There seems to be this thought that condemning your child to being an only child is the worst thing that you could possibly do to them. Many people may not want another child but commit to it just because the negatives that people cite about every only child they’ve ever known pushes them to take the plunge and have another kid. Those cons range from them being lonely to having the unfair pressure of their parent's entire expectations on their shoulders.
There are plenty of people who manage to raise perfectly well rounded only children and if you’re aware of the potential negatives, you can make sure to be conscious of them and escape making your child an unwilling victim of the woes of being an only child. There are also some benefits that come from having an only child that you can reap!
Less expenses – Kids are expensive! Starting with diapers when they’re babies, all the way up to their need for cell phones and other gadgets as teenagers, the current estimate for a middle class family to raise a child is around $250,000. This estimate doesn’t even factor in the cost of college, should they decide to go that route! That means that if money is a concern, having only one child means that you have a better chance of not having to compromise on all of the things that you want to do just because you have children.
They’re more mature – Not in a bad way, just because they end up spending so much more time around adults, they tend to be able to hang out in adult settings like while out to dinner without getting too bored. You can also have a conversation with an only child in a way that will make you have to remind yourself that you’re talking to a child. Because they spend time so much time talking to adults, they also learn to express themselves better and you end up having to mind read a lot less.
It creates less waste – The state of the environment is a top concern of most and while adding an additional child may have extra benefits for your individual family, it may mean that you’re creating more waste for the environment. Fewer diapers to dispose of and fewer plastic bottles, sippy cups and toys, means that an only child helps you to reduce your carbon footprint.
Peace in your kingdom – Everyone talks about the benefits of having 2 kids that will play nicely together. This is absolutely true…about 50% of the time. The other 50% of the time; however is spent breaking up fight after fight. Whether its fighting over the TV or a toy or whatever thing that the other kid has that they all of a sudden can’t imagine their lives without, having one child means that as a parent, you don’t have to constantly be a referee.
They have more freedom – This is especially true for the older child. There’s this unspoken role that they have to take on once a new child comes along and help out with the new baby or always be looking out for their younger sibling. This does teach them responsibility but it also places a lot of weight on their shoulders. There are other ways that you can teach your child to be responsible and without a younger sibling to constantly have an eye on, they can explore more of the activities they love without their little brother or sister tagging along.
You have more freedom – You may already feel bad about asking family members or friends to take care of one kid while you go out for a night out, but this guilt increases with each child that gets added to the family. Additionally, the more kids you add to the family, the more time you add to your time clock before your kids are independent and you can regain your life back.
More one on one time with your child – Your love may be unlimited when it comes to your kids, but your time is not. It’s just a fact that the more kids you have, the more your time is divided between them. When you have an only child, they get your undivided attention more and you have a really great opportunity to build a beautiful and unique bond with them.
More time for your spouse – Kids can take a toll on your marriage. With each kid that you have, your family dynamic changes and you have to figure out how to juggle all of your family responsibilities plus make time for each other. Having only one child means that you only have to figure this out once and you’ll have more time to nurture the relationship you have with each other rather than watching your relationship wither away over time and growing apart from each other over the years.
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