Blessings of Only One Child

by adustyframe ~ February 4th, 2013

I shared earlier how some people used the fact that I “only had one” to hurt or belittle me. In a comment, someone said that maybe they didn’t intend to hurt me.

I have to be very honest with you. I’m often called Pollyanna because I always look at the other side and always try to understand the viewpoint of others. I did speak to the people saying this to me and let them know that it hurt me because I wanted more children. The comments continued. THAT is why it was a hurt–it wasn’t at first but after letting them know my heart and then still hearing it often? Yeah…

However, there ARE blessings to having a small family. I’m sure that there are pros and cons of any family size right?

Here’s a question I have though. If as Christians, we believe that God determines family size, (and we do?) then why would any of us make comments about the family size of another family. Small or large?

I believe that if God chose to only ever give us James, it’s perfectly acceptable to embrace the blessings that come with one. It’s acceptable to enjoy the ability to do more things and to go places we could never go if we had many children.

While it always was a struggle in my heart and mind, I prayed constantly for God to help me be content with”only one”. If that’s the plan He had for us, I didn’t want to fight against Him and constantly argue with Him. (I did for awhile and that’s a post for another day.)

When Lee was incarcerated, we tried to enjoy our life in the ways that we could. I tried to keep life as “normal” for James as I could. We counted blessings even then. I often said that if I had chosen to always stay in bed and wallow in our misery–and believe me there was plenty of misery–we would have wasted so many years.

I feel the same way about “only having one”. Yes it hurt. Yes I always prayed for more. Yes I would have happily had a houseful. But at the same time there are good things about “only having one”.

*The ability to do fun things that have admission prices.

*Smaller grocery bills.

*One on on time is ALL the time.

*A little easier to single parent.  “Easier” is a relative term–nothing about single parenting is easy.

Another HUGE blessing I always realized is that I did have a child. I know many people who cannot have children, and would love to have “only one”. I never discounted how “only having one” was a wonderful blessing that many people would love to experience.

I asked some other moms of onlies what blessings they think parenting an only brings.

Here are their answers:

Marcy shares how homeschooling an only rocks. She also mentions–more opportunities (easier to afford lessons), easier to serve in the community, cheaper everything!

Debbie is rearing an only grandchild– she says she doesn’t miss the sibling rivalry!

Someone who’s not a mom of an only said, “Hey you don’t need extra hands to catch the child running away in the grocery store!”

So, if you have an only, what do you think? There are blessings aren’t there?

I’m thankful that God has enabled me to count those blessings even when others wanted me to feel badly about being a mom of an only child.




10 Thoughts Shared to Blessings of Only One Child

  1. Jen

    Great post Lizzie! I too once argued with God over what was going on. I am now happy to say I am content with my blessing and thankful for the fact that he came our way 🙂 Have a great one!!!

  2. Barbara H.

    That is pretty insensitive, to keep saying things after you’ve shared how their comments hurt you.

    I agree that if family size is determined by the Lord then we have no right to say anything about how many or few are in another’s family.

  3. Sue Powell

    My experience is that no matter what size the family, there are always critical comments. When you are married for several years and have no children they ask why you don’t have children. When you have one, they ask when you are going to have another. When you have several, when are you going to quit? (Haven’t you figured out where they are coming from? no so hahaha) When you have 2 daughters, when are you going to give them a little brother. The same for only boys. It goes on and on… One time someone asked me when am I going to have a boy. I was very tired of the question by that time…the Lord knows how much I wanted a boy! I’m sure it didn’t come out very kindly, but my answer was “Isn’t 2 girls a family?” We need to extend grace in each direction. Those people aren’t thinking before they speak about how you (or I) may be hurting about the very thing they think is “no big deal”. Believe me, I never ask anyone about the size of their family….I know how much it hurts.

  4. Lisa

    Amen to sibling rivalry–or just plain jealousy which is ever-present in our home.

  5. Judith

    “If that’s the plan He had for us, I didn’t want to fight against Him and constantly argue with Him. (I did for awhile and that’s a post for another day.)”

    Yet another reason why I love coming here and reading your words. YES!

    One thing that has helped me (a little, tho’ it didn’t take away the tears) is to remember that people don’t know the context, i.e., our context. Esp. when we were visiting churches trying to find a church, we were complete strangers, and given our ages, people probably thought we’d been married at least a decade. One person even referred to us as empty-nesters, without having a clue that we were walking through one of the hardest moments of our fertility/infertility journey.

    I think the bottom line is as you said – it’s a matter of Christian discipleship – trusting God with His work in MY life (i.e., being content) and trusting God with His work in OTHERS’ lives (i.e., not meddling). Easier said than done, though. 🙂

  6. Catherine

    I agree with Sue… people always find something that is “wrong” with who you are. I try to focus on the beauty in life & how we are all different & beautiful to God.

  7. Becka

    I was a teacher for many years and noticed that only children were generally very considerate of older people and didn’t have trouble relating to adults and conversing with them.
    All children are gifts from the Lord and we should be thankful for how ever many He sends us and whenever He sends them.

  8. Janet

    A friend who is an only child is thankful there is no adult sibling squabbles and not seeing them for years due to the fighting. It’s such a shame when that happens! My friend is thankful for the most part that there is only one.

    Interestingly enough that’s why I’m so thankful for another baby. I LOVE my siblings and I was sad for James. I know sometimes we process things together and I think siblings with aging parents is easier than facing it alone. BUT God plans families, not us!

  9. A Dusty Frame » Blog Archive » Anger…

    […] I’m sharing little by little about having one child–joys and other parts of having an only. You can find those posts by looking back. First-second-third […]

  10. Katherine

    My oldest was an only child for almost 9 years. Now he has four little brothers! 😉 I’ve heard comments both ways, and agree with Sue–it’s human nature! 😀

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