This post reviews the biggest reasons I had an only child by choice.
Many families struggle with the internal debate on whether they want more children.
It seems customary in our culture to have multiple children, at least 2.
Only children have been judged and prejudiced since the dawn of time with negative stereotypes tagged to them.
Not only children but their parents are usually dragged through the mud on their decision, being labeled as selfish ourselves; letting our child grow up without siblings have somehow been deemed a travesty.
Being a new mom with so much ridicule and judgment over how families choose to live and raise their families, it feels like we can’t do anything right without being called out.
That’s when I realized, whoooo caaaares?!
I’m so over trying to please everyone.
As women and mothers, we will be criticized no matter what we do.
So I will do what’s best for my family despite external opinions and forces trying to convince me otherwise as if anyone knows better for my well-being besides myself.
My happiness was never contingent on how many kids I would have anyway.
I would have been happy without kids, so it may have been easier for me than most to stop after one.
So what If I have an only child?
As parents, we deserve to be happy, balanced, and healthy like our kids.
Becoming a mother changed my life, and I love my daughter more than anything. It’s indeed been my life’s most challenging, beautiful, and fulfilling experience. That being said, as my 2-year-old daughter says now, “All done!” Yep, all done having babies!
I refuse to be a martyr by having more kids than I can handle to please society and to appear “normal.”
We are raising an only child by choice!
This post will go over my personal experience of deciding to have an only child by choice and raising an only child.
Why I Chose to Be a Parent of an Only Child
Buckle up, buttercup!
1. My Needs Don’t Become Null and Void Just Because I’m a Mom
As a mom, I matter, too, just like my daughter.
I can’t be the best mom I can be if I’m constantly pouring from an empty cup just for the sake of having a litter of kids.
My daughter deserves a happy, fair, loving, and present mother, and I knew I couldn’t be these things living in constant survival mode.
I wasn’t sure, even when I was pregnant, when or if we would have a second.
We didn’t know what this would be like.
I knew, however, that it would be four years before my husband and I would want another child.
We never desired to have children back to back.
Having an only child was becoming way more attractive than before once we were in the thick of postpartum.
So, this was the mindset I had when getting my IUD.
The further into the first year we got, the less I wanted to have more kids.
My instinct to stop with my daughter grew more concrete with time, and my husband felt the same.
We were happy with our life, fulfilled with our daughter and lifestyle, and intentionally decided to be done with one.
We scheduled a vasectomy for my husband around nine months postpartum; we were sure we wanted an only child, but the realization intensified with time.
Ever since my husband got snipped, there has been a significant energy shift in our home.
It feels light and airy, and I’m happy to have an only child.
Knowing we are done has taken off so much pressure from our spirits and has helped us become more present, loving, and better parents to our daughter without the looming cloud flowing over us, just waiting to strike us with an oopsie baby.
Now we can chill, only child style.
2. The First Year Was Hard
The infant stage for me was borderline traumatizing.
I couldn’t imagine starting over from square one again, especially considering the studies that show moms of multiple children get less sleep than their husbands ( shocker ).
I’m sure PTSD around babies and the first year is a thing that’s not talked about AT ALL.
Having physical and psychological responses to a baby after you have gone through the baby stage can make babies or anything baby-related highly challenging to manage and to be around.
I get triggered by babies, and I still feel my heart poop out of my butt and die anytime I hear a baby cry on TV or in public!
I’m so excited to be a tripod, have the balance I want, to parent intentionally every day, not just survive and wish my days away like I was during the trenches of the baby phase.
I don’t want to spend years and years of my life ( the best years of my life, I might add ) raising baby after baby before all my kids get a sense of independence nearly 6-10 years later. EFF THAT.
That’s a lot of baby/toddler rearing I have zero interest in doing.
I want more for my life than being a mom and getting by daily.
With the life balance our family has created with an only child, my daughter will get all my love and tending as well as her daddy’s love, not to mention all of our resources and her grandparent’s resources, who love her to death.
