Put a Bib on It

Only Child

5 Comments

Our family feels complete with just one child. And I'm okay with that.I have been thinking a lot lately about the possibility of having another child. In large part, that is because I get the question ALL. THE. TIME.

“About time for another,” they say.

“Doesn’t Ev want a sister or brother?”

Ugh. It stresses me out thinking about it. I am “no spring chicken” as my mother says, but a) rude and b) it’s 2015. Having all of your babies popped out by the time you are 35 is a thing of the past. I realize that the complication risks go up as I age, but I just don’t feel like I need to make that decision right this second.

And if I’m being completely honest, I’m not sure I want another.

Ever.

There, I said it. I know that the readership of this blog just took a collective gasp at the thought of intentionally choosing to have only one child, but it’s true for me right now. I also know lots of folks are wondering why. Those closest to me know that I’ve talked about having lots of children most of my life and are wondering what changed. Well, the biggest answer to that question is that what changed is that I became a parent. I know what to expect and to expect the unexpected. There is so much to parenthood that doesn’t go according to plan, or according to my needs and my schedule, so many illnesses, unforeseen costs, sleepless nights (read: weeks), irrational fears, etc. Ev is at such an independent place, too. The thought of starting over seems overwhelming right now.

There is a tiny piece of me that worries that I should have another child for Ev; that I am being a selfish parent by not giving him a sibling to play with and help care for. I find justification in child care. The boy has been in child care since he was nine weeks old. He has had to share things, including attention, his whole life. His social development is arguably right on track. (I say arguable because there’s a good chance he’s pushed another child while I’m writing this.)

There is also my husband. We had always talked about having more than one child, or at least attempt one more time to try and have a girl. I was worrying over talking with him about my change of heart, but it just so happens that he was feeling the same way.

I said, “What happens if we wake up one day and regret we never had another child but it’s too late?”

His reply?

“We’ll adopt.”

Please don’t get me wrong: the joys of parenthood far out weight the tribulations. I cannot imagine my life without my son. I love him so much it hurts. I know that there is never a good time to add to the family and that having another child just adds that much more joy. But, I think our family feels complete. And until I start feeling incomplete, I’m not ready to make any changes.

5 thoughts on “Only Child

  1. Thank you for explaining this so well. I came from a family of 7 children, and had always thought I would have at least 4 when I got older. Well, I’m looking at turning 50 next year, and I believe I am done having babies! I wouldn’t change my daughter for anything in the world. I love watching her grow up and appreciate the young lady she is becoming. Our family is complete.

  2. I’m a momma of an only, and seven years into it I still wonder “would she be happier with a sibling?.” However, I do not struggle with “would our family be better off with a second child?” For us it is the right choice. I love being able to be fully there and engaged with my daughter when we are together. I love that my husband and I can both coach her soccer team, and we don’t have to worry about our other kids. I appreciate that I am more capable to handle my life’s challenges and keep my own sanity because I only have one child. I also value the diversity my daughter has been exposed to because of daycare, preschool and now school. Her life is bigger because she has had so many people care for her and love her.

    Our situation is a little different, because we always said we’d have one kid and then decide if we wanted more, so we didn’t go into parenthood thinking about a bigger family.

    In the end, Ev will have the life he has. Will he be happier if he has a sibling or happier as an only child? You’ll never know, because you can only pick one of those life paths for him, and he will have the life he has. So whatever decision you pick, throw your heart behind it and live that life to the fullest.

    I didn’t let out a gasp. I let out a little smile. One.

  3. I think you just blogged my life! I always knew growing up I would have “lots” of children. I have one. He’s 15, I’m 35. I have no desire at this point in my life to “start over”. Should we ever win the lottery I will adopt “lots” of children in the world who need me! You are not alone in your choice 🙂

  4. Thank you for all the comments. I had know idea this post would be so engaging…just wrote about what I’ve been feeling. I’m tickled by all the support and especially other people’s stories. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Pingback: I Don’t Miss My Baby Being Little. | Put a Bib on It

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