I’m looking to hear from people who are one and done and happy with their choice. Would also love to know what made you decide. I do not want to hear why you ultimately decided to have 2 and it’s great. Ha sorry, but I already hear that enough.
I am pretty sure I want just the one kid (3 yo DD) but I feel an incredible amount of guilt and fear of regret. I never had an urge to have kids but did it because my DH wanted to and it seemed like a life experience I wanted to have. And it’s the best. She is the most amazing kid and I am happier than I could have ever imagined. I don’t want to mess that up with another kid. Life is fun and easy right now. I’m an only child and it was totally fine. That said, I feel like I am doing her a horrible disservice and am just a selfish, awful person for this. There must be a reason everyone else has more than one kid, so should I too? She has cousins but they live cross country though we’d consider moving to be closer to them. My DH would like another but would be happy with 1.
Anyway, sorry for the rambling! Really I think I want people to justify my choice in having one kid. It keeps me up at night. I’m 39 so need to decide soon if we are trying for #2.
nectarine / 2458 posts
I’m not one and done, but I always wanted a big family. I just wanted to say that I have a few friends who are one and done and they are all super happy with their choice. Also I feel like their kids are way better behaved than those of us who have bigger households because they get so much 1:1 attention and coaching for how to handle big feelings. If you feel in your heart that you’re done, I think that’s plenty of reason to celebrate your decision and move forward. There’s pros and cons to each choice and the only way to go wrong I think is to be untrue to yourself.
nectarine / 2010 posts
We're one and done and I'm... content? I'm not unhappy with the choice but I'm not 100% happy either. DH and I could never reach an agreement. Before DD was born I was convinced I wanted only one and DH wanted at least two. But at some point after she was born we flip flopped - I wanted two and DH wanted one. We would talk about it a little, table the discussion for a set period of time, talk some more, table it again, and repeat many times.
In my head I knew two things: I would only have another if DH decided he actually wanted another. And that eventually if we hadn't made a decision to have another, at some point it would feel like we waited too long and didn't want to go back. I spent a lot of time thinking about the positives of only have one (and found a lot of them!). I focused on the life we were living in the moment.
Last summer DD was 5.5, DH was still willing to discuss but wasn't willing to commit to another. I realized that we had hit the point of waiting too long (for me). And add in covid to further complicate it. It was time to accept and embrace our family of three. We sold the baby stuff we had been holding on to. I ordered a custom watercolor portrait of the three of us that I had been putting off in case we had another.
I worry about regretting it - a lot. I'm still sad to never be pregnant and have a tiny newborn again. I have a silly thought that if we had two the chances would be higher that at least one would want kids and give us grand kids . BUT I love our family of three. I love how much time we can both dedicate to DD. How much time we have together. I like that DH and I can both still have time to fit in our hobbies easily. That our schedules won't be extra crazy. That one of us should always be able to attend whatever activities or events she has without juggling another kid. I have found an amazing groove parenting one kid and I'm not sure my personality would work as well with two. I think even though I wanted another my happiness is probably greater, in many ways, with only one.
Honestly, the hardest part is hearing all the annoying opinions from other people. They act like I'm crazy when they hear she's an only. But they also complain about a lot of aspects of having more than one. So who knows? I just try to ignore them but it was harder when I was still accepting our choice.
And if it helps I grew up kind of as an only and kind of with siblings. I have two half sisters from my dad's second marriage but they are 10 and 13 years younger than I am. I essentially grew up as an only and LOVED it. I was so disappointed when they were born. We are closer now, but I don't have any sort of real sibling relationship with them. DH has a brother that is 18 months younger than him. They aren't close at all. There's no major issue between them but they have nothing in common and don't especially enjoy spending time together. SO siblings aren't a guarantee of anything.
Sorry for the novel. All that to say that having only one is a perfectly acceptable choice. There are a lot of amazing positives.
nectarine / 2047 posts
We are one and done and also feel content. DS is 5.25 years old and life as a family of 3 is so so enjoyable. We have so much time together and time for DH and I to have hobbies as well. We are able to afford a house in a very high cost of living area, travel, eat out, go to museums etc while still saving money for all of our futures. We fit in one row on an airplane and in one hotel room
DS is so smart, kind, caring and curious and we have been able to nurture his true self without other obligations or distractions. He is so special to us and it makes me so happy that he knows how loved and wanted he is in our family every single day. I also love that we have so much time and energy for him.
