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Question for Moms of Only Children - Dallas,TX

My husband and I are currently trying to decide if we would like to try for a 2nd child. My husband is 40 and I am 37 and we have a 14 month old daughter. Our daughter was conceived after years of fertility treatments, so there is no guarantee we could have a 2nd one anyway.

My question is.....do you feel any regrets only having one child? What are the positives and negatives that you've seen? Do you feel your child is well adjusted or do you feel they would have benefitted from a sibling?

I'm very much struggling with the decision because for us it is a very heavy financial burden just to ATTEMPT to have a 2nd child (whether by IVF or adoption), plus the physical and emotional toll it takes can be very taxing. On the other hand there is a huge part of me that feels I might regret not even trying for a 2nd....for us as well as for my daughter. She has one cousin who is quite a bit older than her and she doesn't see very much and the majority of our close friends have children much older than she is.

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Thanks to everyone for your responses. It has given me a lot to think about and consider. I very much appreciate your heartfelt thoughts and responses. It sounds like you all have wonderful families and beautiful children!

It's so nice to have a place where you can come and share your thoughts and fears and get support without judgement. We have been so very blessed with our daughter and I know my husband and I will eventually reach the right decision for our family.

Thanks again!

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I love love love only having one child, and I would not change it for anything in the world. LeeLee said it all!

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Hi,
I have 2 kids but I was 25 when I had my first.. but I wanted to answers anyways hope you don't mind.. I was an only child.. my mom was 38yrs old when she had me.. I was 2and half pounds..34 years ago.. she did fertility treatments.. and when I was born the doctor told her no more children.. I had a wonderful childhood.. and have such a close bond with my parents.. to this day I live 10 min away from them.. I see them at least 5 times a week.. I had lots of friends and was never lonely.. Have her get involed in activites she likes weather it be sports, art class, swimming.. thats how I made friends(when I was older) go to the local library for story time now.. I never thought anything of being an only child.. My mom said she never had any regrets and was so thankful.. Big hugs and best of luck.
L.

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I never intended to have just one child, but that is exactly what happened. I tried for years (fertility treatments) and I was never able to conceive again. My daughter is very well adjusted, in spite, of many set backs. Her father pretty much "threw her away" which resulted in clinical depression. She also has multiple learning disabilities. She is now almost finished with a college degree and is happy and content with her life and herself. Not having a sibling isn't a sentence to an unhappy life. Just love her and she will be awesome!

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Hello,
We have an only and we also had a difficult time getting pregnant and the childbirth was also challenging. Funny, though, I've always just wanted one child. While the new mommy hormones were coursing through me, I briefly thought of having another, then really thought about it and talked it through w/ my husband and we're super content w/ one and have no regrets.

Here are my views on our only child (I've posted this before when similar questions come up):

1. One child is less stressful! My patience is rarely stretched too thin (I'm NOT a very patient person by nature)

2. More funds on hand for outings/vacations -- we LOVE to travel

3. More one on one time with our child

4. No sibling rivalry or fighting

5. More time with my husband at night

6. Easier to focus on one child's homework at night

7. We only have a two bedroom house :)

8. Saving for college will be easier

9. My husband and I never have to "divide and conquer" as I see all of our friends having to do w/ their multiple kids

10. After nursing for 21 months, my boobs are still in pretty good shape. Doing it again? Forgetaboutit!!

11. I have the energy to play with our daughter!

12. Every little thing is special w/ our daughter :)

13. Family is very willing to watch one child while we have our adult time. Two or more? Don't think that would happen.

14. We honestly couldn't afford another child, whethere we were up for it or not

15. For us, one child is easier on our marriage

16. We're the 3 muskateers and a really close family

17. I never have to go through infancy stage again!

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Well, I certainly wouldn't buy into the old-fashioned stereotypes of only children being spoiled and selfish. All the adult only children I know are wonderful, generous people --much better than some who grew up with sibs! (I grew up fighting my older brother for the rare "treat" that got brought into the house, and, I have to admit, my husband laughs at me now for how defensive I get about sharing food! LOL)

I think only children really have a lot of advantages, and, don't forget that they don't know what it's like to have a sibling, so they can't really miss what they never had. Yes, sometimes they may wish for one, but all the only children I know were very happy to grow up as onlies, and my own son (who's an only) has stated unequivocally that he does NOT want a sibling. Personally, I didn't see a lot of advantages in my experiences with my own siblings, but others may have a different story. I think onlies tend to be closer to their parents, and really, it's YOU who teaches them what they need to know to get through life, not a sibling.

