One Kid

Why I Am Sometimes Envious of Parents with One Kid

I know. I am committing parenting harakiri by speaking the unspoken, writing the unwritten, and by even thinking the unthinkable. Honestly, though, there are times when I have been envious of those with only 1 kid and particularly of those where that one kid is a reasonably older, say 7-8-years old kid. Allow me to explain by starting with a disclaimer.

I love both my children. A lot. That I love my kids is not up for debate. That I would do absolutely anything for them, is a truism about which I needn’t even have written. That my life is immeasurably filled with many-an-awwww moments is unmistakably true also. I am not saying I am choosing one kid over the other but what I am saying is that, in all honesty, there are some times I wish I only had one kid. Either one will do. Just one.

Life would have been much “easier” with just one kid:

  1. I would only have been 10 pounds overweight (instead of 20).
  2. I would not have had as many dark circles or grey in my hair (the other day, I even found a white eyebrow hair!! WTH!)
  3. We could have easily continued to live in this 2 bdr/2 bth rental home much, much longer since the one kid could have her or his own room while the parents shared the main bedroom.
  4. We would have had less clutter, as it is now, we have toys of two different age groups all over the place.
  5. I would only need to worry about half the number of outside germs coming in.
  6. Once that one kid was toilet trained, I would not have to worry about starting that darned process all over again.
  7. Once that one kid was properly sleeping through the night, I would have gotten my sanity and sleep back.
  8. Daycare/baby-sitting/preschool/school or spending on education in general, would not be such a big deal with one kid. Heck, we could perhaps even afford to send that one kid to private school.
  9. Airline tickets to India or anywhere really, would be less by one child. Now we have to spend nearly $5k-6k for just one international trip.
  10. I could focus on the one child completely instead of always feeling like a failure as a mother in trying to divide my attention fairly between two.
  11. Once that one kid started preschool or even better, full day school, my time would be my time. I could go on job interviews, get a mani-pedi, go to the bathroom, or take a shower ALONE.
  12. As parents of one kid, we would always outnumber the kid at best or be in a 1:1 dynamic at worst.

The financial aspect of raising two kids while being a SAHM is obvious but there are other, more practical reasons too and I outline some of them above. I am sure there are other reasons I could think of but the times that I feel envious of those with one child are exactly when I feel guilty about not giving either of the kids my whole self even when I am with them.

So, the envy is not so much about having more than one kid but the fact that, that parents with single kids are able to give those kids their whole attention, whereas in having to nurture two tender hearts, I am always trying to make sure neither feels particularly ignored. Thus, I am never able to give my children what parents of one kid can. All my attention.

(I will be further elaborating on these feelings in upcoming posts)


Diary of an imperfect mum
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A former Communication Studies professor turned a somewhat reluctant stay-at-home-mom (SAHM), I blog about my adventures raising two multiracial kids. I write about parenting and living a multicultural Indian-Canadian-American HinJew life with honesty, a few tears, lots of laughter, and gallons of coffee.
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  1. I had such a giggle at the white eyebrow hair, and your reaction to it! 😀
    In all seriousness though, I think many of the reasons you mentioned, were what subconsciously moved me to my decision of wanting one child. I’m sure many of us sometimes feel a certain way about how we could have maybe done things differently (like me, occasionally thinking that maybe a second baby is what we need), but it definitely takes nothing away from the great love we have for our kids.

    1. We all put so much thought into our decisions, don’t we? At least we like to think that, save for some spontaneous or serendipitous moments of decision-making based on intuition or pure instinct. Fact of the matter is, I have ALWAYS wanted two kids and if I had, had only one I would have regretted not having another one. Now with two, I appreciate them both so very much and consider my family complete in every way possible. It is out of this love and completeness that I feel guilty when I am unable to devote quality time exclusively to one kid. I do get some occasions to do that (spend some time with just one of the kids) and those are always precious. Thanks for visiting and commenting.

  2. RASHMI SHARMA says:

    No.9 and No. 10 for sure. I have felt that so many times and always wanted just one kid as opposed to my husband who always thought there should be a second one so the only one learns to share, etc., and does not get spoilt. And of course they have each other when one day we won’t be there any more.
    It stresses me a lot especially when I see my elder one learning and understanding a lot more than my second one. I KNOW, I should not compare. But I am not comparing. I feel I’m not giving enough time to my second one and believe the second one is as smart as the first one.
    But yes, what can compensate that double love, double happiness, double the smiles and double I LOVE YOU MAMMA dialogues.

    1. I know exactly how you feel. I have another post coming up about this “guilt” too. I also have the exact same feeling about who gets more attention. I can relate to your stressors. I feel that because the older kid is verbal, he gets more of us parents at this stage. Hopefully, things will balance themselves out once the little one gets older.

  3. I totally hear you on this. It took me a long time to decide to have a 2nd child, but I thought on balance the benefits outweigh the negatives. However, I often wish I had more time and energy to devote to each child on an individual basis. As they get older, I’m finding this easier. I sneak off with the eldest when he has school holidays but youngest’s nursery is still on. #familyfun

    1. I know EXACTLY what you mean about devoting more time to each kid. No matter what, I never feel like I am being fair to the other. In fact, I have another post in the works that talks about this immense guilt I have, regardless of what I am doing. I know everyone says it gets better so I am awaiting my time 🙂 Thanks for stopping by.

