It’s interesting how strangers and well-meaning family and friends can influence our decisions or make us feel guilty about our life choices. For example, when you date someone for awhile, everyone wants to know how serious it is and when you’re getting married. If you do get married, everyone wants to know when you’re going to have kids. When you finally have that first child, everyone wants to know when you’re going to have more kids.

First of all, your decisions are your decisions, and pressure to get married or have kids or have more kids shouldn’t be the reason we decide to do these things. We need to make the decisions that are right for us.

Sa’iyda Shabazz, a mom who happens to be an only child, wrote an article for Scary Mommy that started with a question her mom asked her. “Do you ever wish I had another baby?”

Shabazz points out that she was in her 30s when her mom asked her this question. It was obviously way too late for her mom to have another child, and she was surprised that her mother would question her decision to just have one child decades after the decision had been made.

What was Shabazz’s answer? No. No, she doesn’t wish she had a brother or sister. While she admits that there were moments of loneliness when she was growing up, she also points out that there’s no guarantee that siblings will get along and become friends. She also points out that she filled her time with dance class and activities with her peers. She had friends – she didn’t need siblings.

Now, as a mom herself, people keep asking when she’s going to have more kids. She currently has one son, and she says that he doesn’t want siblings. He tells her, “I don’t want to share you.” Smart kid.

We think a mom who doesn’t have siblings and who is also raising an only child should know if your kids will be okay without siblings. Obviously, they will. She says, “As an only child, I can assure you that most of us don’t sit around being mad about not having siblings.”

As we mentioned at the beginning of this post, our decisions need to be our decisions. Shabazz says, “Parents should only have more kids if it’s truly what you want. Not because societal pressure makes you think you’re failing your kids otherwise.” 

How many siblings do you have? How many children do you have? Have you ever felt pressure to have more kids?