For myself personally, I am able to be the type of mother I want to be: patient, loving, understanding, calm and most of all HAPPY. I have a long history of anxiety and perfectionism and I know that I wouldn’t be able to mother the way I really want to (while working full time at a job I love and never want to give up) with more than 1 child. Our days are relaxed, and full of love and laughter.
I have a younger sister and we are best friends so I totally get your feelings about that. I too feel guilty sometimes because I know DS would be an amazing big brother. I just try to remember everything I wrote above and that our family is perfect for us. So many people tell me that I’m such a good mother so I should have more kids and I tell them that I’m such a good mother because I have ONE kid!
Also, Siblings don’t automatically equal BFFs (DH can attest to that!) and I also think it’s really odd to have a child to “give” the older kid a sibling. Children are not gifts to bestow onto their siblings. If YOU want another child, you should have one. If you only want another because you think you should or because you think that your child should have a sibling, then it might not be such a great idea. My opinion of course.
Anyway, ramble city over here too but all in all, I have the same feelings of guilt and questioning my decision AND I still know this is the right thing for our family.
persimmon / 1129 posts
I’m not one and done, but have multiple friends that are. They’re content with their decision! I think ultimately it’s whatever works best for you and your family, and it’s what you want personally, not what you feel like you should want.
grapefruit / 4466 posts
I don't have personal experience with this, but just wanted to say that we actually have more friends who are one and done than who have multiple kids, so it is not as if everyone has figured out something you are missing. This got me to wondering how many families are one and done, and I found this with a quick google search: "A recent Pew Research Center study found the number of women who reached the end of their child bearing years with only one child doubled in the last generation, from 11 percent in 1976 to 22 percent in 2015. Census data shows one-child families are the fastest growing family unit in the United States." So you are in great company, and more and more people joining you every year
persimmon / 1281 posts
I’m one and done and happy. The ONLY reason I wish I had two is when DS wants to play and I’d rather not. So not having a built in playmate is a bummer sometimes and he probably gets a little more screen time than his peers 🤷♀️
I didn’t enjoy the newborn year at all, didn’t love being pregnant and my relationship suffered greatly (we ended up divorcing-major differences came out after we had a child and ended up not being a good match). I love that I’m able to focus all my attention on my son and will be able to give him more because I’ll have more resources with only one child.
blogger / apricot / 439 posts
Like others who have commented, I'm not one-and-done but I had twins and actually went through a lot of the same thinking/agonizing around going for a third. We ultimately decided not to, but we have a lot of frozen embryos left over and so it feels like a decision that periodically flares up every time we get the freezer bill.
I will say that in the thick of parenting two at the ages of 2 and 3, I told pretty much EVERYONE in my circle who was child-free that they should seriously consider having just one child (if they want children at all). I really, really meant that. Those years were really hard and I had moments of intense jealousy of my friends with one child. Heck, even strangers - I remember watching a couple with one child at the airport once when I was so exhausted and overwhelmed with my tantruming twins and actually crying a little bit.
My best friend in the entire world is my sister, and I love that relationship. But I have also had really serious conversations with her about how amazing it would be for her to be one-and-done. And that's definitely the way she's leaning.
For whatever reason, I also have a lot of friends (including my husband) who are only children. And they are really happy, well-adjusted people so I don't think they "missed out" in any way by not having a sibling.
Sorry for all the scrambled thoughts. Bottom line: If I were you, I wouldn't feel bad for a second about declining to go for the second. And I'd work to let go of those feelings of guilt!
persimmon / 1483 posts
Similar to others, this isn't exactly the perspective that you were looking for, but we were almost one and done, for a variety of reasons. And even though we ended up having a second, I see lots of positives to having just one kid. By the time I got pregnant with #2, DS was already 6 years old, so we were in a great groove as a family of 3. DH and I had time for our own hobbies, and we had a little extra money and time to travel. Our DS has some friends and cousins he has known since birth, who he will hopefully have for a lifetime, so I felt like he had some good connections and extended support. He would have been fine if he had continued being an only.
Like others have said, having siblings is no guarantee of a good relationship and connection. My DH has two siblings. We see them 3 times a year when we go visit, but otherwise they aren't in touch. And if we really needed something or he needed support, I don't think they would be people he would go to.
If you and your DH feel like you are content as a family of 3, be confident that it is the best decision for you!
cherry / 114 posts
This is me! My daughter is almost 3 and we are so content with our little triangle family. There are some one and done facebook groups (including one and done of the fence) and https://www.reddit.com/r/oneanddone/. They were so helpful to me when I was deciding. They helped me see that there are so many other wonderful reasons to being one and done. When people ask about a second I joke to people we did it right the first time. She's too perfect. Ha! As you said, our life is easy and fun.
