Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Free To Be Just Three

Recently, I had a discussion with a friend over lunch about the pressure to procreate. As a person that already has one child, I am referring to the external pressure to add another to the mix. Although I'd wager that as a married couple without children, you'd face even more pressure. What's wrong with you? Why haven't you had a child yet? I remember those questions starting as soon as we returned from our honeymoon. Either way, where does that pressure come from? It's a very personal decision (to have a child or to have more children), so why does everyone that knows you or has just met you feel entitled to ask the question?

So, in our case, I am happy being a family of three. I love our son very much and I enjoy being a mother, but I'm just not sure that adding another to the mix is necessary. I know it is not something we are ready or interested in doing at this point in our lives. And yet when I say that I am happy with just one child, it's like I am an oddball. As if because I became a mother, I am now committed to having those 2.5 kids. And hey, there are times that I *think* that having another kid could be nice...maybe. But they are just gut reactions to seeing a cute little blonde boy running around and wondering what a second child would look like. This is not a reason to have a kid. And then I think, am I doing Ben a disservice if we decide that he should be an only child? There are definite pro's (hello, we could not stress so much about money), but you rarely hear an only child say that they loved being the only one. My mom was an only child, and I heard all my life about how much she wished she had had brothers and sisters growing up. And I like the *idea* of Ben having a sibling to rely on when he's older, especially when dealing with the stresses of potentially caring for aging parents. Again, not a great reason to have a child.

At this point, I am firm in my enjoyment of being a family of three. Maybe one day we will change our minds. Either way, stop questioning me about when I will have another. Just because I am a mother does not mean that I want a gaggle of children. And if I choose to have just one, it's just as valid as your choice to have five. And for those married folks out there who are happy without children (gasp), good for you. And for those married folks out there that want kids but just haven't been able to yet, I really, really apologize if I ever contributed to that constant questioning.


Anonymous said...

Everyone loves to question no matter what stage you are in..I always felt bad for someone that maybe lost a child and they would be like when are you going to have kids. I get why arent you dating all the time. I am just like whateves, I think everyone has their own unique path and we should respect! MISS YOU!!!

Preppy Pink Crocodile said...

I'm an only and did always wish for an older sister. But I am pretty sure that has more to do with my crappy childhood than anything else. Because I don't hate being an only. At all.

Try being single in your 30's. OMG if one more person asks me why I am single I might physically hit them. Or start crying. Seriously...

Buford Betty said...

I'll give a bit *woot woot* for being an only! Never known any other way, but I've never complained. This sounds utterly selfish, but honestly I can't fathom my parents having another kid and giving their attention to someone other than me. Ha - there's no way to word that without sounding like a snot, but I just mean it's a reality I just don't know and it's hard to imagine. I think being only also has made me really independent - and that's a good thing.

Also - high five on the inquisitive questions on procreating. Luckily, we've been able to shut most people up after I tell them I have a shitty uterus. But yes, everyone is in such a hurry to get you to the next "step" - whatever that is. What is wrong with being content with where we are right now?!