Would you be happy with just one child?

For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to be a mother. When I was 14/15 years old, I’d talk about how many children I wanted and even what some of their names would be. At the time I had the crazy idea that I wanted 5 children. Clearly I didn’t really understand the responsibilities (and expense) behind raising a child.

When I was married and planning S, we talked about children and I said I’d wanted 3. I imagined raising them, wandered whether they’d be boys or girls, what their personalities would be like. When people talked about having only one child, I was rather obnoxious. I’d say things like: “Imagine you’re on a road trip in the States, going to Disney…would you rather have one child in the back sitting quietly on their Ipad or two children bickering and playing in the back?” I was really against the idea of only one child.

And then I had S. And very soon after, my circumstances changed. And suddenly the idea of having any more children was put on the back burner. And as S started to grow, I wandered whether this one child choice was such a bad idea. In fact, I couldn’t believe that I’d be able to love another child as much as I love S. Now of course, I’ve read about how common this is. Most mother’s feel that way after they have their first and then when they go on to have more, they just feel like their love expands to include the other’s. I imagine that to be a pretty amazing feeling.

I’ve been through a plethora of emotions since I became a single parent. Is this it? Will I only have one child? Will S be okay without a sibling? Will he be lonely? Will he be spoilt? And then I made peace with it because I realised, it all comes down to how you raise your child. And in today’s day and age of play dates and whatnot, S is never really on his own. He understands the concept of sharing with friends and he absolutely loves babies and is quite affectionate towards them. He has mine (and my parents) undivided love and attention which makes him a very secure and happy child.

I have a sibling, Sam. We’re only a year apart and as children we fought all the time. I was a tom boy and the small age gap meant we had a lot of mutual friends. He didn’t always like this. As we grew older we made our own friends and in many respects grew apart, each choosing to do our own thing. He lives in Nigeria and absolutely loves it there while I live in London and love my life here. I love him, respect him and know I can always count on him for advice/anything really, but he’s not always my go to person. That may be because we live in different cities or just because we’re quite different in our thinking. Either way, I have people I can talk to/confide in who aren’t my siblings.

S is very attached to my cousins girls who live in Nigeria. He sees them only once or twice a year and yet they have such a close bond. When they meet, it’s like they just saw each other the previous week. He misses them when they leave and often asks for them. With the help of modern technology, they’ll be able to have a relationship growing up, even living thousands of miles apart.

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In the 80s when I grew up, having a sibling meant you’d always have someone to play with, someone who was around. In today’s world, I think even as an old child, you’ll always have that. And so even though I’m open to having more children, I’m also okay if I don’t. Because I know my child will never really be alone and I also know my only child will always be enough for me.

”Twinkly
And then the fun began...

My Random Musings
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23 thoughts on “Would you be happy with just one child?

  1. I always wanted lots of children, but as I grew older and realised how much my Endometriosis affected me I knew this might be difficult. But still, I wanted more than one, if I could have kids that was! Turns out my pregnancy was so traumatic, we can’t ever possibly imagine doing that again, despite my desperate desire to have more children. We have an only child through circumstance and I do wish it could have been different… But there are many positives to having an only child. And when I see how confident, caring and expressive our son is, I know HE is fine, it is just me who would have liked more 😉 Whatever happens, whether you remain a one child family or whether you meet someone else later on and expand your family, it will be right for you, because you’ll find the positives in it 🙂

    • Thanks Amanda. I agree, it often becomes more about us “wanting” a second rather than our first borns “needing” a sibling. I read some of your “one child family” posts and am glad you’ve come to terms with your decision. Thanks so much for reading and commenting 🙂 xx

  2. I really enjoyed this post. I think exactly like you say that how you raise a child matters so much more than whether you have lots of siblings. I always thought we wanted two children, that was my ideal, but I also have started wondering whether we should just have one more and have three children if we are lucky enough to. But then the next minute I think that’s ‘greedy’ and we should be happy with the two healthy happy girls we have got. I don’t think you can know and I think everything happens for a reason. So one day S might have a sibling, but if he doesn’t then you know that he will never miss out anyway. x

    • Thanks Katie 🙂 I don’t think it’s greedy to want more children. If you’re blessed to be able to have 3, they’ll be blessed to have you. Thanks for reading & commenting 🙂 x

  3. We’ve had these discussions in our house, do we want to stick with one, do we have two. I had a horrific pregnancy and was pretty much put off having another, but as time has passed and my girl has grown I miss the dependency of her to me and I really do think another would make my family complete now, should circumstances allow. It’s what is right for you at the end of the day isn’t it?

