When I Said “One and Done” I Meant It


It’s 2023, so why is there still a stigma around one-child households?

In fact, a recent article was written for the Psychology Today website stating that families are shrinking. According to the PEW Research Center, the average American family has downsized from 3.7 children in 1960 to 1.9 currently, and about 20 percent of households with children are one-child families.

I’m Not Kidding…

I was in my third trimester with my son when the first person asked me when I planned to start trying for another one. Wait, what? I was dumbfounded. But I get it, I’m not a spring chicken. Waiting until I was 33 to get pregnant with my first was my choice, but I just feel like that question is so invasive. 

There is a lot of planning that needs to happen when it comes to bringing a life into this world. Even being 33, I don’t feel like I had all my ducks in a row. You and your partner have to consider your current environment, finances, age, job, and stress levels before making a decision this big. (And those are easy compared to the parents silently struggling with infertility.)

Is Only Child Syndrome Even Real?

I feel like most of the stigmas have been debunked. I know plenty of only children who are the life of the party. Not all only children will be socially awkward; we have evolved in the last fifty years. Where there used to be fear that only children would be bossy, anti-social, lonely, and spoiled, research has shown that there is little difference in personality traits in only children compared to children with siblings. 

My Family and My Heart are Full.

Despite pressures from family, friends, and even strangers who are telling me that I need to give my son a playmate, I also believe that there are a ton of benefits to raising one child. Here are a ten takeaways regarding only children I will leave you with in case you are like me, and, despite societal expectations, feel that one is enough.

  1. They are sure to be independent and self reliant. 
  2. They are closer to their parents. 
  3. They are just as good as socializing despite what we’ve been told. (My son is a socialite at daycare!)
  4. They are less insecure and have to worry less about how they measure up to thier sibling(s).
  5. There’s less fighting/chaos in the house. 
  6. It’s less stressful on your finances. 
  7. They will have a bigger imagination and learn problem solving on their own. 
  8. They will find it easier to talk to an adult when there is a problem. 
  9. They won’t have to live in anyone’s shadow “of being so-and-so’s brother.” 
  10. They won’t rely on other people to make them happy.

My Son Gets My Undivided Attention.

That does not mean I am spoiling him, and that doesn’t make him a mama’s boy. It simply means we get to do life together—side by side—building this bond that only a mother and son can share. Our memories will be ours. The time we spend together will not get interrupted by a huge sibling fight. We will never have to sacrifice one for the other. Now and always, my first will be my one and only, and I’m perfectly okay with that.