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Selfish to only have One Child


As I was cruising the interweb the other day I came across a blog on Babbleand it caught my attention since I had just blogged about getting the pressure from family to have another.

I won’t go deep into my beef with the post because it completely leaves out the other half of parenting, the Dad.  As you are reading through it you will realize it is always talking about the mom, but where is the dad? It talks about how the traditional family of the mother staying home to take care of the kids is changing, but never once mentions that more and more fathers are staying home. That is a blog for another day.

Hot Mama and I have made the decision to stay with one child for the time being.  As most of the comments from that post were coming in, they were telling us to stick to our guns.  Which, I can happily say, we are!  But does this decision make us selfish?  Is the Kid going to grow up not knowing how to share and play well with others?  More then likely, no, he is in day care so he does get the exposure to others and has learned to share, he will take the hat off my head run away with it and then bring it back to me.

This mother of one sums up the feelings of many who believe a singleton is right for them. To have one child she feels is “seen as selfish, because children are the ultimate sacrifice. Those of us who attempt to make the best of all aspects of our worlds are often seen as greedy because we want it all. I WANT and love my child more than anything, but I also WANT a career and I really WANT a happy marriage. Adding another child to our lives would directly affect two of the three things that have the greatest impact on my happiness quotient.”

Good for this mom! Raising one child is hard enough.  Hot Mama and I pride ourselves on having a good marriage considering our differing schedules and not having a whole lot of time to ourselves.  Having one more child could effect that and possibly make the lives of our children worse!  Why would we want to do that to them?   Right now, with the prospect of going back to school, another child would essentially kill that dream.  It is going to be hard enough to go back so that we can provide a life for the Kid that we can’t provide right now.

The parents of onlies have not cornered the spoiling children market. In this culture of yes-parenting, with or without siblings, so many children are spoiled because parents can’t say no. Look around at children you know with siblings. They are as likely to be spoiled as those without, but society has been programmed to believe only children are more spoiled.

My blocks! Not yours they are MINE and I'm not Sharing! (© The Rookie Dad)

Thank god I didn’t say it!  So many parents today say yes, and believe me since I’m the yes-parent in our house, it would only get worse with a second.  I would give in more then I do now.  Disciplining the Kid is already hard enough and teaching him “NO” is a difficult enough task right now that I could see myself just curling up in a corner and letting the kids have their way in the house.

Not only that, I don’t deal well with little sleep, and having two would scare me since, more then likely I wouldn’t have the energy to handle two.  I would probably end up in a psych ward in a padded room asking for my Mommy.  Or I would end up going loco running up and down my street in just my boxers, so see I’m saving my neighbors that sight.

Are onlies spoiled more, probably.  I can say the Kid is, but will still learn to play well with others and have social skills.  That is what we as parents are supposed to instill into our kids and not let them walk all over us, and I have a feeling with another, you might as well write “WELCOME” on my forehead!

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About The Rookie Dad

I am husband and father foremost. Secondly, I am a PBS producer and contribute to Traveling Dads and Dads Round Table.

Posted on November 17, 2011, in Parenting and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. The way I look at the number of kids “debate” (or whatever you want to call it) is that when your family feels complete you should stop. So if you have one kid and it feels like you’re a complete unit, you’re set. If it doesn’t feel complete then you have your answer.

  2. If you have only one child, you are selfish. If you choose to have more, you are depleting resources and are, therefore selfish. Now, are you going to eat that peanut butter sandwich, or can I have it? Because if you don’t share it, that means you’re…

    I have come across a number of blogs recently that are beautifully opinionated and are of the belief that if you vary from their parenting formula, you are a bad parent. God bless the internet. Otherwise I’d think I was the only bad parent.

    • I don’t care either way if you have one or more child. I am just simply saying that just because we have chosen to only have for the time being, it doesn’t mean we are being selfish we are simply living within our means.

      • So totally agree. Every family has to decide what works for them. I was called a baby-making machine when we had three. A friend of mine is putting up with people saying that her only-child will be lonely.

        There’s always going to be input from the haters. Do what works best for you!

  3. I think that good parenting is good parenting. A good parent with one child will raise a well-adjusted independent kid. A good parent with more will raise more. Parenting is a whole set of spectrums–your parenting style, your parenting “skills”, your child’s personality, the influence of others etc.–and the end product is a function of how all these things intersect. Anyone that tells you ANYTHING as black and white as “you should have more” or “you should have less” is simply not worth paying a moment’s attention to. Period.

  4. I have just one, as of now. He will be 3 in January. Since his first birthday family and friends have hounded us about having more. All of our friends have 2-4 kids already. I am happy for them. But I enjoy our family as is. We will eventually have another, but in the mean time we are enjoying our one. I don’t think it makes you selfish, you’re being realistic about your situation. And having just one won’t make them grow up selfish, not wanting to share. We go to play dates, my son is in preschool and it has taught him to share, and to get along with other kids. He’s not always for it, but what toddler is? So I say stick to your guns. Enjoy your little one and family as is. When the time is right, have another!

    • Hit it right on when you said we are being realistic about our situation. We would become a burden to society if we had another one because at that point we would be living out our means and looking for the government to help, and we don’t want that. We are working hard to live within our means and still barely making that work. We’ve told family and friends, that we are still open to another just not right at this moment.

  5. As an only child, the one thing that bothers me about that article is that it assumes all people with only children have made a choice to have only one. And in my parents’ situation, that couldn’t be further from the truth. They wanted a house full of kids, it just wasn’t meant to be.

    But in my situation, we are quite sure that we ARE choosing to have one child. My son will be 1 next month, and while a huge part of me is shocked that I am considering having an only…my family feels complete. I can’t even imagine our lives with another child in it.

    And just like I was, my son will not be spoiled, he will not be lonely, he will be independent and well adjusted. I have no doubt in my mind about that!

    • You are right it isn’t always all about choice… sometimes it just isn’t in the cards to have more then one child. Adam said it best down below’ “So if you have one kid and it feels like you’re a complete unit, you’re set. If it doesn’t feel complete then you have your answer.”

  6. No one can decide how many kids you should have but you and your wife. In our case, I fancy having more while my wife hesitates to go even for the second. As of now, I do not want to think of anything but just enjoy the family as we are and see what comes next. Meanwhile, I must admit that, coming from a family of 7 kids, seeing my daughter by herself at age 2 1/2 makes me feel like she is missing what we had when we played with our other siblings. Of course, there is always the other alternative to meet other playmates by finding ways to teach her make friends easily which I am doing now.

    • I’m going to be writing up another post having spent some time with my sis-in-laws family over this past weekend. They have 2 and a dog, typical American family right? Well, after spending that time with them really made Hot Mama and myself, look at where our future with children is heading.

  7. Thank you for the Article, its my third time visiting your blog and must say it is very informative hope to check back soon.

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