When my daughter was just a few weeks old, I heard something I would hear often from then on. The first time, it came from my own mami: "When are you going to have another one? You can't just have one. She'll be too spoiled."

Now, just change spoiled with lonely, selfish, too attached, sad, etc., and you have heard everything I have for the past five years when I tell people that my daughter is, and will be, an only child. Normal for most parents of only children, but I am Latina, and for some reason, a Latina with an only child is just scandalous.


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Yes, I said scandalous! Why? Because it's actually not a stereotype: According to the 2010 U.S. Census, Hispanic households are larger than non-Hispanic households (3.3 persons per household for Hispanics versus 2.4 persons for non-Hispanics); and have twice as many children under 18. Which means we Latina mamás of only children get the most looks and criticism not just from the outside world, but mostly from our own families.

To my aunts and cousins, it was almost as if it was my "duty" to my husband to bear children, and that I would be doing the family a disservice by not growing it. To the older generation, it was a defiance of our Catholic roots, not just by refusing to birth more children, but by actively using contraception to prevent it. To others... I was just plain floja. "¿Una mamá de solamente una bebé? ¡Qué floja eres!" were one of my tía's exact words to me.

Is it lazy to want to work hard and enjoy trips to Disneyland, Peru, and Europe and experience the best with my only child? Because with two, we couldn't afford it. Is it lazy to recognize that my sanity and abilities can only fully devote myself to one child? Because with two or more, I can guarantee one will feel cheated of time.

I don't believe that children with siblings are better off than my only daughter, just as I don't believe she is superior for being an only child. Just because Latinas have more children on average, does not mean that I should too. I'm a Latina mamá of one... and my only girl is more than enough for me.

Image via Thinkstock

What do you think about Latina moms with just one hijo?

Topics: child rearing  on parenting


What do you think about Latina moms with just one hijo?

on May 9, 2013 at 8:17 PM

Brave article, Yolanda. I applaud you for raising an issue that I know is sensitive in our community. I am the product of a Peruvian family with two children, and although I am married, I chose not to have any children at all. Selfish? I don't think so. It's a choice I consciously made that allows me to be there for my husband, parents, brother and friends. Your decision to have one child is not at all selfish - it's just what you see as the right thing for you, and no one else can tell you any different. 

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on May 9, 2013 at 8:22 PM

I'm a latina only child and I decided to continue with this idea and only have one child as well. Nothing wrong with this at all. I love being an only child and never thought twice about it. I had plenty of cousins and friends  to play with. My son will too! :)

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on May 9, 2013 at 9:25 PM

I don't have strong feelings either which way. As many others have voiced on here it really is a personal choice and we can't allow others to persuade or dissuade us from what we feel is best. My husband and I struggle with this and we're not quite sure what the future will hold. For now we are happy with our one child and our small family. BUT little one is asking for a sibling so...

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on May 10, 2013 at 11:50 AM
Am a Proud Latina Mother of an only child, this is because I wasn't able to birth anymore do to that I became infertile after I had my first child. But his worth all that I could of had. His my pride and joy. God Bless all only child mothers and those that have more in their nest. :) Sincerely, SLM
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