Is One Child Enough?

I never had siblings to fight with and I always got the last piece of chocolate cake but was that enough?

No, not for me…

To be honest, I hated being the only child.

I wish I had a sibling to play with and share secrets while we hide under the blanket at night eating marshmallows. OK I know not all siblings do that but at the end of the day you have someone to love and hate.

I always tell my mom how selfish she was having just one.

Being the only child

Having a sibling is so much more than having a partner in crime. It’s having the support of someone close when you trying something new without your parents. Getting advice from someone who understands you on your first day of college and seeing a familiar smile when you speaking to a room full of strangers.

I feel 2 Kids is better than 1. I know many people may not agree with me but this is my opinion. A second child is often regarded with more judgement than joy. The second is always the one you need to “think” about having. I’ve heard about how a second child can be a lot of work and how your workload as a mother increases. You now have to pack 2 lunch boxes every day and make sure you buy an equal amount of gifts for Christmas.

The pros of one child? It’s cheaper! But is one child enough?

Let me tell you how life was growing up being the only child.

Many people think the only child is the “Lonely one”. Well Yes and No. I was always surrounded by cousins but the feeling was never the same…When they left, I was alone. I used to sit and play with my “imaginary” friends and stuffed animals.

Growing up, I got everything. I wasn’t spoilt but I was always first in line and the centre of attraction at home. It was awesome but I always felt like something was missing. I envied my friends when they spoke about their siblings and I used to hate doing family drawings for school because it only included mom and I. My mom raised me on her own (my dad died when I was 8), her role quickly changed from a mother to a father and mother.

We’re a team and we do everything together. But even today, I miss not having a brother or sister.

Holidays just remind me how sad it is being the only child. I got no brothers to invite over for lunch and no sisters to swap clothes with and giggle about past boyfriends over a cup of hot tea.

Lovely brother and sister lying in bed at home.

Being the only child has given me reasons why I don’t want Kitana to be the only child. I love big families and more than 1 child has always been in my family plan.

I love hearing the echo of my daughter’s laugh at home and I can’t wait to add another laugh to it.

My husband keeps calculating how much it would cost to send two kids to private school instead of one. It’s ridiculous, but I’m willing to work hard to provide for my kids. I’m ready for the sleepless nights and I’m ready for a house filled with dirty diapers and broken toys!

Yes having kids in today’s world is expensive. The big question every parent asks is; can I afford a second child? The choice of having more than one kid is a decision only you can make. I know that not everyone has the choice of choosing how many kids they want and that’s a completely different story on its own.

This post is about me and I need to say that I’m not talking about single moms or the moms going through IVF. This is a completely different scenario and I wouldn’t compare myself to any one of them.


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Hi, I’m Shan. I’m a wife, mom to 3 kids and a businesswoman who works from home and gets very little sleep at night. My days are filled with dirty diapers and toddler tantrums, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything else. I am in the Forbes 30 under 30 list for Forbes Africa 2019 and just recently launched my start-up – MomSays.

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  1. 2015-02-02 / 12:27

    This post hits home to me because I only have my son and I might not have another baby (I’m a single mom) and I get how my son really wants to have a brother or a sister of his own. Thank you for sharing this post.

    • 2015-02-02 / 16:17

      Maybe you will be blessed one day! 😉 Well atleast he can eat all the cake for now. 😛 Thanks for commenting.

  2. 2015-02-02 / 12:47

    My parents also asked the same question. It took them three years to realize that I was only being an only child. So it’s great that our family was blessed with my younger sister who’s now my best friend.

    • 2015-02-02 / 16:19

      So awesome. Do you guys fight a lot too?

  3. 2015-02-02 / 12:47

    Though I don’t necessarily think it’s selfish to have only one child (because there are valid reasons parents choose this), I do agree that two is better than one 🙂 I am the youngest of three children, and I always loved being in a big family. My siblings weren’t necessarily my friends, because I’m the only girl and they’re are older – I do however want my son to have a sibling because it’s just nice to have company. We’re already seeing that he is a little lonely or bored at times, and he is only 2.

  4. 2015-02-02 / 13:05

    I totally agree with you – having more than one ups the fun factor (and everything else factor) exponentially. But you won’t regret it.

  5. 2015-02-02 / 13:12

    I always knew that I would have 2 kids. I was one of 3 and I would never intentionally rob my kids of the experience of having a sibling.

  6. 2015-02-02 / 13:43

    I totally agree, i cant wait to have another, but going to wait a while as my daughter has just turned 1, i need at least another year to prepare myself lol

  7. 2015-02-02 / 15:05

    I have never thought to only have one child, as much as I was scared of pregnancy and delivery. To see my children interacting together now at ages 4 and 2, it warms my heart and cannot imagine just having one of them!

  8. 2015-02-02 / 15:57

    I think its really up to the person.. i agree 2 is better then 1, but its really not for everyone.

  9. 2015-02-02 / 17:35

    I have two boys, and that’s PLENTY for me. They keep each other company, and they’re very good friends.

