I have two sets of friends – those who have no children and those who have 2 or more. I have yet to find that one who only has one kid. And if they did, they’re already pregnant with the second on the way. It’s like having multiple kids is a trend or something and I’m so far behind it that I’m really just uncool all around.
I feel like I’m always walking into conversations I couldn’t possibly relate to, because I’m a mom of just one child. The best part is when I’m constantly asked (sometimes by the same person over and over) about whether or not I want to have another child or someone looks away after saying something that insinuates I couldn’t possibly understand what real motherhood is like because I’ve got just the one.
How could I possibly be ok with having just one child?
At those moments, I’d like to answer Jami Amerine’s question as she asks, “I want to know why when a mom of many says to you, “Oh, you JUST have one?” you don’t PUNCH HER IN THE THROAT???” with my honest to goodness response, “ARE YOU KIDDING?!”
Yes, of course! I would absolutely LOVE a bigger family. Why in the world would I want my child to be alone and not have siblings he could potentially be great friends with? Why wouldn’t I want a chance to have a little girl I can share princess stories with? Why would I ever be so selfish as to just have one child when I could probably have so many more?
Most moms start with just one child at a time. And yes, I’ve been around friends who have 3 or more but remembered the days when their “one” was just as difficult as any day they now have. I remember their “freak out” sessions, sleep deprived days, and days they did nothing but worry about what disease their child could potentially get because they’ve eaten something off the floor. I do remember and guess what? It never seemed less difficult than any of their present days.
Let me just say, first of all, that not everyone is in the same position in life. Yes, children are beautiful, they’re great, and can make life more amazing and positive in many ways. I don’t disagree with that at all. I do know as well that whatever our situations are in life, we find ways to make things happen, no matter what. Meaning, for example, that just because we think we’re not financially ready to have more children, there are always ways to be.
Well, you know what? I’m glad for all those people who make things happen in life because they think it will be alright without truly being prepared. Good graces will just fall in my lap and all will be well, right?
Why my first pregnancy convinced me it wasn’t a good idea to have more kids
I’ve heard it all. I’ve been given lists of reasons that could solve my problems and fears of having more than one child. So if you must know what my “excuses” are, I’ll enlighten you on just a few:
Pregnancy was not fun.
I had no real help.
You could never truly predict your financial situation
The doors have closed
Before you judge me and tell me about your horrifying experiences, let me just stop you there and say that just because you like pain, doesn’t mean I have to. My one pregnancy was awful. I had gestational diabetes and hypertension so I had to prick my finger 4 times EVERY DAY to test my blood sugar and couldn’t have anything with salt or sugar for me. I was STARVING! My diet included protein with no salt and no sugar.
It also used to take me half an hour to an hour sometimes to get myself from my car to the front of a store or the doctor’s office because I was in a lot of pain with my “delicates” (as my son now calls it) and more. At least 4 months of my pregnancy was NOT good. Not to mention the fact that everything made me ill because everything smelled horrible!
My husband’s job requires him to do a lot of traveling. So without him being around and not really having family here to help me when I needed it, I always felt like I was on the verge of insanity.
A child’s condition is so unpredictable. For example, my son had a situation and had to be in the NICU for over a week, which accumulated about $75,000 in hospital bills for us. Fortunately, we had great insurance coverage, but still had to pay 10% of it. Since then, our policy has changed significantly and now would have to pay a great deal more, especially since I would most likely have a c-section if I were to have another baby.
So, you see, no matter how financially prepared you think you are, there’s no way for you to ever tell what kind of attention your child will truly need and how much any of it would cost, if it does. And honestly, my husband and I aren’t the type of people to just “wing it” because we think life will just magically make it all work out for us.
Sadly, my husband has closed the door on this subject and because I love him, I must say that I have to as well. He’s older than 50 and can’t see that having a child under the age of 10 when he’s 60 is just the way to go. It may sound a bit selfish to you, but for us, it’s how we choose to be. We don’t know how old we will live, but there’s a good chance we could probably not be in the same shape we are when we’re in our 70s.
I honestly don’t know that I could spend any more years changing diapers, being a zombie and walking around without sleep. I’m getting much too old to put myself in that position and don’t think my body will physically and emotionally be able to handle it. As it is, bedtime for me is at least past midnight and my waking hours are just under 7am, if that. And I still feel tired. But hey, don’t get me wrong, because I had my moments when sleep was not as luxurious as it is now. I’m finally able to get more sleep and I like it way too much to give it up now!
It’s fantastic that your life is perfect with multiple kids, but do you really have to rub it in?
Motherhood comes in all sorts of packages. It shouldn’t matter how many little people you have to take care of. You still go through ups and downs, the good and bad times, the fails and the victories. Each situation could be significantly different from another.
A friend of mine with twins, swears to have had the best and easiest times with her babies. “I don’t know what the big deal was,” she said. She said they rarely ever cried, they both fed and slept at the same time, and they both grew with very little trouble at all. This coming from a mom of twins, while at the same time, I listened to a different story from another friend whose daughter had acid reflux, colic, and the absolute worst first year she ever experienced in her life from just one little daughter!
If you have many children, then lucky you! I’m definitely jealous because your life worked out in such a way that it was all so possible for everything fall into place so you could be in that happy family you so love. If your life isn’t perfect, then please, refrain from the judgments of why I choose to only have one kid.
So then, how do you define motherhood?
A mom is a mom as soon as she is handed over the responsibility of caring for another human being. She’s there to share her love, care for and help that child become the best person they could possibly be. A mom is there to hug their child when they’re sad, to kiss away their pain, and to give them the most unconditional love no other human being could ever give. A mom is the one person who could unselfishly sacrifice just about anything for their child.
I wholeheartedly feel all those things described above. So does that still make me less of a mom?