When it comes down to it, it really needs to be a decision based on you wanting another child, not what you think your daughter needs. She'll be just fine!

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I was 40 (DH was 45) when my son was born (he is 5-1/2). I have NEVER had any desire whatsoever for another. My son has never asked for a sibling.
The negatives:T

The brain deadening sleep deprived complete exhaustion of having an infant (harder than internship and residency IMO), diapers, strollers, diaper bags and all the logistic issues.

Making my 5 year old share his parents with a new intruder (sorry, that's how it seems to me).

The finances - college for two kids is really $$$ and I would never consider a child if I was not certain I could provide for him.

The possibility of having a disabled child who will completely change our family dynamic. While parents certainly love all their children, the siblings of disabled children often receive much less time and attention than they did before. I would not risk that. Many marriages do not survive an ill or disabled child - I would not risk my marriage or take that chance for my son.

The positives - everything that came with the child I already have. And I am just fine living with memories of when he was an infant. I don't need to do it over.

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I am the mother of an almost 9 year old daughter (only) and I love it. I struggled with it for a bit, as I have 3 sibs that I am pretty close to. But one thing I always yearned for as a kid was privacy, and my own space. My daughter is very social, has tons of friends, and is very well adjusted, but she is the same way as me. When she is done, she enjoys her time alone. She can entertain herself for hours and is rarely bored. I find many kids either get too much attention, or not enough, so they are constantly looking for it elsewhere. I love all the things that Lee Lee pointed out below! I can take my daughter anywhere, from travel to nice restaurants because she has always dined with adults and has excellent manners. It is also much, much better on your marriage and finances.

3 moms found this helpful

Hi,
I have 2 kids but I was 25 when I had my first.. but I wanted to answers anyways hope you don't mind.. I was an only child.. my mom was 38yrs old when she had me.. I was 2and half pounds..34 years ago.. she did fertility treatments.. and when I was born the doctor told her no more children.. I had a wonderful childhood.. and have such a close bond with my parents.. to this day I live 10 min away from them.. I see them at least 5 times a week.. I had lots of friends and was never lonely.. Have her get involed in activites she likes weather it be sports, art class, swimming.. thats how I made friends(when I was older) go to the local library for story time now.. I never thought anything of being an only child.. My mom said she never had any regrets and was so thankful.. Big hugs and best of luck.
L.

3 moms found this helpful

I love love love only having one child, and I would not change it for anything in the world. LeeLee said it all!

3 moms found this helpful

Our only daughter (16 ) is an only by choice and I've not had 1 regret whatsoever.

We love our family as it is. She is not a spoiled brat, she is learning our family business. She is driven to excel and well on her way. She is cared for financially for college and for when we are gone. We are a very stable and secure family, we tend to ourselves and take care of each other.

There are no guarantees siblings will be close and there is so much hype that is BS about onlies.

There are no right or wrong answers... Do what's best for your family.
If I had everything to do over.... I would not change a thing.

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My daughter is an only child and loves it. She is 7 and is extremely sweet and kind. Being an only child has not made her "spoiled" in any way. Plus there is always peace in our home. And the family finances can cover more things for her to do and experience. She's very outgoing and makes friends easily. I know what you are going through - we debated about having a second one too. But now I am so glad that we did not (especially upon returning from someone else's house where siblings are at war.)

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We are happy with one. No regrets. We've always know we would have one.

Separate your wants and needs from the implied "normal" feel by those with more than one. If YOU feel you want to try--by all means, go ahead. But consider the real issues.

