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"The Only Child: Debunking the Myth"

Posted by on May. 10, 2012 at 6:34 PM
  • 54 Replies
1 mom liked this

It's a conversation I have most weeks — if not most days. This time, it happens when my 2-year-old daughter and I are buying milk at the supermarket. The cashiers fawn over her pink cheeks and applaud when she twirls for them, and then I endure the usual dialogue.

"Your first?"


"Another one coming soon?"

"Nope — it might be just this one."

"You'll have more. You'll see."

"At the moment, I'm not planning on it."

"You wouldn't do that to your child. You'll see."

I offer no retort, but if I did, I'd start by asking these young minimum-wage earners to consider the following: the U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that the average child in the U.S. costs his or her parents about $286,050 — before college. Those costs have actually risen during the recession. The milk I'm buying adds up to $50 a month, and we're pushing toilet training just to drop the cost of diapers — about $100 a month — from our monthly budget. It's a marvel to me these days that anyone can manage a second kid — forget about a third.


Read more:,9171,2002530,00.html#ixzz1uVbKhPwC

I highly recommend reading the WHOLE article (even if it is a bit lengthy).  Because while money is one reason discussed, it's not the only reason by far.  The article also goes into studies on the effects it has on the children and helps to clarify for those that won't leave us 'parents of one' alone just how good it can actually be to be a single!

Anyone else proud to be a mommy of ONE?! (with no plans or desire to have another)


When it comes to the money issue, I'd like to point out that the numbers given are an average based on MANY different things.  What many people tend to forget to account for are things like an increase in utilities, rent due to needing more space, gas costs for taking them places (which is up a ridiculous amount right now), medical costs, etc.  Also, those averages are typically based on the assumption that each child will participate in at least one sport or artistic endeavor.  Also, the cost of education, even public school incurs costs.  Yes, it's possible to spend far less (I know, couponing is all the rage these days), but it's still money that many simply do not have, especially in today's economy.  The second child is often cheaper because of hand-me downs, but those tend to last only so long AND often doesn't work well if you have different sexes.  Also some things like car seats have life spans based on safety.  That said, this article is in defense of the one child home, it's is not an offense against multiple child homes.  Remember where the thought is coming from.

{2nd Edit}

Cost of living also varries from state to state.  While you may spend only $3 on a gallon of milk in WA, in HI they're spending nearly $8 (making an average between the two $5.50, see how that works?).  And I know this personally because I was just over there in Feb.  SO, telling me what YOU spend personally does not make your argument nor break that of the articles, it simply shows that some of you are a) living in a place with a lower cost of living and b) likely a little more frugal and smarter shoppers.  This is not the only article containing numbers on the subject, there are many more, and for the most part, they don't vary that dramatically.

by on May. 10, 2012 at 6:34 PM
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by on May. 10, 2012 at 6:50 PM
Not only am I a proud parent of one...I was an only child myself. I sometimes wonder if it wouldn't have been better to have someone to split the chores with or play with. But then I remember all the time I had with my parents that I didn't have to share, all the sports, plays, ballet recitals, and such that there was always someo at....unlike the kids whose parents couldn't everything for everyone.
We can afford clothes, toys, healthy snacks, and good pre-school for dd because there's only her!
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by on May. 10, 2012 at 6:52 PM
We only have one. Our son will be five and there will be no more. My husband and I are both in complete agreement that one is the perfect number for us!
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by on May. 10, 2012 at 6:59 PM

I am.  DD is 6 and I don't plan on having anymore. I didn't even think of the financial aspect until other mothers mentioned how much everything costs.  DD is more lucky than she will ever know for being a single child.....and no I don't allow her to be a brat.....but I sure do love spoiling her....and she deserves it.

by on May. 11, 2012 at 2:00 PM


by on May. 11, 2012 at 2:46 PM
I have one kiddo as well. Not what I planned per say but it is my reality. My son has tons of advantages he would not otherwise have. I get sick of the looks and comments I get by strangers and acquaintances alike. I don't think it is a disadvantage to be an only child. It is just different.
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by on May. 11, 2012 at 2:51 PM
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I'd like to "debunk" the myth of the cost of raising a child.  I have FOUR boys.  And although I never criticize the number of children a family should have, I resent the fact that those with only ONE child choose to have one because someone's article states that they'd stay broke.  Not every large family is on welfare, not every large family is struggling, families with siblings ARE indeed happy although the parent's attention is split, and the list goes on.  I applaud you for standing firm in your decision.  But it's the same "judgement" for those who choose the large family.  You only spend BIG money by staying in Babies R Us, keeping them in diapers til they are 4, living in Chuck E. Cheese and other activities that keep their minds from a great imagination and keeping their wardrobes fat with luxurious clothing. 

So I think both sides are doing a great job and the complainers are just the ones who need to write those false articles. 

by Member on May. 11, 2012 at 2:54 PM
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I will have 3, pregnant currently. Idk when I had one life was easier. I can see why some stop at one. Any kid can be spoiled. Only child or not. Depends on the values you raise them with.
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by Bronze Member on May. 11, 2012 at 2:58 PM

We have one and so far we aren't planning on having another.  DD is incredibly active and a handful and it DOES cost a lot of money to raise a child.  If we do just have this one, I'm okay with that and I see no problem in it.  In fact, many of my friends are "one and done" parents.

by on May. 11, 2012 at 3:29 PM
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I don't think anybody should have children past the point of what they can financially, physically, or mentally handle.  For some that means no children at all, for others it might mean one, two, and so on.  For me four is it.

There will always be those that think they know your body and situation way better then commonsense dictates they do.  I have 4 and I get asked when I will have another.  I don't let what other people say get to me.  I live my life happily the way I please and enjoy it.

I will say this much I have never asked any married couple if they were going to have children, it seems like an odd question to ask.  I really think that some people try to fit other people's lives into their idea of what the world should be like.  Or maybe there are just a lot of curious nosey people out there who like to poke at anybody who responds in a way they cannot understand.

by Bronze Member on May. 11, 2012 at 3:45 PM

There is no way we would ever spend that much on 1 child. At the income we have we would only make 260,000 total in 18 years. We have 2 children. 286,000 is a ridiculous amount of money to spend on one child.

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