The Nitty-Gritty of Raising an ONLY Child

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I grew up in Phoenix, Arizona. The family had my beautiful mom, step dad, my sister, me, and a dog. All of my parents grew up with their siblings, and I grew up with mine too. During the Holidays and during the summers I would visit my Dad, kind step mom, brother and other sister in northern California. Their house was on 15 anchors in the middle of the mountains and we always had lots of pets there like chickens, rabbits, several dogs and cats and even a pet deer that was rescued.

After 6 years of marriage, we finally met our son in August of 2016. My husband, Chaz, and I always planned on having just one child. I had mixed feelings when I realized that every phase of my son’s life will be experienced just once by us because we will not be having more children.

No, you can’t get away thinking I was never guilty of doing this as a parent. I understood I am going to deprive my son of a playmate, a sibling’s love, and the one-of-a-kind relationship nobody else can make him experience. I wondered who will play with him while he plays with the trucks and who will have his back during tough times. Who will help him choose the perfect outfits for special occasions and who will help him take care of me when I am too old and fragile? The questions kept bugging me!

It sometimes made me feel that I have failed as a parent and that I am too selfish. But then I also thought of growing my business and owning a second house with a perfect view. I dreamt of giving my child a life full of lots of adventure and travels. My husband and I have lives in several states, and I do want to be able to afford to see our family in Arizona once a year. Although we don’t always get what we want, it does not absolutely mean that we have anything less than wonderful now.

The older my son grew, the more I realized how wise a decision it was to raise an only child. This small family of ours suddenly started to feel enormous and enough. It was better than I could imagine and our hearts are soo full with love and joy.

More One-On-One Time

This is a very obvious one, so it is worthy of being reiterated. With a single child, you don’t have to worry about them getting enough time with you. It is clear the child will have your undivided attention because there aren’t more children. You will likely have to spend a few minutes playing with the trucks or the Barbie dolls if it is a girl. That will do!

Just 20 minutes of one-on-one time with your only child is enough, which would not have been the case if you had a large family unit with more children. None of them would be getting any one-on-one time with the parents. Every single minute you spend with the only child in your family will be far-reaching and appreciated— not only by them but by you as well.

More ‘Me-Time’ For You

If you already are a parent, you do realize how the littlest things take up the most time. It can take you hours to put your baby to sleep, and the bath times can be much longer than you expect. With a single child, you can cope up with time constraints almost easily. You will not have to worry about getting one done with their bath quickly just so you can yank another into the bathroom. Likewise, you will need lesser time getting ready in the morning or making the child eat. This will naturally save a lot of the day’s time, ultimately allowing more ‘me-time’ for you and of course more time playing with our child.

It Is CHEAPER, Of Course!

Kids are expensive, and one can’t simply deny that!

From their clothes, toys, and other basic needs to the desire of vacationing, socializing, eating out, and good schooling, it is just too expensive. And let’s not forget how the rate of babysitters is surging every day, making it impossible for us to afford them for more than one child.

You might hate what I am going to say now, but sitting down and talking with your partner about the kind of lifestyle you want and the kind of lifestyle you can afford can help a lot. This is what Chaz and I did and if we wanted to travel, go to the movies, and visit our parents every year the we could really only afford one child.

More Opportunities for Your Child

Considering the financial aspect, your child will barely miss out on any of the opportunities as an ONLY child in the family. If you have two or more children, you have to save up more and have a good budget to enroll them in good schools and plan things like vacations.

An Only Child Will Learn to Self-Sufficient

Yes, Gavin has learned to become more self-sufficient because he has no extra support to rely on. You may find it hard in the start and worry if your child will be able to survive alone. But I have literally seen Gavin spending time with the dog or just playing on his own, and we meet up for play dates several times a week. An only child spends as much playtime as others do, and you can easily realize that by taking a look at their daily routine.  

No Unhealthy Sibling Relationships

You don’t have to worry about siblings with different personalities ending up in conflicts at this age or later in their lives when you have just one child. The fact that siblings grow together doesn’t guarantee they will stay close always. My older sister and I bickered a ton growing up but I am so thankful we get along now as adults. My brother is probably my favorite sibling as we are the most alike and closest in age. Both my older sisters have always looked after me, they always had my back and always gave me good advice like the typical older sibling does. Growing up there was always a sibling rivalry between my two older sisters and they would bicker a lot too. I remember us kids would also guess our parents’ favorites child by listing them in order from favorite to not so favorite LOL!! To clarify, I had AWESOME parents (mom, dad, step mom and step dad) and have amazing memories but I am looking forward to a more peaceful & peaceful & quiet house!!

You Never Have To Take Sides

Taking sides is a usual but a very difficult thing when you have more than one child. Your only child will never complain of being the ‘less-favorite’ kid the family. This means more peace of mind for you.

Embrace Your Only Child

It is our personal choice to have one child. You don’t have to feel bad about having an only child in the family and keeping it that way forever. My older sister has a little girl named Kylie and my son Gavin is very close to her. My other two sibling don’t have kids yet but hopefully one day they will and I look forward to my son having a close relationship with them also.

I, too, at one point in time, thought that my son, being an only child, will end up being lonely and grow up to be an introvert. But now, when I am actually doing it, I wouldn’t really want it any other way! In the later months of 2016 my husband got fixed since I was allergic to the pill soo if we happen to get pregnant unexpectedly, we would be happy to welcome another child into our family but that is not exactly our plan <3

Kristin Dain