I echo everything @peaches1038 said.
Now with all that said, I do know two different older woman who regret not having more. One was a single mom who never remarried/ had more children. The other one didn't have more children because they were just starting their careers and were worried about money. She wished she had just bit the bullet and had more knowing in the end it would have all worked out.
kiwi / 544 posts
@catgirl: @peaches1038: @Portboston: @oldschooolmama: thank you!! So helpful to hear positive experiences like this. Sounds like you all have lovely, loving families. Like you all, I really value our time as a family of 3 and the fact that it’s not crazy or chaotic and we really all get quality time together, including my DH and me. I don’t think I’d love shuffling kids around to different things and spending lots of time apart on weekends. We do everything together and I like it. I also forgot to say that I absolutely hated being pregnant (even though it was a normal pregnancy) and just dread doing it again. I have so much anxiety around it.
Thanks to all who responded with positive stories and reassurance that it’s fine and normal! I still have to figure it all out but am definitely leaning strongly toward one and only.
blogger / nectarine / 2043 posts
@JJ2626: Just to chime in, I'm one and done and happy about it. My daughter is almost 8 and I haven't had any hankering for another. I've gone through the same thought process as you are but honestly, those didn't sound like good reasons for me to become a parent again. I want my daughter to have a community but it doesn't have to be biological. I have a fair amount of friends and role models who have only's and have done an amazing job building friendships so that their kids are growing up with others around and I hope to do the same for my daughter over time. There is also no guarantee- I have a brother two years younger, my mom openly said she had two kids so that we had each other, but we aren't close at all (and now I'm dealing with her guilt over failing at building our relationship). My husband has a brother much younger than him and they're very close. You just never know. And finally, yes, there's some selfishness here but I'm learning slowly that this is OK. I had a tough postpartum period where I lost myself big time. It's only in the last 3-4 years that I've started to regain a sense of self and I do think I might lose it again if I had another child and that would disservice everyone. So I'm one and done and I'm looking forward to having a really full life with my daughter and hopefully a community we'll build (we moved to a new neighborhood right before the pandemic).
nectarine / 2010 posts
@JJ2626: I hope you are able to come to a decision that is right for your family. Being one and done is the best choice for my family. Sometimes I imagine the sister DD could have been, or what it would be like to snuggle and care for another little. I occasionally get baby fever or feel jealous when friends have their second or third. Those feelings are real and valid, I can't force them out of existence. BUT I know the choice we made was, is, and continues to be the best one for our family. I just want you to know that if you decide to be one and done you might still have some of those feelings. (And you might not, also normal).
coconut / 8472 posts
Having two kids can be really hard. There’s a saying, something like, “one is one and two is ten.” And that describes my kids perfectly. Separately each of my kids are a thousand times easier than when they’re together. And I know people say they’ll have someone to play with if they have a sibling, but I kinda hate when they play together because it always turns into a fight.
I really really wanted a second. I was so jealous of my SIL when she had an oops baby and we were waiting so we could space out daycare costs. But sometimes I looks back and go WTF were we thinking?! Things were so much simpler with one!
I mean I love my younger child. But she’s a much more difficult personality than my older one. And two can just be a LOT some days. So if you are on the fence and don’t really feel bought into having two, do not do it.
apricot / 430 posts
So, a bit of a different perspective: I'm an only, and while I think my parents struggled a bit with being one-and-done at times, I can say that from my perspective, I am very happy with their decision to only have one! I am very close with both my parents and have been able to learn and do so much with each of them and with them together as a couple.
Funnily enough, DH is an only as well. We are both super close to our parents and totally get that about each other. We both grew up with chosen extended family that enriched our lives in huge ways, often more so than our "blood" family. We chose to be 2 and done, in part because we wanted to experience two children and at least view the sibling experience. Also our children will have no cousins and we moved hundreds of miles away from our family and friends, so they will literally only have each other. It was a gamble for us, and while I adore our DD and the growing relationship between DD and DS, at times I miss our "only DS" days and DH and I both would have been very content with only one if our second pregnancy wasn't to be.