As an only child, our daughter will have it all.
3. Babies are HARD
I still joke that you couldn’t pay me to raise another baby, one of the biggest reasons we went the only-child route.
Between keeping track of:
- Diaper changes
- Wake windows
- Nap and bedtime routines
- Digestive issues
- The fussiness
- The crying
- The sheer inability to communicate
- The never-ending demands
Caring for an infant is easily the most challenging task on the planet.
You are superhuman to those who have twins or multiples, and I applaud you.
The first or two years are just all-consuming and so much work.
It’s like a never-ending game of whack-a-mole.
Once you have one problem squashed, another arises.
I understand the grand scheme; the first few years are short and finite.
However, it’s long enough to make me never want to do it again, especially since I have zero desire to have more.
Annabelle will get the best of me as an only child.
Related Reading: 9 Biggest Predictors and Reasons for Divorce
4. Knowing Thyself
I knew my limits and couldn’t mentally or physically handle another child, so I knew I had to go the only-child route.
I’m honest when I struggled with debilitating Postpartum Depression, Anxiety, and Rage.
I struggled with depression and anxiety long before having babies, which had me predisposed to struggling with these disorders postpartum, so it didn’t come as a shock.
Not every woman takes to motherhood like a duck to water; I had to work hard and learn a lot.
It took me over a year to regain my emotional and physical balance, another reason I’m happy to have an only child.
Given that experience with just one baby, I know that each coming child would have sent me into a more profound and tighter depression hold that could be even more debilitating than before and even harder to emerge from.
That isn’t fair to me, my husband, or the children we would keep having.
I know when enough is enough for me; I know when to call it quits and say:
I have made peace with that, and I’m excited to raise my daughter in a house full of animal siblings for her!
She loves our cats so much, and they love her.
As an only child, she will get 100% of the love from everyone.
5. When Mom Is an Introvert
I’m a fat introvert, like a massive introvert with a mixture of a cat, a hobbit, and The Dude.
I love to chill, eat, rest, write, sleep, have sex with my hubby, watch movies, read, journal, do self-care, get massages and facials, paint, grow my spiritual knowledge, and more.
Does that sound like a life I could live with even two kids? The slower pace of life is what I thrive in and genuinely enjoy.
My whole young life was spent in an uber-competitive California, never-stopping, hyper-achieving lifestyle. Rest was not a thing for me growing up, and I don’t feel like waiting until I’m 65 to take it slow, like, no way!
I refuse to apologize for choosing a calmer and slower lifestyle, especially in a culture where everyone is caught up in the rat race of having many kids or becoming the next tech start-up billionaire.
Now that my daughter is 2, I still feel pushed to my limit with the drastic increase in social interaction that has to take place simply because I have one kid now; I couldn’t imagine that interaction multiplying with each kid.
I can virtually only recharge with solitude and need alone time to function, which I have now with my only.
That’s when I realized I wouldn’t have that with more than one and would wither away, at least not nearly enough of it, and not without forking over a fat amount of moola for childcare.
There would always be a sick kid crying, teething, pooping, eating, and not sleeping.
Someone will always need tending to.
Leaving me but a shell of who I used to be.
My biggest concern was losing my sense of self, who I was before becoming a mom.
I’m more than just a mother; I have interests and obligations outside of mothering that I don’t want to neglect.
I want balance for myself and, therefore, my family.
I want my daughter to remember her mommy being happy, healthy, and present, not worn, stressed, and irritated.
My well-being matters, and I know I will be much happier and healthier and a better mother to just one child instead of multiple.
With Annabelle as an only child, I’ll only ever have to manage the social activity for ONE kid.
6. She Doesn’t NEED Siblings
My daughter is like my husband, the opposite energy, an extravert with a dog spirit!
When she wasn’t yet two, she was fearless, confident, and friendly!
Most of her buddies at daycare are a few years older than her.
Annabelle has an easier time making friends than I ever did!
She doesn’t have a shy bone in her body.
