I have observed that there are parents who choose to have only one offspring. When asked, you will usually hear them saying that they are okay with only one child. Some say that “It is hard to raise just one kid, how much more to raise a couple of them.” This is understandable because of the following factors:
- Giving birth is not a joke. The unlimited discomfort during the course of pregnancy is something that most mothers don’t want to go through again.
- The amount of money that the couple will need for child-birth plus the amount needed for the baby needs.
- The price of vaccines is getting higher as time pass.
- Nanny problems when parents are working.
- The amount of time and effort in raising children.
- The convenience.
Me as an only child.
I am an only child living in the Philippines. My parents didn’t end well together, so they got separated. My Mom is living well without needing any financial help from me (it’s actually the other way around). My father is staying with me with my own family. My father didn’t prepare for his retirement which most parents tend to forget that they will eventually grow old and grow weak. This is usually normal to middle class parents since our salary is just right to provide for our current needs.
I have four kids who goes to school. I have a college student, a senior high school, junior high school and primary. So far, my husband and I work hard to provide for every need that they may have and especially for school. We are at the upper middle class income threshold which I think helps with our day-to-day expenses, which is also just enough for our budget. Meaning, any excess expenses will greatly be felt by the pocket and worse pocket wreaking.
Lately, my father has gone sick after 2 years since he had mild stroke. His drinking and smoking has been the reason for his turmoil. Given his age of 63, he should still be strong if not for the vices. Our family has a history of hypertension which I am also suffering from now. I have an HMO benefit from our company so I am still able to have my medical needs taken cared of without affecting our budget including my family. But, my parents are no longer part of my dependents since I’m already married. As I’ve said earlier, my father didn’t prepare for his retirement, so every cent he’ll need will come from me. He may receive complimentary gifts from his friends and siblings but it will only allow himself with little something for his enjoyment.
When I was growing up, I envied playmates with brothers and sisters and now that I’ve grown, I envy them even more. Not all siblings will have good relationships, but when they do, they are your lifetime allies. They will be your counselors, your body guards, your critic , your instant super hero, your best friends and best of all you partner in taking care of your parents.
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Why I don’t recommend having an only child?
Given our limited amount of budget which most children/parent can relate to, an only child will have to carry all burdens on his own. Meaning, if there will be unexpected health problems or any kind of problem that may arise that most aging parents have to deal with; it will be solely carried by the only child.
With our society, it is a wonderful blessing if you have a supportive extended family that you can depend on in times of great troubles. But if not, this will greatly affect the entire household of your child. Yes, it will be monetary problems if your child is not earning more than what he and his family needs.
Those parents who have availed to themselves a life insurance will be more confident that their child will not be burdened by the need to pay for medical expenses. But wait, it doesn’t end there. Isn’t it a need that when we get hospitalized or if we grow weak, we require someone to attend to us every now and then? If we have one child without friends or extended family who is willing to help out in looking after the parent, who will take turns in watching over you? What will you child sacrifice to tend to your needs? These are some points that parents have to consider before making a decision of having only one child. Unlike conditions in other countries, there are governments that looks after the welfare of the old ones. So, it is less the weight in my opinion.
It would be great to have someone or people who love you just the same to take turns in looking after you when you’re sick or weak. If you’ve grown old unprepared for retirement or even if you’ve prepared but still needs more, isn’t it better that not only one person carries all the trouble but in turn works hand in hand to make things easier for one another and give each other enough time to accomplish other responsibilities?
These are some points that parents miss in deciding on having only one child. We all have different reasons on why we make these decisions. But, regardless if these reasons are because of convenience or the capacity to provide, parents have to think of what will happen to our children when the unexpected circumstances has come.
To an only child like me, I never imagined it to be so difficult to divide all resources. When you only have enough for every day, it comforts me to know that I will have four kids to help each other when difficult times arrive. We try our best to provide each one a good education so they can all have an edge in having a good life ahead and eliminate the hardship in finding resources and lighten the weight of any problem can bring.
I hope this article gives you a little insight about how an only child may go through in the future. But, then again, what works for me may not work for you and we all have different thoughts about life. If I were given a chance to choose for my parents, I will choose to have brothers and sisters even if it meant that I will have half siblings since they were separated. I would choose this not just for my own but for the benefit of everyone.
If you were to choose would you rather have brothers and sisters? Comment down below!