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Only Children

Updated on October 8, 2014

Only Children

I'm an only child with an only child of my own by choice. When I close my eyes and imagine the perfect family size this is it.

When I was in college I started a Yahoo Club (they were clubs back then) for onlies. That's been abandoned for a while but I am now the host of the Parents of Only Children group at BabyCenter. I'm always on the search for only child related information and I love to help parents, who who were unable to make the choice, see all the benefits of having an only.

Why would I choose to have an only child?

I guess the main reason is because I liked being an only so much that I want the same for my daughter :) I suppose if our family didn't feel complete to either my husband or myself that reason wouldn't be good enough, but nothing is missing for us...we don't have to try again, to do it over or do it better, or fill a void.

We both have a million and one reasons for wanting an only child.

* We like being able to focus on our daughter.

* We want to enjoy everything about her without having to miss out because we have other children to take care of.

* We like having the time and ability to be the best parents we can be for her.

* We don't want our daughter to ever feel that she isn't as smart or as beautiful or as talented as a sibling or to ever question who in the family is loved more.

* We like that while other parents have to limit what they do for each child we don't.

* We want to be able to take our daughter with us all over this country and all over the world.

* We like to have time to ourselves and time as a addition to having time for our child

* We like to be organized and are people who stress easily.(well, I am)

* We like being able to have a calm household at times and an active household at others...with the ability to choose which one at which time.

* We want to pay for her education.

* We want our daughter to learn how to be an independent person, feel comfortable with being alone at times, and know how to keep herself entertained.

Neither of us feel the need for our daughter to have a sibling for any reason.

* We don't believe a baby should be born for another child to provide a playmate.

* We don't believe parents should have a second child incase something happens to their first.

* We don't believe there are any lessons that our daughter can't learn without a sibling.

* We know that having a sibling is not a magic cure all for boredom, or loneliness, or character flaws, or dealing with aging parents.

* We don't care what societies "norm" is, or how many people give us their unsolicited opinion on why we need to have another.

We have always wanted a singleton even before we met each other this was our decision for ourselves. No one has ever made a comment to either of us that made us question this decision. We have gotten angry at some of the things that come out of people's mouths (or fingers here online), but have never felt uncertain because of them.

Books for Onlies and their Parents

Pip the Penguin: How Many? Too Many!
Pip the Penguin: How Many? Too Many!

Ok...this isn't a book about only children, but I love it! Every page counts down till the end: Just one, says Pip. Just right!

My Only Child, There's No One Like You (Birth Order Books)
My Only Child, There's No One Like You (Birth Order Books)

One of the few children's books written for onlies.

Parenting an Only Child: the Joys and Challenges of Raising Your One and Only
Parenting an Only Child: the Joys and Challenges of Raising Your One and Only

I have this book and it's one I always recommend on the Parent's of Onlies board.2 points


Dr. Susan Newman - Author of Parenting an Only Child

What did I like most about being an only child?

Its hard to say about random great things?

I liked having dance recitals 14 years in a row and never having my mom or dad miss a single one. They were always at every recital, game, and show I was ever in. That is a feat in itself, but just being able to be in any activity I wanted was great too...I know for a fact that my extra-curriculars would have been dramatically decreased if I had siblings.

I loved having sleep overs. I think they are even more special for onlies because they don't have someone there everynight. I would think it becomes mundane that way...but for me it was a mom would make it a big deal and we would do tons of girly things all night and then stay up and talk till we couldn't keep our eyes open. Sleep overs with other onlies were especially cool because no matter which house we were at there was no one to bug us ;)

I loved the fact that there was no built in tattletale or someone to blame me for something I didn't do. There was no competition to be the smart one, or the pretty one, or the funny impossible expectations to be like anyone else by my parents or teachers or worry that I wasn't the favorite, or worse that I was the favorite and have my siblings resent me for it.

I loved bringing friends with me to amusement parks and water parks and on vacation...I got to choose who to go with and not be stuck with a baby sib, or have a big sib feeling like they were stuck with me...and getting to go to Disney World at ages 2,4,6,8,10,13,15 with my parents (and a few friends), and at 16 & 20 with just friends.

I loved having the house all to myself after school or the few times my parents went away.

I'm so amazingly (is that a word LOL) happy that I got to go to the University of my choice. And while I did work part time during the year and summer and winter internships, there would have been no way I could have gone to a private school for 5 years (my major was Architecture) if my parents didn't pay for the majority of it. I worked my butt off for that degree and didn't take the gift I was given for granted at all. I also got to start my life off debt free when I graduated. I think that is the greatest thing my parents did for me and hope to be able to do the same for my daughter!

I feel very lucky to be an only and am excited to be raising one of my own. :)

Comebacks to Some of Those Rude Questions

If you'd like to change the subject, be equally rude, or answer honestly.

When is Jacob going to get a baby brother?
Distraction: Where are you guys going on vacation this year?
Wisecrack: As soon as you get some manners.
Polite: He's not. We only want one child.

Why would you only want one child?
Distraction: Are those new shoes?
Wisecrack: The dog is jealous enough as it is.
Polite: It's a family decision that seems right for us.

Don't you think Hannah will be lonely without a sister or brother?
Distraction: Pardon me; I think my cell phone is ringing.
Wisecrack: No, the voices in her head seem to keep her company.
Polite: She has lots of friends and classmates.

Is something wrong that you can't have any more?
Distraction: Is your son eating dirt over there? Oh no, my mistake.
Wisecrack: We lost the directions and can't figure out how!
Polite: No, it's simply a family decision.

Watch out, it's easy to spoil only children.
Distraction: Is is hot in here?
Wisecrack: Is that what happened to you?
Polite: We'll keep that in mind.