As my daughter is becoming more human and less animal, she is becoming the most extraordinary person ever, and it makes me so happy she is an only child.
She smiles at everyone, coos, laughs with gusto, and is just a joy.
She brightens up the days of strangers daily.
I have no fear that she won’t make friends; random kiddos will literally run up to her and start playing with her at the park.
I feel like we nailed it the first time, and there’s no way we would get this cool of a kid the second time around, and we are quitting while we’re ahead.
As a woman, I refuse to arbitrarily have another kid because society says I must do that to be a real mom.
I haven’t wondered if the grass is greener with two kids in the picture because our pasture is big and green now!
We are happy and fulfilled as a loving, small family of 3, small but still good.
I love being the mom of an only child; I feel so balanced.
So no, homegirl doesn’t NEED siblings; she NEEDS a happy, healthy, and balanced mother and parents that are together and a shining example of a healthy marriage to give her love, support, and security.
She will choose her family and will be just fine. Chosen families are for life!
7. I Have Other Hobbies & Passions
My sole mission on earth was never to marry and bear children endlessly; it ain’t 1912 anymore! Therefore, it’s probably easier for me than most to feel content about having an only child.
I always wanted to experience the role of a mother, but it wasn’t the endgame of my existence. In addition, I don’t plan to pop out babies every few years and live a decade of baby rearing!
There are many things I want to experience in addition to being a parent and wife. I was an individual before getting married and having a child, and I want to maintain that individuality as a mother and wife.
I have a handful of hobbies and missions I want to complete.
Some examples include my love for gardening, reading, and writing.
Also, I love animals and want to open up a feral cat rescue in my area, being the crazy cat lady.
When Annabelle was a baby while taking her for a walk in her stroller one evening, rescued a stray in kitten our neighborhood I found digging in someone’s trash for food, and to our surprise, she was confirmed to be pregnant after a vet trip!
We raised the mama and her two kittens and have gotten them rehomed. It was such a fun and rewarding experience that I definitely want to do more, especially given the feral cat problem!
With more kids, we could not afford this lifestyle monetarily or emotionally, and who knows when I could get around to fulfilling more of my dreams and goals.
However, with an only child, it is doable and sooner rather than later!
8. Self Care Affordability
Before the pandemic, I worked at a holistic wellness spa as a Colon Hydrotherapist and Infrared Body Wrap Therapist, which I adored.
I love pampering and being pampered.
Right before the lockdowns hit, I decided to go to Esthetician School, which is skincare.
I wanted to expand my skill set to offer more services at my spa.
As someone who has always struggled with skincare and takes pride in caring for it, I want to help other moms tend to their skin and pamper themselves after a long day of parenting.
Plus, I LOVE having the time to pamper myself too.
With Annabelle as an only child, I can always give her the best of myself because of the time I can dedicate to my wellness and wellness education.
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9. The Chaotic World
I’m sure we all can resonate with this; the world has always had problems, and historically, we have never had it better in abundance, luxury, and freedom in the grand scheme of humanity.
I guess that’s part of the problem; we must navigate raising children in an age where endless fantasy and pleasure are abundant. As a result, addiction and overstimulation are prevalent, and we have a generation of people who are sadder, more anxious, and unfulfilled than ever.
God knows I get massively overstimulated just raising my only daughter!
Raising children in a Brave New World is uncharted territory, and I want to do my best.
With the political climate, massive inflation, rising taxes, goods shortages (including formula shortage), the insane cost of childcare and availability shortage, and the generally chaotic nature and degradation of culture and society, there is a ton of concern about bringing children into this way of living.
We can’t just go into the woods, build a home and live off the grid in peace anymore without the government asking for their piece of what we built ( I freaking wish ).
Life is easier than it used to be with our luxuries, but it is no longer a simple way to live. Kids have always been expensive, but we live in a culture that involves more and more to live.
It was much more affordable 60 years ago to have children working in the home, helping tend to the farm and animals, and being either schooled at home or in a small local community.
You also had the village to help.
