Why it's okay to be one and done.
Note: When I first started this blog I wanted it to only be about books and writing, but I've changed my mind. After all, I'm not only about books and writing. This blog is a little bit of everything, and the things most dear to me. As a first time mother, it's obvious the biggest thing on my mind is motherhood, and I wanted to share my thoughts on this with you. This is an article I wrote for KIDSPOT.
I was married for a long time before deciding to have a child, but it didn’t stop people from asking me all the time when I was going to start a family. It always amazed me how they never stopped to think I might have had a problem conceiving and how deeply upsetting that question might have been. While I did take a long time to fall pregnant, that was not why it took so long for us. We just didn’t know if we wanted to have children, and we wanted to be certain before bringing a child into this world. There’s a freedom attached to being childless that you will never again have if you start a family, because all of a sudden you no longer have the right to be selfish. And there’s nothing wrong with not wanting children. What is wrong, is assuming someone’s life will be better for having kids.
My life is better since having my boy, but the same can’t be said for everyone. Because here’s the thing, we’re all different. What works for one, doesn’t work for another, and there’s nothing wrong with that. You’d think we’d be left alone now that we added that extra member to our family, but alas, the questions continue. “When are you going to have another child?” they all ask over and over again. The moment I tell them I’m not, I’m met with looks of disbelief. They assume I must’ve had a bad pregnancy, or a traumatic birth experience, but this isn’t true at all. In fact, I was one of the lucky ones. I loved being pregnant, and while there’s nothing fun about giving birth, I certainly didn’t battle the way I know many have. I love my boy more than I've loved anyone in my whole life. The amount of photos I take of him on a daily basis is proof of this, and I could easily talk about him all day. But I'm happy the way things are. I don't feel an urge to have more children when I see newborn babies (on the contrary, I'm pleased to be done with that phase). I also don't worry that my boy will suffer without a sibling. There are many children who were quite content with being an only child, and many children who have awful relationships with their siblings. Being a mother is hard, but I love it. And yet, I don't want more. We're happy with our little unit, and we feel like a complete family. This is the happiest I’ve ever been.
Why is everyone so concerned about the lives of others?
It's perfectly okay to have one child. It’s less money to spend on schools, and more time to yourself. You don’t need to have a reason. Parenting is hard, and having one makes it a little easier. It's also okay to have lots of children. There’ll be lots of love and laughter added to your life. Can you imagine the dinner parties you’ll have? Did you know it's also fine not to want any children at all? You'll have more money, more freedom, and more chances to travel. There is joy in every decision if it's the decision YOU want. No matter what you want in life, you should do it. We're not all cut from the same cloth, and even though it can be hard to remember, it's fine if someone is not like you. Let them be who they want to be, and drop the harsh judgements. Life is hard enough as it is without having to make excuses for everything you do.
It’s fine to ask someone if they're going to have children, or have more children. I never get upset with this question and I’m always happy with honest conversations. What's wrong, is asking someone when they're going to have children. It's the assumption that this is the way everyone should be that's wrong. There is no right way to live your life. There's only YOUR way.