Having two is an order of magnitude harder than having one.
  8. Styx Fan

    Styx Fan DIS Veteran

    Jan 16, 2009
    I am an only. And I would never have an only if I could help it. I think my parents did me a grave disservice by making me an only without putting into play a larger extended family for support. Now that my parents are gone, there is no one around who shares any early memories with me. My kids are missing any aunts or uncles and cousins on my side.

    I was lonely growing up, also. Without any extended family nearby, holidays were the worst. Just lonely and boring.

    My take is if you have only one child, make sure that child is surrounded by other family (be they blood or nurtured) so they are not left alone.

    My 2 kids are missing aunts and uncles and cousins on my side. I see so many women who spend time with sisters or enjoy nieces and nephews. I miss out on that.

    My life is good and I don't dwell on this, but I have always felt like I was missing something.
  9. Arielle22

    Arielle22 <font color=red>We have had spirits<br><font color

    Aug 6, 2000
    I have 7 siblings but several do not have children. Two brothers each have 2 girls, I have 2 girls and two of my sisters each have a boy. The ages were spread out so the older four nieces are close in age but at least 10 years older than my DDs. So each set of girls had a built in playmate.

    My two nephews are 3 years apart in age but are very close. They call each other brother and play together a couple of times a week. Both get lonely at home with no one to play with.

    Both nephew were conceived with fertility treatments. My older sister was 40 so that nephew will be an only. My younger sister has decided to try for another child. It would be an understatement to call her son difficult. He is incredibly stubborn (my side of the gene pool) and type A (BIL side). DS did a lot of soul searching about whether she could handle another child before deciding she wanted to try.

    We have lost both our parents. Dad died when we were young (he was 50) and mom died 17 years ago. We have an uncle, aunt and 2 cousins who were are not close to but otherwise that is it. I can't imagine not having siblings or close family to help you or celebrate things with.

    OP, good luck with your decision. It is tough when you are not on the same page.
  10. lovin'fl

    lovin'fl DIS Veteran

    Jun 7, 2011
    I can only tell you, OP, my situation and what things I would change about it. I have 1 brother who is 5 years older than me (he is 45 and I am 40). While I always looked up to him and wanted to be like him, we were not overly close. I was pretty much an only child...definitely by the time I got to High School. I had to go to dinner and on trips with just my parents and things like that. I had a tough time in HS and it was pretty lonely. Then my dad passed away young (54 in 2001) and my mom, who had been with him since she was 19, has been floundering at times (a lot of times). I have had to bear the brunt of it because my brother (who has never married or had kids) left home to do his own thing and has never looked back (pretty much). My DH, on the other hand, has 2 older sisters who are tight with my MIL and there has been little room for me in the mix. I have gotten closer to MIL over the years, but it's not the same and I am envious of her closeness with her 2 DDs...luckily I have 2 DDs and hope to have that same relationship with them.

    Now, my kids...I have 3. We married right after college and baby #1 came before we planned- 5 months after our wedding :scratchin. We planned to be married a few years before having kids...but things don't always go as planned. For some strange reason we had in our heads that we'd have 2 boys (baby #1 was a boy), so we wanted them to be close in age so they could be BFFs and be there for each other as teens and young adults (which was something I didn't have). When DS was just 16 months old we began trying for #2. Two months later we had success...BUT it was not #2- it was #2 AND #3. My head swam and things changed for us. We were told right away that they were identical and I knew I could not handle 3 little boys (DS was a handful himself...still is), so I hoped for 2 girls. Luckily, that's what I had...identical twin girls. They were born a month early and so my DS was just 25 months old. I will not lie, it was HARD work. The first 2-3 years are a blur and we just 'got through it' and did what we had to...it was like having triplets. Knowing all I know now, I would have had them about 3 1/2 years apart. But, we did get through all the awful stages at the same time instead of getting through and then starting again like a friend of mine who had 3 boys that were each 4 years apart. Problem is, now I have 3 teens at the same time :crazy2:. Good luck in your decision.
  11. DLgal

    DLgal DIS Veteran

    Feb 12, 2013
    All I will say on this topic is that you and DH need to be 100% in agreement on this before you make a decision. There is nothing worse than a child who is/was "not wanted" by one of the parents, particularly in a marriage that is not rock solid. There will be resentment and that is not fair to the child. Your current child should have NO say in this decision, sorry to say. This is all you and your DH.

    DH and I discussed children well before we started trying. We agreed that we wanted 2 children, not an "only" and no more than 2 (unless, of course, we ended up with multiples). Once our oldest DS turned 1, we started TTC and were successful immediately. Our boys are 20 months apart.