Famous Only Children

Onlies are in good company!

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Ansel Adams
Steve Allen
William A. Anders
Hans Christian Anderson
Christina Applegate
Lance Armstrong
Lauren Bacall
Burt Bacharach
Jeff Bagwell

John the Baptist
Drew Barrymore
Joy Behar
Candice Bergen
Frank Borman
Kate Bosworth
Bill Bradley
Pierce Brosnan
Carol Burnett
Mark Burnett

Laura Bush
Sophia Bush
Ada Byron
Beverly Cleary
Chelsea Clinton
Roy Cohn
David Copperfield
Miranda Cosgrove
Walter Cronkite
Leonardo da Vinci

Sammy Davis Jr.
James Dean
Robert De Niro
Laura Dern
Tabitha D’umo
Nick Faldo
Gerald Ford
E.M. Forster
Indira Gandhi
Mahatma Gandhi

Sarah Michelle Gellar
Rudolph Giuliani
Selena Gomez (until age 20)
Tipper Gore
Cary Grant
Alan Greenspan
Jean Harlow
Teri Hatcher
William Randolph Hearst
Lillian Hellman

Catherine Hicks
Anthony Hopkins
Beth Howland
Gayle Hunnicut
Samuel L. Jackson
Shawn Johnson
Shirley Jones
Tommy Lee Jones
China Kantner
Alicia Keys

Ted Koppel
Lenny Kravitz
Diane Lane
Charles Lindbergh
John Lennon
James A. Lovell
Phil Lynott
Jesse Metcalfe
Lea Michele
Ann Miller

Beverley Mitchell
Joe Montana
Iris Murdoch
Brittany Murphy
Isaac Newton
Alexa Nikolas
Larisa Oleynik
Jerry Orbach
Al Pacino
Brad Paisley

Gregory Peck
Matthew Perry
Cole Porter
Natalie Portman
Ezra Pound
Enoch Powell
Elvis Presley
Lisa Marie Presley
Daniel Radcliffe
Nancy Reagan

Robert Reed
Condoleezza Rice
LeAnn Rimes
Joannie Rochette
Eleanor Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Richie Sambora
Jean Paul Sartre
Maria Sharapova
Brooke Shields

Frank Sinatra
Kirsten Smith
Ringo Starr
Chelsea Staub
Danielle Steel
Barbra Streisand
Pat Summerall
Raymond Teller
Charlize Theron
John Updike

Kanye West
Betty White
Mae Whitman
Robin Williams
Tiger Woods
Alexei Yagudin

An Olympic Only - Shawn Johnson

The 4'-9", 16 year old, gymnast Shawn Johnson competed in the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games August 8-24 2008.

Shawn took home 4 medals. She was the women's balance beam gold medalist, floor exercise silver medalist, and the individual all-around silver medalist! The US Women's team also earned the silver medal.

Shawn lives in West Des Moines, Iowa, with her parents Teri & Doug. She has a Golden Retriever named Tucker and two tabby cats, Max and Vern.

"Unlike most elite gymnasts who train approximately 40 hours a week and have private tutors, Shawn trains 20-25 hours a week and goes to public high school where she is on the "A" Honor Roll and will be a junior this fall. Shawn, her parents and coaches think it's very important for her to have a life outside of gymnastics and have time for friends, family, hobbies and school activities. Shawn has a passion for school and sets very high expectations for herself. While math is her best subject, English is her favorite. Shawn enjoys writing and uses it as well as art as a way to express her creativity." - an excerpt from her former bio.

Another recent accomplishment came from stepping outside her comfort zone and into the world of dance. Shawn was the youngest ever competitor on Dancing with the Stars, and on May 19, 2009 was crowned the winner of Season 8. It looks like she's mastered two sports!

Only Child Clothing and Gifts JCA custom designs

Only Child - Kids Sweatshirt

White Hanes Heavyweight children's sweatshirt.

Text reads: I'm an Only child Let's keep it that way.

Singular Sensation - Infant Creeper

Choose from cloud white, sky blue, petal pink, and kiwi.

Text reads: I'm a Singular Sensation!

Only not Lonely - Bumper Sticker

Size: 10" x 3"

4mil vinyl with water and UV resistant inks.

Text reads: Only doesn't mean Lonely.

Three is a Magic Number

Says School House Rock

Three is a magic number,
Yes it is, it's a magic number.
Somewhere in the ancient, mystic trinity
You get three as a magic number.

The past and the present and the future.
Faith and Hope and Charity,
The heart and the brain and the body
Give you three as a magic number.

It takes three legs to make a tri-pod
Or to make a table stand.
It takes three wheels to make a ve-hicle
Called a tricycle.

Every triangle has three corners,
Every triangle has three sides,
No more, no less.
You don’t have to guess.
When it’s three you can see
It’s a magic number.

A man and a woman had a little baby,
Yes, they did.
They had three in the family,
And that’s a magic number.

3-6-9, 12-15-18, 21-24-27, 30.
3-6-9, 12-15-18, 21-24-27, 30.
Multiply backwards from three times ten:

Three time ten is (30), three times nine is (27),
Three times eight is (24), three times seven is (21),
Three times six is (18), three times five is (15),
Three times four is twelve,
And three times three is nine, and three times two is six,
And three times one is three of course.

Now take the pattern once more:
Three! . . .3-6-9
Twelve! . . .12-15-18
Twenty-one!. . .21-24-27. . .30

Now multiply from 10 backwards:
Three time ten is (30 – Keep going), three times nine is (27),
Three times eight is (24), three times seven is (21),
Three times six is (18), three times five is (15),
Three times four is twelve,
And three times three is nine, and three times two is six,
And three times one…
What is it?!
Yeah, That’s a magic number.

