Two into three don’t go: Is it ‘cruel’ to have only one child?

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Often they are sarcastic as well as nasty;

‘No toast and jam for you- bowl of porridge made with water coming right up’.

Usually, as the above suggests, they are relatively trivial and resolved quickly by basically ignoring my rather unpleasant subconscious.

There is one argument though that is in my mind almost constantly, and that is this one;

Should I have another baby?

This isn’t a ‘should I have another baby this year’ or ‘should I have another baby before Sonny starts primary school’, it’s ‘should I have another baby ever’.

If I mention this to Aunty Linda in Blackpool, she is more frank with me than even my subconscious. She will tell me that having no more kids would be cruel to Sonny, and he’ll grow up spoiled and maybe slightly odd.

Lets consider this. Of course he’s going to be spoiled. But even if, in the end, I decide to have an entire school bus of kids, he would be just as spoiled. He’s not going to get many material things; in my house we live in a perpetual recession and have double dipped, treble flipped and backwards skipped into it more than the Coalition et al across the water have in the last few years. Money is tight and the financial forecast doesn’t look set to change, and that’ s the word of my houses’ Chancellor of the Exchequer (me), and Treasurer (also me).  That’s fine and we don’t want for anything, but it does mean that spoiling my kid(s) with toys and material ‘stuff’ is unlikely. Spoiling him by cuddling him to near winding, making him laugh and giving him massages before bedtime, he will get loads of.  But how would that be different if I had another one, 12 or 70 kids?

As for being slightly odd- well. Sonny could have a rugby team of brothers and sisters. He could have enough brothers and sisters to fill an auditorium- he’d still have Ed and me for parents. Some things are just unavoidable.

This isn’t the seventies (unfortunately, and I wish it were, see my post Regression Revolution), when the economy was good, standard house prices did not resemble the digits in my date of birth, crime rates were less terrifying and women mostly stayed at home cooking stuff, looking after the kids and having Tupperware parties (just in my head?). This is 2012, when the economy has been consistently terrifying for nearly 5 years, house prices are so insultingly, comedy -inflated that they have no place outside of a Frankie Boyle joke, criminals are now let of the hook for ‘minor’ crimes because there’s no more room in prisons for them; and women don’t stay at home making biscuits- they have to go to work because of the house prices, and the economy, and indirectly, the increasing crime levels.

When I’m having an ‘I don’t think I’ll have any more kids’ day, I consider all of the above. If we stop now and have no more children, we will be able to send Sonny to a nice school. He’ll go on all his school trips. We’ll go on holidays. We will be able to get him a car on his 17th birthday and help him get to Uni if that’s what he chooses to do.

Also from a selfish perspective, I am really happy with the way things are. I love my little life, my house, my job, my marriage, sleep. Sonny is a happy little person- would this change so much if he didn’t have a sibling?

I’ll change my mind tomorrow, or the next day, or over the next few weeks, because I always do.

But in the meantime, I’ll be reading things like this from the Guardian or this from the Daily Mail

Kelly xx

Post Author: Kelly

I'm Kelly and I like sleeping, lying down, resting relaxing and reclining. Sadly I don't indulge in most of these cherished past times anymore because they have been replaced with the domestic chaos that comes with having a 3 year old boy, a husband with the mind of a 3 year old boy, and a baby bump due for arrival this November. I feel guilty a lot about more or less every parenting decision I take, and find that blogging about the guilt can often help you realise that, although you haven't managed to get even one carrot into you child's mouth in 3 years of trying, you are usually doing your best for your kids. Share my guilt! Read my posts! Thank you, Kelly. x

6 thoughts on “Two into three don’t go: Is it ‘cruel’ to have only one child?


    (November 18, 2012 - 10:41 pm)

    I have four kids, and I’m pretty sure they are all ridiculously spoiled. ;). I think you have to do what works for your family. There are a lot of pros to having more kids, but ultimately it boils down to what you and your husband want. 🙂


      (November 19, 2012 - 10:03 pm)

      Thanks for your comment. I’d love to have 4 kids- if you could take a pill that was equal to 8 hours sleep. You are 4 x the woman I am! x

    The Monko

    (November 19, 2012 - 9:38 pm)

    I have a three year old only child and rehearse similar arguments to you. Ours tend to be less the financial concerns and more the fact that we are a unit of three and can’t imagine where another person would sit in that. We also really like the time we can give to our only child. But it is interesting how most people do think we should be having another one so our child doesn’t turn out “odd”. And how ready they are to tell us that – I’d never dream of commenting on their choice to have more than one! I happen to know quite a few adult onlies and they are no more or less odd than the rest of us.


      (November 19, 2012 - 10:01 pm)

      Hey thanks for the comment. I read this and it made me feel much happier about the decision if I choose to make it!
      As for being odd- I’ve got siblings and I’m weird! There must be so many other factors that contribute to oddness!

      The Monko

      (November 24, 2012 - 3:52 pm)

      I’m featuring your post on the Sunday Parenting Party this week, feel free to grab a featured button from my button page if you’d like one.


    (November 22, 2012 - 12:52 am)

    Thanks for sharing this! I have a five year old kiddo, and he’s my only right now(more out of reality than anything — divorced parents, etc). I have also heard the spoiled and odd comments, and I think they’re both silly arguments! 🙂 He’s definitely spoiled with attention, although I babysit in addition to teaching, so he has to put up with other kids in his things. And with me as his mama how else can he turn out but a little odd? All it boils down to is life circumstances and what we choose.

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