Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The one and only

The other day, a colleague of mine, who has two children of his own and another on the way, asked me when I was planning my second child. He was shocked when I replied, “I am not planning any more children. This is it for me.” I did not express surprise at his shock because I know both his question and his reaction are common. Instead, I simply responded to his “Why?!" with “Because I am happy with the way things are.” M would not mind a second child, but he is so content with the daughter he has that he is happy for our family to remain three. Of course, there are several reasons for my decision to have just one child, and these are them:
  • I have never been and am still not a maternal person
  • I have never been broody and would have been content without children. I decided to have a child because I could see how wonderful it would be for M and also because I wanted a “little M”!
  • If I ever saw myself with a child when I was growing up it was always with a daughter - I have a daughter now and I am not bothered about having a son
  • My daughter is so perfect and lovely that I am 100% content just having her in my life
  • I am not a patient person and do not do well in chaotic circumstances - my baby was a very easy baby who napped well and slept through the night from 12 weeks and yet I still struggled on maternity leave
  • I am a loner by nature and need a lot of time on my own - I would be run ragged with two little people demanding my time and attention
  • Life hasn't changed much with one - I can still go out, I can still work at a career I love, I still have money to do things
  • I can't imagine loving another child as much as I love my daughter - I know, objectively, that I would be able to, but I simply don't want to
  • Ultimately, I am an only child and had a wonderful childhood, even with two fulltime working parents. I was never lonely as I had several close friends, I have wonderful memories of weekends with my parents, they took me on lovely holidays abroad, I was incredibly independent, I talked and read early, I was very sociable with other adults, I wasn’t spoiled, I have always been close to my parents. I know from experience that being an only can be a terrific experience
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