A man and a woman had a little baby.
Yes, they did.
They had three in the family.
That’s a magic number.

Music & Lyrics: George R. Newall
Performed by: Blossom Dearie

Is this an only child thing?

Be many times have you had that thought?

For some reason people want to lump only children together in a neat little package. They want to believe there is a "type". Usually any negative trait seen in a child will be attributed to their Only status. And, ironically enough, the traits people have in mind typically conflict with each other. They are too shy or they need to be the center of attention. They always want to be in charge or they always follow the crowd. They are too quiet or they talk too much. They're a loner or they constantly want to be around other kids. They are too immature or they act too grown up.

All only children certainly can't be all of these things. ;)

Please don't ask anyone "Is this an only child thing?". No matter what the "thing" is the answer will most likely be NO. Only children are as unique as any child with siblings. Some will be very shy, some will be very outgoing, and most will fall somewhere in the middle. Pick a trait and the same can be said for ANY child.

If you are the parent of an only do not dismiss any bad behavior by believing it must be because they don't have a sibling. If a behavior is unacceptable work on it. Teach them the correct way to behave. All children have things that need to be worked on. All parents have to put in the effort. You are most definitely not alone.

If you are not the parent of an only do not form an opinion of only children as a general population. You know that each of your children are completely different from each other. If they are that different growing up with the same parents, in the same household, with the same experiences you can't possibly assume all only children growing up in completely different situations would act the same.

“I believe that the parts of my daughter’s personality that I can influence will be affected by our parenting and by her experiences in the world–not by her being a singleton.”


Posted in guestbook July 27, 2007

Do I think there is a downside to only-hood?

In my opinion any negatives are no different from kids with siblings.

You can say they might be lonely...but so can kids with sibs. As long as your child is in activities, and has friends over, and has you to play with they don't have to be lonely at all.

You can say when the parents are gone they will have no one for support...but again even people with sibs don't always have their support or help. They WILL have support from their spouse or friends or extended family...and losing a parent will hurt just as much no matter how many siblings there are.

You can say they will be spoiled...that's easy don't spoil them. Have them wait their turn, have them share, teach them to respect their belongings as well as the belongings of others. And just because you can afford anything they want doesn't mean you have to give it to them. The child can still earn their own money and save for things...I did :) and there are plenty of non-only families with money who "spoil" their kids.

Hmm...I'm all out of possible cons.

Only Children on Squidoo

While it's home was on Squidoo, this page was chosen as Lens of the Day July 26th 2007.

What it feels like for a child to be told they're getting a sibling. - LOL

This cracks me up.

The best gift you can give your child

If you are the parent of an Only I'm sure you've heard (or read) this line:

"The best gift you can give your child is a sibling."

Now, I'm certainly glad some folks have more than one child. Not everyone is fulfilled with one and what works for me won't work for them. But, really?...there is nothing you'd put ahead of a sibling?

I, as you would expect, completely disagree. First, a child should not be "given" to another child. Second, I can think of many things that a parent would want to give their child all of which, I would hope, are more important than a sibling.

Which do you believe is the best gift you can give your child?

See results

This lens got a mention in Joy!

October 2007 issue of Joy Magazine
from Southern Oregon's Mail Tribune

Family Wise
One Cherished Child
The joys and challenges of parenting a singleton

You can read the full article at

The image below is the sidebar where this lens is mentioned in the print version.

One last thing

I should add that while I am an only my husband is not. He is the youngest of 4 children so he knows first hand what it's like to have siblings...and really great ones at that. Still, he has no worries about raising an only child and wouldn't want it any other way.

When commenting please remember this lens is to help others.

Are you an Only Child? Do you have one? - Come and say hi.

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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      @aaxiaa lm: Me and quite a few relatives (married now) shared this view for many years. However, a Danish study showed that those with one child are still happier than 2+ or even the childfree. Go figure. At least you've accomplished something. No wondering. More satisfying.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      @Christene-S: I noticed through reading Wikipedia Miranda Cosgrove is one, too. Add Brad Paisley, Drew Barrymore, Lisa Marie Presley, Margaret "Mae" Whitman, Ringo Starr, Pat Summerall, Alexa Nikolas, Leonardo da Vinci, Ann Miller, Jean Harlow, and Laura Dern. Though I realize the list will never be complete, there are a few more.

    • Christene-S profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      @esthertester: Danielle Steel, Joe Montana, and Rudy Giuliani are also all on the list above. I'll go add Beverly Cleary too. :)

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      @Christene-S: Beckinsale always considered herself an only no matter what. She doesn't maintain regular contact with her half sibling. But yes, Bosworth definitely. There's also Danielle Steel and Beverly Clearly, although they're from older gens. Joe Montana is an only child and so is Rudy Giuliani.

    • Christene-S profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      @esthertester: Sophia and Charlize are on the list above. Kate Beckinsale has 5 step siblings and 1 half sibling. I will add Kate Bosworth though, thanks!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Kate Beckinsale, Kate Bosworth, Sophia Bush, Charlize Theron are also all onlies.

    • aaxiaa lm profile image

      aaxiaa lm 

      5 years ago

      Whatever floats your boat, I personally don't want to have children at all. I love them in general, but I don't think I'm cut out to be a mother to kids of my own. Too scared to mess them up.

    • Digory LM profile image

      Digory LM 

      5 years ago

      I am not anywhere near this category (I have six siblings and six kids of my own) but my fiancée has one.

      The comebacks to rude questions are outstanding.

      Thanks so much for the lens.

