Absolutely Mama Editor Carly Glendinning on being a one-and-done family…
You might be surprised to read that one child families are the fastest growing family unit in many countries around the world. According to the National Office of Statistics, of all families with dependent children in the UK, those with one child made up 44% (3.6 million) in 2022.
I’m the eldest of four siblings, and I’d always imagined having at least two children. But life almost never works out how you think. Having had a pretty tough road to parenthood, my husband and I have decided to embrace the many positives of having one child.
I still think being a sibling is pretty ace, but being an ‘only’ is equally as cool for so many reasons. Here’s all the things I love about being the mama of my magical one.
Time and energy to focus on my only
All the firsts also being the lasts is something that I hear parents of only children feeling sad about all the time. It’s true that you only get to see the first steps once, or hear the first time they call you ‘mama’. Only having one child means that I can really enjoy those moments though, without worrying about my attention being divided. I love being able to give my daughter all my attention and that she can be the ‘baby’ as long as she needs.
(Slightly) less mum guilt
I put my hands up, I’m awful for mum-guilt! If I’m not worrying if my daughter has eaten her veggie quota, then it’s whether I’ve played enough games with her that day, or brushed her teeth properly. The mum juggle is tough, and I’m focusing on the positives of having a little bit of lighter load.
More time for me
My daughter is two and we still don’t have a babysitter for date nights, but I’m slowly starting to be able to make more time for myself as she gets bigger. If we had more children, this would definitely be a lot tougher. I love being able to go to the gym, or take a long bath and not worry that my husband is outnumbered with the kids.
More money to travel
A lot of families are feeling the pinch at the moment, and travel with multiple children is tough when you have to pay for individual seats on flights and extra accommodation. I really hope that only having one will mean that we have the extra cash to do the big trips – like Disneyland and Lapland at Christmas.
More time for our relationship
Making time for each other is tough when you’re parents. Only having one child gives my husband and I more time to focus on our relationship, which is a really positive thing for the happiness of our little family.
A close bond with my daughter
Every time I go out with my daughter, I like to think about the positives of it just being the two of us. I can push her on the swing for as long as she likes because I’m not chasing another kid around the playground. We never have to worry about fitting in around another kid’s schedule. She’s the centre of my world, and our bond is so strong because of it.
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