Flack for having an only child

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-06-2001
Flack for having an only child
11
Fri, 07-31-2009 - 5:31pm

Hi all,

My husband and I know with all our heart that we can only handle one child, and we are at peace and happy with our decision. The problem is what people are saying or not saying around us, e.g., that our child will be lonely, and God forbid something happens to both of us, who will our child turn to? All these guilt-trip comments bother me.

These people (relatives with multiple children) make us feel as though we're being bad parents for not having another baby. When the truth is that we feel that we're better parents when we only have 1 child.

Are we really doing our child a disservice for deciding to have an only child?

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Avatar for suzyk2118
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-30-1997
Fri, 07-31-2009 - 5:55pm

You do what's right for YOUR family. Do you (or do others) ask them why they don't have 3 if they have 2, etc.? 2 of my SILs said they get grief because they have two of one gender so people always bugged them about when they'd try for the other gender. You can't win with nosy people!

Sue, a happy only with a happy teen only

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-11-2007
Fri, 07-31-2009 - 6:16pm
Hello and welcome :) You have definitely come to the right place. There are onlies here of all ages including adults who are very happy with their lives. For us, it wasn't a choice but due to infertility but thanks to the lovely ladies on this board, and the fact that my son is now 6 and really shows no signs of 'missing out' in any way, I no longer worry about it. Stick around and you'll grow your confidence when dealing with the comments, because we all get them. The thing is, it's really nobody's business but yours and your husbands how many children you choose to have and you need to wonder what is missing in other people's lives that your decisions concern them so much.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Fri, 07-31-2009 - 11:12pm

Hi there, and welcome to the board! :-)

We decided to have one child (Travis, now 10) because that's what felt best for our family. We are all happy and content just the way we are. My husband is also an only child and he turned out alright. ;-)

Honestly, I'm about out of patience with these silly comments from people. It's so rude and inconsiderate! It really is no ones business but yours how many children you decide to have.

My son is not lonely, believe me. He has lots of friends, is very social, and is involved in lots of activities (sports, music lessons, band, clubs, etc) We are a very tight-knit family with a strong bond, and I personally like that we have time to spend together and that we aren't always running in 4 different directions trying to shuffle one kid here and another one there, etc.

Hang around here with us and I think you'll start to be able to shrug off those comments, but honestly, being happy and at peace with your family is the best revenge, and puts you ahead of the people that make those comments. I always say that people that are truly happy with their own lives don't feel compelled to stick their noses into others and try to make them feel bad.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-24-2003
Sat, 08-01-2009 - 2:58am

I can relate to how you are feeling. I was there when we were in the process of deciding we were not going to add to our family.

I agree with PPs, you need to do what you know is best for your family. I have friends who have two kids - just taking care of them for one day made me bonkers! There is no way I could handle having another child, i just don't think I am wired that way.

As for doing your child a disservice, my cousin (who is in her mid 20s and a college grad) is an only child. Sure she has said she wished she had a sibling, but then again I had wished I didn't have one LOL She is a very well rounded kid and in watching her grow up, she has never seemed lonely to me.

My advice is that you know in your heart what is right for your family and you should go with that.

It does make me wonder though, what if you gave the people who have multiple children reasons why they shouldn't have more? Wonder how they would feel? Sometimes people don't realize what it feels to walk in someone else's shoes.






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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2005
Sat, 08-01-2009 - 10:29am

Of course you are not doing your child a disservice by only having one.


In response to who will your child turn to if something happens to both of you?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-17-2009
Sat, 08-01-2009 - 11:12am
People have one child for a variety of reasons and yours is perhaps the most ideal possible: it is what you both believe best!
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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Sat, 08-01-2009 - 2:56pm
Also, how old is your child? It sounds like he/she may still be pretty young, and I think you definitely hear more unwanted comments like this when your child is younger. After my son got to be about 5 years old, people pretty much quit commenting about me having another. I guess they finally figured out that it wasn't going to happen! ;-)

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iVillage Member
Registered: 06-06-2002
Mon, 08-03-2009 - 7:03am

Hi


As other's have said you aren't doing your child a disservice!

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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-20-2001
Mon, 08-03-2009 - 9:06am

Hello!

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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-06-2001
Mon, 08-03-2009 - 10:15pm
Thank you all for your posts! It really makes me feel better that I'm not alone. We (including our son) feel complete now. We feel very close to each other and as one poster said, we are focused on him and are able to pour our undivided attention to him. And unlike the infamous misconception about onlies--he is not selfish at all. He is 4 and is growing up to be really well-adjusted and extremely self-sufficient. Another poster made such a good point--he is at an age when a lot of rude comments happen. Oh well, I'll just let them keep talking. Perhaps the rudeness stems from the fact that they are somewhat miserable for having multiples that they just want company. I won't fall for that.

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