To All The Parents of One Child or No Children – It’s Okay, Really [OPINION]
There isn't a blueprint for the "perfect" family size. It's whatever you want it to be.
"So when are you having a second?"
"When are you going to give Dillon a brother or sister?"
We've been asked these questions so many times that we've stopped counting. So many people have the "perfect" family size in mind, and it never includes just one. They have kids because that's what you're supposed to do. Fun fact, my sister and her husband have no kids.
I'm being sarcastic, of course.
It seems that, nowadays, being a childless or single-child household is, well, weird.
Whether you have just one, or three, or none, it doesn't matter. Your family size is your choice, not a social requirement. And for a lot of people, it's not even a choice. Infertility is real struggle. Now, think for a second...can you imagine asking somebody when they're going to have children, only to hear them say, "I can't have children."
It's awkward. For both of you. So, just don't ask.
Don't ask when somebody is going to have another child, or any children. It's a personal choice. Not that I need to, but I'm going to give you a few of the reasons that Pat and I have chosen to only have one child:
1. He has autism. He's high-functioning, but he's a challenging kid. He didn't start sleeping through the night until he was six years old. SIX. We're tired.
2. We don't have any family living near us. We've moved a lot for our careers, and family help has never been close. We can't just drop the kids off with grandma and grandpa if there's an emergency.
3. Money. Yes, it's an issue. And it's okay to say that. Contrary to popular belief, radio DJs aren't millionaires (well, some, but not many). I can't afford to stay home, and daycare is expensive. And it's especially difficult when you start work at 5 AM.
YES, I FEEL LIKE AN INFERIOR MOTHER SOMETIMES.
I feel like women who have more than one child are superior to me. I wonder if those women look at me as if I'm "less" of a mom. Silly to think that? Maybe. But I can't help but wonder. And I know that women who can't have kids feel even more inferior than I do.
I often hear people tell me that "Dillon needs a sibling." Does he really? He has friends, he has classmates. He's never asked for a sibling. Pat's an only child, and he frequently says that he's glad he never had a sibling. I've got a younger sister, and while we're close now, we've had our rough patches. Some of them lasting YEARS. Dillon has what he needs: a stable family life, food in his tummy and LOVE. Lots of love.
So, let's ease up on our expectations of people. We can all say that we don't care what other people think, but sometimes, social pressure gets to us. And sometimes, it hurts.
Having one child, two children, three children or NO children is a choice. It's your choice. Don't ever feel like you need to live up to some imaginary expectation. Do what you want. You wanna save your money and travel the world? Do it. You want to have six kids? Do it. You want to be "one and done"? Do it.
We're one and done, and we're perfectly fine with that.