    • JustineKnott profile image


      5 years ago

      My son is an only child and he is very independent, able to amuse himself, and enjoys his own company. On the flip side, he loves playing with friends, and going to other people's houses and socialising. To be honest, in my work as a psychologist the children I see with social skills difficulties (ie. difficulty getting along with others) are not 'only children'. I think if parents ensure that only children are exposed to social situations where they learn to interact with other children there are no concerns.

      I will add that no-one should judge any other parent for the choices they make. We all know what we are capable of and what we are able to give. I think parents who are able to cope with large families are wonderful too.

      Thanks for a thought provoking article.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I am an only child and I've always loved it. Of course, there were times when I wished I had siblings. But then I think about it and love every aspect of it! Great lens.

    • seodress profile image


      6 years ago

      Really worth visiting this lens. Well done.

    • NibsyNell profile image


      6 years ago

      As an only child, there are times when I wish I had a big family but then I guess you always want what you don't have. And I'm not sure if I could have coped with sharing the bathroom with an extra person lol!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I've heard a few times people talking about having fears of raising only children-wheather by choice, or circumstance preventing them from having a larger family. Fearing that they wouldn't be socialized, or that they would feel lonely or maybe even be spoiled. My own thoughts as an only child is that my parents have nothing to feel bad about in their choice. To me this is our family. I don't feel lonely, I don't feel like I missed out on anything. I can't say whether or not I'm spoiled, but I don't think my parents would say I am. If someone is having fears about this, as an only child I'd say...this is my life, and I'm happy with it. I love my parents, I'm just...really happy.

    • sue826 lm profile image

      sue826 lm 

      6 years ago

      At one point I thought of stopping after one. I did some research and reading up (this was 29 years ago) on only children. There are many positive points. I had a second kid after 6 years and that worked out fine. Great lens

    • Clunygrey LM profile image

      Clunygrey LM 

      6 years ago

      I have an only child and was able to devote all my resources to him; now he has an only child. I was the eldest of 4 and no one got enough of what he/she needed (time, attention, love, money). I love children, and that is why having only one was the only way to go!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I have more than one child but enjoyed reading about your story, including the reasons for your choice as well as all the famous people who were also an "only child." Lovely job, you sound like the perfect mother!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I come from a family of five and loved it. But I think think this lens lets you see the other half. Nice work, and good luck to you.

    • Frischy profile image


      6 years ago from Kentucky, USA

      I always wanted a large family and ended up with two. I never really considered having just one child. I can certainly see the benefits of it, now that I am older.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I come from a large family, with 50 cousins and 3 siblings but I believe that if I have the chance to have a child I would only have one. This has been a really interesting lens. Thank you!

    • fastpass2disney profile image


      7 years ago

      I was an only child & my husband is the youngest of 4 - so just like you! I never really thought about being an only child as it was just the way it was. I did have a very close friend who almost lived at our house, came on vacation with us etc and she feels like a sister to me. I have two children and although I would probably have been happy with one child but now I have two I cannot imagine only having one! They squabble like all siblings but they have an incredible bond and it makes me happy to think that they will have each other (hopefully) when my husband & I are not. I have not had more children for all the reasons you have only had one so I don't think those things are exclusive to having one child. Ultimately though I think it is really up to individuals how big their families are (as long as they are able to support them). Really enjoyed reading your lens - thanks :)

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Awesome lens, nicely done! Thumbs up

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      @mommafox: Mommafox, I know many people who have trouble sharing and they all have siblings. Not to mention, stingy men and people who won't help share the load taking care of of their parents with their siblings. Usually the responsiblity falls on ONE sibling. Please, don't stereotype. There are some only children who share and some only children who do not. Just like there are some people with siblings who share and some people with siblings who do not. Surely, you are not that naive and gullible to think that every person with a sibling is so "sweet' and "giving." Please, don't make me laugh.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Being an only is a foreign concept to me, but you do raise many valid points. And I love the wisecracks for questions that come. I have plenty for people who ask questions about my having so many children.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      This is a truly excellent lens. I've spent so much time looking into birth order and its impact on personality, that I totally left this out. And I've also spent much of my life thinking it would be sad to be an only. This is a very up-beat piece, with interesting information.

    • Christene-S profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      @sherridan: Nah, having an only isn't exhausting. Only one to feed, bathe, change, hold has to be easier than two!

      3 of her grandparents 'fight' over who can have her when so it's never been just me or dh around. Lots of aunts, uncles, and cousins too, not to mention activities, school, and friends. :)

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      This lens is really fantastic. I have a son, three years old. :) wonderful time but I often think what is ok and what is wrong. But I think that we must listen heart.

    • sherridan profile image


      7 years ago

      You have raised some good and valid points - we all have our optimum number of children. I was not an only child, so I do not know what that is like. My mother was sadly a very indulged and difficult only, who thought the world revolved around her. Personally, as a single working parent I was really grateful to have twins; I think a singleton would have been exhausting because I should have felt compelled to be giving the child my constant attention. As it was, the twins had each other and I was often superfluous! I loved having two and enjoyed noting their individuality and differences. Fortunately, they are different genders and so different in interests and talents, there has never been any comparisons or rivalry. Selfish, perhaps, but I would have loved more.

    • jordanmilesbask profile image


      7 years ago

      I'm not an only child but I have one child of my own..His name is Jordan Miles and I love that I able to give my very best and be able to support him in every way..Love your lens!!

      Please come and check my lens -

    • buttercupguinea profile image


      7 years ago

      I think your lens is fantastic, amazing and thoughtful. You put sooo much work into it! this lens gives me an insight into being a parent of an only child. As I am an only child I find this topic particularly interesting. Your Lens is thought provoking and Informative and I have nothing but praise. I love your Lens (I liked it).