  10. 2015-02-02 / 17:52

    I was one of 4 and my husband one of 5. We now have 6 kids with a possibility of maybe one day one more… I know lots of people who were only children and hated it, but also a few that did enjoy it. I’m not sure and I really think it’s up to the family to see what suits them best!

  11. 2015-02-02 / 18:56

    well well well! actually u r right sometimes being alone is not really nice.u need someone with who share ur stuff.But thats unfortunatly also a fact that now a days its difficult even to have one child and grow him up in a good way.i mean its really expensive.

  12. 2015-02-02 / 19:16

    I have two sisters and we have always been very close. I only have one daughter, and she hates being an only child It’s too late for us to have another one now, but I certainly wish we would have had some more.

  13. 2015-02-02 / 19:43

    I guess it really depends on your family and how you want it to grow. Having grown up with 3 siblings though, I can say that its wonderful for many reasons. Its nice to know that our 3 kids will always have eachother, even after we’re long gone too.

  14. 2015-02-02 / 21:46

    I was an only child growing up and now that I’m starting my own family I like to think that maybe 2 children is the right number for me – still a small family, but our children will have each other.

  15. 2015-02-02 / 22:48

    I was not an only but my mom is-I think it’s lonely and hard when you are the only one to care for aging parents (my grandmother). I have 3 kids and it’s a crazy house.

  16. 2015-02-03 / 01:07

    I always wondered if one child was enough. Then I had a 2nd child, and now I KNOW that two kids are definitely enough.

  17. 2015-02-03 / 01:17

    You have exactly the same story as my mum. She was surrounded by cousins but always wanted a sibling. She said that when her mum was ill and dying, that was when she really felt alone and my heart broke for her. She was only medically supposed to have one child but was so desperate for me not to be an only one that she risked her life for my sister.

  18. 2015-02-03 / 02:57

    I am also an only child. I see now that the older I get the more important it would be to me to have a brother or sister. I’m sad about it all the time. I am so glad that I have three children. I always tell them that they are lucky to have each other. I’m sure one day they will really appreciate the gift I have given them.

  19. 2015-02-03 / 03:10

    I have 2 that are 16 months apart. 2 was plenty for me!

  20. 2015-02-03 / 03:42

    Thanks for sharing your story. I am a single mom of two kids and feel blessed that I have them both and that they have each other. I grew up with two siblings who weren’t so nice to me and remember wishing I was an only child… but every family situation is different. I’m glad my childhood didn’t affect my decision to have more than one child because my two kids are very close (even with a 6 year gap between them!) so I’m glad I have them both and that they have each other 🙂

  21. 2015-02-03 / 04:05

    I think any number of kids can be a great number. I had two but I’m not sure if there is a magic number of children.

  22. Elizabeth O.
    2015-02-03 / 05:34

    Havings kids is always a blessing. They are a source of joy and contentment. 🙂

  23. 2015-02-03 / 05:58

    I love having my 2 boys. They are the best of friends.

  24. Heather
    2015-02-03 / 09:51

    I know Kitana will make a great big sister. 🙂

  25. 2015-02-03 / 17:37

    I always say the best gift I gave the kids was each other (and I mean it). I had a half-brother but was raised without him, basically as an only child. I think it was fine too. Both have their pros and cons. 🙂

  26. 2015-02-03 / 17:59

    I guess it depends on the people and how their situation with life is; sometimes they can afford a second but at times it would too much. It takes a lot of thinking and planning!

  27. 2015-02-03 / 18:30

    I grew up with a little sister. We are six years apart but were still close. It really depends on each family if they can handle more then one child.

  28. 2015-02-03 / 18:59

    My personal opinion is that only children get cheated. Siblings learn so many things just by being siblings that cannot be taught or substituted for.

  29. 2015-02-03 / 19:58

    This is great! I love having siblings to fight with and share things with. I have 3 brothers from my mom, and 2 brothers and a sister from my dad(my parents divorced when I was younger and I am the oldest). I want to have at least 3 kids, if possible of course. I also feel that only children get cheated many times. Thank you for sharing and good luck in trying to get pregnant again when the time is right!

  30. 2015-02-03 / 19:58

    I only have a son and we would love to have one more and give him a sibling, but in our case, it’s like things happened for a reason. 🙂

  31. 2015-02-03 / 20:28

    I guess I have mixed feelings on either / or…..I am one of four kids in my family. I love having just my son, but then I think about how he doesn’t have anyone to play with all the time like I did. But being from a somewhat larger family I felt as though I got overlooked alot as well, so there was some loneliness for me also and my husband the same. For now the hubs and I are in agreement that whatever happens we will be happy with, whether it be more or not. Thanks for your post!!

  32. 2015-02-03 / 20:38

    I am from a big family and I always knew I would have a big family. My husband was essentially an only child and he wished he had siblings.

  33. 2015-02-03 / 21:14

    Sadly a lot of people don’t have the choice element when infertility is at issue. We adopted two children. My husband honestly had to thick about whether we should or could afford to adopt twice. I did not ever have to think about it. I had a close sibling growing up and I never wished it otherwise. I think it can be a lonely thing growing up as an ONLY child.