All this to say, if you are content, the upsides I have experienced to HAVING and BEING only child are huge.
pomelo / 5084 posts
@JJ2626: Us! Except our roles are reversed - I would have had a second baby but my spouse was firmly decided that she only wanted one child. He is 5 now and an absolute delight - most of the time. 🤣 While I admittedly did feel like I was missing out when alllll of my friends got pregnant with their second (and third!) kids, it was because of my own desire if that makes sense - I 10000000% believe that there is zero disservice done to the child to not “give him” a sibling. I just wanted to slow down time really - I wanted a baby to snuggle again. Now that we’re pretty far past that stage I feel happy and settled and the biggest thing I remind myself is this - we are BARELY able to hold it together with one child and two demanding careers. We don’t have local family help and we are maxed out. One child still makes you a parent. You’re really not missing out on anything at all. ️
bananas / 9227 posts
We are one and done and happy! My little girl is our world There's no balancing of time or expenses. No bickering, no worries about huge travel expenses (during the before times). We're lucky enough to live near a few of her classmates, so when/IF things get back to normal, they can play together and we can splurge a little with their activities. Then her friends go home ... no bickering
But what really cemented our decision was my age and health. I have been sick a lot the past few years and I think the stress of a pregnancy would be too much on my body.
blogger / nectarine / 2043 posts
@wrkbrk: I resonate with this big time. My career is very important to me, and having one kid has allowed me to have the best of both worlds when it comes to parenting and career (though it's not without challenges, especially now that we've been home together for a year!). I do miss the cuddly baby stage too but I'm excited for all the experiences of having a bigger kid too - more independence, more travel together without huge scheduling worries, ability to share our favorite things with her and vice versa.
pomelo / 5084 posts
@Mrs. Carrot: Exactly. I agree with everything you said. I like it for SO many reasons and it makes so much sense for us. The only “pang” I have is how damn fast he is growing and knowing that I won’t ever have a baby again. But you know what? That would happen with a second, too. It would just be delayed a few years!
nectarine / 2047 posts
@wrkbrk: @Mrs. Carrot: I agree about missing the baby stage. I always say that I would love to have baby DS again, not start over with another one! I also like thinking that I will miss the last age my son was AND am excited to meet the next age son! (I will miss 5 yo DS and am so excited to ‘meet’ 6 yo DS)
grapefruit / 4455 posts
We have more than one but know a lot of people with only one who are happy with one. Why fix what isn't broken?
On the other end of that we often think we don't give our kids enough attention... probably because we have a good amount of one and done families in our circle and we just don't have the time some of them do to focus on each kid.
Every decision has some kind of cost!
pomegranate / 3230 posts
I'm not one and done. (In case you want another reason to consider sticking to one child: My second child turned out to be twins )
I will say that I like having a sister, and that factored into my desire for a second child.
I do not think that is sufficient criteria for having a second child. Another baby is a tremendous amount of work and commitment. I very much wanted a second baby and am absolutely head over heels in love with my twins. And my oldest is very proud of his sisters and gets along so well with them. However, even despite all that lovey dovey stuff, he definitely gets less attention from us now that they are here. And we are stretched more thinly than I would prefer.
My husband is an only child and is 100% fine with that. He would have been fine with having only child as a result. And I think in many ways he misses our simpler life with the one kid.
Siblings are not a guaranteed perfect relationship, either. Neither of my parents has a relationship with their only sibling. My sister and I definitely have a unique connection that I value, but we are not BFFs.
I don't think you should consider a second child unless YOU want to be a MOM to a second child. Don't do it just for your daughter. She'll be fine.
cherry / 109 posts
We are one and done and totally happy! I had very severe PPA so while I always imagined a bigger family I know I can not go back to that. We have a great life. We can afford private school. Our daughter is super social and has a ton of friends. I think we've figured out the secret to a very happy life!
clementine / 787 posts
I know @JJ2626 posted this question a bit ago but I’ve been off hellobee for a bit. But after reading it - I also wanted to say thank you to everyone for sharing their thoughts. After years of struggle we welcomed our DD 10 months ago. She’s n amazing little girl - happy, sweet, mellow and sleeps great. In fact we are just returning from a cross country trip (driving as I felt it safer) because a close family member was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and we dropped everything. And honestly she has done great.
