10 Reasons I Love Having An Only Child

175 Comments

only-child

My daughter just turned six and, despite the fact that my husband and I are completely satisfied with our cozy family of three, I am constantly barraged with questions about when we’ll have another and how only children are wrong for some reason or another. So, for those people, as well as anyone else who has posed similar questions to their single child friends, I offer the following reasons for our decision. The last, of course, being the only one that really matters…

1. I almost never hear the phrase, “it’s not fair.” Sure, she’ll get upset if she can’t have a second helping of ice cream and really does want that kitten that’s never going to happen, but she isn’t constantly trying to keep up with anyone else and is generally happy with what she has.

2. We have money to spare. No, we’re not loaded, but my husband and I both work hard and our daughter goes to public school. This means we have the funds to take a few vacations a year, save for college and put away for a comfortable retirement. If she wants to take art or karate, it’s not a strain like it is for my friends with three or four kids who are constantly stressed about how to pay for everything.

3. She has sophisticated taste. For as long as I can remember, we’ve taken Sophie out to restaurants of all kinds and introduced her to foods from different cultures. There’s no little brother or sister whining that something is gross and all she’s exposed to are two people who eat all their veggies. Her current favorite? Sushi and roasted peppers.

4. I can feel green. I don’t compost or grow my own garden, but hey at least I’m reducing my carbon footprint somehow!

5. Our dog hasn’t been demoted.  He gets as much attention as he ever did, if not more with a “sister” dotting on him constantly.

6. I can explore my own interests and don’t feel like any door is closed. If I decided I wanted to go back to school or take up a new hobby, there’s really nothing stopping me.

7. We can still travel. Sophie has had a passport since she was two and is the best little travel buddy ever.

8. Car rides are pleasant! I had no idea that was unique until driving in a hellish, bickering filled car with a family of five. The car is a time we chat, laugh and play games rather than yell, scream and kick.

9. We have chosen family. She may not have a biological brother or sister, but she has half a dozen “cousins” who she adores. Plus, this extended family doesn’t come with strings that blood relatives can.

10. Our family feels complete… and that’s really the only thing that matters.

Related Post: How Many Kids Should You Have?

Comments

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  1. 1

    Alex123456 says

    I love reading happy parent(s) with one child. My sole reason for having one child was number 10–my family felt complete. My husband and I both felt that way. Thus, we decided to stick with one. I have sometimes questioned my decision but only because of the allegations that only children later resent their parents. It has never been based on whether I feel happy and complete. Thank you for sharing your feelings on the subject matter!

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    • 3

      Melissa says

      I have an 8 year old and a 20 month old and I used to think exactly the same way. I was wrong. You are wrong. Lol. The difference is, you just can’t believe that two children so far apart in age can fight the way they do (unlike siblings close together in age). Although I do think it’s easier as far as having one child site to do a little more for themselves.

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  2. 6

    Megan says

    I couldn’t have said it better! I normally have to grit my teeth through all the comments rude people make ( family, friends, and strangers). Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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  3. 9

    says

    My husband and I have always said that if all we have is our daughter, then we’ll still be happy. We’re in no rush to have a second, but there are times I’ve actually felt like I was being bullied by others to have more children.
    I also think that many people may not realize that for some couples, having one healthy birth was difficult; having more children may simply not be possible for whatever reason. So if someone says they have no plans for more children, leave it at that. There’s no reason to ask why, to ask the same question again later, or constantly say things like “Are you pregnant yet?”.

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    • 10

      Krissy says

      Amen friend!! Another women actually told me that I wasn’t a “Real Mom” because I only have one child. I physically can’t withstand another pregnancy due to serious health issues. Luckily, I don’t believe that- but still, words hurt!!

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    • 12

      Alex123456 says

      I’m sorry you had such a terrible childhood. Somehow I doubt it had anything to do with your only child status. A lot of what makes a happy family is the dynamic.

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  4. 14

    says

    I have a 6 year old girl myself, and she’s my only child. My husband has much older children from a previous relationship (his next youngest just turned 15). My daughter is both the youngest and the only child. However, people still ask me when I’ll have another child. I have a few answers for those people: 1. I’m going to be 40 this year, hell no. 2. She has 3 older siblings, just because they live in other houses doesn’t mean they don’t exist. 3. Even before I met my husband, I knew I wanted 1 child, and I wanted it to be a girl, I got what I wanted.
    I sometimes want to be an asshole and say things like “we’ve been trying for years and can’t” but I don’t. I politely seeth instead.
    I seriously don’t get why people think it’s ok to comment on how many kids someone has. MYOB.

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  5. 15

    says

    I’m an only child, age 44. I can offer some additional reassurance that your kid is fine. I have never felt lonely; I’m very comfortable with my own company. As a result I never NEEDED to have a man or boyfriend to be happy. When I was with a man, it was because I WANTED to be, not because I NEEDED to be. I didn’t get married until I was 30 because I was OK being alone. I hope your only finds these benefits as she grows as well.

