Once you become a certain age folks start pressuring you to settle down and have kids.
Once you settle down and have a child then there is added pressure to have more. Here’s how the conversation goes:
“How many kids do you have?”
“Well you’ve got to have at least one more. You don’t want Tre growing up all by himself (accompanied by a nod like I am supposed to agree).”
“We are happy with one. Thanks (accompanied by a soft, non-threatening smile).”
Now depending on who the convo is with it could go in several different directions. Most recently my primary care doctor, who happens to be the hubs’ doctor also, got quite serious asking me about having another baby and proceeded to ask if I was “alright with that decision.” She got really serious, folder her arms and looked at me over her imaginary glasses. It was as if I was strong armed into my decision and she was going to break the code. I found myself less focused on the pounding pressure in my sinuses that brought me there and more on how I was not going to make more noise from nervous squirming on that crunchy white paper.
Have I or we ever wanted to expand past 1 kid? Yes…me, at one point. For the record the hubs has ALWAYS been fine with 1 and maintains this position. I got the ‘itch’ a couple of years ago and
thought a lot about having another baby. I wanted to have Tre grow up with a sibling as we both did and see them experience life together as our children. Then I started doing to math. At that time the he was in daycare and was still wearing diapers. I got sucked in to everyone else’s vision for our family and less on what worked for us.
Is it selfish to not have or want to have another child? What about the idea that it is selfish to get pregnant in the first place. I’ve heard it all…”it’s selfish to not give Tre a brother or sister…just have another one.” So to my doctor, family, friends, strangers and everybody in between here are my reasons for not wanting to ‘add to the flock!’
- Time…Time…Time- My time is already well spent focusing my energy and attention on the hubs and Tre. I enjoy being able to pour into them…why compromise more of my time.
- It’s my body dammit!- Look, I loaned my body to bring him here and it took me a while to get off the baby weight. I just got my body back right last summer and people want me to stretch it out again?! Nope.
- Our lifestyle- With 1 kid our
thrills and fun excursions have not changed much. I can still maintain my biweekly nail appointment, grab a new pair of shoes when I want and celebrate weekly ‘date night’ with dinner and maybe movie if we have time. With multiple children the budget would be stretched more and weekly ‘date night’ would become monthly or even quarterly. Another twist to our lives is that the hubs is working on a Doctorate that requires him to travel monthly and during the summer. Pursuing higher education has kept him away every summer of Tre’s life so far. If there were multiple children that would be a lot. Thankfully his coursework will be complete soon.
4. Cost- This is the one I doubt anyone will argue with. I can’t raise Tre on love, hope, prayer, and good will alone. At some point he needs pants. And shoes. And food, toothpaste, books…you get the point. Add another little mouth to feed, clothe, and care for and the cost has increased. Plus we have college down the road and by the time he goes we might have to sell a kidney to get him there. More than 1 child to send and now we are talking about selling other organs to get them there. Ha!
With all of that said, I am completely aware that by only having 1 child we are his ONLY playmates and the pressure is on to entertain him 24/7 at home and the requests there are more frequent for play dates. Now that he is getting older he sees classmates’ siblings and has started to ask for a sister or brother. My response? “Well honey, Mommy and Daddy may not be having more children.” Tre: “Mommy I can pray and ask God for a sister or brother.” Me: “Well, ok. But I’m still nor sure if that is going to happen.” Then I silently pray that my child doesn’t pray a baby on me!
Hats off to family members and friends that have more than 1 child. You have my full support. As happy as I am for them to birth healthy and happy babies, I am equally just as happy with the life we have created in our home as a family of 3. It works for us. So hats off to moms of multiple kids and a shout out to moms of single children. We are all in this together. –Krystal