    • buttercupguinea profile image


      7 years ago

      Great lens

      I am an only child!

    • victoriuh profile image


      7 years ago

      I am glad you have the family that you want. I have two kids and that is perfect for me. Far too many families have more or less than they want, so we are lucky. Great lens.

    • EndeavourToys profile image


      7 years ago

      For children, as the saying goes, the grass is always greener on the other side. I was an only child and my best friend was one of nine children. I was intrigued by my friends household where it seemed there was constant laughter and joking and light hearted attempts to sneak under the radar of frazzled parents. She was envious of my family life style which was relatively calm and organized with plenty of parental involvement (and my own room). Both situations had ups and downs and we both are ultimately well adjusted people because we were loved. There is only one thing that matters in a family, and that is love. If a family consistently provides love and support to one another, the number of children is irrelevant. That goes for families that choose to have no children as well. Peace and contentment comes with the security of being loved and protected. Your life and the lives of your children will not be more or less fulfilling based on numbers. It's the individual relationships and bonds that are developed that will make the difference.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      No i am not the only child nor do i have one but i am planning to .. :)

    • eilval profile image


      7 years ago from Western Cape , South Africa

      Thought-provoking and informative subject !

    • Mistl profile image


      7 years ago

      I am an only child and I didn't mind when I was a kid although I sometimes wished I had a sister/brother. Now that I have grown up I very much miss having siblings. I lean a lot on my cousins, but it is not the same. :)

      I can totally see the reasonings behind only wanting a single child and it makes a lot of sense. For me though if I have a choice in the matter I would like at least 2 children.

    • chezchazz profile image


      7 years ago from New York

      As the parent of an only child (by circumstance, not choice) I greatly appreciate this lens. Thank you.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I am not an only child but have friends that are. Great lens full of learning... thank you.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      great lens

    • Netlexis LM profile image

      Netlexis LM 

      7 years ago

      I really admire you for making this decision. Far too many people don't think about bringing children into this world and whether is the right thing to do. And usually when they do, it's for all the wrong reasons. Raising a family isn't a numbers game. Whether is one of 10, it's all about the love and commitment you can give.

    • mommafox profile image


      7 years ago

      I'm not one, but my husband is. I used to wish I was an only child when I was a child. lol We have 4 children, but I always say, "one is fun! two is work." If you feel comfortable just with one, then I encourage it. Me, I didn't feel my maternal instinct was satisfied until I had my 4th child. Now I'm complete. I do find that my husband really has a hard time coping with a larger family though. He finds it's stressful that there's always kids around, that he can't get away on his own, and struggles with sharing. He hides things at times so he doesn't have to share them. I find that a bit frustrating and strange, but figure it's all part of growing up an only child. I had to share everything, even my bed, so I don't know what it's like to be the only.

      Great lens.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Very nice lens weel done! squidlikes!

    • MyTimeAlone profile image


      7 years ago

      It's funny, you wanted a single child because that's how you grew up. I wanted three because that's how I grew up. If we had unlimited time to spend with our children we would've had more, but alas, work gets in the way and having more would feel like we were cheating the ones we already had. Great lens.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Congratulations on publishing a lens on this important topic.

    • curious0927 profile image


      7 years ago

      Very Unique Lens. I've never knew much about this subject, I am one of 8 and Mother to 3. I'm divorced with custody of all 3, at least I have that going for me in the number game. Loved that! Loved the whole thing! Just great. Blessed

    • Mikhus LM profile image

      Mikhus LM 

      7 years ago

      @giraffesandstuff: Yeap, true feeling about compliteness. I suppose my new son will not be an only child in my family. Hope my wife think also in this way :)

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      that's a very interesting lens. it really made me think. I also wanted only one child - untill my son turned 4yrs old. and then something changed, I understood that it's not enough for me. I wanted just one more - a baby girl :) well i got more than i bargained for...twins. I now have a 4yr old boy + boy & girl twins. I wasn't too happy to hear that i'm having twins. I didn't plan for a 3rd child. but for some odd reason i now feel that my family is complete. I guess deciding to have an only child feels the same - like a complete family of three. I think it's great that you stand behind your choice - i get same stupid questions as well "isn't it hard to have twins?" "do you get much sleep?". having only one child is definetly a personal choice - one that will make you happy - so who cares what other people think? Koodos to you!

    • designsbyharriet profile image


      7 years ago from Indiana

      I am an only child. My husband is an only child, and my son is an only child. What can I say? We all feel blessed. Thanks for a great lens.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I'm an only child too! May I kindly suggest you place a poll to see how many of your readers are an only child as well or have siblings? Great information, thanks for sharing!

    • earthybirthymum profile image


      7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Great Lense! Mom of 11 here, can't imagine one, but I can relate to choice. It's funny almost all your reasons "Why would I choose to have an only child?" are the reasons I have more than one. Many Blessings

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Very nicley shared such a great topic. Really Enjoyed to read and share it.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Wonderful article, enjoyed the time I spent reading it ... *blessed*

    • Missmerfaery444 profile image


      7 years ago

      Really enjoyed reading this! I'm not technically an only child as I have two step-brothers, but I grew up not having much to do with them so I feel like I was. My parents were both only children, and my daughter is currently an only child too! We've not completely decided if she will ever have a brother or sister but to be honest I am perfectly happy with one :) And like you, my partner is also one of four siblings, so it makes an interesting contrast - my tiny family and his huge one!

      I agree very much with what you write here. I never missed having siblings to play with, I enjoyed playing with friends or on my own, My mum was the same, and she remembers having friends who grew up intently disliking their brothers or sisters and being envious of her not having any! Blessed by a Squid Angel.