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    • 16

      Martha says

      Wow! We have one now. Going up with one sibling, I have held to the belief that two + is ideal. However, right now i am struggling because I don’t know what kind of time I could possibly dedicate to a 2nd child! I am in the weeds now!!! My greatest hope is to raise my child with the knowledge and habits that enable self sufficiency. What a powerful argument for one and done that I had never considered. Thank you!

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    • 17

      Theresaw says

      That’s a bit insulting. I’m number 4 of 6 kids and never felt like I ‘needed’ a man. In fact it was the opposite. Having so many close siblings meant I always had someone to talk to and someone to share my life with. I didn’t get married until I was 29 and it was because I wanted to. Please don’t assume that people with siblings can’t cope with life or something.

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      • 18

        Alex123456 says

        Theresaw, if the shoe fits…. I didn’t get married until I was 30, and I came from a family of 4 kids. Why you would take Dawn’s post personally is beyond my comprehension, unless it hit close to home. I wonder.

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  6. 21

    says

    I thought for sure I was one and done then was faced with a medical issue that if I wanted it corrected I would no longer be able to carry a child and I hesitated. For that reason alone I am currently 5 months pregnant with my second. My son is over the moon excited but I am a little nervous to be starting over after years of saying we were done.

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  7. 23

    says

    Mine just turned 12, even if I had another kid now, they would both feel like an only. I’m happy with just having him. I told him the other day when he asked me why I didn’t have anymore kids after him “why mess with perfection”

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  8. 24

    says

    This made me laugh. Did Gwennie Paltrow write it? I am tired of woman making woman feel bad about choice so that they can feel superior. Have a family, don’t have a family, love who you have and let others live. Stop trying to justify your family by making others feel less…it is a ugly coat to wear around.

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    • 25

      Robin says

      Funny, but your comment is hardly following your own rules. I assume we’re reading the same blog post because I don’t see anywhere in this piece where Abby is making anyone feel bad about their choices so she can feel superior. Your nasty comment is very telling, for whatever reason this story clearly hit a nerve with you. Take a breath. Sounds like you need one.

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      • 26

        Stephanie Carlson says

        But she totally is. “Our child’s had a passports since she was two, she eats sushi, we have money to travel.” Um, I know families w/ more than one child that all these things apply to. I’m an only child and trust me, my life wasn’t that “special” because of that reason only.

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        • 27

          Robin says

          I guess we have different ideas of what it means to “make someone else feel bad about their choices.” For the record, I have an only child, he does not have a passport, we can’t afford to travel right now and he wouldn’t touch sushi with a ten foot pole. (I’m laughing just thinking about the idea!) But I don’t feel badly about any of those things. I don’t feel like Abby is acting superior because she cherishes those things. Her lifestyle and family goals are important and special to Abby but maybe not to me or someone else, and that’s okay. You know? This is her personal take on having one child, and I respect that.

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    • 28

      says

      I don’t see how this is any different than posts on “Why having three kids is amazeballs” or “having all boys is awesome” or “all girls is fantastic.” It’s not to make anyone feel bad. It’s to point out what’s great about the situation they find themselves in. Isn’t that the best way to be happy? Accept your choices and rejoice in it?

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      • 29

        Jennifer says

        I agree that she is making some unfair blanket assumptions about larger families. Just because a family has more than one child doesn’t mean they don’t have money to spare, or their children don’t have sophisticated tastes, or they have demoted their dog, or they can’t travel, or the parents can’t have their own interests and hobbies. And just because a family has only one child doesn’t mean that all of those things are true. I’m not going to stand here and say that she is a horrible person for it. Its just her opinion and her opinions don’t HAVE to be fair. In my own limited experience, I only know two who have only children, and neither of those families have spare money or travel, and the kids definitely don’t have sophisticated tastes! In fact the children are MORE likely to be left behind while the parents go out because it is easier for the parents to find childcare for just one.

        Point is all of these reasons are very subjective. Really, it is a parent’s own parenting style and financial circumstances that makes the difference, not whether or not there is one child in the family or a dozen. I do wholeheartedly agree that one or a dozen is each person’s individual choice, and they definitely shouldn’t be harassed for it!!!

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  9. 31

    says

    I simply love this! I wanted more than one because I was a one (except for step and half siblings). I felt like I was missing out growing up. The closeness that I thought siblings shared. Having someone to vent about their parents to and so on. Well, now that I have 3, I am like “why do you guys fight all the time?” (I’ve never been one to be confrontational or argumentative) “Why are you so picky” (I love almost every food besides liver). Funds are tight with 3. AND I don’t feel like I do much for myself. So, I think you hit the nail on the head for sure with this post! That being said, I made the choice to have 3 and am now learning different ways to deal with what goes along with that choice. I love my kiddos from the bottom of my heart and wouldn’t change what I have. I think, I was just disillusioned growing up. ;) Enjoy your family of 3. It looks like you made the right decision for you! :)

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