    BOTH my kids ended up having Autism. That was not part of "the plan". DS #2 was a VERY difficult baby/toddler. He is still difficult at 7, but getting a bit easier. I can't even imagine how horrendous those early years would have been if DS #2 wasn't absolutely, 100% planned for and wanted by BOTH DH and I. We would have probably ended up divorced. Autism and other special needs really rock the boat on even the strongest marriages, and if we had started out with even a small amount of "marital issues", our marriage wouldn't have survived.
  12. 3Gsandme

    3Gsandme DIS Veteran

    Jan 18, 2013
    I'm one of three and I have three beautiful little girls (although one is bugger than me already). There are no guarantees in life, for sure, but I've never regretted having a sister for my daughter. My dds are all so different and I think I would have been less happy without even one of them.

    I found the jump from no kids to 1 the hardest and the Jump from 2 to 3 the easiest. My little two are close in age and I've never had the pleasure of seeing two close in age siblings interact on this level. They love each other so much and are best friends. It's adorable.

    From a personal standpoint, I like being a big sister. My Mom passed away six years ago and since there's a fairly big age difference, I've been able to step in and really be there for my siblings. I also love being an auntie. :D

    Depending on your age, you have time to make a decision. It doesn't have to happen now. I do agree with a PP that depending on how your daughter is a "spitfire" that it has to change no matter what.
  13. mjkacmom

    mjkacmom DIS Veteran

    Feb 20, 2006
    Having an only child was never a consideration, we wanted three. I found going from one to two was hard, but my first was only 20 months old when her refluxy cranky brother was born - lol. My oldest would love to be an only child, but would not have been a good one (she is pretty egocentric as it is - I can't even imagine if she had 100% of our focus!). Now, my middle child, who LOVES having older and younger siblings, would have been a wonderful only child - very empathetic and compassionate, no entitlement whatsoever.

    I always said that if I only had my first, and my last, I would doubt myself as a parent. However, the middle three counter that - lol.

    One thing to tell your DH is that, the older they get, the faster the times goes. I blinked, and my oldest is a senior in HS. It's like a roll of toilet paper - the more you use, the faster it goes. I am no where near ready to be an empty nester!
  14. HM

    HM My tag from the Tag Fairy is now too long to use.

    Mar 8, 2001
    Having two children is much more demanding than having just one. It is much more expensive than having one.

    We have two kids (22 months apart). We thought we wanted three. The demands and cost of two kept us from going forward with our original plan.

    Our kids are now in college......
  15. mom2rtk

    mom2rtk DIS Veteran

    Aug 23, 2008
    LOL, 3 little boys in right around 2 years. :faint: but :)

    Our 2 boys are 23 months apart and wore me out on a daily basis. :goodvibes There's a reason our daughter is 5 years younger. If you had asked me when the boys were little I would have absolutely said I was DONE! I really felt like it was all just meant to be though, even though I get accused of being my daughter's grandmother on a fairly routine basis. :cool2:

    Now with 2 kids in college, I'm happier than ever for that 5 year gap.
  16. LimeCordial

    LimeCordial Mouseketeer

    Sep 27, 2013
    My husband is an only and enjoyed it for the most part. He had a few good friends and pets and felt fulfilled that way. His parents were able to afford a few extra luxuries for him which set him off on a good foot post secondary. Stereotypically speaking, he can be socially awkward but he is so very generous. He thinks being an only is great but appreciates the potential of friendship and support of a sibling later in life.

    I grew up with a handful of siblings. I love being a part of a busy boisterous family and it taught me a lot of maturity and responsibility from an early age (I am the oldest). The negatives for me were less extra curricular opportunities, and being financially on my own for car, college etc. I also relish quiet and privacy like nobody's business now ;).

    DH and I were going to opt out of procreation. Hahaha. Then we got a little "old" and felt our clocks tick for a brief moment. So we had one. Felt done at one until another fateful afternoon where DH said he would like DD to have a sibling. I had fallen in love with babies so I agreed ;).

    We are definitely done at two. It's proven to be quadruple the "work" for us. We also want them to be involved in "extras" without it being all consuming and chauffeuring all the time. Also, we want to be able to provide a nice portion of their car and college fund. So this is what we can handle.

    I think it's extremely important for both partners to be in agreement. You might have different concerns which is fine. It's actually a good thing as you can support each other when you come across those difficulties (or take over so to speak). If this decision is causing a rift, I advocate taking a bit of emotion out of it at the start. Write out a pro and con list together. Re evaluate afterwards. Come up with possible solutions to the scary scenarios. Get creative. Hubby worried about intimacy? You want to co-sleep? Agree to meet in the car in the garage later ;) ;).

    No matter how great a parent you are, potentially things can go very wrong ("difficult" baby, sibling rivalry, chaos, less $) and potentially it can be fantastic ("easy" baby, sibling friendship, good investments) but chances are most families end up somewhere in the middle.
  17. KennesawNemo

    KennesawNemo DIS Veteran

    Oct 28, 2008
    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?

    DS8 was an only-child until earlier this year. We went back and forth about whether we'll have another one for many years. We enjoyed raising DS as the only one because we were able to focus on him and give him a lot of things we weren't be able to give if we have more kids. We did feel bad for him from time to time when he complained there is no one to play with him, but we always made sure we took him to see places and had playdates for him.