    • LouisaDembul profile image


      7 years ago

      I am not an only child, and have two myself. But I think it should be your own choice. We are happy like this. The most important thing is that you take care of your kids, whether there is one or many.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      What a great topic, having an only child really does bring up issues of how this will effect their development and social awareness of others. Great work.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Thank you so much for this article. I love your enthusiasm for your family of 3. We have a family of three, our adorable 4 yr old son, hubby and myself and we do have a 4 legged baby, that's the closest to a sibling that my 4 yr old will ever get, and my hubby and I are content with that and most importantly so is our son. He goes to preschool, as he will start Kindergarten in August and he sees so many kids who have to fight for parents' attention or who cannot get time to themselves on account of siblings. I had to have a hysterectomy back last Oct. and I don't regret it one bit, I love being the mommy to my one and only. We are going back to Disney World for a second time with our little man in April to celebrate his 5th birthday. He went for the first time when he was 2, if we had more than one, a disney vacation would be more of a dream than a reality. We love to go up to our big mall and to Barnes and Nobles and Toys R Us when my hubby and I are off on Saturdays and spend quality time as a family, often coming home with a toy and a book or two. We love to eat out and we as a family of 3 can eat out for about the same price as cooking at home, though we cook at home some, eating out is definately a luxury we enjoy doing, my little man does love some Olive Garden!!! I have friends who have 3 and 4 kids and their whole lives revolve around laundry, cleaning up messes and buying food for the week at the grocery store, grocery store is their big weekly outing. I have a friend in particular with 4 kids (3 born within 39 mos) and it's always chaotic, noisy, and she's always stuck at home strapped for cash. She always tells me, "it must be nice", well it is nice, one is all we can afford and one is all we want, we both work full-time (I'm a nurse, hubby is a grocery manager) so on our days off, we treasure it with our little man. Also, my parents beg to keep our little one, they are begging us to go back to Vegas (we went there before our little man was born) one summer so that they can keep our little man, we just may take them up on it soon. With only one child, you have the best of both worlds, you can fully enjoy your child with no distractions and have time as hubby and wife too. My friend with 4 kids has to beg and pull teeth to get someone to watch her brood just so she can go to the dr. We live in a 3 bedroom, 2 bath house, so our boy has his own room, own playroom and bathroom. He says all the time, I love my life and my house, he's the apple of our eyes and we just love being a family of 3!!!!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Great topic. Appreciating.........

    • hlkljgk profile image


      7 years ago from Western Mass

      great lens. i thought syna was going to be an only child; it's been that way for 6 years, and we've enjoyed it immensely.

    • JackieSonia profile image


      7 years ago

      Great lens. I have always heard the negatives about having or being an only child. It is good to hear the other side of it. You make a valuable argument about being an only child and choosing to have one child. Good information for anyone who also chooses to have only one child. Thanks

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Interesting topic, people can be so rude. What business is it to anyone how many children a person has or why! I love the one wisecrack you have that the voices in her head keep her company LOL!

      Great lens, I enjoyed my visit.

      Robin :)

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Congratulations to you for making the family choice that is right for you! And congratulations being mentioned in JOY magazine! Blessings and a bit o' sunshine!

    • waldenthreenet profile image


      7 years ago

      Great topic. Appreciating "Only Child" topic. Risks are much lower now so many have fewer kids than one or two generations earlier. Congrad on your high Squidoo Level. Going for my next level, 54. See you again soon. Looking for new ideas and new topics all the time ! Oops, just got one !. Thanks

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      My husband and I both have one sibling however we have decided our son will be an only child. He has lots of cousins and I am sure when he gets older he will have lots of friends. We do worry some about him being lonely but I think he will have it all this way!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      @KimGiancaterino: Parents who have more than one child cannot individually meet the individual needs of all their children. Some children are neglected while others are cared for. It is best to have one chlld for he/she will receive the best of everything, materially, emotionally, and psychologically. Only children are indeed blessed children. They are also the luckiest children in the world. Any child who is an only child should be thankful every day.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I cheated and have the best of both worlds! My father has two children from his first marriage that are over 15 years older than me. I never lived with them so I was raised as an only child.

      As an adult I can enjoy the benefits of people to turn to and love as well as belong to. I do have friends I feel as strongly about though. Its not important to belong to just family members, because blood doesn't even matter. I was adopted. People can even adopt each other as adults.

      I thoroughly enjoy my nieces, but treasure having grown up being my parent's focus and joy.

      Wonderful lens! Thanks for sharing.

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 

      7 years ago from USA

      I am one of seven children, but my husband is an only and is just fine with it. He still doesn't get the "blame" thing. He enjoyed being an only because all the attention

      (good or bad) was on him. He'd have it no other way, and neither would I. God knows who fits everywhere. Isn't that great?

    • Christene-S profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      @Elhamstero: That's what friends are for!

    • Elhamstero profile image


      7 years ago

      I'm an only child and I currently have only one daughter. I remember being lonely as a child though. If I got a board game for Christmas or my birthday I had to wait for my parents to play it with me so I think I relied on them for entertainment.

    • EMangl profile image


      7 years ago

      i have only one daughter but i don't think she will become an egoistic person as so many think about only childs

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I belong to a family of 5 but one grandchild is a singleton so her summer experience at the cottage gives her a chance to understand what it is to have brothers and sisters.

