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I always thought I would have two children. But my son’s birth was quite harrowing – we nearly lost him, and were told by the surgeons that it came down to seconds and that we were very lucky. I had a feeling it wasn’t luck, that we were being looked after. However, I also got a very strong feeling that we should count our blessings and not push our luck for a second child. Apart from anything else, any future delivery will be complicated and the thought that we would be using those resources and prevent someone else where it comes down to seconds from having their chance at a child is not something I’m okay with.

The feeling has never gone away. I’m certain, and so is my partner, that we’re meant to have one child only. The decision was odd for me given I got along very well with my brother, so I interviewed a few only children I know, some for medical reasons, some it just happened than way, one because of China’s one child policy. Almost all of them said there were never lonely and never wanted a sibling – while it was nice to play with other children, they were very content with their childhood and adulthood. Only the friend born in China felt he had missed out, which is understandable given it was never a choice and the family openly lamented the lack of a second child.

Any notion of having another child we didn’t want just to give my child a sibling went out the window then. If all these other only children are happy, I’m sure my son will be too.

I do find some people find our decision a bit confronting as I think if you grow up in a family with good relationships with your siblings, you tend to think that life without those siblings would be missing something. I certainly thought that way. However, the more I talk to only children the more I’ve realised that their life is filled with other joys, for example, they all pointed to what they saw as a different dynamic with their parents which they wouldn’t swap for anything.

So that’s that then. We’re done and we’re happy with one child. We’re not only at peace with our decision, we’re excited by it. And one day I hope to get to the point where I don’t feel I have to justify it and apologise for it!


Posted by , 28th March 2013


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  • Together as a couple you have made your decision. One way to look at is if you have complications you may not be able to care for your children in the way you wish to. My Grandma always there is spoiling….and spoiling.
    One is you spoil them but in moderation. You don’t give them everything they ask for and you still make them use their manners.
    The other is you give them everything they ask for, let them do whatever they want to, then they throw a huge tantrum the only time you say no and you end up lettingt them have whatever they want, or not do what you want them to do. I had a cousin like the latter. If her Dad tried to correct her for naything she did wrong, her Mum would always take her side and stop him from trying to explain why she wasn’t allowed something. She was disliked by some people because of her behaviour as a result of it. They weren’t invited to places they knew she probably wouldn’t behave without causing a scene and being a bad example for all the other kids. Kids copy what others do.

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  • There is no need for apologies or feel guilty . It is better to have one child and look after this little one wholeheartedly and coping , rather than have heaps of children and not being able to look after any of them . While China have a one child policy , I feel sometimes here, we have too many children for wrong reasons . As long as you love them with all your heart , that is the good enough for me .

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  • Whilst I have met a lot of spoilt only children, I’ve also met a lot of mature, intelligent, well spoken, well behaved only children. They might miss out on sibling rivalry, but the parental influence increases which more then outweighs this. Good for you for being so brave and deciding to do what some think of as selfish and not normal. Stick to your guns…..unless you change your mind, then go for that too

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  • You should never have to justify it or apologise for it. I am directly in opposite of you. I was very lonely as a kid and I longed for a sister with all my heart so I knew straight off I wanted a few kids. We ended up with 2 boys and 2 girls and I’m very happy but people make me feel like I am insane for having 4 kids. But its what I wanted so I say you should never have to apologise. We know what’s right for us and our families. Who cares what anyone else says.

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  • kool

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  • top story

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  • Each and every family unique and different.

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  • Never apologise or justify it to anyone – you made the decision that was right for you – no one elses business!

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