Consumed With Conceiving: Selfish Mom?

Consumed With Conceiving: Selfish Mom?
Dr. Phil talks with couples divided over the decision of having children.

Melissa, who has a 2 1/2-year-old son, wants to know, "Dr. Phil, am I doing a horrible and selfish thing to my son by not giving him a brother or sister? People seem to pass judgment on me about this. Even my own sister tells me that I may someday regret my decision. I don't want to be ashamed of how I feel."

Dr. Phil asks Melissa if she does feel ashamed about deciding to have only one child.

Melissa explains that she questions it occasionally. She wonders if she's harming her son by not letting him experience the bond that can come with siblings. "But at the same time, I know myself and I know my limitations, and it's very hard having one child. I really would just like to be the best mother I can be to just one child than a mediocre mother to more than one," she says.

Dr. Phil asks Melissa's sister, Jennifer, who is sitting in the audience, why she has a problem with that.


"I think Austin needs to have a brother or sister. God forbid if anything happened to her or her husband, Austin wouldn't have any siblings to fall back on," she says, emphasizing the special bond she and Melissa share as siblings.

"I understand that and I definitely see that point of view," says Melissa. "But unless you have a child, you have no idea how hard it is to be a parent. And to be a good parent, the kind of parent that I would like to be for my son, I just don't think I could be that if I had more than one."

"These things that your sister wants, or other people may want, they don't get a vote," says Dr. Phil. "This is your decision, and it's your call. There's absolutely not a problem with having an only child, but you do need to think of how you go about it."

He tells Melissa to weigh her sister's opinion, because she knows it comes from a place of love, but to make her decision and be at peace with it.

Dr. Phil explains that the concerns that people have for only children can be worked through, and the solutions are easy to program in.
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