After more conversations that I can count, my husband and I are decided: we're not having any more children. We have one son, a kind and goofy almost 4-year-old who loves The Beatles almost as much as he loves playing with his Dad. We adore our son and love being his parents, but we came to realize that, for a variety of reasons, we're OK with having only one kid. Of course, every family is different, and I support any mom who chooses what's best for her family. But for those of you wondering, here's why my family decided that we're one and done.
A Big Family Was Never Our Dream
Some people have a vision of what they want their life to look like. From sprawling houses in their dream city to their ideal job and number of kids. Me, not so much. In a general sense, I always knew I wanted to have a child, but I've never had a particular desire for a large brood. My husband felt the same way. Though we have different backgrounds (he comes from a large family and I'm an only child), neither of us feels like our life will be incomplete without more children.
Our Tripod Is a Lot of Fun
We're very happy with just the three of us. My son enjoys our threesome, often comparing us to characters he sees in children's books and on TV. To him, we're like the three musketeers; to me, we're able to live a nearly stress-free lifestyle. We outnumber him, making it easier to parent and be wholly present because our resources aren't split between multiple siblings. I've also been able to do things with him that I wouldn't have been able to do otherwise. I took two years off to be a stay-at-home mom, bringing him to parks, museums, playdates, and even train adventures. Plus, we can afford one kid, but I honestly don't know what we would do if we had a second. With daycare in my area costing around $2,000 a month, we would go into debt just trying to provide basic childcare. With only one, we're lucky enough to not have to worry.
Multiple Children Can Be Stressful
I love my son and his sweet face, but when he decides that he doesn't want the dinner he just begged me for, my head feels like it's going to explode. With only one child, I'm able to be the kind of parent I want to be — one who is patient, child-centric, and fun — when he has his outbursts. Because I'm not stressed out, I'm able to resist his demands and battles. Plus, I'm better able to lead with love and humor and defuse the situation.
My Son Doesn't Need a Sibling to Be Happy
Yes, many people love their siblings and I think that's wonderful. My husband is one of them; he adores his sisters, but he and I both agree that having siblings doesn't make someone any more or less happy. The myth that only children are selfish, spoiled, and unhappy is just that — a myth. My son is being raised to be a kind and considerate person who happily shares. We don't need a second child to teach him good behavior.
The Age Gap Is Getting Too Big
My son is nearing the bend of 4 years old, and I know that if I wanted to get pregnant again, it could take me a while. At best there would be a five-year age gap between him and any sibling, if not more. And to me it seems like the chances of them playing with each other become slimmer and slimmer the wider that age gap gets. Sure, he may be close to the hypothetical second kid as they got older, but for the bulk of their lives we would be dealing with two kids with completely different needs. Just as our son's getting old enough to stay up later and enjoy the world, we would suddenly be tied to the house again, obeying the bed times and strict schedules of a baby.
I Want to Focus on Different Parts of My Life
After over two years as a stay-at-home mom, I'm enjoying being back in the workforce, too much to put that on hold for another kid. I know it's possible to work with multiple children, and I commend all the parents that do, but after spending so much time and energy focused on my son, I'm really enjoying the ability to think about myself and my needs. I feel fulfilled at work, I've been able to exercise more regularly, and just as importantly, I get a lot of quality time with my husband. A second child would change these situations and relationships, and I'm not ready to give that all up. So while there's nothing wrong with having multiple kids, for my family, it's just not the right fit. Besides, we're happy just the way we are.