Once a child gets involved in school & starts making friends, you will most likely have a house full of kids! We do! LOL

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You know what kinds bugs me? That so many people assume that the only reason you have one child is because you can't afford more or there is something medically wrong. We have a son and although sometimes I see siblings and it's so cute I know its not the right choice for us. I really love our life and don't see how it could really be much better. Plus, we had a scare with my son (he is ok) but I went through a VERY hard time for several months and I only got better (psychologically) because my son turned out to be ok. You say even trying for a second child is financially taxing...how are you going to afford raising one? Trust me, if someone were to get pregnant, I am all for going ahead with the pregnancy even if you are not financially sound. But to try when you know you are not in that position is a different story. Plus, you and your husband are older. How are you going to deal if your baby has a birth defect? I mean both financially as well as emotionally. It's really your decision but I really believe in thanking God for the blessings we have in life. My son is 3 and he is very happy, well adjusted, and the perfect addition to our family.

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I like to think of it like this. If you win the lottery would you go try to win again? Most likely not. If you have a happy life with just the three of you then just be happy with the blessing of your daughter you have now. Especially if its going to be a hardship with money and that you said its not guaranteed sadly that you will get pregnant again. So if its companionship that you wish your daughter had then seek out other moms in your area that both you and your daughter will be friends with and she can branch out socially.

Whatever you choose just be happy about it. :) try not to stress yourself out, you don't have to decide today .

Best wishes!

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LOVE, LOVE one daughter!. Couldn't imagine it any other or better way for us!!

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Similar situation... 9 pregnancies and one beautiful healthy daughter. We tried several times after she was born to have a second, but stopped when she was five and had to help me with a miss-carriage when my husband was out of town. It was awful, I'm just glad she doesn't remember it. We knew at that point to "give it up"... the attempts were costing too much in pain and treasure.... and were afraid with my advancing age the chances of having a special-needs child were increasing.

Our life is so good with our only child daughter. She's an easy child and LOVES being an only child. Her friends have siblings that they constantly bicker with, but also love dearly... so she sees it is both good and frustrating at times for her friends. She has a boy cousin her age both in Austin and France and loves them.... but they don't feel like siblings... they feel like cousins. She has lots of older cousins as well.... and we visit when we can, and its fun.

I worry when she grows up that she won't be an Aunt and get to enjoy that role. But... she could marry someone who has siblings and become an Aunt that way.

I KNOW we travel a lot more, and have a lot more money to do things with her because we have just the one. A great private school is affordable for her as we have just the one. Shopping is great fun with her... and its easy to provide a treat now and then to her for no particular reason. We "fit" very nicely in our hybrid cars.

She's not at all spoiled. I think that has to do more with discipline than lifestyle and what you buy them. She's polite, not sassy, and very respectful of adults and her peers. I couldn't ask for a better behaved child. One reason I think she is so grounded is that she's never had to fight for our attention. She doesn't need to "act out" to get attention... she always has it.

I look for little ways to give her a bit of freedom and "hanging out time" with her friends.... sleepovers.... taking her bike to the store with a friend (now that she's a teen)... letting her bring her friend with us to the gym, taking a friend with us when we do activities, etc.

She had bunk beds (now a queen bed that she's a teen) and window seat beds to facilitate the many, many sleepovers she's always had. I've been a girl scout leader and have filled this house many, many times with her GS sisters. She's made friends at school easily.

I can tell you the only time we really regret not having a sibling for her is when we are looking for a Six Flags partner and everyone she knows is busy... but usually that's not a problem.

I can just tell you... be the Kool-aid mom... and invite her friends over often. Be the GS leader... as so many of the moms of multiples are sooo busy they don't take on the challenge. Be the class volunteer mom. Be the adult volunteer for the class trips.

Stay very active in her life.... but remember to give as much freedom as her age will allow... don't smother her... and definitely manage her behavior with good, fair discipline. Hopefully she'll grow up into well behaved, respectful, kind woman. And what more could we really want?

Best of luck to you and congrats for "staying the course" and having the one... that's a great achievement in itself!

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We thought we would want more than one child. No problems with conception, had our son when I was 27. Just never felt the tingle again. We felt "complete" once he was born. We even questioned and waited for the baby tingle to come back, never did. We both LOVE kids and have always been involved in school and activities. We make sure our son has close friends and our house is where they want to hang out. Having siblings does NOT guarantee they will be friends and playmates. I am one of four and my husband is one of three. Although we love our siblings and care about them, none of us are truly friends. I read a great book that helped me debunk some myths and it gives you a guide to deciding whether or not to have more. Look up "Parenting your Only Child"

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I love the list LeeLee posted -- right on!

