A fellow blogger posted this picture recently:
And while all of you see a thermometer and tissues for a cold, my first thought was that it was a picture of a woman very sad because she was holding a positive pregnancy test. And then when I was reading the post I got very confused because it said NOTHING about a positive pregnancy test, and I realized that I am insane. Freud, anyone?
Guinevere is technically an only child, although Tyler and I strongly feel that the dogs are her sisters. I love those dogs more than most people probably do love their biological children. However, Guinevere will always be an only child, because Tyler and I aren’t having more children. (He also thinks we aren’t having any more dogs, but that is definitely not going to happen…I’ll be bringing furry lovebabies home until the day I die.)
We have quite a few serious, legitimate reasons for this, all of which are personal. And none of which are necessarily secretive, but I think they are irrelevant to this post, because GUESS WHAT – it is our choice. Our decision, we both agree 100%, neither of us had to beg or convince the other one to this decision, it is MADE. Done. final.
However, what is completely mindblowing is how fascinating this is to others. Our friends, family and neighbors all have been very brazen in telling us why our choice is the wrong choice.
We are the only couple that I personally know that will be raising an only child. In a country where the American dream consists of 2.2 children, a dog, a cat and a white picket fence, Tyler and I are going against the norm. And everyone seems to find that horrifying, and feel the need to tell us why.
Our peers give passionate speeches about the joy of watching kids grow up with siblings. About the delight of going through pregnancy and infancy a second time, getting to better marvel at innocent firsts without the fear of horrible complications and SIDS and dropping a baby during a diaper change. They tell us about how much easier it will be for the kids after we are gone – they can lean on and support one another when we die, or god forbid, need care in our old age. They talk of lifelong built in friendships, a partner when riding the roller coaster, joyous family vacations.
Those things sound awesome. But I can love on my friend’s babies and hand them over when they poop, I can let Guinevere bring a friend when we go to Kings Dominion, and I can update my will with our estate lawyer regularly to ensure that we are never a burden to our only daughter. I can live this life, and enjoy the parts that you “normal families” also enjoy. I will also have quite a few side benefits – one child means I don’t have to drive a minivan. When we go to the movies she always gets to sit next to both of us. We can fly in one row on airplanes. I only have one Bachelor’s degree and wedding to pay for.
Luckily, I’m not actually offended if you are my real friend and keep telling me that I am going to change my mind. I know that I am not, and I love you for thinking that I’m an awesome enough mother that I should spread my awesomeness around with more spawn.
Any other mamas to only children out there? I feel like it is a constant source of discussion over here, since Guinevere is at an age when most would start to be thinking about the next child and people keep asking about when we plan to try again.
I’d love to hear your stories – how or why did you decide that one child was best for your family? How do your friends and families respond? Have you ever had any doubts or regrets?
Alternatively, are YOU an only child? I’d love to hear what that was like for you growing up, and how your relationship is now with your parents!
OH…and happy Friday xoxo