We no longer have the village our ancestors did.
Many of us are now parenting in a more isolated environment than ever ( the lockdowns only exacerbated this problem).
The modern world isn’t a feasible place to have a big family.
If the world goes nuclear, managing one child during an apocalypse would be far less stressful and straining on resources lol.
We are reaching a point where it is a luxury to afford children and have a bigger family; the US is NOT a family-friendly nation, and if you have kids, you know this.
10. The Intimacy
An extraordinary and intimate dynamic is involved in a family with an only child, unlike families with multiple experiences.
Both are unique experiences.
Being introverted, I have always preferred small gatherings to significant functions or parties.
Those are more draining to me than nourishing.
The company of a couple always feels better to me than a huge get-together.
Because of this, why would I want more kids running around?
That is the opposite of what I need to be happy, nourished, and balanced.
Having just one child feels fantastic and intimate, which I didn’t expect.
However, I would also notice I resonated more with triangle families in movies and shows.
There was something so close and unique about it; I felt the love.
I love Annabelle, being an only child.
11. Having Children Isn’t My End Be All To A Fullfilled Life
This wasn’t a decision that came easy, and I don’t want to come off like it was.
We, too, had a lot of going back and forth dealing with the same internal battle of being unsure of what we thought was best for our family long term, to have an only child or not.
Before having kids, I was split between being okay and not having kids or wanting a Full House scenario with three daughters ranging from 10 to an infant ( now, with hindsight, no gracias!)
However, reality doesn’t always, or very rarely, I should say, pan out with our fantasy.
While I was pregnant, I knew, at the very least, I wouldn’t want another child for another four years.
I knew I couldn’t manage the two under-two club like many families, no offense meant to those parents who went that route; the contrary, I don’t know how you’ll do it; you do what I know I can’t!
As time passed, we felt like having another was going against every fiber of our being.
Unlike most families, having another child didn’t feel like a natural progression for us.
We felt… fulfillment now!
We loved our life with just our daughter and animals, the balance, and the lifestyle.
My husband and I had our daughter later in life.
If we were going to have our second in the time frame I wanted, my husband would start child-rearing again in his early 40s, starting from ground zero.
He did not want to start over at that stage in his life.
The idea of me becoming pregnant and starting over with a newborn once we were finally out of the toddler years was not attractive to me.
Once our urge to have more kids kept dwindling, we realized this was the life we wanted.
We had no desire to keep having more kids.
We will raise Annabelle as an only child.
12. It’s Cheaper
We all know the cost of child care and how much kids need over time.
This is a huge reason why we are content with an only child.
In an age where we are continuously going down a road of getting less for more with rising inflation, raising a family of multiples is getting harder to afford than ever.
After the US went off the gold standard in 1971, inflation rose unprecedentedly, making the gap between compensation and productivity bigger with each passing year, genuinely abhorrent.
Essentially, they made it harder for everyday working people to make a decent and livable wage to take care of themselves while productivity remained at a steady growth rate.
Yeeeah….that doesn’t look like earnings will get better soon.
As you can see, there was a significant shift the second this bill was enacted.
Workers’ wages have plateaued over the past 40 years due to this. How crazy is that?
Our present-day compensation is virtually the same as it was in the ’60s. Most people are making the same as their grandparents were in 1969 but expected to pay up in a world where goods are worth modern 2020’s pricing.
The inflation gap is only getting more expansive, especially after the additional economic and systemic dumpster fire the lockdowns caused.
God knows our government has zero financial responsibility ( trillions of dollars in debt and growing, remember that! ) and interest in making a better future for us and our children. The fact our politician’s wallets get fatter while infrastructure continues to erode, and every day, people struggle to get by confirms this…But I digress, lol
The ability to work a primary job and afford a family and balanced living is getting more challenging each year.
While production increased tenfold, our earnings plateaued.
How on Earth are people supposed to have a child or multiple children and NOT struggle financially in the US?
I refuse to need to work 3+ jobs to get by supporting numerous children our government made harder to take care of…. I told you they weren’t family-friendly.