We have one child, a girl now 10. As I like to put it, I've never been good at multi-tasking. And having more than one seems to require a lot of multi-tasking.

One thing I'll add to the other folks' lists of what's great about having one child: If you are around enough to do it (not working outside the home full time) you can do a lot of volunteering at her schools, her camps, her athletic team/dance school/academic after-school clubs...whatever. You can get to know her classmates and teachers much better than if you were running around dividing your attention among several kids' schools and school lives. That means you will know your daughter better, too. I love that I can support my daughter in her school as well as in outside activities she does and don't have to be juggling several schedules at once and driving driving driving all the time to accommodate several kids' activities. I know parents who do it beautifully but it's just not for me.

One other thing: You asked if folks felt their only child would have "benefited from a sibling." There've been posts on here in the past where some moms have given others advice along the lines of, "You must have another child so your first child has a playmate/close friend for life." I think that's bunk. Please don't add the idea of "having one child to make another child's life better" to your list of things to consider. Any child should be wanted for him or herself -- not as a playmate or future friend for another child who's already on the planet. (And there's no guarantee the kids will get along anyway!). Not that you're saying that -- I just wanted to say that if you're getting any sort of "you just must have two so they'll be pals" pressure from family or friends -- it's just not right. Your daughter will have plenty of friends and playmates even if she doesn't see much of the cousins or your children's friends. Only children that I know are almost always outgoing and friendly and the ones who reach out and make lots of friends -- not the sterotype of the withdrawn, shy "only"!

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I only have 1 child. I don't regret it at all. He has wonderful friends, is a great sharer, and I love him to pieces.

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Speaking as an only child. I don't feel I missed out on anything especially after I saw all the bickering between my daughters when they were small. It tapered off some when they were in the pre teen years but now as teens and young adults they butt heads quite a bit again. When I was growing up there was alot of peace and quiet : )
With that being said my strong recommendation would be that you make friends that have children your daughters age and have plenty of play dates throughout her childhood and she will be fine. BTW the big plus to being an only child is being very independent...it has helped me my whole life : )

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I haven't read any answers and while I have three children, I am an only child myself, so I wanted to offer my perspective. I only had one cousin on the same side of the country and none of my parents friend's had kids my age. But I always had friends and things to do. As a kid I got to travel a lot. I had bunk beds and had a lot of sleepovers. Once the kds are in school they make plenty of friends on their own, you don't have to worry about providing them any more. I remember as a kid asking for a sibling, but it was more because everyone else had one. I'm just fine now and don't have a any problem with my parents choice.

I toyed with only having one child myself as I worried about being able to give more than one enough of my attention as well as my ability to raise siblings who were friends when I had no idea what that was like. But my husband has a brother who is his best friend so I look to him for guidance in that area.

Don't have another child because you think your daughter will want one. She will be fine either way. If you and your husband want one, then by all means.

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I am an only child and grew up without any relatives or many friends in the area. I always wanted a sibling, but I think either way is fine as long as your child has exposure to other children through sports, groups, and other activities. I never did anything besides school and hanging around with my parents, so I feel like I never learned the real social skills to talk with others my age. I myself have two boys that I take to all kinds of groups, camps, and events, so I think they will be socialized much better than I ever was. It all comes down to your own situation. Children are so expensive and if there is a question about whether or not you can afford a second child, maybe you should just be happy with your daughter. I think things happen for a reason, and being happy with what you have is very important. Good luck to you and your family!

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I haven't read the other answers but I thought I would give you my thoughts. I have an only daughter and I have apologized to her for it ahead of time. In the past 10 years we have lost my stepmom, mom, dad, mother in law, and stepfather. In almost all of these situations, it was a family discussion (I am one of 6, my husband one of 5) to make the life ending decision. I told my daughter, in these times, I can't imagine being the only person to make those decisions. That her having to make those decisions by herself if/when the time comes for her dad and I, will be hard. We all had each other to lean on. She has two kids so hopefully she won't be alone, but in those times, there is nothing better than reminiscing about being a kid. I know this is a silly reason to have another child, but I wish I had known back then, how hard it was going to be when everyone started passing, maybe I would have tried to have another child.
Good luck in your decision...