I am older as is DH ad we’ve decided for a variety of reasons she is our only even though I imagined two kids once we decided to have one. I worry about her not having a sibling but we know it just makes sense. So reading these comments with the notes about making a child’s community their friends and seeing how satisfied everyone is who is one and done helps me feel that our decision is right for us for many of the same reasons.
kiwi / 544 posts
@Mrs. Carrot: @wrkbrk: @SugarplumsMom: @Elizabear: @MrsJBeeG: Thank you all so much! Sorry it took me forever to get back on here. I haven't been on hellobee much but I have been ruminating on baby #2 a lot. It's so helpful to hear from people who are at peace with having 1 kid. It's a hard decision for me, because, truthfully, I didn't even really want 1 kid all that badly. I made a very intellectual decision that having a kid was a life experience I wanted to have. And it turned out to be a million times better than I ever imagined it. So, the argument that well, if you don't want a 2nd kid, don't have one, doesn't work as well because I just know that I'm never going to really actively want one. I'm missing whatever that "urge" is that women have! So I keep going back to seeing that the vast majority of people I know choose to have 2 and thinking they must know something that I don't. But hearing about your decisions and why it works for you, is very helpful. I think we would be really happy as a family of 3, but there is always that feeling of "what if."
@BUNBUN: @ElbieKay: Thanks! I actually am an only child, and I am totally fine with it. My husband has siblings, though, and is very close to them so now I see how great it can be. Before, I was very much like, well, you can't miss what you don't know when it came to a sibling.
Thanks to everyone who answered and made me feel like having 1 kid is a totally great life choice! I love hearing everyone's perspective, so keep them coming if you want.
cherry / 109 posts
@JJ2626: OMG! I used to have that same thought often. Like is something wrong with me for not actively wanting more? I have felt guilt over not giving her a sibling but I also think having a sibling doesn't guarantee what would be ideal in a sibling relationship. My sister is mostly stress in my life. I thing that supportive family can be created though blood or bond. Our life is mostly very, very happy and I feel like I am a good mom most of the time because can provide so much time and financial resources in developing my daughter.
grapefruit / 4466 posts
@JJ2626: one thing that may be relevant is that the transition from zero to one is a waaaaay bigger change than the transition from one to two. Going from not having kids to having them, I don't think you can really anticipate how much life will change, and may be very surprised at how much you like it. Whereas I think you can pretty much anticipate how life will change going from one to two, it's essentially like more of what you already have, if that makes sense. So I'd definitely trust your rational assessment of things, and not worry too much that there are things about having two kids that you can't anticipate...
olive / 58 posts
@periwinklebee: This! It's just more of the same essentially. It's not like a whole new world of parenting opens up. It's more like "that was cool, let's have another."
kiwi / 544 posts
@Elizabear: Totally! I need to silence that voice that says I’m doing something “wrong” and be thankful for how happy I am.
@periwinklebee: @minimalistmom: thanks! Totally agree that the life changing experience is being a parent vs not being one, and it’s helpful to hear that stays true with multiple kids. That said, I still feel like there must be a reason that most people are so sure they want more than 1 kid. Like they know some secret to the meaning of life?! Ha, I think I’m losing my mind a bit. Truly, I think I’m just not biologically motivated to have children and that urge other people feel but can’t explain is missing, so I’m much more in my head about it than other people. Ok, thanks for the therapy session all!
olive / 58 posts
@JJ2626: I think it just has more to do with what is "normal" (not the greatest word) to an individual person, you know? I came from a family with four kids and my husband has a brother, so the idea of a sibling just seems typical (so to speak.)
kiwi / 662 posts
Chiming in that we're one and done and happy! Of course, our decision was kind of made for us in that we needed IVF and only got one embryo, so we don't have another waiting and don't have much chance to conceive naturally. That said, we're planning to host exchange students when LO is older for a sibling relationship. So that's always an option too! We volunteered with an exchange organization for years pre-covid and had such amazing experiences. I'm excited to offer it to my DS in the future.
persimmon / 1483 posts
@JJ2626: I don't think it's that you have some urge that is "missing." I really think it's just how you picture what you want your family to be. For some people, they picture just themselves and a spouse and that feels "right." For me, I would see a photo of myself, DH, and DS, and just feel like someone was missing. But now that we have DD, it doesn't feel like that when I see family photos. But I have a friend who wanted a third kiddo, and that's how she felt - like someone was missing. It's just a personal feeling of when your family is complete - whether it's 0 kids or 5 kids.
persimmon / 1409 posts
@JJ2626: I’ve never had the deep urge either, but my husband did. Now that we have one, though, I want two so that they can have that lifelong relationship, but realistically you can have that with friends too. My best friend and I have been close for almost 25 years(!!) And I would say I’m closer with her than either of my sisters. I think I’d ultimately be happy with one but would likely feel something missing because it’s what I wanted and pictured for my family once we started down this road.