    • blessedmomto7 profile image


      8 years ago

      You have a very different family than I do, but I really enjoyed your lens. (I am a mom of 7.) I did not vote in your poll, since I believe the most important thing you can give your child is a mother and father that love each other through thick and thin and love Jesus most of all, all the rest follows. Enjoyed your comebacks to Rude Questions. Believe it or not, moms of many get just as many rude questions ("when are you having another? Isn't it about time for more? Do you know what causes that?"). Every child is a blessing whether he or she is the only one in the family or the sibling of many others. Blessed your lens!

    • KathyMcGraw2 profile image

      Kathy McGraw 

      8 years ago from California

      I found this full of wisdom and enjoyed the read. Too many times people think they have to behave like everyone else does in order to be accepted socially. Making a choice to have only one child is up to each couple, and loved reading your comebacks to others rude comments. Blessed :)

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 

      8 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      My grandson is an Only Child so I will definitely share this page with him. Thank you.

    • Christene-S profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      @smithlights: Neither of those are concerns of mine. I'm an only and my daughter has 6 cousins so far. When my parents are gone I won't be alone, I have my own family now, plus my inlaws, extended family, and friends.

    • smithlights profile image


      8 years ago

      I was an only child for most of my life, then my parents had a bonus child. All they years I was alone, I wanted a brother more than anything. As Gemma, below, says, I was worried about the time my parents were gone and I was alone. Plus, I can't imagine my kids not having cousins!

      Great lens though. Lots of information and well-written.

    • menskincaretips profile image


      8 years ago

      I am an only child as well! This lens is amazing and very informative to all those who are planning in having an only child.

    • profile image


      8 years ago


      I am an only child i come from parents that were both only children and at the moment i have an only child and am seriously thinking of keeping it that way but order of society etc expects you to have more then one! i do get confussed!

      what makes it worse is since i had my scrummy daughter i have lost both of my parnets and i have no family on my side, it is lonely but i am so totaly focussed on my pwn family and friends i am coping, i do ask my self what would i be like if this had happened and i didnt have my own family to focus on, what kind of state would i be in etc but equilly even if i did have sibilings who is to say we would be close and a time like this sometimes inheritance etc can cause a family to split up anyway.

      I am learning to be greatfull for what i ahve and to not always want more.

      but going back to us having more people are so quick to say you dont want your dd to be in the same situation as me etc but hopefully we will bring her up to be a very well balanced adult. Also i ahve a slight blood clotting prob and had a few probs and i feel if something was to happen to me just because i wanted to giver her a sibiling then she cld be without a mum at a young age.( worst case senario) she is everything and more i could ever want and i want to hopefully have a wonderful bond with her be a freind as well as a mum where as i am not saying you cant with more then one but your time is so divided.

      of course there is the finance side of things too, currant financial climet isnt cheap nor going to be. i have thought to myself i may adopt when ours has fled the nest give a poor child a loving home and a chance in this world try and give some thing back but will just see how life goes,

      also we are going to Home Educate her too that does raise eye brows and get commets like " what her being an only child!!" but we meet up nearlly every day on play dates we also have dogs and horses and she see her nanny reg we are rarely at home and she certainly isnt socially deprived infact its useally her that is the first to speak to anouther child or grown up she is very good at sharing and lissening to me if i need to explaine something too her.

      The only thing i wish i had had when i gre up was more time doing thingsd with my parents but they where a lot older and had me late and it was a generation thing not to say we didnt do things and go places but it was a very typicl;e parent V child relationship and prob a lot bought on by me for sure but i hope as i am younger in having our dd i will relate with her on a slightly differant level.

      i love both my parents and miss them so very badley but they have done a wonderful job bringing me up as i can cope with such tragic loss so early in my life and that of my dd.

      so there certainly not any problem with being an only.

      one last note they do say you can choose your friends and not your family and that is true on the basis i have made up a very close nit circle of friends that have become my family. x

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Thanks for the lens on this topic. I have an only child who is now 13. Sometimes he wishes he had a brother I guess there are pros and cons to being an only child. Thanks for the list of famous people who are an only child. Sometimes these kids are the most successful in life.

    • RetroMom profile image


      8 years ago

      I admire your courage to stand what you believe in and I do agree you have a point. There are a lot of advantages and disadvantages of being an only child just like those who belongs with 3 or 4 siblings. I appreciate your honesty this is a great lens, it lets your readers view this side of perspective. Well done!

    • UKGhostwriter profile image


      8 years ago

      fantastic lens -well done

    • indigoj profile image

      Indigo Janson 

      8 years ago from UK

      I had never seen this before and was so glad to chance across such a perceptive and positive discussion of the one-child family -- with a dash of humour too! The comebacks to nosy questions made me smile. People can be very judgemental, whether you have no children, one child, or I imagine also a lot of children (i.e. anything outside of the norm). I was not an only child and I don't have an only child but I still agree with so much that you say here and especially that no child should ever be brought into the world simply because the first-born wants (or it is imagined that he or she wants) a little brother or sister to play with. Not all siblings get along and they can have very different personalities. I believe each child should be wanted and loved as a unique individual. Delighted to be able to bless this lens.

    • ZenandChic profile image


      8 years ago

      I am an only child. Very well done lens! (I have been to it before, but I came by to bless it)

    • RandomSpecifics profile image


      8 years ago

      Great lens! I'm an only child and so far have one daughter (although I'd like more.) Growing up I always wanted a kid brother or sister but I realized as I grew older that being an only child was awesome. I was homeschooled through primary school, which I don't think is a good idea for an only child, however.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      So glad to have found this! My only son is 11 and we couldn't be happier as a family of three. My husband is also an Only, and I think he turned out pretty great, too. :-)

    • heidishome profile image


      8 years ago

      Nice lens! I have two but I always thought one would be very special too! I think it is all personal preference! I love the section with polite, wisecrack etc. I think too many people offer their opinion haphazardly. Blessed!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I have an only child :) (he's 29 now!) You're 'spot on' with the statements a parent receives from others!

