So the time has come. My son is 18 months old and somehow the clock is ticking again. This is the time to get pregnant again, right?  BAHAHAHAHA…HA…haha…ha….

Seriously, though. I don’t know how you moms do it. My son is EASY and I still am not sure how the heck to fit another one in.  I’d like to have 10 kids (BAHAHA again…yeah, right. Although, 19 months ago that was my plan). But I literally don’t know how that is possible. I mean, on 19 Kids and Counting, the kids built their house. They actually built the house. That’s what I thought was supposed to happen. I have one child. He uses his fork backwards.

So anyways, instead of getting pregnant, I’m writing a tribute to my fabulous son and my last remaining weeks, months, or years of only-child-dom.  I’m sure there will eventually be a second, but for now here’s why I’m so grateful to have only one:

Having an only child has some amazing perks. Sometimes one and done is the best way!

 

I can answer all of his needs.

There have been days when my son is sick and I will carry him in my arms the ENTIRE day. He doesn’t want to be put down and fortunately I don’t have to.  I can cancel everything and focus entirely on him.

 

I have never missed a moment.

When people ask how old my son is, they often follow up with some variation of “Wow, didn’t he just grow in the blink of an eye?” Of course I say yes, but the honest answer is no. He did not grow up fast.  I have watched every single moment, witnessed every single milestone, given every single bath. I’ve watched him grow every single day, so there really was nothing that I missed – the time has been perfect.

 

We fill up one perfect row of airplane seats.

If you have a child, or 2 or 3 or 4 – or even none – there is no question that a ton of anxiety surrounds flying. How will they act? What will the people around you say or do?  Who will you be sitting next to??

With one child, we can book up one (half) row and have no worries about who we’re next to, whether we should have booked the window or aisle, or who will be staring at my boob while I nurse him.  I get the feeling of being able to shield him when necessary and can utilize both the window and the aisle.

 

You only pay for college once.

I don’t know why I’m so obsessed with making sure I can pay for my kid(s) to go to college, but sometimes it seems the best bet is hoping they pick a cheap school!  According to most of the studies coming out these days (or at least what The Today Show tells me), it’s going to cost up to $400k for a child born in 2013.  That’s a toooon of money! Add another child?  Double.  And another? Triple.  At some point it just seems impossible.  With one, it is doable.

 

The cost to travel is not quite doubled.

There is a mental roadblock that occurs when the cost for something doubles. When you can scoot by under that double mark, it just feels better. Even if you can squeeze everyone into one hotel room, you still have to at least double airfare when you’ve got more than one child.  Now, we have a reason to travel before #2 comes along.

 

You can cosleep/attachment parent/nurse-forever/helicopter-parent/whatever to your heart’s delight.

It’s crazy how much we worry about potential problems that may occur if future events possibly happen.  And this is definitely true if you’ve embraced any of the time-consuming parenting practices that require A LOT of attention.  Knowing that your child is the only one you need to worry about frees your mind from worrying that you might need to be doing something differently in case another child comes along. Don’t get me wrong, you CAN do it with multiple kids. I see Super Moms do it all the time. But it certainly feels good to know you don’t have to.

 

Nap time is quiet time/me time/think time/anything time.

When your only child is asleep, you have nothing else to worry about…other than everything you have to do, of course.  BUT what is important is that you don’t have to be worrying about keeping someone alive or catering to someone else’s needs.  You have that time to yourself. You may not know exactly when it will happen, but it’s still yours!

 

When a phase is over, it’s over.

When my son is finally potty trained, we won’t need to buy diapers anymore.  When he’s ready to sit at the table, we can put away the monstrosity that we call a high chair. The crib IS GONE. It’s nice to have a break as opposed to 10 straight years of diapers, nursing, and tantrums (tantrums stop soon, right??).

 

You always have back-up.

Even though my husband works insane hours, when push comes to shove, my son is still his top priority. So if I can’t be there for something important, I know he can be there instead. There is nothing (and no one) that can pull us away from him. He always has at least one of us there.

 

One child will completely fill your heart.

It’s corny, I know, but totally true.  I wasn’t kidding when I said I wanted 10 kids, but now that I have 1 all of a sudden that craving for 10 is pretty much gone. I am totally fulfilled and even though I know more is likely on the way, if it doesn’t happen I’ll be totally fine with it.

 

My son is still young, so I’m sure there are even more amazing perks to having an only child that I haven’t even experienced yet.  Leave a comment and tell me what I’m forgetting!

 

And be sure to check out my Pinterest board for other parenting inspiration tidbits. 🙂

 

Follow Nikki @ MBAsahm’s board Parenting Inspiration on Pinterest.

