There is always someone who asks or says “well, do you guys plan on having anymore children?”, “you don’t want her growing up alone and spoiled.”, etc. But you know what, fuck y’all.
I am an only child and so is my daughter. I am absolutely thrilled that we chose to not have anymore kids at all. I refuse to live up to society’s expectations to have another child.
So here are 10 reasons why I chose to have only one child:
1. Babies are and can be hard work. Honestly though, I had it SO easy with Jody that it makes other parents jealous as fuck. Since being born, she has always slept through the night (seriously we never lost any sleep), she was always a quiet baby and even a quiet kid, always well behaved, etc, the list goes on.
2. Traveling is easier with one. The three of us can fit anywhere, we don’t need much space and we never need to pack too much. If I recall, between the three of us, we only need maybe two suitcases for all our stuff (I am talking about a 2 week vacation). We prefer to travel light. Plus there is no yelling coming from the back.
3. I am all about saving the planet. Before having a child, I could confidently say I was a low-impact human. I have seen first-hand how much waste one child can make, even with using cloth diapers and having conscious parents. My daughter is only 5, so I know she still has a lifetime worth of consumption and waste ahead of her. The planet doesn’t need more people.
4. I have dreams and goals I don’t want to put off. Like it or not, having a child requires a significant sacrifice from both parents, particularly the primary caregiver. After five years, I’m still trying to get my life back together and identify myself as an individual who just happens to have a child. Not to mention, I’m trying to scrape together the time to exercise (which I always make sure to make time for), study, do house work, cook a decent meal or read a book. After having a baby, most women can write-off at least a year of their lives purely for baby-rearing. That’s something I’m just not willing to do again.
5. Having a child is a long-life commitment. Once that baby is born, he or she is yours forever. You will always be your child’s go-to support person, safe place and (sometimes) financial institution. I honestly feel like I’ve already committed myself to enough. I’m married! That’s pretty epic. I have a mortgage — double epic. Okay, so maybe I struggle a little bit with commitment, but I’m changeable. I might want to run off and live in New Zealand or Japan one day, and we could do that easily with one kid.
6. More children means MORE expenses. As my daughter gets older, the more money we need to spend on food, clothes, schooling, and activities. I can add up how expensive it would be to put another child into the mix. At times, especially in the economy now, money can be tight, but I am grateful to say it isn’t a big source of stress in our young family. Having another little person drawing our funds could tip the balance, and push us into chronic financial stress. Um, no thanks.
7. There is not enough of me to go around. To be honest, I’m spread thin as it is. I know plenty of women who have two or more children and are constantly struggling to find time for themselves, keep fit, study, socialize (child-free), work or follow their dreams. They’re tired, cranky, and turn to wine to deal with their stress. Full disclosure: Some days I barely cope with the pressure of my one and only child on top of day-to-day happenings, like keeping the fridge stocked, staying up to date with my work, and thinking of things to keep her entertained. Some days I have period pain, and I can hardly even look after myself, let alone my daughter and ANOTHER child.
8. If I am a good parent, my child won’t need me to produce a playmate. I’ve heard of parents having a second child purely for the purpose of giving their firstborn a playmate. I know of more siblings who fight with each other than play together. One of my most important tasks as a parent is to be a playmate. I signed up for the job when I chose to have a baby. I don’t want to send the kids off to play on their own. I want to be involved in my daughter’s life. It may not always be easy or convenient to jump in and play, but I’m happy to do it. You can never give your child too much of you.
9. I don’t care what society thinks I should do. What I choose to do for me is my choice. I’m not condemning your choices. Whether you decide to have no children or 10 children is totally up to you. There’s no wrong way to love your family. Just don’t let societal norms and judgments let you question your decisions. People talk about “only children” being lonely and socially ill-equipped, but that’s just a stereotype. My daughter is only 3, and she’s friendly, chatty, compassionate, approachable and, most importantly, happy to share. I don’t care what people think. I just want them to stop telling me what to do.
10. We are happy and comfortable. We look forward and now focus on our future. A new house. A kick-ass vacation to a place we have never been. The world is ours now to do what WE want. We have had it pretty easy with Jody, and that is the way we plan on keeping it.
So there you have it.