Monday, September 20, 2010

What's so wrong with just one?

All my life I pictured myself getting married and having kids. Yup, that’s right kids, with an ‘s’, as in plural, more than one. Then I got married, and I had a baby. 

I LOVED being pregnant. Seriously, loved it. I never had morning sickness, I didn’t have to work so I got to spend my days sleeping and watching sleazy daytime TV. Flavor of Love? Yup, watched every episode. Rock of Love? Yup, that one too. From the moment I first felt her kick I loved just sitting around poking my belly.  I could tickle her feet and feel her move them away. I could spend all day counting her hiccups. Delivery wasn’t too shabby either. It took me 9.5 hours from water breaking to baby holding. I wussed out around the 5.5 hour mark and opted for the epidural (which I wish I didn’t, I really wanted to go natural!) which in turn caused me to literally laugh my daughter out. Now any of you who’ve had a baby knows that laughing a baby out is a VERY BAD IDEA. Very bad. This brings me to the only part of having a baby that sucked for me. My recovery was terrible. I was extremely uncomfortable for weeks; I couldn’t sit down unless I did it very slowly. My six week go ahead got extended to eight weeks, then ten. It took nearly a full year until I felt close enough to my pre delivery self to get ‘close enough’ to my husband. 

But that’s all an entirely different story. I just wanted to post a little background before anyone wanted to say “was your pregnancy/labour/delivery/etc just hard and you don’t want to go through it again?”. To you I say nope, I loved every second of my pregnancy/labour/delivery/etc and I would LOVE to do it again, I just don’t want what comes from it, another baby.

That’s right. I said it! I do not want another baby! Whew! That sure is liberating! 

I’m not sure what it is about people but I swear 99% of them feel the need to ask you when the next one is coming before the first one is even out! Out of all the moms I know, the vast majority of them have at least two kids. And the ones that don’t? Oh you can bet the vast majority of them, are trying. Now I’m not saying there is anything wrong with having more than one child. I’m just saying that there’s also nothing wrong with NOT having more than one child. 

I love my daughter more than anything in the world. She IS my world! I would do (and have done) anything for her. That’s part of the reason baby number two is not an option. I want to be able to continue doing everything and anything for her! I love that she has my undivided attention. That we can share moments with just the two of us during the day, and just the three of us once her dad comes home from work. I don’t want her to have to want for things in a negative way. I don’t want to have to deny her of something because we have to divvy up money for school supplies or clothing. I love that I never have to tell her she has to wait until I feed/bathe/nap/etc the baby.
The other side of it is purely selfish. I love my “me” time as much as I love spending time with my daughter. I can’t fathom the idea of having her tucked quietly in bed at the end of a long day and not being able to sit and relax, in silence.  I love that I’ve been breastfeeding/nursing my baby for two years, but I love that it’s not a round the clock thing anymore. I love that I discovered cloth diapers and they’re so darn cute that I’ll be a bit sad when she’s done with them, but I’m looking forward to never having to wash a diaper again.  And of course, there’s that big ol’ elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about; Life with more than one kid is HARD. It’s a ton of work. It’s exhausting. It’s round the clock nonstop parenting. I just don’t see the point to it all!

I’m sure some of you are reading this saying things like, “I loved having siblings, I always had someone to play with!” or “it’s so rewarding when your kids all gather around you smiling and laughing”. I agree with you! I have a brother and it was mostly great growing up with a sibling! And I see tons of big happy families who are gathered around smiling and laughing! It’s just not for me. At least not now. 

Even though my husband and I are 95% sure we are just sticking with one, we aren’t ready to make it a permanent decision. There’s still that 5% chance that maybe, just maybe one day we might have another, when our daughter is self sufficient, in school, making her own lunch, etc. etc. BUT it’s a small 5%. So until that day comes (if it ever does) I just have one tiny request for all you single kid naysayers: Please, please, please, stop telling us single kid parents that we are:

-Doing our single child an injustice by not giving her a sibling (especially because we’re military and it’s not fair for her to have to move around her whole life without a permanent friend in sibling form).

-Missing out on the joys of big families and all of the amazing wonder and love they bring (we have a ton of love in our family!)

-Such good parents and we are doing such a great job with the one we have that we really should have more!

All I ask for as a mom of ONE, is for a little parenting respect. We’re all parents and we’re all in this together trying to make the right decisions for ourselves, our child(ren), and our families. 

Oh, and you don’t see us going around telling people that they SHOULDN’T have more children. :)



  1. Haha, I love it! I had these same feelings when we thought of (ok when we stopped :D) trying for the 3rd. It was (and is!) so hard with the 2nd that I couldn't even fathom being 1/2 the mom I am with another lil one to care for. Some women are meant to be a mom to one and some are meant to be a mom to 20, nothing wrong with either. I totally respect the fact you are self aware enough to know what is best for you and your family! You go girl!!

  2. As a 'fellow' mom of a wonderful little girl - THANK YOU! She will also be an ONLY child, and I have had such a hard time with that! Sometimes I feel that we are the only family with one child!
    It is nice to hear a pro-single child opinion, for a change, as it seems the trend is to now have more than 2 kids, even though it cost nearly $300 000 to raise a child to 18 (does not include college!).
    I love that I can sleep through the night, I don't have to change any diapers, and she can eat and dress herself. Who wants to go back to all that baby stuff? I totally loved being pregnant too and my delivery/recovery was no problem either.
    Thank you for making it okay to say we're parents of an only, and we're happy with that, it works for us!

  3. Thanks for your wonderful comment Jocelyn! It does seem like there are less and less of us single child families around!
    It's great to hear that I'm not the only one who feels this way, so thank you!!

  4. Consider your daughter as she ages. I am an only child that is soon going to be burdened with caring for my aging parents alone. I wished for a sibling to play with growing up and now I am wishing for a sibling to help make decisions.

  5. Only you and your husband can know what's best for your family, just like any parenting decision. So many people have kids without thinking of the consequences or seem to do it for the wrong reasons, but who are we to judge. It's a personal decision that no one else could possibly understand because they are not in your shoes. It sounds like you both have really thought it through. Good for you!

  6. I am an only child and i wished i had another sibling to play with and have that close connection to growing up. your child will want that too and will remind you of it everyday.

  7. I definitely think that this is one of those "grass is greener" situations. I hear from quite a few people that were single children that always longed for a sibling. I've also talked to plenty of people who would have been just as happy as an only child ;) I do also have some only child friends that loved it! You can get that family connection with cousins and other extended family members as well which is what we plan to offer our daughter.

  8. Have you thought about just spacing them out? I loved having 4 years of one-on-one time with Alexia. I also love watching her play with her baby sister. She'll be starting school soon, which gives me one-on-one time with Arianna. It makes me feel like I have the best of both worlds.

  9. Sometimes people can only have one wonderful child for health or genetic reasons. Everyone should celebrate each blessing not compare or judge. When asked if I'll have more children from inquiring observers, my answer is "I'm fortunate to have one" and that usually keeps opinions at bay.