Benefits of Having Only One Child – One and Done
Benefits of Having Only One Child – While some people have big families with many children, other families are happy with their one little one! We spoke to Blogger Momma Braga about how she had one child and how this is a perfect fit for her family. We also spoke about some of the stereotypes that are projected on parents of one children.
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What was it like giving birth to your first baby, Nikki?
Nikki has always been very special before she was even born. We didn’t think we would be able to have children due to a prior miscarriage. Therefore, when we got the news that we were expecting again, we were over the moon.
My pregnancy term was full of being sick and gestational diabetes but the end result was what kept me going which was having a baby.
I went into labour two weeks early as I was diagnosed with preeclampsia (characterized by high blood pressure and signs of damage to another organ system, most often the liver and kidneys). Luckily, I had a great medical team who ensured that I had a safe delivery and after 7 hours of labour and 45 minutes of pushing, Nikki was born.
How was the first year of parenting?
The first year was all about adjusting and learning about my child and myself. There were many high and low points. Both my husband and I learned so much in that first year. We realized quickly what “Enjoy your sleep while you can” meant and boy do we wish we could have squeezed in a few more days of sleep.
The most important for us as parents that first year was finding our voice. You would be surprised (or not) on how many people have opinions on child raising. Even when you didn’t ask, someone would offer unsolicited advice. Intentions were good but it truly put us down as parents. So, it took us awhile to finally stand up for ourselves and to trust our own gut on raising our child.
Did you and your husband want to have more children?
Before my husband and I got married, we discussed many life decisions as we wanted to make sure that we were on the same page before tying the knot. We originally wanted to have two children as that was the number, we felt comfortable with and one that we were accustomed to. My husband has one sibling and I had one too. Therefore, it just felt natural to also have two children.
After having Nikki, we did talk about having one more child but as this interview will show, that changed.
How did you decide that one child was enough?
It wasn’t an easy decision to make as we felt torn on what we should do. For the longest time we were very indecisive as we didn’t know what would be best for us.
As we grew with our daughter, we started to see that one was plenty for us and our family felt complete. Our life was already so full with just one child and with my health turning with Non-Alcoholic Liver Disease, we thought it was best that we would concentrate with what we have at the present time. Adding a pregnancy would not be fair for anyone and we are grateful for the one child that we do have as we never thought we would have one.
Do you get asked a lot if or when you will have another baby?
It seems like people love asking questions. At first, I was a little hurt with the constant asking as I would wonder, “Is my child not good enough?” I felt the pressure to create another life so that people can tell me all over again how to raise another child. Luckily, people don’t ask anymore and it could be because of my sarcastic remarks back or that they have read my articles on Momma Braga. Either way I am so glad that it has stopped as I am happy with my one child and I am so proud of her.
When people tell single child parents to have other children, why is this actually a RUDE thing to do?
The reason why I would consider rude to ask is because at the end of the day it isn’t anyone’s business on what I chose to do with my uterus. It is also rude to ask in front of the child or even ask the child why the parents don’t have more kids. When you do this, you are making the parents and the child feel bad. So please do not do that. Instead, just be supportive as I know that I support people who decide to have no children or those who decide to have more than two children.
For parents who are feeling the pressure to have a second child but don’t want to, what are some of the positives of having one great child?
Having one or ten great children all have its positives. Even if you don’t want any children, there are positives to that too. For the sake of this interview, I will talk about the positives it is for us personally. I love being able to just concentrate on my daughter and have that one-on-one time with her. The relationship and bond that I have been able to develop with her has been empowering.
I have been able to devote a lot of my time to help her with school studies and help her expand her creativity with crafts that we often do at home. This time that I am able to devote to her has helped her tremendously with our online learning the last year. For me personally, it is easier for me to manage my time with one child.
In addition, one child is financially affordable for us. The cost of living keeps raising and raising a child in today’s society is a very expensive one.
Those are just some of the positives of having one great child. I unfortunately don’t have the super power for more than one child and I embrace my only child with my whole heart.
A lot of people say an only child can be LONELY without siblings. Why is this NOT true?
Unless you have your child locked in a tower like poor Rapunzel was, it is very unlikely they will be lonely. Nikki is surrounded by family and friends who love her dearly and I know that she will never be alone.
We started Nikki at a very young age to interact and socialize with everyone. We implemented playdates at a young age as a way to get her to engage with others. She has many great friendships and built new ones along the way. She is also surrounded by so many loving family members that we as her parents help her maintain.
On the other side, we also personally know many people who have many siblings who don’t even communicate or connect with. Therefore, having a sibling does not mean a life-long friend.
Does “only child syndrome” exist? Why or why not?
I am not a child psychologist or medical professional but as a parent of an only child, I can say that the “only child syndrome” is a myth. It truly depends on a couple of factors: the child themselves; and the way they are raised.
What does “only child syndrome” mean? It means that only children are lonely, selfish, spoiled, impatient and maladjusted.
I can only speak on my own child and my experience and I know that my daughter does not showcase any of these characteristics.
We have tried our very best to raise a daughter who likes to share and is generous. Nikki can be patient and impatient as it all depends what she is excited for. I know many adults who are not the only child who are very impatient (lol). Therefore, I think this characteristic can be applied to anyone.
Only Children Thrive in Social Settings
Nikki thrives in social settings and is sociable with all. Not to mention her amazing empathy towards others. It is something that even her teachers have noted in her report cards and we couldn’t be prouder. Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another and it is one that can be hard for children to exhibit. I have been often asked if Nikki has any older siblings as she is so loving and caring towards others. Everyone is always shocked to hear that Nikki is an only child. I am never shocked as that is how we raised her.
I have saved “spoiled” for last as it is one that stings for me when I hear, read or see it. A couple of years back, a family member mentioned to someone that I know said that my daughter was one spoiled little girl. Of course, as a Momma Bear, I was going to call out on that person. However, I stepped back and looked at who was saying this. I knew that they were projecting their own parenting style onto me and I promised myself not to judge.
We provide all the essentials that our daughter needs and we do provide her some extras since she is our only child, we have the means to do so. However, she does know she can’t get everything that she asks for and we remind her of how lucky she is. Throughout the year, we do donations to others in order to teach her how important it is to give back. Many times, she goes through some of her really good toys and gives it to others who don’t have any. We even give away clothes that no longer fit to a family who is in need.
All these life lessons (how I like to call it) is what helps us shape our daughter in her upbringing. This is why we say that “only child syndrome” is a myth. It can’t be real if we don’t believe it, right?!
What is some top advice you would give others when making judgements of one child families?
We support the decisions that families make for themselves. Everyone does and chooses what is best for them. My request to everyone is to be more accepting and loving to one another. Let us respect others and just give a listening ear when needed. Remember that whether someone decides to have no children or ten children, we shouldn’t judge or condemn them. The definition of “family” truly depends on how you see your family looking and not what others think it should look like.