Parents

One And Done! Stop Criticizing Those With Only One Child

You just don’t realize how much people care about your procreation plans until you only have one child.
08/16/2016 11:23pm ET | Updated August 18, 2016

So when are you going to give Haylie a little brother? She needs a life long best friend and bodyguard don’t you know?”

Seriously. All of the elements of the Perfect Family Rules and 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 and 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 shouldn’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 and why you might want to think twice before you ask the famous question “Why?” and criticize us!

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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 and 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 40s, doesn’t mean we want to do the same. I’m in my 30s 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 and 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 and 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 and 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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