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Monday Morning Parenting: To Be An Only Child or Not To Be An Only Child

Monday, July 5, 2010

Marlie is turning 1 next month and that has got me thinking about another baby. I'll pause while some of you clap and some of you wipe the coffee off your computer screen. Okay. May I continue now?

Let me start off by saying that I don't get why people have such strong opinions on how many children you should have. From what I gather the rule of thumb is more than one, but less than four otherwise you get labeled an Octomom. Who gives a squirrel's tail if you have one or ten kids as long as they are healthy and happy?!

Anyway....
Damon and I made the very conscious decision to wait until we were at least 30 to start a family. This choice gave us the freedom to establish our careers, complete graduate degrees, save money, travel extensively and do pretty much what we wanted, when we wanted. But we never discussed when we'd complete our family, and now that I'm approaching 35 I think that should be the cutoff.

I also want at least 2 years separating my kids if I had more than one child. If I want a second child before I'm 35 with at least a two-year gap, I would need to start the baby making like yesterday! Don't go getting all excited, because the truth is...I'm not ready. The more I think about having another baby next year, the more I realize that it would only happen to stick to some arbitrary timeline. But I have to be realistic because, at 34, my eggos are not going to wait much longer for me to be "ready." That's a lot of pressure!

I stand behind my belief that the decision to have more children should be based on readiness, not a schedule (or public opinion). I honestly feel like our family is complete for now and I don't see that changing within a year's time. Do I worry that I will change my mind at 37 or 38 and run into that brutal, brick wall better known as infertility? Sure I do, but that's not going to push me into getting pregnant sooner than later. Do I fret about Marlie being an only child. No, not really. I am the oldest of six children and I always say that siblings are overrated.

Is it wacko to only want one child? What do you think?

14 comments:

Maureen said...

Having V ten years after my other four, it is more like she is only child and they are aunts and uncles. There is definitely something to be said for having only one little one. The quality of your interactions is so much better. The only negative that I have found is that she is so much more dependent on me for entertainment than the others ever were. I'm definitely more sane and relaxed with her, though part of that is being older I think. Still, tonight she was helping me bake and it was so nice not to have to give one child one job, one another, and so on like I had to when I had several little ones fighting over who got to help.

Maureen said...

BTW, 35 isn't necessarily the end of fertility. I got pregnant with V at age 39 the first month, with no fertility drugs.

Christa Terry said...

Hee, I'm the oldest of 7! I know I do not want more than two kids, but I always thought a pair would be perfection. But now I keep going back and forth... the BabbyDaddy and I had talked about "starting" again in August, but now August seems awfully close! Things feel so perfect now, with just Paloma. I'm rather scared to change things because what if we're not ready or she's not ready?

Alexia said...

Completely agree with you Teresha. Another child should be if and when you're ready not just based on some kind of schedule but I agree with Maureen...35 is not an infertility sentence. If you're meant to have another little blessing you will...

I'm the oldest of four siblings and I want Cedella to have siblings (one or two) but it is really hard to imagine having another child right now. I'm (nearly) 32 and figure I'll either be pregnant or nursing for the majority of my thirties! lol

Whatever choice you make Marlie is so fortunate to have such a thoughtful and present Mama!

AccidentalMommy said...

You need to make choices based on what YOU feel is right, not how the world perceives you, I'm right with ya there.

Ultimately, it's out of your hands, LOL

The Redhead Riter said...

One is not always the loneliest number if you ask my daughter. In her words, "I get all your attention, all your money, all your time. It can't get better than that, can it?"

LOL

Ms. Understood said...

I understand you completely. It's hard not to worry about the pressure of "getting too old." I am 30 and haven't had one yet. I worry about not having enough time to have a "full" sized family. You know what's right for you and having a baby in your late 30's is pretty common.

Help! Mama Remote... said...

Not at all. I think it depends on the family. Have I judge people for have more than me? I'm sure I have but never would I make them feel uncomfortable about what the are doing it's their life. I agree with you whenever it happens it happens. My kids are spread so far apart the are all like only children. I didn't plan it that way by any means.

Mackey said...

You have to go with your gut on the Teresha. I am 34 prggos with #8 all of whom where concieved on some form of birth control!!!! Coming form a famly of 3 kids, I always wanted my kids to experience the joys and trials of growing up with siblings. But, I don't think a person is somehow "less well-rounded" if they are an only. Family size is such a personal choice that only your spouse can decide.

keyalus said...

I don't think it is odd to want only one child...except for the fact that you had so many siblings LOL! I love the relationship I have with my little sister now and I would hate for Lewis to miss out on that by being the only.

I am 33 though and not eager to be pregnant anytime soon. I wanted to stop at 35 like you but I didn't count on getting married at nearly 30! Pregnancy is such a drain even though mine was "easy". I'm just not ready to give up my body and be tired and uncomfortable. Tell that to my husband who is already talking about #2. Sigh. It is hard being a woman sometimes.

SE'LAH... said...

I am the mother of an only child, by choice. It has got to be a personal decision but for me, I wanted to do the best I could, given my career, resources etc. She told my hubby for the first time the other day that she is happy to be an only child. It only took almost 9 years. lol.

Pray and meditate on it. You'll know what's right for you. one love.

luvlymskrissy said...

I understand where you're coming from totally. I have one and Princess J is more than enough for me right now. I keep telling people that she may very well be an only child and I am okay with that. Although I want her to have at least one sibling of her own. I have 5 siblings and I love being from a large family. IF I get married I will decide if I want more. IF not, she'll be the only one.

Tooje said...

Not wacko at all to think that one child will complete your family and make you and Damon satisfied.

I do not agree, however, that siblings are overrated. :) I find that the relationships they can develop to be extremely beneficial, especially when the parents can be a bit wacko at times. It's nice to have others around to be witness to what you experience....to share, commiserate, and have companions. It makes me sad to see my friends who have parents that are only children growing older with no support system around them, or no one there to help with their aging parents.

It's not to say that only children cannot cope and handle and be just fine...but I certainly think that my dad (one of nine children) and my mother (one of five children) have considerably less stress on them worrying about my grandparents BECAUSE they have siblings around to share the burden with, and the joys of everyday family life. Just something to think about.

KarmaPearl said...

I don't think it's crazy. I want more than one child, but sometimes I wonder how I could possibly love another baby as much as I love Nellie. It worries me sometimes. Every mom I've met says that your heart just makes room but I still worry!!!

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