This Mommy Runs on Caffeine

This Mommy Runs on Caffeine

May 25, 2011

Just One

One. Child.
Yes, only child. That's my daughter. That's also me.....

      The burning question of the year is either WHEN or ARE you having another child. I'm not planning on it. Our daughter is wonderful, sweet, beautiful, kind, gentle, adorable and perfect. Although I'm sure that efforts may be duplicated, but we I'm quite happy with our little family of three. My husband would certainly like one more. I on the other hand, don't. It's actually quite a nosy and personal question; akin to asking someone why they stopped at just two? Unlike Ruffles, I can have just one and for me there are a multitude of reasons- physical, personal and financial to name a few.
      On the phsyical side: because I don't want to go through pregnancy and labor again. Yes, my pregnancy was nearly text-book despite the fact that getting there wasn't. And labor was shorter than half of an average work day, however, I enjoyed neither. It's a complete crap shoot to say whether a second pregnancy would be the same- or worse. I'm thinking that two years later and closer to the big four-oh increases the chances of problems all around.
      I also was not comfortable with a newborn (and the newborn smell that everyone talks about is not the same one that I'm thinking of....). The comfort level obviously grew on me as I was able to do some on-the-job training but again, not wanting to pile more sleepless nights on top of the ones that we already get. (K slept so muchbetter a year ago than she does now- not quite sure why the return to 4 a.m. feedings?!)  And adding juggling the needs of a tiny newborn along with those of a very smart and active toddler in addition to a career and life just scares me. There are days that I feel stretched too thin as it is.
      I'm also not game for another two plus years of diapers. There is light at the end of this tunnel o' Huggies and I'm really looking forward to it. And speaking of Huggies- the expense of day-to-day care is something that we are really considering. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Child Rearing Calculator, and discount the cost of shelter (we've been here years prior to her!) and daycare, it costs us roughly about $15,000 a year to raise little K. That reflects 2009 numbers- I think it's safe to say it might be inflated a bit higher today in 2011, while our salaries aren't. And believe me, I try to save money in as many areas as possible where it doesn't affect health or safety! The calculator says that having a second child would double that; but even on the low side, I would guesstimate perhaps $22,500 for two children. Did I mention college? Even though hubby and I are proud owners of student loans (ha!), I do not want K to have to worry about that- we're stuffing as much 'extra' money into her college savings account (and our retirement funds as well) to plan for the future. 
     While larger families were very common to help with the division of labor years and year ago, the smaller family is becoming quite common when you consider metropolitan living and costs. Our family is normal! But I often hear the reaction that "you shouldn't do that to your child," when I answer the "Are you having another?" question. I shouldn't do what? I shouldn't provide her with as much love and devotion as possible? I shouldn't work hard to provide the best possible life for her and our family in the long run hopefully demonstrating a good life and work ethic? I get the 'sibling bond' argument, but I've seen that go either way-- while my two step-sisters are thick as theives;  a good friend is absolutely not a fan of her brother. And as far as her being lonely, between her Daddy and I and all of her family members, she is not lonely. Additionally, she knows how to independently play and is developing quite the imagination! K plays well with others and knows how to share- something that we are teaching her, not her learning from a sibling.
      If you are really curious as to why just K, I'm happy to tell you that I'd love to concentrate on creating and molding a selfless, talented, kind, gentle, creative, productive little girl; along with having a happy and relaxed Mommy and Daddy to raise her. But please don't make me have to debate with you why our choice is right for us...........

1 comment:

  1. Wow oh wow do I understand this dilemma. I heard it non-stop after Jake was about 18 months and for the next 8 or so years. I was perfectly content with having one, and admit that I wasn't a huge fan of pregnancy/newborns, etc. One kid was plenty for me ~ and after trying to "get pregnant" for years and then going through the disappointment of not getting pregnant and getting pregnant and miscarrying (three times) - I was done.

    As you know ~ things can happy for odd reasons - and I never ever ever thought I'd be pregnant again at 37 and having a second child. It's been a roller-coaster ride to say the least.

    My vote is you say something along the lines of, "I'm perfectly happy with my one." And own that. You know what you want Carol, you don't have to explain or justify your decisions to anyone.


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