 

10 Amazing Perks of Having an Only Child

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33 Comments on 10 Amazing Perks of Having an Only Child

  1. What about sleep? With one, you only have a short time where you are a zombie! With more, you go from about one year (or more in my case) of no sleep to years without good sleep!
    I am an only child and loved it! I had a lot of friends in my neighborhood and tons of cousins to play with so it helped when I did get lonely, which wasn’t that often. I entertained myself and did as an adult before having my son.
    My husband has two daughters from a previous marriage so technically my son is not an only child however his sisters are 8 and 10 years older than him and they are not living with us full time. The one and done idea was mainly my husbands due to having three kids now but as my son grows, I don’t feel like I’m missing anything by only having one. Plus I too hated being pregnant and don’t really want to go through being sick and losing sleep almost the full nine months again!
    I also agree with the person who said society makes us think we have to have more than one child to feel whole. I can say my mother hasn’t regretted having one child and so far I haven’t either. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being a family of three!

  2. I was an only child and while I did get lonely sometimes as a kid I still preferred being alone. I have a very close relationship with my mom and I have learned to be happy by myself. My husband has 3 siblings and a certain inability to do anything alone. While I (sometimes) find it endearing it also concerns me. I think its important to be able to be a fully functioning adult without anyone else there to hold your hand. I learned to be independent because I was an only child. My daughter is 2 and my only one but my husband has a daughter (age 8) from a previous marriage that we have joint custody of. We see her 5 or 6 days a week though not all day as she is in school and sleeps at her mom’s. I “think” my husband and I are one and done. I am perfectly happy and fulfilled with just one and I like that I can give her my undivided attention more often than not but she also gets to have a big sister whom she adores. She does get quite lonely sometimes but as I said from my experience thatsnot necessarily a bad thing for her to learn. She has to learn to entertain herself. That is a valuable skill as an adult.

  3. I sought out an article about this, as my son is 16 months and we have had the talk about whether we want more. I’m so confused and torn. I hated being pregnant, I had an awful labor and a really rough first couple months (breastfeeding issues and PPD). So, the thought of doing that all again FREAKS ME OUT. I love more son more than anything, and I can’t picture having room in my heart for another little person ( obviously I know I would if it happened) but, he is my world. He’s perfect and sweet. I come from a family of four girls. I love my sisters, they are my best friends. And another mom made a good point about having the support of siblings when you’re older to deal with aging parents, etc. I’m 29 and lost my father recently and dealing with the financial and emotional issues was definitely easier sharing it with siblings. I don’t want him to hate us for not giving him a sibling. I feel that we’ll put pressure on him to do well and be successful? I don’t know. I’m so lost. My poor husband is on board with whatever I decide, I just feel like the clock is ticking….

    • It is such a hard decision to make! My son is 2 1/2 and I still agonize over what to do. But I will say, I’ve heard both sides of the argument and there really isn’t a right answer. Which is great for us because hopefully no matter what we do it will be the right decision! 🙂

  4. Great article and points made! I’m an only child – while growing up I desperately wanted a sibling (actually I think I just really wanted a baby in the house – haha), but now as an adult, and mother myself, it’s not even an issue. I wasn’t a spoiled only child brat growing up (the common misconception) and I had a wonderful relationship with my parents. While friends of mine dreaded being seen in public with their families, I was happily going to the movies with mine, taking family trips, etc. I also have always felt incredibly independent. Not to say that’s due to my only child upbringing, but it’s a thought! My husband and I have an amazing 2 1/2 year old son who we adore more than anything. We struggle with the decision to have another all the time. Part of me is so content with him and another part really wants another. I think we can all agree though that a big help would be if we weren’t constantly being asked when we’re having another one – haha!!

    • That is soooo great to hear! I always worry that things could be difficult as an adult without siblings, so it’s wonderful to hear someone say they love it! And it really is amazing being able to focus all of your attention on one child <3

  5. I’m surprised most only child commenters wish they had a sibling- when I was little I wanted one but as an adult, I’m happy without. I was very rarely lonely as a child even growing up in a military family that moved often. I had a lot of friends and I loved to read so I preferred being alone sometimes! Every kid is different of course. I just wanted to give you the other side of it. Loved your article. I have a three year old and I’m one and done myself!

    • That’s so good to hear! I will admit, I was getting a little nervous because it seemed as though many adults wished they had siblings…and I’d hate for my son to feel that way late in life. So it’s wonderful to hear a new perspective! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  6. I guess the moms of three were too busy to post a comment! My three were spaced 2 yrs and 3 1/2 yrs. apart. It was great bc I wasn’t out of practice, and eventually they played w each other. They got attention but also learned independence and that they were not the center of the universe, that other people have needs – oops that sounds like the 3 yr. old teacher in me!

    • I think most of the comments are from parents of onlies because we go out and search for articles such as these. We feel as if we have to because of comments like this. We stress and worry if we are doing the right thing for our family, and go out our way to be sure that our child never feels deprived. It really stinks to constantly have to defend yourself about your parenting choices against comments like these.

