“She is growing up so fast. When are y’all having another baby?”
My husband and I hear that statement every day. It usually comes from little old ladies who are long past their childbearing years and love nothing more than to pressure young people into making more babies. It always amuses us to see their reaction to our response which is usually,“We’re on the one child plan. One and done! Yep, we’re good, but thanks for asking.”
Most people are horrified. I’ve even seen an old lady clutch her pearls and look like she was going to faint. I can almost read the thought bubbles over their heads as they think “One child?! Why would anyone want just one child?”
Well, there are many reasons that the “one child plan” works for our family. Here are a few:
- We can focus all of our energy on making one wonderful world citizen. Our daughter gets all the love, care and attention that any child could ever want. It’s hard for me to imagine giving this much attention to multiple children.
- We can focus all of our resources and finances on just one child. Nobody likes to talk about the finances behind raising kids. Let’s face it—it can be expensive! The public school system where we live is mediocre, but by having one child we’re able to afford a good private school. It’s good to be able to create a great lifestyle for our daughter without constantly counting pennies.
- We can make parenting fit into our lifestyle. My husband has a busy career, and I like to be involved in the community. Having just one child allows us to continue leading this busy lifestyle without being negligent parents. If we had multiple children, I know our lifestyle would have to slow down. And honestly, that’s not something we’re willing to do.
Now raising an only child is no walk in the park. It comes with its own battles. Here are some of the drawbacks that I deal with daily:
- I have to be careful not to raise a spoiled brat. It’s hard for kids not to be spoiled when they have so much attention and so many resources. I try to make sure my daughter does household chores and volunteers with organizations that serve people in need so she can stay grounded.
- She gets lonely. But when she does we encourage her to play with her wide circle of friends.
- Someday she’ll have to deal with aging parents alone. I’m keenly aware of this, so I try to keep her connected to our extended family. Hopefully when that day comes she’ll feel supported by them.
- We have to constantly entertain her. There aren’t any siblings to keep her busy, so guess who gets to be the entertainment?
- She has to deal with parental pressure. Since we pour so much into our only daughter, we know that she could eventually feel pressure to succeed. The reality is that it comes with the only child territory.
I believe that children are a blessing. But they’re more of a blessing if you’re equipped to love, care and provide for them. And I’m only equipped to deal with one.
What’s the optimal number of kids for your family?
Words: Yolanda Darville
Yolanda Darville is a mom, writer, and blogger focusing on inspiring and empowering women. Learn more about her on her blog www.bahamamommyinc.com.