It’s a truth universally acknowledged that mothers will get shamed for having only one child. Also, women will get shamed for having no children. Ain’t society grand? Those of us parents who have one child — and one child only — somehow get questions / opinions / unsolicited advice about it all the time: “Only one?” “But he needs a buddy!” “She’ll be spoiled without siblings.” “It’s not fair to the kid.”
Cool, shamers! We get it! You are somehow viewing my personal choice (to have one kid) as an attack on your personal choice (to have more than one kid) and you are feeling invalidated and defensive and angsty and all that jazz. But guess what: Your choice is yours, and mine is mine. And those of us moms who decided to have an only child, for whatever reason, can rest assured that this is a totally valid choice. Case in point? The 21 badass, loving, successful working moms ahead who have make that very same choice: one and done.
From Hollywood parents who got there through adoption, like Calista Flockhart and Connie Britton, to single moms braving that one-kid #momlife alone (props, I’m right there with you), like Debra Messing and Katie Holmes, celeb moms choose to have only one child for a myriad of reasons — just like, you know, regular moms do. Maybe they went through divorce, or experienced fertility struggles, or are prioritizing their career, or just plain only want one kid for no reason other than that’s what they want. Which, of course, is a perfectly valid reason in and of itself.
Read on to learn more about these stars and their paths to parenthood — plus adorable pics of those only children, however grown — and we’re pretty sure you’ll agree: “only child” is not synonymous with “spoiled” or “lonely.” In fact, the single-kid households we know pretty much prove anything but (but, again, maybe I’m biased).
A version of this story was originally published in April 2020.