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One and Done?

I do make cute babies with Hubbs....

? indeed. Now that Little L is two, that intruding little inquiry is incessant, coming at me from all directions (and even niggling at me from the back of my own d@mn mind). You know the one: "So....when are you having #2?" and various iterations of the same nosey question - some more subtle, and others more blunt.

The truthful response is, "It's none of your f*#<!@& business, thankyouverymuch."

The other, equally truthful response is, "I don't know."

Because legitimately, I don't. Our fertility challenges notwithstanding, we simply aren't sure if we want to have a second child.

There are a billion selfish reasons to not have another, and just as many selfish reasons to have more. Likewise, everyone seems to have an opinion as to how Little L will fare if she does not end up having siblings; most are biased against her being an only child, but a few rave about the awesomeness of only having one. It depends on who you talk to, what their own experience was as a child, whether they have positive relationships with siblings or not, whether they have one (or several) children, the age when they had their own kid(s), their financial and marital statuses, their proximity to family, their personal levels of selfishness/selflessness when it comes to kids, their parenting styles, their preferred vehicles of choice, the quality of life they personally define to be high, and the phase of the moon when they're talking to you.

Seriously.

Every family is unique, and the variables that play into their decisions to have kids or not, or how many, depend entirely on dynamics that cannot be replicated in another family. This is why, as much as anyone wants to offer advice or opinions to sway us in either direction (although usually the sway is in favour of more kidlets), we can only take their feedback with a grain of salt. Their child(ren) are not like Little L, nor are they exactly like us. Their parenting styles may be entirely the opposite of ours, and within a rigid scheduled household, maybe it is much easier to coordinate several children (I wouldn't know). Some try to appeal to us with anecdotes from their own lonely childhoods, but since these are folks with temperaments that may not be at all like our little girl's, it stands to reason that what they experienced would never be Little L's reality.

Our PROS and CONS list for having another currently looks like this (but is subject to change depending on how much sleep I got the night before):

PROS
  • A playmate to entertain Little L and be entertained by Little L; a companion
  • A similar-aged peer to grow up with and share life experiences with
  • Another person to help "carry the burden" of caring for aging parents one day (not that we expect our progeny to care for us at all), and to be "family" when we are dead and gone
  • I loved being pregnant
  • I love Little L and would love another baby just like her 
CONS
  • It's expensive (we'd need a bigger home, a bigger car, storage space, another PAR life insurance policy, tuition money for a second kid, etc.)
  • It's tiring, especially that "fourth trimester" haze...plus I'd have a toddler too!
  • Being of advanced maternal age, my chances of having a baby with chromosomal defects is increased (and that would be super tiring, having to raise a little one with special needs)
  • Since my dad was a fraternal twin, there is a chance that I might have twins (and that would be super tiring, especially if I had two babies who were just like Little L in temperament, and what if I had twins with chromosomal defects?!? I'm feeling faint just thinking about it...)
  • We'd come dangerously close to mini-van territory, and Hubbs will. not. go. there.
  • Everything (travel, return to work) would need to be pushed back/delayed by several years
  • If the siblings hated each other, we'd have to referee conflicts for the rest of our adult years
Our list seems pretty imbalanced, right? More points on the "CONS" list, but the few points on the "PROS" list weigh so heavily for me, especially the one about having someone for Little L to make-believe with! I have fond memories of play time with my siblings, which is something that she wouldn't experience (and it's not the same when it's played with an adult) as a single child.

So the pendulum continues to swing, just as the clock ticks away on my aging eggs.

Let me ask you: what are some positive "only child" stories and anecdotes you can share? Do you know of any adult "onlies" who cherish the fact that they didn't have siblings? Have you ever met anyone who has regretted having a second child?  

...tick...tick...tick...tick...

Comments

Sharon said…
You are so funny!! I don't think I've ever met anyone who has analyzed it in such funny, as in uncommon but certainly reasons, ways :) haha!
Linda said…
More visits from cousin X ;) and bugger all those nosey ppl... ppl should learn to mind their own business :P
Mrs. Loquacious said…
Well, as a Type A I want to be prepared for every possible outcome ... ;)
Mrs. Loquacious said…
Yeah, I need a baby fix!
mazoola said…
my friend is an only child and she loved her experience and decided to have just one herself. she relishes at the thought of all the opportunities she had because her family could afford it. subsequently, she feels she's opening more doors for her daughter too because having only 1, she can afford programs, vacations etc. ...there's definitely no denying that living in Vancouver, let alone raising a child in the city is expensive!

as for me, i just don't feel done with having 1, but i honestly am not sure how i can even begin to share myself (and love) with another little one. I'm just so tight with Max that for him to experience a sense of loss based on my decisions really bring on the mommy guilt.

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