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I have to say, this is an extremely personal decision! You need to look inside yourself for the answer especially since you have to do fertility.

We were settled with our little girl. My DD was my 7th pregnancy and my only child. I went through a lot of surgeries and finally found out I have to take shots twice a day in my stomach to maintain a pregnancy.

When she was 2, we got pregnant and lost it. I decided at that point that I was done. I can tell you I had several reasons for stopping at my DD: finances, attention, fertility stress, shot phobia, no guaranty they will like each other... etc. So, for the past 2 years, I had settled into it just being DD and thinking I was near menopause. Well, God made the decision to give me a 40th bday present. I am currently pregnant with my 9th and last pregnancy. Everything is going well.. I am back to taking the shots, but it's worth it!

On another note, my nephew is an only. He is an amazing guy!!! He is now 16, so not really close to my daughter's age, but they are so bonded. I asked him one day about if he ever wanted a sibling and he answered no... most of his friends bro/sis are annoying and he gets more attention from his parents than they do. Also, he can go to any college he wants, and, for the next few years, they are traveling the country each summer to decide where he wants to go. They love their family of 3 and it works for them!

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I think you should be asking those of us who ARE only children and don't have siblings what we think. =) I'm 44 and an only child and hate it. I don't have any immediate family exept my mom. Once she is gone, it will only be me and my hubby and kids. I don't have nieces or nephews, my kids don't have cousins or aunts or uncles. I think its great to be an only child when you are young and everyone is still alive and you are spoiled. But when the older generations start dying and you are left alone, its not so fun. Just another perspective to look at. I didn't read your prior posts and have been on vac so I'm trying to get caught up. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

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Maybe reading this will help you make your decision, or have a clearer picture:
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,###-###-...

I definitely helped me to be better at piece with the decision with having 1 child. I know that I will be a better mom to one child than I would to two. I know that and so I made my peace with having one, even though my heart would like another (or even 2). I work fulltime and the stress would be too much, and I would be stressed out and that would be showered unto my family... So the right choice is for us to just have 1.

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We have one daughter who is almost 12. I have never really wanted to go through another pregancy (I have major back problems and I'm not willing to have my back injected again - I can't have a vaginal delivery - it has to be c-section and ONE was more than enough for me). Sooo . . . I never felt the need to have another one. Once in a great while, I'll wish my daughter had a sibling, but as I've seen too often, siblings aren't always close. Our house is just big enough for the 3 of us. My daughter is mature, giving, out-going and IMO not spoiled. We don't allow the world to revolve around her even though it sometimes does. Financially, one is fine for us. She has friends & lots of cousins who she's close to. I was a little sad for her the other night when she was standing on line for an amusement ride by herself. She doesn't seem to mind and has told us that she doesn't really feel like she's missing anything by not having a sibling. I'm one of three girls and I am sad that she'll never have a sister, but I don't dwell on that long. This is what our family is and we're happy.

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I never intended to have just one child, but that is exactly what happened. I tried for years (fertility treatments) and I was never able to conceive again. My daughter is very well adjusted, in spite, of many set backs. Her father pretty much "threw her away" which resulted in clinical depression. She also has multiple learning disabilities. She is now almost finished with a college degree and is happy and content with her life and herself. Not having a sibling isn't a sentence to an unhappy life. Just love her and she will be awesome!

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I am the mother of a now-17 only child, a daughter. I had several miscarriages. She herself had a birth defect and spent months in the hospital with 2+ years of PT & OT but is completely fine now.

Anyway, I feel my daughter is well-adjusted & has many friends. I think I did indulge her to some extent (with material things) but my mother was the only person who commented on that. My daughter still likes thrift shops, so I guess I didn't do too much damage. She was a compliant child, so I lucked out in that regard. When she was younger, she definitely related more to adults than kids.

I did feel worn out from making sure she went to most birthday parties/events....I felt she needed to be around others, since we lived far from other relatives for many years.

