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"So when are you going to give Haylie a little brother? She needs a life long best friend & bodyguard don't you know?"
Seriously. All of the elements of the Perfect Family Rules & Regulations Handbook were in these two sentences. Not only was it assumed that I would have another child, but it was also implied that the sex of that child would automatically be a boy.
To me, this could be the millionth time I've heard the famous question & I still find it just as humorous as the first. You just don't realize how much people care about your procreation plans until you only have one child! The shocking looks on people's faces after hearing Haylie is all we need can be ridiculous at times, yet I’m okay with that. I can laugh and move along, knowing that my husband and I are making the best decision for our family.
Thankfully having one child is becoming more popular and less of a stigma, but just like parents of one child shoudn’t react with statements like “What?!?! You’re having ANOTHER ONE!?” we don’t enjoy your objection at us having just the one.
Here is a list of reasons why people may choose to be One and Done & why you might want to think twice before you ask the famous question "Why?" & criticize us!
1. Lifestyle ~ The thought of a hectic house brimming with children just isn't for everyone. Some might call it selfish, but for those of us in the one and done club, the thought of adding only one child to our lives is an exceedingly manageable one since we can continue living our lives without much change. Some people also have aspirations to make their child a world traveler like my husband & I do. I realize the limitations we would have with more than one child and we like the sound of planning our travels and other family adventures sooner than later.
2. Medical Issues ~ The truth may be that other parents are simply curious when they ask "Why only one?", but I’ve gotten the idea that this can also be a sore subject for many with only one child. Maybe those parents struggled with infertility and feel lucky to have their one and only child? Not all of us had easy pregnancies so maybe that mom had major complications that she doesn't want to relive? Losing a child due to a miscarriage could also be a possibility. Every family has their own unique story whether they have one child or ten so next time you want to ask "the question" maybe think twice about how you ask or if you should even ask at all.
3. Age ~ Just because we see celebs walking the red carpet with baby bumps well into their 40’s, doesn’t mean we want to do the same. I’m in my 30’s with a 4-year-old and I’m tired. Sometimes thinking of newborn snuggle sessions sound heavenly, but then I start to think about diapers, breast pumps, formula, plus caring for my daughter, managing my career, then making sure hubby and I still have a healthy relationship & I start yawning at just the thought. I can see why my younger friends feel up to the challenge of having more kids since they are full of youth and energy, but for this exhausted mama, no thank you!
4. Having More Children Doesn’t Guarantee A “Better” Family ~ People love to tell me that my daughter would gain a lifelong friend if my husband and I gave her a sibling. However, the last time I checked not all siblings are best friends. Sisters can be so far apart in age they barely live together before one moves out like my sister and I. Or a brother/sister duo close in age can be polar opposites. You can have just as rich of a family life with one child as you can with two or three. You also won’t win mom of the year just because you have an extra child to care for.
5. Emotionally, Maybe One Child Is All You Can Handle ~ I once heard a friend say that if she would have had her 3rd son first, she never would have had another child. Some kids just take more work to parent whether it's due to a behavior issue, health problem, a disability, etc. We have to know our own limits. On the flip side, some us have it pretty easy with our kids. We may not want to take the gamble on another when we love our lives exactly the way they are. There’s nothing wrong with admitting that we don’t want another child because we love the one we have & only want to love that child.
6. Finances ~ Maybe you didn't get the memo, but kids are damn expensive! While there is nothing wrong with being a SAHM, (I did it for a year!) living off of one paycheck didn't make me happy. Some families make the choice to have one child so they can afford to pay for the child's needs and to live comfortably within their means. If my husband and I were to add another child to our lives, I would be forced to be a stay at home mom again since childcare for multiple children would take most of my paycheck. Tell me you wouldn’t criticize someone for purchasing a big ticket item they couldn’t afford? So it’s probably not wise to tell a person who only has one child that “you can never actually afford a child, it will just work itself out.”
7. Some People Only Want One Child. Deal With It! ~ Honestly my husband & I are just not kid people and we never had dreams of having a big family. We love our daughter, but neither do we feel the need to add another to our family just because of how amazing she turned out. We both get anxious when we are around a large group of kids & neither of us are the friend to go gaga over your newborn baby. Our family feels complete and it’s inappropriate for others to elude that our family cannot be complete with anything less than two children.
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Great post. I'm a one-and-done parent. I wanted more children but it wasn't possible. I'm grateful for the daughter I have... she was a miracle. I was told I couldn't have children and then Along Came Paige. I agree it is just as insensitive to ask why not more as it is to to judge other for having many children. When people ask you either have to go into detail or accept the judgment
5/1/2016 10:16:36 am
I absolutely agree! Love this piece so much!! Why do people think it's their business anyway? The second my daughter was born people were asking me when I was going to have another. Ummm, can I focus on this one first? Then the same thing after I had my son. Why do they feel the need to ask such a personal question?!
Your post strike a chord with me! My husband and I were planning to have only ONE child too and I couldn't even conceive after 2 years of marriage, maybe I am not young anymore and am already in my 30s so its harder...so having ONE is already so hard, why make life even harder for yourself? Love your post! :)
5/1/2016 11:32:33 am
Honestly? It's no one's business but you and your husband's. You do not owe anyone an explanation.
5/1/2016 11:33:41 am
YES! I loathe that people think they have a say on how many children you can/should have. Why is TWO the perfect number?!? When we had one, people constantly asked us when we were going to have another. Now when I say that my tubes aren't tied and my husband is not sterile people think we're crazy for someday MAYBE wanting more. There is no one size fits all, dammit!
5/1/2016 01:02:17 pm
Oh....ya, choosing not to have kids at all is an interesting social pariah as well. ;-) I love that you wrote this!
5/1/2016 04:13:18 pm
I love that you stepped outside of you comfort zone 😊 I think so many people say these things without thinking twice. I think it's cool you are going to travel the world with your daughter!!!
5/1/2016 04:55:26 pm
Courtney I love you!!! This is everything I have thought myself and you've just laid it all out there! One is more than enough! It's funny how many others take issue with this very private and personal decision
I think this was a great post. Your points can apply to any family of any size -- the bottom line is it's nobody's business how many kids you have and there's no "right" way to have a beautiful family. The older I get, the more I realize that any family who manages to live in love and harmony is blessed and lucky beyond belief!
5/1/2016 10:18:38 pm
There are so many days when I wish I would've started my family a lot younger. It is tough being a mom and people don't get it! I think you are very lucky that you have your beautiful daughter and that you know your family is complete. Great article to help those who are just not sure if they are one and done or ready for two.
I love the reasons that you gave. It is easy for people to assume that families must have two children and not think about what is right for individual families. The same is true when you have more children. Since we have four, many strangers have told us that we are done. Maybe we are, but how can a complete stranger decide that for us?
5/10/2016 01:13:28 pm
I was an only child and it was the best option for both me and my parents! I think family planning is deeply personal and shouldn’t be something up for other people’s opinions or votes! Thanks for sharing this, I really appreciated it!
I'm a stepparent who also happens to have ZERO biological children. I am none and done - LOL, my husband did it all for me. I feel you. People ask me all the time why I never had "my own". A) I never wanted to...like ever and B) I don't have a uterus. That stumps them. C) When it becomes their business, I'll let them know. Until then, they should get a life of their own and stop worrying about mine.
7/3/2016 07:49:44 am
Well We may not want to take the gamble on another when we love our lives exactly the way they are. This is everything I have thought myself and you've just laid it all out there!
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