We Asked, They Shared

Moms Of Only Children Open Up About The Moment They Knew They Were "One & Done"

Whether by choice or for reasons beyond their control, these women reveal their honest and raw stories.

A mom watches TV with her daughter.
Layland Masuda/Getty Images

Some moms decide to have an only child because they feel complete after having one. Others prefer not to divide their attention and resources among multiple kids. And some reveal they always wanted more than one, but after numerous miscarriages or unsuccessful fertility treatments, they realized they wouldn’t be able to.

We asked our Scary Mommy readers who are moms of only children to share the moment they knew they weren’t having any more kids. No matter what their reasons were, their responses were incredibly personal, honest, and raw.

When they knew they didn’t want to divide their attention among multiple kids:

“Because I knew I only wanted one to give all my love and attention to.” — Natalie

“When I realized I could be a great mom to one but perhaps not as good to more than that.” — Dawn

“When I didn’t want to divide my time between two since I was also working.” — Sharon

When they had a rough pregnancy, labor, birth, or postpartum period:

“I absolutely hated being pregnant. I was miserable, and I did not glow. I was in pain for the majority of it.” — Michelle

“I was so sick during pregnancy. There wasn’t a day I didn't throw up multiple times.” — Emma

“When I spent 72 hours in labor.” Ely

“I was very anxious throughout pregnancy, had a very traumatic birth, and had PPD. I didn’t know if I could go through it all again.” — Michelle

“When I emerged from the worst part of my PPD and realized I lost 18 months of time with my kid to my hormones and stress. I immediately scheduled my husband's vasectomy.” — Marissa

When they learned how expensive it is to raise kids:

“When the price of daycare became [like] a mortgage payment.” Kate

“When I realized I can't afford to provide for two.” Stephanie

“The state of the economy pretty much dictated it for me.” Lea

When they experienced miscarriages or infertility:

“Secondary infertility made the choice for us. I always wanted to have two, but alas it wasn’t in the cards for us.” — Linda

“While going through fertility treatments with a husband who travels for weeks at a time, I decided I'm not doing this again. I value my time and sanity too much.” Maurine

“Infertility made the decision for us … I did three rounds of IVF, and it took such a toll on my body and mind. After the third unsuccessful round, I said I couldn’t go through it again.” — Carrie

“My child was 18 months, and I had a miscarriage with my second pregnancy. I was broken. I knew I couldn’t go through that kind of loss again.” — Elizabeth

“After my seventh miscarriage, my husband and I decided that continuing to try wasn’t worth the pain and grief it was causing us, especially for me.” — Emily

When they decided they didn’t want to have another kid with their partner:

“My decision had more to do with no longer wanting to be with my son’s father. I didn’t want more kids with someone I didn’t want to spend my life with.” Suz

“When I discovered my husband was having an affair.” — Amanda

“When I realized that I would be going at this alone. My partner was not supportive during pregnancy, labor, or any time after. I knew I could not take on any more responsibility alone.” — Jennifer

When they felt like they didn’t want to relive the early years:

“I hated the baby years so much … Then age 5 came around, and it was so much better. There was no way I was starting over.” — Jeanette

“I can’t pin it down to one temper tantrum, but I soon decided that I was unwilling to risk doubling the experience.” Katherine

“I couldn’t imagine going back to diapers and formula again.” Amber

“After six months of not sleeping for more than 90 minutes at a time.” Karen

“For us, it was the return to normalcy … We could go back to major trips and day trips. Not that you can’t with multiples, but it’s certainly much easier and more affordable with just one.” — Rebecca

When they realized their family felt complete after having one child:

You always hear parents say they didn't feel complete or that they weren't done yet … After we had our son, neither of us had that feeling that something was ‘missing.’” — Becky

“When I had the child of my dreams the very first time. No way of topping that.” Claire

“When my almost 12-year-old son told me at 5 years old that he was perfectly happy as an only child. He was adamant that he did not want siblings and has not wavered even now.” Tracy

“When she was born, I just looked at her and knew she was all I needed.” Marisa

Responses have been lightly edited for clarity.