  4. Lol! Go to the bathroom alone! I know that feeling. While sometimes I’m also envious of parents with one child, for the most part I’m really glad we have more than one. The biggest reason being my kids always have someone to play with. My oldest’s sons best friends are all only kids. They all wish for a sibling. So while there’s probably a ton my kids are missing out on because they aren’t “onlys”, the best toy we ever gave them has been each other.

    1. You bet! I have always wanted two kids so I am absolutely grateful for the gift of my mine, with all its envy of others and the unshakeable guilt of not giving enough time to either of them. I love the idea of them being each other’s best “toys”. Haha…never thought of it that way. Thanks for visiting.

  5. Probably not a great time to mention I just have the one kid…..?! ?? #sharingthebloglove

    1.’s all good.

  6. Being a parent is hard isn’t it. We went out with a friend and her son the other day and it was lovely to see how close they are. But I love that my boys have each other. Thank you for linking up to #ablogginggoodtime ?

    1. I totally get what you mean. Thanks for visiting.

  7. I do sometimes think oh life was so much easier and i had a clear head and joy for my child when i had one child and i wasn’t dividing attention, but then i look round at what they give each other and know that for me, it was totally the right decision and that at the time I looked at sibligs and wanted that too! #sharingthebloglove

    1. True and true. This was absolutely the right decision for us as well. It is just the “sometimes” part that can be challenging and mostly because I am unable to give a fair amount of time to each. Thanks for visiting.

  8. yes, you might not be able divide your time to share with them evenly but by having 2 they are able to have each other. A brother and sister. They will give each other time as they grow older.

    ‪Thank you for linking up to the #familyfunlinky‬

    1. You’re absolutely right. They adore each other and I love their little interactions, which are now getting more frequent, even with the few pushes and bouts of jealousy.

  9. Boy I feel this. I have a post brewing but I am. It yetbsure how best to write it. Although I do think you have done a brilliant job of articulating it. I feel this so much at the moment I am finding the two to be a bit of a tornado that I can’t keep up with and often see people out with just one child and can’t help but think how much easier things must be (in so many ways)I know that’s an awful thing to say and in reality they are probably not easier but you know what they say about the grass being greener. Like you though none of this detracts from the love I have for both of my children. Argh it’s just thought isn’t it. Thanks for joining us at #familyfun

    1. It sure is tough and your littles are so close in age too. Hats off to you, Mama. You are doing a great job but as you are probably realizing too, things are getting differently better in many ways (even as they get challenging in some others). Life. 🙂

  10. Oh dear – I have a 3 year old and am expecting no.2 in June! I think your point about having to share yourself is the one I worry about the most, my son is still very demanding. But I do think that the benefits of having a sibling should be amazing, especially as they get older, and it’s always good for children to learn that they can’t be the centre of attention all the time! I have a great relationship with my little sister, and so many fond memories of growing up together, although I’m sure it was hard work for our parents as we are very close in age. Thanks for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

    1. Congratulations on your pregnancy! You are so close now. I wish you an easy labor and delivery.
      Be prepared for a crazy first year but then as the cliche goes, things do get better and it is a whole lot of fun to see the kiddos together.

  11. My brother and SIL only have 1 child and it will stay that way. I do often look at their life and think you have it easy. When 1 of them takes my niece to her swimming class, the other one gets ‘me time’. When she goes to a playdate, they have time together as a couple. BUT then I see my girls together and I wouldn’t want them to not have each other. I know my niece gets upset that she has to go home alone and my girls get to go home together. Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

    1. Oh I wouldn’t change a single thing about having two kids. I really do love their many interactions. I grew up with siblings and have always wanted two. The first few years are going to be tough but I am already loving their togetherness and closeness.

  12. I worry about having another and having to share my love and attention! But so many people do it I figure it can’t be that bad!! And I still have grey hair even with one. Sob! #FamilyFun

    1. It really isn’t bad at all. It is a different kind of getting used to. You’ll do great. Thanks for visiting.

  13. I smiled through the points you shared. As a mum if two boys, I know where you are coming from. But now that they are reasonably grown up, I cherish the free me-time as they give each other company and stay out of my hair especially when they are not quarreling. ?

    1. I will miss the kiddos once they start doing their own thing and don’t feel the want or need to be with me or stick to me all the time. Even as I crave “me-time” now at times, there is always that sneaky fear of time slipping away. Years are short and all. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by.

  14. Vamsi Thirumalaraju says:

    Hey PhD Mama,
    I can not disagree with even one of your views. But as a child, I loved having a sibling. I had a best friend/enemy Sharing my room. Together all the time. Someone to share everything with. To talk about girlfriends. Saving our pocket money collaborateively, to buy out toys. Especially with us, we are just 2 years apart, so we had a lot of things in common, until i went off to college.

    Even though it is tough its tough, with them being children, it will be better when they become teanagers. Much better than having a single child. Because, they are sharing everything with each other rather than with some friend in school. You will feel more secure and infact​ very uninterrupted when they grow a little older.

    PS:I like your writing, and would​ love to see you write on more diverse topics.

    1. I am happy for you that you got to experience life with siblings. I love my sisters and even though growing up together, we had our share of quarrels, life was and is much better with my two best friends for life.
      The debate about whether having or being a single child is better or not, is not conclusive. My niece is a single kid and is one of the nicest, kindest, most thoughtful, loving, and generous child I know.
      Since this is a parenting blog, the topics on which I write will obviously be of a focused variety. Thanks for the encouragement, however.

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