      • I just came across this article today and I do have to say I’m not a mother myself so I do not know from first hand experience, however, my sister is pregnant with her 3rd child. I believe all in all it depends on the parenting and environment the child was raised in. I’m the oldest of 6 and as independent as can be. I also don’t feel like I constantly need companionship. Now my close friend is an only child & is independent as well, but does often think she is the center of the universe and her needs should come first. I don’t think anyone’s comment was wrong, it just depends how you’re raised. It’s a very interesting topic, even birth order.

  7. Finding someone to babysit is so much easier for just one child, too! I don’t feel bad asking friends to watch my kid for a couple hours but if I had a few children that would be a different story! The parent to child ratio is also important! Lol right now we have the power. Once/if we have another child the power will be even, and if we had a third a child all hope is lost! 🙂

  8. I have one almost six year old girl, and I couldn’t be happier. My husband and I started getting asked when we were having another one as soon as she turned one, and really getting hounded by the time she was two. We have discussed having another child, but have ultimately decided we are one and done. We love to vacation, go to plays and museums and have time for just the two of us. Once she’s in bed the rest of the evening is ours! She is also in different activities, if we had another it wouldn’t fit into the budget as easily. I always say having one is the best of both worlds, you get the joy of a child without the stress of children.

    • I totally agree!! I’m still not sure when/if we’ll have another one, but I’m shocked by how many people have a second so quickly b/c having only one is soooo perfect. The longer we go, the more I feel that one could be more than enough 🙂

  9. I loved reading this, I have a daughter who is now 4. When she was younger my husband and I were so overwhelmed that the thought of another was not even in question. I now am constantly wondering if we should have another. I see both sides as good and bad. But I have grown to love our little family of three. I honestly feel like society has everyone feeling that a FULL family is 2 or more kids. But its refreshing to see so many people embracing and only child house. I’m still not 100% we are done but its good to know others feel the same.

    • that’s totally how I feel! I am always wondering whether most people have more than 1 just because everyone else is doing it. 🙂 Its good to know I’m not the only one feeling this way!

  10. I’m also an only child, and when I was younger I really wished I wasn’t. Now that I’m older, I still kind of wish that I had a sibling, but I look at my husband who use to be best friends with this brother, but as his brother got older, he became very selfish and now won’t even return my husband’s emails. I’ve seen how much that has hurt him. There’s no guarantee I’d be friends with a sibling if I had one (I have a half brother and sister, but we didn’t grow up together and we aren’t close).

    My daughter is also an only child, as I wasn’t suppose to have kids in the first place (my body doesn’t handle pregnancy well at all, and she was a 3.8 lb preemie). It is really so much easier with one child. I have loved the freedom having just one kid.

    • It’s soooo interesting to hear from to many adults that grew up as an only child. It really seems like most wish they had siblings. That definitely weighs on me when I consider having more kids…but like you said, there’s still no guarantee you’ll be close! (I know so many that aren’t). Thanks for the great feedback 🙂

  11. I have two children (and ironically just wrote a post on the perks of being a second time mom!) but these are all SO true.

    Especially that one child will completely fill your heart. I always wanted a large family as well and that one totally caught me off guard. I knew another child would be amazing, but my daughter made me a mother and she was always enough. With the second one your heart just grows!

    • That’s so great to hear! I still eventually hope to have more but it is really hard to look past how great just 1 is 🙂

  12. These are all excellent points and I really enjoyed reading this!

    However, i’m an only child, and I had a very lonely childhood at times. My parents were great friends, but there are times when I longed for a brother or sister so badly. Now, my mother is in such poor health, I long for a sibling again to share the load.

    But, I have one son right now, and nothing is stopping me from enjoying everything you mentioned above! He’s the light of my life! 😀 #turnituptuesdays

    • That’s one thing that I really worry about a lot – that it could almost be harder as an adult to be an only child than as a kid! I have a sister that is 10 years younger than me and in many ways that feels like the best of both worlds.

  13. I thought I wanted 12 and we now have 1. 🙂 As you said, there are some great perks to having just one. My son is 13 now, but when he was smaller he would always sing Three is the Magic Number song. We all just love our little family.

    • Same thing happened to me! I wanted so many, but it is really cool having just 1 🙂 Kind of surprising that it’s not more common!

  14. There are times when I feel bad for my son not having any siblings, but there are perks to be an only child.

    Saw this on Hump Day Happenings

  15. These are great reasons for one and done. One is enough of a challenge and learning experience anyway, and being able to give that one all your attention is great too.

  16. All good points. I especially love your point about the airplane seats. I think of that every time I see a bigger family that has to be split up. Don’t forget about it being easier to go to the store with one kid vs more. Not a reason to not have more kids, but I do feel fortunate when I s a mom struggling to wrangle her three kids.

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