I was walking through the grocery store (ok, ok, it was a Target) when a well-meaning older woman started interacting with Binky boy. She cooed at him and asked how old he was, she smiled at him and admired his gummy return smile, and she eventually inquired about when he’d have siblings join him. Sometimes, it amazes me what strangers are willing to pry out of pregnant women and mothers. Other times, it amuses me to see their reaction to my response. Along with being non-traditional, I’m also outspoken. I don’t want my son to have siblings, I don’t want any more kids, and I want an only child. The truth is that only children have a slew of positive qualities that I look forward to.
(A quick disclaimer: I know that these things can be accomplished by families with siblings. I don’t claim that having an only child is the only way to accomplish these things…and I don’t even know that having an only child will even accomplish these things. I am also well aware that these are all very self-focused decisions. Call me selfish if you’d like, but this is my decision to make and I will use my own, “selfish” reasons to make it.)
1. I want a well-balanced lifestyle.
I enjoy working, blogging, and spending time with friends and my husband…all of which are done without my son (with the exception of occasionally spending time with friends in the form of play dates). I want to consistently balance the things in my life that I enjoy and I know that adding more children will create an imbalance in my life.
2. I don’t want to be pregnant or to raise a newborn again.
My husband and I are thoroughly enjoying Binky’s journey through toddlerhood. He explores new things, he values time with us, and he soaks up knowledge. I’ve cherished every stage of life with my son, but there are certain stages that we’re better suited to enjoy. Pregnancy and the newborn stage are not one of them. (We’ve entertained the idea of adopting, should we decide later to add more children to our family.)
3. I want convenience.
I first decided that I want an only child when my husband and I decided that we wanted to live in another country. We have a strong idea of what our future together looks like and we feel as though having an only child best fits our idea. Moving to another country, just as an example, will be more convenient with an only child. Not to mention, going to the grocery store, taking a road trip, and house hunting, just to name a few others. 😉
4. I don’t want my son to have to adjust.
I know that my son would have a hard time adjusting to a new baby in the family. Most of the reasons I want an only child are selfish, but I just can’t ignore his needs in this instance. I know that many children adjust to new siblings well and, obviously, he’s going to have to learn to adjust to new situations. I just can’t face the reality of a broken-hearted toddler and a newborn who are both my responsibility. I trust my intuition and I believe this is a gut feeling that I should listen to.
5. I can always change my mind.
We feel strongly about our decision to have an only child, but the great thing about choosing not to have more kids is that we can always change our minds. (It wouldn’t be the same story if we chose to have more kids and then tried to change our minds. 😉 Haha!) We’re open to changing our decision if it ever feels like the right thing for our family and our life goals.
Like I mentioned in my “disclaimer,” I know that having an only child isn’t the only way to accomplish these things, but it feels like the best way for our family to accomplish these things. I love the dynamic between siblings and I adore the chances I get to observe large families. These are simply the reasons that I want an only child, not to say that everyone should want an only child.