She did wish for a sibling but had plenty of playmates, especially when we lived in Shanghai for 3 years, and we were required to live in teacher housing (nice apt). There were tons of teachers' kids around. Never a dull moment when she was 12-15 years of age. She now has a thriving babysitting "business."

I probably shouldn't share so much of this with her, but my only sibling, a brother, and I are having all kinds of issues now that my mom has dementia; my formerly sweet brother is now treating me like I am one of HIS kids. I get really frustrated with him, so that's another thing -- there is no telling if sibling will be friends for life. I love him, but I don't even want to be around him.... Sigh -- TMI I know...

I personally don't regret only having one. My husband wanted to adopt but I didn't feel able to do that. He is pretty understanding!

The only annoying thing was all the intrusive questions from people but since I went through menopause kind of early @ age 44, it was somewhat amusing after that. :/

Good luck & God bless your decision...

p.s. a very close friend of mine's parents were BOTH onlies -- so that meant she & her 2 brothers have no cousins. The family joked they could have family reunions in their backseat! LOL!!

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I'm an only child. I loved having all the attention and love. There is just one thing that bothers me though....my own DD will not have ANY aunts, uncles or cousins from my side of the family. My husband only has one sibling and they are not close. Plus, we heard they are having trouble conceiving. So my daughter may very well have zero aunts, uncles or cousins. In light of that, I am determined to give her at least one sibling.
So just something to think about....if your child remains an only child...if she has kids she will be in my position...feeling sad that they won't have any extended family from her side, besides grandparents.

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I wish now that we had tried for a 2nd due to the same situation - no siblings OR cousins. It's more noticeable when they are past four. But not need to go to any expense -- just see what happens naturally!

I am an only child and had always wished to have a sibling. I am in my 40's and still wish I had a sibling to share things with (funny stuff, family stuff, husband stuff etc.). Now that my folks are older and being an only child everything falls on me to handle things for them (which I don't mind) but sometimes its a lot of work. My folks aren't in the best of health. I have an only child and I also went through IVF to get pregnant. We tried to have more but it wasn't meant to be. I know for a fact that my son would like a sibling and I feel for him and understand him. If I was younger I would have definitely given it more effort to get pregnant again. I was already in my early 40's when we tried to conceive again. Good luck to you on whatever decision you make.

There are tons of well-adjusted, happy children/adults out there. My cousins both married only children (girls) and they are some of the sweetest most nuturing people I know. My step daughter was an "only" until we had ours 11 years later - and is awesome. There really are pros and cons to both situations. You aren't doing your daughter a disservice by not having another. Best of luck with your decision.

People often romanticize what it would be like having a sibling. I had a sibling, and it was NOT a perfect loving experience. He was an alcoholic and in some ways it was often more of a burden than a blessing. I have 2 (much older) stepkids, who love each other and my daughter. We chose to not have a second child close in age because I wanted to experience all of her childhood without having to balance my time with her and her needs with a siblings.
She goes to daycare so she gets lots of interaction with other kids, and so far seems to be turning out OK.

I say enjoy the one you have, and don't go for something that might or might not match your expectations.

I have one boy who is 6 and I can see how you feel about the positive and the negative. On one side I am SO glad that I was lucky enough to give him my undivided attention during those years he was really small. I enjoy that we get to do a lot of things just the two of us. Obviously it's easier to bring one kid along vs. 2. I think that he is doing well and I don't see any major problems to him not having a sibling. When we have other kiddos over and he's fighting with them, I love when they leave and he has nobody to fight w/.

On the other side I wish that he had a sibling b/c he is terrible at sharing. I also sometimes get tired of him expecting me to be his playmate and I wish I could say go play w/your brother/sister.