    • Yes, ofcourse…the right answer is specific to an individual/family. So often I see women ask if they should have a 2nd or 3rd child (in online mum groups) and I never quite understand how anyone can give you the right answer to that question. But I suppose they are just looking for an insight into what it’d be like. Thanks for reading and commenting 🙂

  4. I have one little boy. I’d love for him to have a sibling one day but if I’m not able to for whatever reason, he’s the most amazing little person and I’m so lucky to have him- I don’t think I could ever be disappointed just to have him. I think you’re right, it doesn’t matter how many children you have-it’s how you raise them that counts.

  5. I share lots of these emotions, as Baby will be an only child. I always thought I would have two children. I have a sister but we practically hated each other growing up, so as you know a sibling relationship isn’t always rosey 🙂 x

  6. As someone who only planned I having one, I see absolutely nothing wrong with having an only child. They get you and your love, and cousins and friends and family to fill all the gaps. Like you, I can’t imagine loving another as much as I love my daughter. Who knows, perhaps one day I’ll change my mind.

    Thanks for sharing #twinklytuesday

  7. I ask myself on a regular basis whether or not I want anymore children. Part of me wants at least one more, but I have had the same fears as you. I love my daughter more than anything and I can’t imagine feeling the same way towards a second child…however, I’ve heard many mothers say they have felt that way and then laughed about it after they had another. My take on it at this point is, whatever happens happens 🙂

    #thetruthabout

    • That’s a good way of looking at it. Whatever happens happens and exactly as it’s meant to…that ideology has kept me sane at times! 🙂 Thanks for reading and commenting xx

  8. If I had started younger I think it would be great for my little to have a sibling, but my wife already has a 15 year old and neither of us are getting any younger. It would have been nice, but I like all the one on one time we have with the kids now

  9. Whether you do or don’t have another child, his life will be fine. Just different! I love having our houseful and my kids are each others’ favorite playmates, but there would still be plenty to love if our family size was smaller, too.

  10. I remember asking another mother of two how I was going to love my second child when I was pregnant the second time and having that exact conversation. It is true though, you just do. What is difficult is feeling like you are giving each child enough of your undivided attention – especially once they start school and need you for a bit of educational guidance. I don’t know how people with more than two do it. I definitely think that there is no right or wrong though – there are swings and roundabouts, good and bad sides with each choice and some days it is easy to think the grass is greener but it’s not – we all do what is right for us in our situation.Thanks for linking up Xx #thetruthabout

  11. I completely agree and think children can be lonely and spoilt whether or not they have siblings. I do feel though that people start asking when you will be trying for a second as soon as you’ve given birth to the first! #thetruthabout

  12. I am so blessed that my first successful pregnancy ended up with not one but *two* healthy babies. That said, I would have LOVED to have more but sadly age is against me and it’s doubtful that I’l ever have any more. I would have loved another baby too — another successful pregnancy. That said, I’m SO incredibly grateful for what I have. It so very nearly didn’t happen. Thanks so much for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday — hope to see you again next week! x

    Caro | http://www.thetwinklediaries.co.uk

  13. I love you open generous nature and how write. Being so forthcoming in your own life, is educating/”matter of fact” brilliance. Being someone who went through IVF (90 injections for 3 months) and having twins, THEN a surprise (blessing) with child no.3….I feel a good mother, is aware and accommodates….regardless of how many children are pulling at her apron strings. A well rounded individual is from a loving home. Some from HUGE families, some from a much smaller (more concentrated) setting. Numbers are irrelevant…it’s the quality of love and environment that makes the “being” x

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