How I Decided that One Child Is Enough


Of all the life goals I have worked for, and all the life plans I have dreamed of, there is one personal life attainment that has always been most important to me: The desire to be a mother.

Choosing the right career, settling in a great city, and finding the perfect life partner sounded good, too, but more than any of those very important life decisions, I knew the one that would make me feel most fulfilled is having a gaggle of children to raise and love.

An actual gaggle, y’all. I wanted a whole softball team of kids.

But here I am pushing 40, and I only have one child. And though it’s not the large family I dreamed of having, I’ve found that for me, one child is enough.

>> RELATED READ :: It’s Okay to Be an Only <<

Rainbow Baby to One Child

I was blessed with my one and only child when I was 30 years old. He was what is called a “rainbow baby,” a child who was born after a previous failed pregnancy. After the emotional trauma I felt when I miscarried twins a few years before, my rainbow baby was very wanted and very loved.

Go for a walk with the kids

(If you have lost a pregnancy, or also have a rainbow baby, please feel welcome to visit and contribute to the Fort Worth Moms virtual wall, Forever Loved, Never Forgotten.)

For the next several years, having more children was definitely on my radar. However, the decision to grow our family was not one that I took lightly; I wanted to make sure it was the right time and that I was ready.

The Right Time

But you know what they say about waiting for the “right time.”

I waited. The toddler years passed, and the elementary school years began. And as my son started to transition from a totally dependent state of childhood to a more independent one, my desire to retrogress to the infant stage with a new baby was weakening.

I can only speak for myself when I say that the “right time” for me to have more children was when my son was still completely dependent on me. I was already in full-caretaker mode, and I wouldn’t have had to shift gears out of that to welcome a new baby into our family.

>> RELATED READ :: The REAL Reason I Only Have One Child <<

As my first born baby grew into a young boy, the right time to have another passed me by.

And the revelation that’s come out of that is that it’s completely okay. I’m completely okay. Having one child is completely okay.

I am no less a mother because I have fewer children than other mothers.

I am no less a mother for not desiring to become a mother again.

I am no less a mother for deciding that one child is enough. One baby is more than enough.

mother and child holding a heart

There seems to be a negative stigma associated with being an “only child.” They grow up without live-in playmates, or they are more self-centered because they don’t learn to share parent attention with a sibling. As adults, only children have to wholly shoulder the responsibility of caring for their elderly parents, and may have fewer family to lean on after their parents are gone.

>> RELATED READ :: Dispelling Four “Only Child” Myths <<

As someone who has never taken family decisions lightly, I considered all these challenges that my son may face. Even though I don’t want to “start over,” would my son benefit more from life if I have another child? Will he be a little less lonely? Less selfish? Less stressed when I start to decline?

Maybe. Probably.

But he’ll also continue to get my full parental attention, which I think can only be a good thing. He can grow in independence and creativity. He can seek and value stronger bonds with school friends and extended family. I can foster and enrich and celebrate his development into adulthood. I can make steps to ensure that my final accommodations in life are handled.

All families live and thrive differently. Our family is a small one, and that’s perfect for us.


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