I think there's good and bad to both. In some ways I'd love another and in some ways I love only having one. Good luck in whatever you decide and enjoy your little one :-)

I'm in a very similar situation as you and I ponder this every single day. Our daughter is 6, my husband is 41 and I'm 39. Our biggest challenge with not doing it sooner is the whole financial aspect. We had intended on trying for a second when my daughter was out of diapers but here she is, 6 years old, and we haven't done anything. I'm trying to accept the fact that we will have an only child but I have extreme guilt about her not having a sibling. Mostly for when my husband and I are old and worrying that she won't have that sibling support to deal with aging parents. My sister has a daughter who's 15 so there's that age gap as well. I've been praying about it and am so tempted to just go for it, but seriously, financially it would be really bad for us right now. On the other hand, I'm reaching the point where it will no longer be an option. My answer may not be helpful to you other than to let you know that you are not alone with the delimma. I have always known that I'd have two so it's a hard reality for me to accept. My daughter has also been saying for about 2 years now that she wants me to have a baby. Sigh... All I can do is to wish you luck and to tell you to pray about it if that is your choice.

Weird thing about my family - both of my parents are only children, so I do not have any aunts, uncles, or cousins. It never really bothered me until I got older, and realized I'd never been through a range of life experiences like marriage, birth, death, squabbles, et cetera. As a child, I envied the other kids I knew who didn't have siblings like crazy. As an adult, I have a younger brother but we aren't very close. My grandparents used to tell me how lucky we were and that someday we'd grow to appreciate each other, but that kind of hasn't happened, at least not yet.

All that said - dear hubby and I elected to have one and be done.Our reasons are mostly practical for not having more children. While our daughter is delightful, she has special needs, and frankly it's exhausting on all fronts. We can NOT handle another high-needs child, and the risk of that happening is much higher now that I'm over 40.

Whatever you decide - good luck!

I am the fourth child out of five and my husband and I have one daughter, who is now 5. We've thought about another, and my daughter has asked for a sibling a few times, usually after spending time with a friend who has a sibling. But I was really okay with doing the 'baby thing' just once. I love her independance now and we have so much fun together. I think I know my daughter a lot better than my parents knew me - just from sheer numbers. Although my two sisters and I are now close as adults we hated each other as kids and I still only speak to my brothers about once a year. Not from my choice. Just because there are aunts and uncles still doesn't mean they'll be close. Siblings can become friends but they can also be a source of unbelievable trauma. Ever had an older sibling drag you up the stairs by your hair? I have. I don't think I'd be a great mom to more than one kid. I'd always be paranoid about them thinking I love one more than the other. Probably because favorites were pretty obvious in my family - a big source of sibling resentment. It was the same case in my husband's family and as a result his relationship w/ his brother is strained to this day. Believe it or not I actually had great parents. I just think they were flawed and I don't believe that a passing regret about a sibling for my daughter or a request from her is a good enough reason to try for another. If I'm not absolutely passionate about another child and able to afford one financially I have no business having another. Since my husband has declared himself as content as I we'll probably stay with our current family. I feel blessed, not stressed. I am completely in love with my husband and my daughter. It's a good place to be.

what about adoption?

I come from a long line of only children and I have one girl. This is such a personal decision. I am quite content having one but this is what I know. There are benefits to having both one or two, but being well adjusted, lonely, etc, has nothing to do with it.

Some of this depends on what kind of girl you have. My daughter is an introvert and is fine with being an only. I have other friends with onlys, extremely extroverted and are hoping for another for companionship.

My daughter and I are fairly independent, solitary types, but we have a LOT of friends. I think of it as choosing my tribe, an extended family for my daughter: adults and children. This is extremely important to me because the relationship between my daughter and I is SO close. If anything were to ever happen to me, I want a lot of people around who love her, aside from grandparents and her dad. The more love in her life, the better, but it does not always come from a sibling.

