20 Completely Unselfish Reasons Moms Stop at One Child

Mom Moment 20

one When I first got pregnant, I didn't plan to have an only child. But after a miserable pregnancy complete with hyperemisis gravidarum (the sort of morning sickness that hospitalized Kate Middleton), the reasons to stop at one started mounting. Some are serious, some not. All are very personal.

And I have a message for all my fellow one and done parents out there. People can tell you that you're selfish, but until they know your story, they have no room to judge. In fact, I asked some other parents who have decided one child is it for them to 'fess up to the whys and wherefores. Their stories, the real stories of why people have only children, are anything but selfish: 

1. I was a happy only child, and I want to give my child the same happy childhood.

2. My brother and I didn't get along, so I'm not buying into that whole siblings make kids happier thing.

3. I have a special needs child who requires my full attention.

4. I'm concerned about the planet! Having fewer kids is the single most important thing that people can do to lower their carbon footprint.

5. We knew going into parenthood that we only wanted one.

6. Our one daughter keeps us busy enough!

7. My ex-husband decided he wanted another woman.

8. I knew one was (and still is) all I can handle.

9. I would have loved to have more, but I struggled with infertility after my daughter was born.

10. We don't make a lot of money, and one child is right for our budget.

More From The Stir: 10 Reasons It Stinks to Be an Only Child

11. My boyfriend died after our son was born.

12. We adopted our daughter, but the cost was so much that we just couldn't afford to adopt again.

13. My marriage crumbled after my son was born, and my second husband wasn't interested in having kids.

14. I don't believe in gender selection, and I couldn't guarantee I'd have a daughter the second time around.

15. I had a high-risk pregnancy, and my doctor warned it could be worse the second time.

16. My husband and I didn't meet and fall in love until I was close to 40. We only had time to have one!

17. My daughter was born with a serious health condition that turned out to be genetic. We didn't want to risk the same genetic combination with a second child.

More From The Stir: 5 Things Not to Say to the Mom of an Only Child

18. We did have two children, but one of them died. I couldn't imagine having a second now. It would feel like I was trying to replace my son.

19. I always wanted a lot of kids, but my boyfriend doesn't. I can't pressure him into having a child he doesn't want.

20. I had uterine cancer after my son was born, and I am unable to get pregnant again.

Do you know parents with only one child? Do you take time to find out their stories?


Image via andrechinn/Flickr

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peanu... peanutsmommy1

I am a parent of an only child by choice. I read an article today that put it this way:

I think you should have a baby when your family feels incomplete without another person in it. I don't think you should have a baby to create a playmate, to keep your firstborn in check or to make sure your child can ask someone else to pay for half of your nursing home bills.

We felt our family was complete after DS was born, so our one and only he will be.

nonmember avatar Roz

Thank you! Nice to see someone stand up about having only one child. I am an only child, of an only child who has only one child. My father & I are happy. My son is happy. I think it would be selfish to kill myself trying for another & that resulting in not being there for the one I do have would be far worse than him having no siblings.

Coles... Coles_mom

All of those above reasons are very valid. I think it's a personal decision and no one else needs to question that. I have three- by choice. ;)

nonmember avatar Samantha

I dont knock people who only have one child, but i personally want 2-3. Partially bc ive always wanted at least 2 children, and partially bc i want a child with my partner. My first was concieved by rape & betrayal. Her father is a pos who isnt there for her in any way. I want to experience pregnancy and childbirth with that positive support. I was so scared and stressed out with my first, and i had no partner. Child bearing is supposed to be a beautiful time in a womans life & i would like to experience it. Another reason is because my family doesnt feel complete, i want our family to be completely connected, all of it. And i have a yearning that drives me nuts sometimes, i want a son. I want to baby shop & be amazed by little smiles & coos again. For right now, one is more than enough. My 2 1/2 yr old daughter is quite the handful, but when she calms down, i want to start planning for another.

corri... corrinacs

Its sad to know that people even think that another's family decisions could be "selfish".  I just don't understand it.  I can imagine this is even more true for childless couples.  There are MANY reasons why people have the children they have (or don't have) and its no one else's business why!

For us, we have decided that we aren't going to "try" for a third child the normal way due to infertility.  But, we may decide to adopt later on.....our second child is only 15 months old, we have time!

tbruc... tbrucemom

#4-I've always thought that you really shouldn't have more than 2 because of this exact reason-you're just replacing yourselves. #1 and #2 I don't think are overly good reasons, just because you had those experiences doesn't mean your children will. #14-people who want a specific gender child should be ashamed of themselves. I guarantee an infertile couple wouldn't care in the least. #19-if you really want children you might want to find someone who has the same goal, you'll end up resenting this guy.. The others are completely valid but it's ultimately up the the two people conceiving them. If they can provide them with enough love and tend to their needs it should be their decision alone.

JCKit... JCKitten87

Our only child is about to be 5, so for us that means my birth control is about to end. I go back and forth on if I want another baby. My husband at the moment doesn't want another kid and says we will talk when my iud is due to be taken out, but I think that is to get me to shut up lol I have fertility problems so the chances are slim for us anyway... Our daughter also has developmental delays and I think the struggles we went through and are still going through put my husband off to the idea, but I have to admit they do for me too...

nonmember avatar Megan

Though I would have loved to have another child, after finding out our son had Autism we decided not to. He's an amazing child, but therapy is expensive and he's very very busy. I also don't know if I could handle having to go through the worry and roller coaster again. I've heard odds between 5-20% of having another child with Autism.

Chari... Charizma77

I don't care if someone has 1 child or 12. It's their business and I honestly don't care what their reasons are.  A have 3 and don't feel like I need to explain why I have 3. I don't go around asking people why they have the number of kids they have.

Todd Vrancic

There are people who are carriers for genetic diseases that are gender specific, and that is one reason why they may prefer one gender to another.  Don't judge until you know.

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