So, you are young, let us say in your 20’s, and you have been dating your significant other for quite a while, what is the most common line of questioning you lovebirds hear?
“When are you two getting married”? Or, “when are you gonna make an honest women of her”? Or, horrors, this one, “maybe he hasn’t asked you yet because why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free”?
Then, you get married. What is the most common line of questioning you are asked while you are basking, childless, in your newlywed fantasy land?
“When are you two gonna have kids”? Or, “I can’t wait to be a grandma/grandpa/aunt/uncle, are you going to have kids soon”? Or, “when I was your age, I had been married with three kids by now”!
And, finally, you have a child. And, naturally, what is the most common line of questioning you hear now?
“He/she needs a sibling, are you going to have another”? Or, “it’s easier to have them closer together in age, my kids were 15 months a part”! (Woah, holy diapers, dueling tantrums and sleepless nights mama!)
But, what if you don’t want to have an other child? Why does it feel like you are in the minority? Why are there such negative connotations surrounding “only children”? Why is the expectation so high to have more than one child? Why do people tsk at the idea that a family can be completely fulfilled and perfect with one child? Why, when asked, do so many people say they want two kids because, “I always envisioned I would” or, “I want a boy and a girl” or, “I came from a family with siblings and cannot imagine it any other way”?
It has been our choice, and I suppose we reserve the right to change our minds, but we are parents of one child, with no intentions to add another.
We had no written in stone plans to have only one child or more than one child when we were discussing starting a family. We just let our lives unfold. And unfold they did!
It wasn’t easy to get pregnant. For the life of me I cannot grasp how so many people have conceived on the “first try” or all the teen pregnancies that are the result of a virgin’s one night stand. There is such a small window of opportunity for fertilizing an egg! It took us about a year and giving up all together before we conceived our daughter! I regognize our experience was not really that long compared to some folks who have struggled with fertility.
Being pregnant was such an amazing gift. Once our child came into this world we were wrapped so tightly around her precious fingers we could not ever envision letting go.
Our daughter entered this world with some gusto. She had everyone one their toes. She commanded a crowd in her first few hours of life. After four amazingly beautiful years, nothing has changed. She still keeps us on our toes and she commands quite a crowd in addition to having her own personal entourage along with some pricey accoutrements.
She is medically complex and has special needs. We are madly in love with every ounce of her being. She requires much more from us than we ever expected when planning our family. And, as she is our only child, we are undividedly concentrated on providing what she needs. We do not have to feel a pull of devotion from one child over the other. We do not worry that where one child receives our time, attention and resources the other child loses our time, attention and resources.
This works for us. We are fulfilled, in fact, our cup runneth over. There are plenty of families who are capable of having several children and managing their needs without feeling as though there is a detriment of compromise. We respect those families (however, I highly suspect those parents are aliens from Mars with super powers from space, just sayin’).
We have decided that one child completes our family perfectly. She does not NEED a sibling. I do not NEED to enjoy the stages of motherhood again. My husband does not NEED the addition of a “boy” to our family unit. We do not feel slighted by being a family of three instead of four. We realize our prior dreams and visions were just guidelines but meeting them in real life is not a necessity nor does it mean we are lacking having not met those original aspirations.
We go with the flow of this wild, crazy and challenging life and we are immeasurably happy and blessed.