    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 am a only child. I felt mostly fine as a child. Sometimes I wished I had a sibling, but it was never bad.

    I wish I had a sibling now more than ever as my parents age and grow old. I am mainly concerned with my parents, not me. I live thousands of miles away from my parents. They live in Asia. It's not enough for them to see me once a year. I still don't know what to do if one day they both become sick in bed and can't take care of themselves. Financially, they are fine, but emotionally, I am not sure. With a sibling, at least we could take turn and do more for them.

    A worry from my mom is that when both of them are gone, I'll have no family to visit on holidays. I don't feel too bad for this though. I have enough friends so I'll be fine.

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

    I love kids, but we waited 7 years to finally decide to have another. I have fighted the want to have another constantly in the past couple of years, but we made darn sure that everything is in place. We are financially better off now than say 5 years ago. We bought a house that'll cut our communtes and in the best school district. I made sure my job will give me work-life balance. etc, etc.

    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...)

    It's harder!!! We have to shift a lot of attention from DS8 to DD-5 month. But again we waited a long time to make sure that DS will be fine. He can handle all his chores, study by himself, and explore his interest by himself.

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

    DS and DD are seven and half years apart.

    Pros: Having a little sister definitely brings out a lot good in DS. I see the most tender side of his heart. He adores his little sis. He helps me taking care of her. Care, love, share -- I think it's a great learning experience for him!

    Cons: DS won't be able to play with DD. Also, down the road, we won't be able to give DS as much financial support as if we only have one. But he has a little sister now and you can't get everything right and perfect.
  18. luvmy3

    luvmy3 <font color=green>When I drink I find its easier t

    Feb 24, 2008
    I am an only and I knew that when I started my family I would have more than one child. Don't get me wrong, I had a great childhood, lots of cousins and friends but I always wished I was part of a big immediate family. I guess because I was always around them.

    Honestly OP, none of that matters. Once family planning becomes a debate or something you don't want to fight about then its not the right time to add to your family. Would you want your dh to resent you and the child. Of course you never know if that will happen, but I know I wouldn't want to take the chance. You said yourself that your relationship could use work, would a baby/child make that worse or better?
    I understand his concerns. If I had one 4 year old I don't think I'd be excitedly planning on having another child, I would feel that its too late. I see the differences between my middle child and my youngest (3 years apart) and I'm watching my friends do it all over because they got themselves a surprise 2 years ago :)
    I wish you all the best, its not an easy decision and I hope you guys end up on the same page whatever the decision is :goodvibes
  19. AustinTink

    AustinTink DIS Veteran

    Jan 24, 2009
    My husband is the only child of an only child. I am the youngest of 7. We have one child, DS14.

    I love my husband's family dearly. We are so close to his parents and grandparents. They shower my son with love and undivided attention.

    We lead a pretty stress-free life as parents of an only child. We go where we want, when we want. We don't have multiple schedules to coordinate. There is no fighting in our house ever. It's calm and serene. When DS wants more excitement on any given day he calls over a group of friends. When he wants peace and quiet he spends time alone. He likes both equally.

    In fact, the only family stress I ever feel is when I have to deal with my siblings on family matters regarding my elderly mother. There are a certain few that came out of the womb swinging and have only gotten worse over time. I have one particular sister that makes my eye twitch every time I get on the phone with her. Ah, the fun of having siblings. NOT!

    For my little family, one is wonderful. Wouldn't change it for the world.
  20. MrsDrewsky

    MrsDrewsky DIS Veteran

    Dec 22, 2011
    I'm an only child. In hindsight I liked being an only child until my parents separated. I think that's when things can somewhat more difficult for an only child. My mom never remarried, and I find myself really worrying about her sometimes. Thankfully she is well off financially, but I know there is a possibility I could have to be the one to make certain decisions as she ages.
  21. lvillotta1

    lvillotta1 Mouseketeer

    Jan 23, 2011
    My story is much different. I am the oldest of 3 sibs. My daughters came to me through adoption. As a single mom by choice and new I always wanted 2 girls. 2 for a couple of reasons. First the Lord called me to both of my daughters. My oldest was 10mos at adoption and is now 9. Her adoption took me less than 1 yr. My 2nd daughter took me 4 yrs to adopt her and she will be 6 this month and adopted at 12mos both from China. Since I am single I wanted to make sure my girls had each other in the case of my death. I also wanted them to have each other to be best friends in life which they are being 4yrs apart. 4 years apart is perfect. Going from 1-2 was hard,but my oldest DD was 4 when I brought DD2 home at 12mos. It was a crazy time,but my family helps me out a lot. If I had to say 1 thing if you are thinking about a 2nd do it. If you want a 2nd and can not have one naturally PLEASE look into adoption!!!!! There are millions of children that need home. If I could adopt more I would have gone back for 1 more. Adoption is an awesome way to grow your family.

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