Why We’re Confident One Child is Perfect for Us
I recently had a conversation with another mom about family size. Well, her family size. She talked about how many children she planned to have and how far apart she wanted their ages spread out, all the while I smiled and listened. Then came the natural question “So, when do you plan to have another one?”
My response, “we aren’t planning to have another one,” quickly led to a look of disappointment and disapproval followed by reasons why having only one child is a bad idea. After having this conversation, I was a little flustered on how quickly the tables turned. Here I was, listening to and supporting this mom’s decision to have four children, yet she had nothing positive to say about my decision to have one child.
Honestly, this exchange was not surprising to me at all.
When I tell people my husband and I have taken the “one and done” route, I usually hear something along the lines of…
“He needs a brother or a sister!”
“What will he do if you or your husband (or BOTH) die?”
“He’s going to be spoiled!”
“That’s selfish of you.”
“I know/I am an only child and it did not turn out well.”
The only time it seems excusable for me to have one child is if I have fertility or financial reasons. Surely someone with *just* one child cannot physically bear another one. If that’s not the case, then they probably can’t afford to take care of another one.
Unfortunately for me, I do not fall under either of these categories. I do not have fertility issues nor am I in financial distress.
Simply put, my husband and I have decided we are happy with one child.
Sure, I can list the benefits of having an only child, but that seems to perpetuate the “how many children is ideal?” debate. I could go into the pros of “I’ll save money/have more time/options to travel” but that feels like I am trying to justify my reason to you. I don’t have to justify my decision to have one child because it’s a decision my husband and I made together.
Yes, a child’s life will be different if they are an only child compared to a child with siblings. But, a child’s life will also be different if they have younger parents or older parents. One sibling or five siblings. Single mom or single dad. Older siblings or younger siblings (or both).
The point I’m trying to make is there’s no ideal number of children. It is all about what you and your partner decide is best for your family, and, quite frankly, it’s really no one’s business what you decide or why you decided it.
Want four kids? Great!
Three? Go for it!
Two? Sounds good to me.
One? Join the club.
The next time a conversation comes up about family size, let’s try to be supportive instead of pushing our opinions because I’m confident one child is perfect for my family, and I’m confident your number is perfect for you, too.