    • ewguru lm profile image

      ewguru lm 

      8 years ago

      great Lens I guess ones children are never to young

    • Titia profile image

      Titia Geertman 

      8 years ago from Waterlandkerkje - The Netherlands

      I'm not an only child and we have two daughters. I would have liked to have four or five children, but due to circomstances, it just didn't happen. I do agree with you that there's in principle no difference between 'only' and 'not only' children. How a child is or act, depends entirely on how parents raise their child or children.

    • Philippians468 profile image


      8 years ago

      children are precious, regardless the number! cheers

    • jlshernandez profile image


      8 years ago

      I am one of five children. My son is an only child. Great lens!

    • lasertek lm profile image

      lasertek lm 

      8 years ago

      We do have different choices in life. I have been raised with other siblings and I felt it was good to have the same with my own family. Whatever makes us happy & what is given is the best that we can have.

    • TeacherSerenia profile image


      8 years ago

      I was not an only child. I grew up with 2 siblings. My spouse has 3 siblings. We have an only child but it was not by choice. We would have loved to have had 2 kids, but our son is destined to be an only child due to medical misadventures.

    • erin-elise profile image


      8 years ago

      I am an only child and very glad to be. I have four children and I love my kids, but the house is never quiet and I long for some peace and quiet. My oldest son was an only for eight years until I got remarried and then the quiet was gone. : ) I bet he misses it too. I don't regret having more but I certainly had no idea how it was going to be.

      I really enjoyed your hub. You are a great writer.

    • PNWtravels profile image

      Vicki Green 

      8 years ago from Wandering the Pacific Northwest USA

      I am not an only child - I have one brother and I have 2 children, But after raising 2, I definitely believe in quality over quantity in parenting and see nothing wrong with having any only. I especially enjoyed your comebacks to rude questions! Blessed by a Squid Angel.

    • AWildDog profile image


      8 years ago

      I'm not an only child but with my brother being 16 years older than me and my sister 18 years older than me, in some ways I am and I grew up as one. So I guess I see things both ways - I think it's a personal decision and I don't think anyone is a bad parent for choosing to have one or several children - as long as they provide the needs of the children they have.

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 

      8 years ago from Vermont

      I am the eldest of 6. I often wished I was the only child when I was a kid. I had an only child for 8 years, then unexpectedly had another. I often said I had two "onlies" because they were so far apart. They became closer as adults, but really had not much to share as children. The older daughter now has two children, while the younger one is le childaning strongly to her first child being an only. She'll appreciate your insights in this lens ...

    • bigjoe2121 profile image


      8 years ago

      I am not an only, but my son is :) so far. He's 7. He was so strong-willed as a baby and one year old (and two, 3, and 4 year old) that I was scared to have another. lol. he's great now.

    • kateloving profile image

      Kate Loving Shenk 

      8 years ago from Lancaster PA

      I wonder why there's what I see as a stigma against having an Only Child? I love your answers to some of people's rude questions. "What you think of me is none of my business!"

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      @anonymous: My daughter has Cystic Fibrosis (CF), a genetic disease which affects the lungs and digestive system mostly. I thought I might stop at one before I knew she had CF, but I so resented her illness because I felt it took the decision out of my hands. I absolutely feel that I could never have given her the care I have while caring for another child, and another child would probably also suffer since I would always be so concerned for my first's health and making doctor appts, etc. Plus, her CF being genetic meant that if I wanted to be "guaranteed" a child without CF I would have to go throuh pre-genetic diagnosis and IVF and it would have to be an absolute decision to have another (we made the decision to have the first as well, but did not have to go as far as IVF) - and believe it or not, I would feel guilty having another "healthly" child by choice when my first had so many obstacles to overcome. And letting things just happen was not a possibility either since I could have another child with CF and could not cope emotionally with that. So, you see, having a healthy child or a not-so-healthy child was not an option. Ugh! I think I only doubt myself since I feel the decision was taken out of my hands, but I think I would have made it anyway; plus I sometimes feel that I am in the minority and sometimes it just feels wrong to have one; and then I also feel guilty not giving my daughter a sibling even though she says she does not want one - I just always think that will change as she gets older. By the way, my daughter is 7 and doing great and SHE LOVES BEIING AN ONLY CHILD! I hope it stays that way.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I am a parent of an only child. When we were about to have the one and right after we had her, we both talked about how one would be enough. Then when she was 2 weeks old we found out our only had cystic fibrosis, and right then and there I felt as if our decision to have or not have only one was taken away from us. The only way we could have had a "healthy" second child without cystic fibrosis would be to go through pre-genetic diagnosis and then IVF - we needed a little help to have our first, but did not havce to go the route of IVF. Anyway, I think we MAY have decided to have another one if it just happened, but we did not want to have to DECIDE to have another one. We knew we could not emotionaly handle another child with cystic fibrosis so couldn't just let a pregnancy happen, but I also could not go out of my way to have a "healthy" child - how could I give another child a chance my only child never had? Something tells me I would not have decided to have more children, but I will never really know. I think I always just wanted a second chance at a different beginning with the one I do have, but I couldn't love her any more so I am not sure what I am looking for. I know this forum is to help others, but I think sharing this has really helped me. But I do hope my story hits a chord with someone and helps another feel that they are not alone.

    • oztoo lm profile image

      oztoo lm 

      8 years ago

      I'm an only, but I have 2 "only" children. Well they were born 20 years apart so they were raised as onlies. They've both grown up to be great adults. Love this lens.


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