I have one kid, and I'm getting older.
Suddenly, everyone has this expectation that I should have another child. Here are 10 reasons why one kid is enough for me:
1. Babies are hard work
Well, some people strike it lucky with easy babies, but I didn’t. My first child woke me up through the night for 18 months, resulting in me having virtually no memory of her as a baby.
The only things I do remember are endlessly rocking, singing, walking and bouncing her to sleep and tons of milk-vomit. Yes, that’s enough to turn you off having more for a long-ass time.
2. Traveling is easier with one
The three of us fit in a small car and an airplane seat row. We don’t need a big table when we go out for dinner, and we can travel light. Plus, there’s no risk of sibling quarrels on the road.
3. I want to save the planet
Before having a child, I could confidently say I was a low-impact human. I’ve seen first-hand how much waste one child can make, even with using cloth diapers and having conscious parents.
My daughter is only 3, so I know she still has a lifetime worth of consumption and waste ahead of her. The planet doesn’t need more people.
4. I have dreams and goals I don’t want to put off
Like it or not, having a child requires a significant sacrifice from both parents, particularly the primary caregiver. After three years, I’m still trying to get my life back together and identify myself as an individual who just happens to have a child.
Not to mention, I'm trying to scrape together the time to maybe do some exercise, catch up with friends, go out at night, cook a decent meal or read a book.
After having a baby, most women can write-off at least a year of their lives purely for baby-rearing. That’s something I’m just not willing to do again.
5. Having a child is a life-long commitment
Once that baby is born, he or she is yours forever.
You will always be your child's go-to support person, safe place and (sometimes) financial institution. (I know my parents still throw me some cash every now and again. Thanks, guys!)
I honestly feel like I’ve already committed myself to enough.
I’m married! That’s pretty epic. I have a mortgage — double epic.
Okay, so maybe I struggle a little bit with commitment, but I’m changeable. I might want to run off and live in South East Asia one day, and we could do that easily with one kid.
6. More children means more expenses
As my daughter gets older, the more money we need to spend on her food, clothes, schooling and activities. I can add up how expensive it would be to put another child into the mix.
At the moment, money is tight, but I’m grateful to say it isn’t a big source of stress in our young family.
Having another little person drawing our funds could tip the balance, and push us into chronic financial stress.
Um, no thanks.
7. There’s not enough of me to go around.
To be honest, I’m spread thin as it is. I know plenty of women who have two or more children and are constantly struggling to find time for themselves, keep fit, study, socialize (child-free), work or follow their dreams.
They’re tired, cranky and turn to wine to deal with their stress. Full disclosure: Some days I barely cope with the pressure of my one and only child on top of day-to-day happenings, like keeping the fridge stocked, staying up to date with my work and thinking of things to keep her entertained.
Some days I have period pain, and I can hardly even look after myself, let alone my daughter and ANOTHER child.
8. If I’m a good parent, my child won’t need me to produce a playmate
As you’ve probably guessed, parenting isn’t one of my natural talents. But that doesn’t mean I don’t take my role seriously.
I’ve heard of parents having a second child purely for the purpose of giving their firstborn a playmate. Gross. I know of more siblings who fight with each other than play together.
One of my most important tasks as a parent is to be a playmate. I signed up for the job when I chose to have a baby. I don’t want to send the kids off to play on their own.
I want to be involved in my daughter’s life. It may not always be easy or convenient to jump in and play, but I’m happy to do it. You can never give your child too much of you.
9. I don’t care what society thinks I should do
What I choose to do for me is my choice. I’m not condemning your choices.
Whether you decide to have no children or 10 children is totally up to you. There’s no wrong way to love your family.
Just don’t let societal norms and judgments let you question your decisions. People talk about “only children” being lonely and socially ill-equipped, but that’s just a stereotype.
My daughter is only 3, and she’s friendly, chatty, compassionate, approachable and, most importantly, happy to share. I don’t care what people think. I just want them to stop telling me what to do.
10. I want to be that rad mom my kid’s friends look up to
I spent much of my childhood weekends camping out at friend’s houses, playing board games with their parents and eating food I’d never tried before.
I never had much of a friendship with my parents, and I was always blown away when I hung out with my friend’s folks who were actually cool.
I want our homebase to be a safe place she feels happy to invite her friends to, so I can be remembered as the mom who baked the best cookies and played the coolest games.