For some reason, it’s really challenging for people to believe when I say definitively that I only want one baby. That drives me nuts! Here’s the deal, I am me, I make my own decisions, and no one else gets to decide for me, and guess what? I only want ONE baby!
When doing a little research about how many people choose to have just one child, I ran across an interesting Gallup Poll from 2013. Not surprisingly, most people think that having 2-3 kids is best. However, at the very bottom of the article, you’ll see a chart that shows very similar percentages of people (across all age ranges) who think 1 child is ideal and who think 5 children is ideal. That surprises me. I expected that most people would say that 2-3 children is ideal, and then thought having 1 child would be in third place. Apparently people find having 1 child as outrageous as having 5 children (which, btw, isn’t crazy to those people).
Clearly, I have an unpopular view on this, but I don’t understand why the 70+% of people who think 2-3 kids is ideal must insist that I also want that many kids, or that I’m wrong, or don’t know what’s best for me. I don’t insist that they’re wrong about their own decisions, but they all-too-often tell me I’m wrong. How can people think it’s okay to tell you how to run your life?
I’ve literally had tons of conversations that go like this:
Me: Kennedy’s the only one. We’re done. We’ve always only wanted one child.
Stranger: No, you HAVE to have another one.
Stranger: You’ll change your mind. You’ll have two.
Holy cow. NO, I won’t. In fact, we’ve already made a permanent birth control decision, so there absolutely will not be a baby number 2 in this house… and we are HAPPY about that.
Everyone thinks that your baby will be lonely, or ask what happens when you’re gone, or who they’ll play with, or what happens if something happens to the first baby.
Won’t she be lonely? I can’t predict the future, but I am an only child and I can tell you that I was never lonely. I had amazing parents (my mom, dad, and step-dad), extended family, really close friends my own age, and family friends who were my “aunts” and “uncles.”
What happens when I’m gone? Well, that’s going to suck, but she’ll probably have a network like the one described above to lean on. When my dad died, I had my mom, stepdad, husband, and close friends to help.
Who will she play with? Probably friends she’ll make along the way, just like everyone else. Some of our closest friends live .5 miles away, and they have a baby who is a few months younger than my daughter. Boom, problem solved.
Also, I LOVED being an only child. There wasn’t one thing about it that I disliked! I feel so passionate about loving my childhood that I want to ensure that she has the same experience.
What happens if something happened to my baby? First of all, the thought of that is terrifying. And, as a preemie mom, we had some scary experiences early on, but Kennedy is here – thank God. If something happened to her, I would lose my mind. I’d probably be strapped to a rocking chair, facing out a window, and stay there permanently. Having another child wouldn’t fill her void. There is only one Kennedy.
Everyone has to make their own decision about the number of kids to have (if any, because that’s okay too!). I personally think that many people end up wanting a similar number of kids as they grew up with. My husband and I are both only children, so it makes sense that we only want one.
I’m A-OK with whatever people decide for themselves, but it makes me crazy that I have to defend the decision to have one kid. We are, and have always planned to be one and done.