My husband and I can manage one; with inflation continuing to rise, there is no way we are having another.
Raising an only child seems the most practical way for us.
13. I Had a Rough Pregnancy
I know some moms absolutely love pregnancy and everything it brings. Some moms out there are built for this and have a beautiful and present pregnancy experience with very few complications. This is the goal.
Unfortunately for me, I had every annoying and intrusive symptom you could have: migraines, severe back pain, non-stop heartburn, non-stop nausea, uncontrollable farts, constipation, nose bleeds, stuffiness, uncomfortable sex, and sleep was a struggle.
I didn’t enjoy my pregnancy and found it more annoying than blissful. I was basically Elizabeth Banks’ character in What to Expect When You’re Expecting: ” I just wanted the glow. The one that they promise you on the cover of those magazines. Well, I’m calling it – pregnancy sucks. Making a human being is really hard. I have no control over my body or my emotions. “
Girl, I 100% resonate with and feel you, girl!
14. I Had a Rough Labor + Delivery
Unbeknownst to me and the ultrasound tech, I had an embedded placenta. It was hard for them to tell because I had an Anterior Placenta, meaning Annabelle’s embryo fertilized at the front of my uterus instead of the back.
This made detecting kicks, her heartbeat, and evidently an embedded placenta harder to locate.
I had excruciating labor pains for three full days before going to the hospital, only to find out I was 3 centimeters dilated and not in active labor yet.
Much to my confusion, considering my contractions were only minutes apart and so intense, I wasn’t sleeping for days.
Finally, I couldn’t take it and the day after being sent home, my water and bright red blood broke. Water checks out, bright red blood, not so much.
When we got to the hospital, I was 5 cm dilated but still not in active labor. I remember telling my husband that I was NEVER doing this again.
My epidural wore off a couple of hours after receiving it, and girl, I felt EVERYTHING. My placenta was stuck after delivery and took time to remove carefully.
It turns out that after my doctor removed the placenta, he scooped out the remaining pieces from my cervix like ice cream using what I can only describe as a super long spoon while I was skin-to-skin with Annabelle.
While doing this, he scraped a blood vessel that caused internal bleeding in my uterus ( they didn’t know it then). With my bladder full and no catheter, the blood pooled inside me for almost 2 hours.
While breastfeeding, the nurse pressed my tummy and uterus to help it regain size. As she did this, liters of blood poured out of me all at once while the color completely left my face, leaving me nauseous and nearly blacking out.
Within seconds, I had a catheter jammed in me, and numerous IVs were injected all over my body to administer fluids and prevent me from passing out.
I made it through, obviously, but that was my labor and birth experience when I was a healthy 28-year-old. I can’t imagine attempting it again when I’m older.
My pregnancy, labor, and birth experience were less than blissful, and I never want to go through that again.
15. I Just Don’t Want To
Can’t that just be a good enough reason?
Any reason is enough not to have more kids, but I don’t want more kids when it’s all said and done.
It’s as simple as that.
I did it once; I got pregnant, went through a tough pregnancy, a brutal birth experience, which you can check out here if you’re interested, and have been parenting ever since.
It’s an extraordinary experience that I want to relish every minute of.
I enjoy my slower pace and don’t want any more rugrats running around, and that’s okay!
Why I’m Having an Only Child by Choice
Whether you are on the fence about deciding if you want more kids, are happy with no kids, or are happy with your only, your family is good.
Don’t let society, culture, friends, or family tell you what you should be doing or how you should live.
Whether you don’t want any kids, an only child, two kids, or 10, do it because you want to.
Not from pushy in-laws or overbearing friends and coworkers trying to convince you otherwise.
Nobody knows what’s best for you and your family than you.
Take your time, and don’t let external pressure break you or push you into a situation you regret.
Live your life authentically and how YOU want, even if it’s out of the norm, and you WILL be happy.
We will all decide in our time, ladies, and you will feel at peace when you make it.