Advice on having an only child or should we have a second? — The Bump
One & Done: Only child

Advice on having an only child or should we have a second?

gwht80gwht80 member
edited June 2015 in One & Done: Only child
I am incredibly torn and thought it would be a good to post here to hear other mother's thoughts/feelings/experiences. I have a smart, wonderful, very wild almost 3 year old daughter. I love her beyond what I ever thought possible. I have become a SAHM and love that I am able to watch her grow and flourish all day (although I am completely Work was so much I want to travel and show her the world and share every experience possible. My mother passed away a few months ago which I am devastated about for many reasons but one main reason is she is not going to be able to do all things she wanted to do with my little girl. So I feel I need and want to make sure she has the experiences she would have had with my mother. So here is where my issue lies. I always thought we would have 2 kids. My husband goes back and forth on having a second child for practical reasons i.e. We live in the city and have a very small 2 bedroom apt. But some days he says we will make it work, etc. But I am really struggling on deciding if we should have another child. For one it saddens me my mom will not be here to even meet my second. And can I devote enough time to 2 kids to share all life's experiences with them? I mean the cost of traveling with a family of four...yikes! Apart of me feels filled emotionally with my one little girl yet apart of me wonders if I am doing her an injustice by not giving her a sibling. So I solicit your advice and experiences...Did having a 2nd child take away a lot of attention from your first? Do children really need a sibling? Does anyone have kids 4 years apart and did it help/hurt that your first was several years older? If you have an only child what are the positives/negatives? What was your aha moment when deciding not to have another child? And lastly I would really love anyone that has really struggled with the decision themselves and how they eventually decided.

Re: Advice on having an only child or should we have a second?

  • I have 2 sons right now (expecting daughter in Sept!) but they are 9 years apart-13 & 4. I wish my husband and I had them closer together but it didn't work out that way.  My oldest to this day still wished he had a sibling to chum around with that is closer in age with him and I completely understand.  I had my brother (1 year younger than me) and sister (2 years older than me)... I hated them back then but we are extremely close now.  We had each other to play with, to cry with, to get in trouble with;-)  We all will have 3 kids each and all of our kids are close.  I also have 2 cousins who were only childs... and they always say how lucky we are to have siblings. I get it.  Just from experience growing up I always wanted to make sure I at least 2 kids when I was older.  But this is just me:)

  • My son is an extremely active almost two year old. Due to my husband's upbringing, he wasn't too thrilled on the idea of another baby. Whenever I'd bring it up, he'd just change the subject. I'm also a SAHM.

    Well a few months ago, we found out we were expecting, unexpectedly. I was taking the pill when I got my positive. Needless to say a positive pregnancy test was followed by feelings of how am I going to love another baby as much as I love my son. While my husband, was absolutely thrilled! We're now excited about expecting another baby and the forever friend that my son will have.

    So I guess what I'm saying is, it can happen when you least expect it. We were told we wouldn't get pregnant without help. We had fertility treatments for my son.

    You could always name your second child after your mom. Kind of a tribute to her.
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  • I have an only child and I am positive that I don't want another. I am Active Duty military and it's already hard enough enduring deployments and year long tours away, I wouldn't want to add another baby to that mix. There are so many positives- traveling is do-able, cheaper and easy with 2 parents and one child. There's a lot of things that he's able to experience- right now he is in Karate and takes swim class at the YMCA (there's no way we'd be able to afford that for 2 children). And honestly, we feel complete. The only negative that I have is that  I will never get to experience watching a daughter get her period, or go to prom, get married, have a baby, etc.
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  • As an only child, and a mom to one (and it will stay one), yes...I can say now that it would have been nice to have had a sibling, but then it's all I know, and growing up, I didn't feel the lack.  I was always great at entertaining myself, and have always been very independent.

    Basically, you won't be damaging your daughter if she doesn't have a sibling.  She'll have her own family too when she's grown, so won't ever be 'alone'.
  • I loved being an only child and even in my adult life, I don't feel like I'm missing anything by not having a sibling. My parents were and still are amazing friends. To be perfectly honest, since I've never had to do it..The thought of sharing them with a sibling seems so bizarre to me.
  • I have two daughters, one is 4 years old and the other is 4 months old. So I have the same age difference that you would be looking at, but my circumstances are different in that my husband and I work full time and we live on the outside of a large city in a three bedroom house. The age difference is working well so far. We had both of the girls at home for three months. The first couple of weeks were hard, but after that we got the baby on a eat, change/play, nap cycle. Our older daughter was able to understand that she and the baby had to take turns getting attention. I think having a sibling helps gain more independence and self-reliance, since they get less one on one parent time. My older daughter loves being an older sister and enjoys playing with her and being a helper. I suggest you sit down with your husband and lay out a financial plan for having a second child. Could you afford a bigger place? Would you have to move out of the city and increase your husbands commute time? How many trips would you have to cut out of your future plans? When your children are older, could you work part-time out of your home to earn extra money for travel? Having a more concrete view of what life with a second child would be like for you and your family is the best way to tell whether you are willing to make the sacrifices involved.
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