Article: Is it selfish to have an only?

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-15-2009
Article: Is it selfish to have an only?
Fri, 01-13-2012 - 1:38pm

I thought you ladies might appreciate this article:

Avatar for suzyk2118
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-30-1997
Sat, 01-14-2012 - 7:06am
Well, being an only to me made it easy to have an only. I loved it, and never thought anything of it til I got older and those insensitive people started questioning our choice of having one. I never knew there was controversy in the decision. And honestly I never took/take it seriously but reading the first page of comments on the end of that article got my blood boiling! As people here know, I lost both of my parents unexpectedly within 19 days of each other; they were 84 and 85. And I lived 300 miles away. So part of me will always feel guilty about not being there to help. But I don't think that's related to being an only; I would think that's a personality thing because I've seen others who've lost parents and it seems to matter more what they're like in how they react than how many sibs they have. I don't see any 'risk' about not having sibs, and I don't see the technology thing playing into it - I think EVERYone benefits from the ability to communicate more easily, and that has nothing to do with sibs. We're all connected more. I now can email with cousins 300 miles away so I still stay in touch with family, more than I did, say, 25 years ago when I left home. But yes, I do see judgements on those with no kids...again just those nosy people, and I do/did feel happy having one (who is now 19 so we're mostly empty nesters). Sorry for rambling...

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-06-2002
Mon, 08-06-2012 - 12:13pm

One, there's nothing wrong with being selfish with your own life

Two, having a child, even one, can never be seen as selfish.

My DD (12) has more friends than most of her friends, is very sociable and gets on with other people. I don't just mean FB friends and friends online, I mean IRL but obviously by being able to talk to friends all the time makes up for not having siblings, particularly as she can choose her friends and would not be able to choose siblings!  She could be out visiting other people every day if I let her LOL.  I don't see any disadvantages of her being an only, now or in the past.   She may be a bit spoiled but no more than if I had two children who I wanted the best for.  Education-wise I have many more options open to me with only one.

In terms of my job, I actually had two maternity leaves as I was entitled to four (paid) months off after a stillbirth.  (I'm not in the US) I do think that two maternity leave periods in two years did have an effect on my career which is important as I am the main earner.  Things happened when I was away from work, new bosses came in who didn't know me etc and I had to work hard to catch up but also my priorities changed.  I didn't live just to work.