I tried to have a second child for about 2 years straight to no avail.. I didn't use fertility treatments either as I was of the belief that IF it was meant to happen it would. As time passed, I was saddened that I did not conceive again , especially since my first child was conceived so easily.. Then as time passed and as my son (who is now nine) kept saying he wanted to remain "single" each time I mentioned having another sibling, the idea wore off of me and now, although NOT 100% devoid of the thought of a second child, I am about 85% closer to realizing and being ok with just having one. I will add that I feel very blessed to have my son and think that if this is one child then WOW I definitely lucked out. He is just the best thing in the world that ever happened to me.. I always tell him that I hit the jackpot when he was born and to this day, nothing has changed. While I sometimes might see another little baby and think, I want to have that again in my life, I am also content in knowing that realizing it is harder to conceive than I might have ever thought (esp when I was younger) it makes me very aware of how special my son is... so yeah, you'll have some regret for not trying and perhaps that is reason enough to try. on the other hand, as you say, it's a huge financial burden... while I love kids...... you have to consider and weigh your options, is having a second going to mean that your first child may not have as many opportunities as she might otherwise have? meaning.. take college... it's a lot more expensive to pay for two than one. now, I don't mean to equate kids vs money.. that isn't my point. it's rather, you also have to work within your life means.. and IF having a second isn't truly feasible, then perhaps you don't do it... I would add that since I only have one, I feel like I want to do my very best with what I have... there are many different ways to look at this.. so it's good to make a list of all the perceived pros and cons....
Lastly, I used to think that since my son didn't have siblings he wouldn't have as close a family ties.. but that really isn't true.. look at how many people have siblings and none of them speak to one another.. I think if anything, my son has taught me that he will be just fine and so far attracts loving people into his life. .they may not all be blood-related and relatives but they are loving and that is what counts... so try and view this from all angles..

either way, I wish you all the best.. :)

Speaking as an only child, I always wanted a sibiling, I guess because my parents had many siblings and they also had more than one child, so I always felt left out. I still wish I had a sibiling. I often think about how am I going to take of my mom when she is not able to take care of herself. I have four children and yes they do fight but they also share, play together and help each other.

Thank you for posting this and for all the great responses. I am in a VERY similar situation to the OP, so this is very good for me to read. It's high unlikely that we can conceive again after our first was conceived on the first try. He's now 5, and we have TTC another for 2 years now with help from a doctor. We already knew we didn't want to go to extreme IF treatment measures, and I've had one m/c through all this. I am still struggling with the situation, knowing that DS will be the only one. I ADORE him more than anything, but I would love to still have another baby. I loved the infant stage. And, although maybe I'm just forgetting all those sleepless nights, we had it pretty easy with DS, so we were lucky :)

Anyway, it's very nice to read these responses. I wish I could send this to every person that asks me EVERY DAY when we'll have another. ugh. But as I am just now kinda coming to terms with this, I'm glad to read this.

I don't regret having just one child, but I'd still like to have more. We had many miscarriages after our first (only) was born. Once she gets in school, even preschool, she'll make all kinds of friends. Mine is very good at making friends almost anywhere she goes. She does occasionally comment on the fact that when she had kids they won't have any cousins, and I worry that she alone will have the burden of her dad and me as we get older. She's doing great though, and she has lots of cousins for family support. I know she'll be fine. It's really a personal decision.

Also consider that some women do get pregnant without help after having a first child. The body just knows what to do or something, so it's possible it will be a little easier this time around. If you do decide to try, my advice would be to set a limit ahead of time so you're not let down when you stop trying. If you know, "this is the last attempt", I think it makes it a little easier. I always thought I'd have more than one child, so it was hard not having any control over that and then going back and forth on whether to try any more is hard. I'd like to give it just one more attempt so I can say if it doesn't work this time, I'm ready to be done.

Give yourselves a little time to think it over. It's certainly nice to only have to pack up one child to go somewhere or worry about just one car seat. Then there's also only one to put through college and to pay for a wedding. :) You and your husband should be on the same page.

I haven't read all the responses, but I am an only child. I grew up with my best friend living across the street, so I always had someone to play with, but I also had a much old half-brother and half-sister, and even now, regret that I didn't have someone close in age that I could turn to who (mostly) had the same life experiences that I had. (I told my half-sister this a few years ago... she bluntly informed me she NEVER wanted a close sibling. So it obviously varies.)

Anyway, I have a 4 year old daughter and am currently pregnant. But we tried for over a year to get pregnant this time, and I decided that if we were going to have to do in-vitro or further treatments that would financially tax us, my daughter would just be an only child, and we would try to get her involved in anything she's interested in to have "sibling-like" friends through the years. That's the role my best friend played... she was almost like a sister... only more religious and very sheltered, so there were things we definitely couldn't talk about growing up.

I don't think either decision will be bad. Your daughter will grow up loved either way.

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