The pressure to have another child is like the never-ending story for parents like us who choose to stick with one. Besides our family continuously pressuring us to have another child, we also get it from friends and even strangers. Before I had my son, I wanted more than one child, but after he was born, I joined the one and done boat with my husband. And, no, he didn’t pressure me into it. I came to that decision all on my own. Had I known this ahead of time, my son’s name would have been Sky. I always wanted a child named Sky.
To this day, I do not understand why people, grandparents included, want other people to have more than one child. What is wrong with having one? We are not becoming an extinct species or suffering for another reason that would tell me reproducing more than one child would benefit society. I mean, is one child really such a bad thing?
See, my husband and I choose to have one, not because we can’t get pregnant again, but because we consciously choose not to. Once you publicly make a decision like this you are bound to catch a lot of slack and a lot of people will try to persuade you to have more than one child. For us, having one child just makes a lot of sense — financially and for the freedom it allows us. Having one lets us have the life that we want to live.
Having an only child comes with its own challenges, yet having one child is a really big reminder to embrace every age and stage because it’s very apparent that, before you know it, he will be a grown man coming home with a partner saying they are getting married. And having one allows us to give all of our attention to our son. Although some may see this as a bad thing, we disagree. We don’t have to divide our time among our kids.
I find that we need to change our judgments of only children. For instance, despite being an only child, my son is very good at sharing, he’s super social, considerate, and very conscious of others around him, including their feelings. He knows how to wait his turn for things and is quite independent.
Despite this, I still get questioned for having only one child, and I’m dumbfounded. Are others with two, three, or even five kids ever asked why — Why two? Why three? Why five? I doubt these parents see articles titled, “The Hazards of Having Two Children,” or “Are Siblings Lonely?” I doubt they see an article like “Study finds having siblings makes you selfish.” But I’ve seen article titles just like this about only children.
I am NOT against having two, three, or more children, but maybe we should respect those of us who choose to have one. Give all parents, including the one and done bunch an opportunity to soak in our answer without having to defend our choice.