Please don’t feel sorry for my ‘only’ child

She's just fine, thank you

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I love my daughter to bits, but one thing I was sure of a couple of years after having her was that I didn’t want any more kids.

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It’s not like me to be sure of anything – I’m one of life’s drifters – but on this I was set. Discussing the subject with my husband was hard – for a long time he wanted more, and hadn’t come to terms with the fact we’d be a family of 3.

But I felt so certain it was the right thing for us, I’m afraid there was no budging. And he’s come round to my way of thinking.

Why the absolute certainly my daughter would be my one and only?

I’m one of 4 and my husband’s one of 3 but when I weigh it all up – our lifestyle (my husband works away a lot and I work full-time), our family situation (no one close by, most abroad) not to mention our finances – one is the sensible number.

And if I had all the resources in the world – more money, a nanny, a hubby at home all the time – would I feel differently? Honestly, I think not.

I love the fact that now my daughter’s 5 and at her (to my mind) most fascinating phase to date, I’m not having to divert my attention to change her sibling’s nappy or do a feed.

And I feel more comfortable knowing that as she grows older we’ll just about be able to afford her college fees if she wants to go, and will have a house we can grow into rather than grow out of so she can still live with us comfortably into her 30s if she needs to with a couple of rooms to call her own.

Of course I’ve had the inevitable – “Are you planning on having any more?” – and even eyebrow raises when I say we’ve chosen to have just the one.

Do people feel sorry for my ‘lonely’ girl? Don’t bother. She’s sociable, outgoing and thoughtful towards others but can also spend hours on her own doing arts and crafts: she’s at one with herself.

And as she gets older? Well, 2 of my 3 siblings live in LA and both my husband’s siblings live in a different country – so we’ve both made our own ‘family’ out of friends. And that’s worked out just fine.

What do other mums think?

More and more families are becoming one-child units. In fact the Office of National Statistics predicts that by 2022 more than half all families in the UK will be single child ones.

And there are plenty of mums in our MFM community who reflect that trend.

“I have one. Only one by choice!” says Helen D. “We have a beautiful family, home, holidays and don’t struggle.

“That’s because I work full time (now he is a bit older), I wouldn’t be able to do that, or give my child everything he needs if I didn’t! Personal choice and goals.”

“We have chosen to just have one,” says Michelle G. “I regularly get the comment that “it’s selfish not to give our son a sibling.” ?

And finally – Jo B reckons: “One is more than enough!” ?

What do you think?

Do you have one child by choice? Or do you want a bigger family? Tell us in the comments below or over on Facebook

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