  34. yumeating
    2015-02-03 / 22:23

    I wasn’t much of a fan of being the only child either. It had some advantages. But I was always lonely when we took family trips. It’s just not the same to share everything with adults. My mother did try for another, but she had a stillborn and she couldn’t conceive after that so she just stopped trying. Sadly, I inherited her problem so no kids for me at all. So, when my step daughter is here, she is an only. When she is with her mom, she is 1 of 4. She actually likes being an only here – most of the time.

  35. klg1982
    2015-02-04 / 03:52

    I have a friend who is an only child, who now has 7 kids!

  36. 2015-02-04 / 05:09

    I have three sisters and loved having siblings while growing up. My sister and I are a year apart and are really best friends. Couldn’t imaging being an only child.

  37. 2015-02-04 / 09:05

    Such a difficult question to answer. Childhood is so different when you have siblings taking care of you/ to take care of, I can see how it could be lonely at times to be an only child.

  38. 2015-02-04 / 16:35

    I have three kids. I think one child is enough because it is expensive to have kids these days. However, with one child their is always the lonely feeling. But, then again with three there’s middle child syndrome to deal with.

  39. 2015-02-08 / 08:28

    I love to have a big family if I can. My husband and I are planning to have three kids. Number two is on the way.

  40. 2015-02-16 / 07:17

    Having had two births and two babies, I now have one with me…Losing my first son and ending up in ICU with both births I’m faced with the question do I give my child another sibling and risk my life or keep him as an only with a healthy mom?
    I’ve been called selfish and a host of other things for not having another but at the end of the day families come in different shapes and sizes and ours is happy. (I’m one of three, so is my husband and we both spent most of our lives feeling lonely)
    I agree with everyone who says it’s a personal choice 🙂

  41. 2015-03-02 / 14:54

    Oh yeah! You hit it right on the spot. I have written about this before but I am also an only child (and my dad passed away when I was 7 so we have many correlations) and I never wanted just one child for all the same reasons you mention. And – yes, shared history. When my mom is gone, who will remember my childhood with me? It was great meeting you on Saturday

  42. Nadia Williams
    2015-06-12 / 09:42

    I love this! My brothers are so special to me I cannot imagine life without them. I feel like it would be unfair to deprive my son of a sibling 🙂 My mom is an only child and wanted 6 kids (she had 4) – my husband is one of 8 kids and wanted 1 (willing to compromise on a second). Hahaha I think it works both ways. Hope the pregnancy is going well!! 🙂 x

  43. lameez
    2015-06-12 / 15:11

    Lov ur post , and its inspiring 2 with great advice . I grew up with 5 siblings and I’m so greatfull for I’m a mother of4 and always wanted a big fam.As I read ur post I feel touchy and feel happy cos I salute ur mother!

  44. john
    2015-06-12 / 21:09

    Hi Shan, I was forwarded a link by my dearest wife who feels sorry for me for being an only child, obviously having missed all the bonding opportunities and fun siblings can have. As a Christian I believe that kids are a blessing. Not that one child is a blessing and many equates to many blessings, just that children(one or many) are A blessing. I say this as a starting point to thank my parents for having just me. My mother went through a rough patch after having me, and really i don’t know if another child may have adversely affected our family, so different strokes for different folks. I had such a unique opportunity to learn relationships and understand how people act because i had to since i didn’t have a blueprint from my siblings to work from, i had a clean slate and needed to figure stuff out. Traits which in today’s world serve me much better than having had someone to chat to or relate to, since i have learned to cope. That said, i did miss a lot, all the things you mentioned. But in life you necessarily can’t be both cold-hearted aND warm an loving, but you can learn when to be which, and it is this where i think only children thrive. What i do find notable from your post and also from a follower is that you both lost your fathers at a young age… i am not a psychologist, but i recall that when i was that age, i was plugging away on my keyboard outside, alone, singing aloud about being “all on my own”, but through life, which has been rough and graciously blessed, i also recall moving past the loneliness and finding rewarding relationships, to such an extent i quite enjoy profiling people to better understand, respect and communicate with them. I don’t think i would have felt that way if i weren’t an only. I think it is the best thing that could have happened to me and i think it has given me an edge in life. It also highlights the importance of father and mother figures in ones developmental stages. And on a sidenote, you can’t miss something you never had, so i don’t miss the big Christmas with siblings, i only remember what I have, and what makes me happy. Big families and small families don’t matter, just the time and love you put into what you have, whether it being a single son and wife or 7 brothers and two biological and another set of foster parents.

    Your kids will never know what they miss, they know what they get from you, or what you refuse them…especially if its a toy.
    I wish you well and only share this as MY opinion. I dont feel done in as an only, i feel privileged.

  45. 2016-04-07 / 10:19

    Shan, weirdly, my original comment is gone and I can’t find the reply you sent me last night… not sure if it’s a glitch on your website or if I’m doing something wrong?

    • 2016-04-07 / 10:23

      Is it your Facebook comment? I see it on my side… Facebook has issues with my blog. 🙁 SNIFF

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