Speaking My Truth: One Child is Enough

by - January 14, 2019

As the mother of an only child, I get a lot of unsolicited questions and comments about our family's choice to not have another baby. It always starts with a question along the lines of "When can we expect baby number two? or When are you going to give Alexis a little brother/sister?" What follows is always incredibly awkward and uncomfortable. I say we're not having another baby, which usually elicits an incredulous look followed by a knowing laugh or smile and something along the lines of "You'll change your mind one day."

I know mine isn't the only single-child family that deals with the never-ending questioning of when we'll be adding another name to our family tree. That's why I'm sharing my story - in the hopes that it will help open the eyes of those who can't resist the urge to ask the question we dread hearing.

I'm not ashamed of my story, but at the same time I don't feel the need to explain our decision to only have one child to every single person who asks. And on the few occasions where I have shared, it hasn't made much of a difference. I still feel the judgment, the shame, as if somehow our choice is selfish and wrong, or that we didn't think things through. Except we did.

Most people don't know about my difficult pregnancy, birth and post-partum experience. I don't tell them about the dangerously high blood pressure or how my water broke three weeks before my due date but yet I never went into labor. We don't talk about my emergency c-section or the week I spent in the hospital trying to get well. I don't say the words Preeclampsia or vasectomy.

Now, nearly four years later, our daughter is thriving. She may not have siblings, but she has cousins and friends at school. We don't struggle to provide for her as we might if we had more children. She's not growing up spoiled or lonely.

We didn't start our parenting journey with the intention of having only child, but that's the hand we were dealt, and at the end of the day we'd rather be a happy family of three than risk my health and that of an unborn child.

The truth is it's none of your business if a couple wants to have one kid or ten. There's no one-size-fits-all formula for creating a family. What's right for your family won't necessarily work for mine or anyone else's for that matter. And no, your opinion really doesn't matter.

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