We will only have one biological child, and I was happy to share it for #moms4moms day. I am here to tell you why I am more than okay with that.
Once upon a time, when Scott and I were dating but knew we would marry, the conversation of kids came up. What was amazing was that during the course of conversation, we both said, at nearly the same time, “I only want ONE child.”
There was never a question in the matter. Our thoughts never wavered…except during my issues with infertility. After being infertile for nearly 8 years, we were almost okay with even not having ANY children and just being DINKS (Double Income No Kids) if God had that in our plan. When I was told that the likelihood of getting pregnant was pretty slim, I coped in many ways, one of which was acceptance of our situation and moving on to adoption.
When it comes to major milestones in life, it seems like people feel like they need to ask certain questions. For instance, you get married. You are at the reception with a glass of champagne in hand, about to jump in the getaway car and people are already asking you when you are going to have a baby. A few years later, you have a baby, and before that baby has even left the hospital, you are already being asked when you will have another. I am not sure why this happens. Human nature, I suppose, but at what point do people stop?
When I found out I was pregnant, I was elated beyond belief that I was going to be able to have a child of our own, and that I would be able to release our application with Catholic Charities. I wanted to leave the opportunity to another family who was yearning to start a family. I often had people ask me “are you still going to adopt?” and I always answered with a quick no. I felt blessed beyond belief that I had my own little precious gift, and I knew that God had a plan for us in place.
What bothers me is that even now that Andrew is 2.5 years old and I am reaching my 40’s, I am still asked this question. I am asked the question by people who know of the medical issues that have plagued me over the years and who also knew of my infertility. I have had some people tell me I am selfish for only having one child, or I have been told that all kids need a brother or sister and that I am doing my son a disservice by not having another.
These comments used to infuriate me, especially during that first year of Andrew’s life. I felt so judged and discontented with the way people felt like it was their duty to tell me how many children I *should* have. The fact is, we made a choice a long time ago, before my fertility problems were even an issue. Some people are meant to have children, some aren’t. Some are meant to have fur families, some are meant to have one child. Just because they are different from us doesn’t mean that they are better or worse. Just different.
Fortunately, since I’m closer to 40 than 30, and my childbearing abilities are no longer existent, I let these comments now roll off my back. But, and this is a big BUT…it still doesn’t change the fact that some people feel the need to comment on mine (or others’) choices to only have one child.
We made our choice for health and financial reasons and because when Andrew was born, we felt our family was complete. We are happy to have one hilarious little boy who is the apple of our eye, but who also tests us daily. For us, just having one child of our own was a blessing in itself, and we are grateful for that, more than we can ever say.
For me, the answer was easy and when I was asked, I would go into great detail explaining why and to justify our choices. Over time, I have stopped, with the main thoughts: “Why do I feel the need to go into more detail? It is no one’s business but my own on how we choose to expand our family!”
I will never understand why society thinks it is okay to question or dictate how families choose to expand (or not to). Every family has their own situations, whether financial, health, or personal on why they choose to have a small or large family.
This is the truth. We never know a family’s complete situation or why they make the choices they do. But it isn’t our job to judge. It is our job to support them and to help them make the most of their family situation, no matter what it may be.