These days it seems like it’s more and more common to have just one child. That’s why I’m always surprised when I get a disapproving look or get the “Oh, I’m sure you’ll change your mind” response when I tell people Avery is going to be an only child. I can promise you, I will not be changing my mind. In fact, I’ve had nightmares before that I’ve gotten pregnant again.
Don’t get me wrong. I absolutely love my child, and I LOVE being a mom. It’s the coolest job I’ve ever had. But, Shawn and I have several valid reasons why Avery will be an only child.
Your First Child Was a Miracle
Shawn and I went through fertility treatments for over a year before finally getting pregnant. And it seems like that is SO common these days. I know so many couples who have gone down the devastating and frustrating path of infertility.
As if this wasn’t enough, I developed preeclampsia and Avery had to be delivered, 3.5 months early. After 234 days in the NICU, Avery came home on oxygen and a feeding tube.
The chances of me developing preeclampsia again are just too great to risk getting pregnant. Not to mention, I would be a nervous wreck the whole pregnancy, just knowing the risks.
Kids Are Expensive
Perhaps your child has some sort of chronic diagnosis that requires regular doctor appointments, your family just doesn’t have the means, or you have expensive needs or hobbies. These are all TOTALLY valid reasons to just have one child. I know a couple who could definitely “afford” to have more than one child, but they really want to do private school. For that reason, they only had one child. I know another couple who LOVES to travel and wants to continue that, even though they have a child. They chose to have one child and take him on a lot of really cool trips.
You Started a Family Later in Life
I dreamed about being a mother for as long as I can remember, specifically a mother to a precious little girl like Avery. But, because of a failed first marriage and several years passing before I found my true prince, I didn’t get to start a family as early as I hoped. Many women are also choosing to delay a family because they are first focused on their career. Maybe moving up the chain at the law firm or finishing up medical school are on the list first before becoming a mom. Nothing wrong with that!
Your One Child Requires a Lot of Attention
I often joke that Avery really equals triplets based on the amount of care and attention she needs. Until recently, she was on multiple medications every six hours. Now, she has therapy twice, sometimes three times a day. She is followed by five specialties and is 100 percent tube fed. I also work full time. And, I TRY to be a good wife and spend quality time with my husband. There’s just not enough time left for another child.
You Didn’t Plan on Having Kids in the First Place
For some couples, kids just aren’t in the plans. They are huge animal lovers, love to travel, or let’s face it, they just aren’t that crazy about kids. But, something happens and they get pregnant. They fall in love with their baby girl or boy and find out that being a parent is actually pretty amazing. But, since kids weren’t necessarily in the cards in the first place, they are happy with just one.
It Wasn’t Your Choice
You wanted more children. It was in the plans to have two, maybe three. But it didn’t happen. You tried fertility, explored adoption, and after many heart wrenching conversations with your husband, you decided that one was enough. And, guess what? It is!
I saved the best reason for last! We use this reasoning all the time with our kids, so why can’t it be a perfectly valid reason here as well?
So, the moral of the story is the next time you meet someone with one child, please give it some thought before you make a seemingly innocent comment or pass quick judgment on them. Being a mom is a TOUGH job, no matter how many children you have!
The Fort Worth Moms Blog hosts online Facebook Neighbor Groups to help moms connect with other moms in their region or in a similar family journey. For instance, Moms of Special Needs Tarrant County and Fertility Discussion with Tarrant County Moms are two FWMB Neighbor Groups. For a complete list of these free Neighbor Groups, click here.