My Only Child

43 Comments

 only child

When I was 13 my mother had one of those awkward, squirming talks with me about drugs, alcohol and…sex.

Engulfed in repulsion I proudly announced “I promise I will not have a kid until I’ve at least graduated high school.”

I’m sure that was comforting.

Worry not, I kept my promise! I graduated high school in May, and wasn’t knocked up until October! You’re welcome, Mom!

You see, I was madly in love with Mr. J. We were the perfect couple (having been dating for precisely 3 months!) and after a few ‘how the hell are we going to make this work’ discussions, we dove in. Head first. Into parenting concrete. After 9 months and 27 hours of labor, I was a mother. Someone’s Mom. A 19 year old mom. What the shit?

For me, it has never been weird being a mom. Sure it’s been difficult, frustrating, often disgusting and sometimes pure insanity. But I gave birth at an age where everyone is making huge life-changing decisions. Granted, their conflicts were in choosing a college, while I researched child safety seats. They had all-night keg parties and I spent 12 hours straight breastfeeding. Parenting was the path I chose. Big fucking deal.

Since I made the decision to bring that little dork into the world, it’s been such a natural part of who I am, that I have never thought twice that it’s something I shouldn’t be doing. I can’t guarantee I never did, but I don’t feel like I missed anything. My daughter is as much a part of me as the hair on my head. Lil’ A IS my life. I’ve learned more in the 8 years since her birth than any college degree could have taught me.

She is my only child, and will forever be my only child. Mr. J and I had decided we wouldn’t have another kid until Lil’ A was at least 2, and no later than 5 years old. When she was 2, we were still broke – so it wasn’t going to happen then. Year by year, the situation was still not a topic of discussion. Everything was just fine the way it was. Mr. J passed away and with that fact as a part of my life, I was done having children. I had no interest in bringing another life into my world that could possibly disappear suddenly. No thank you. I’m already clinging to Lil’ A for dear life. I’m probably messing her up big time. I’ll pay for her future therapy.

Even after meeting my current beau and being lucky enough to fall madly in love again, I still have no interest. It would seem unnatural to me and with too much thought behind the entire process. There’d be too much to think out and I sadly still haven’t received the brain cells back from my first pregnancy, so that’s not even possible.

Plus, I know my luck…I don’t have any. I had a perfect pregnancy, perfect delivery and a perfect child. I know if I ever did want to do it again, I’d end up with a centaur baby. I just know it. She’s an only child….she can deal with it.

Is it wrong to not want another child? Am I just weird? Don’t answer that last one.

Comments

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  1. 1

    Lynn from For Love or Funny says

    I’m so glad Adryon guest posted today, because she definitely has a moving story. I agree with her: parenting has taught me more about life than anything else.

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  2. 3

    SaucyB says

    No it’s not weird not to want more kids. I was an only child (no, I am not a socially inept freak) and we have one little boy. We don’t want any more kids either. We can afford it, that’s not the issue.
    For us, having just one child mean there’s actually still time for us to pursue our own interests and hobbies as individuals and spend time with friends. Neither of us is ever outnumbered with kids, so it’s not a big deal for one of us to do our own thing for a few hours. Plus, we have more disposable income and are able to maintain the lifestyle that we’ve become accustomed too.
    That probably all sounds very selfish to a lot of people, but it works for us and our kid. He’s a very outgoing, confident, happy little guy.

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  3. 5

    Lauralee Hensley says

    In my personal opinion if you don’t want more you shouldn’t have more. Continue being happy loving the one you have. Plus you never know somewhere down the road you might change your mind, and if not it’s no one else’s business.

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  4. 6

    Jenn says

    We have an only child – it’s really the right decision for us. I don’t have the urge for more, nor do I think I will change my mind at any point. My husband is open to more, but he is happy with the status quo, and so here we are.

    I don’t see anything wrong with it – not all siblings are close or best friends and there are no guarantees.

    We love our little family!

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  5. 8

    HaB says

    My daughter will be an only child – We have this family dynamic as a family of 3, that no matter how much my husband and I discuss it, we just can not see ourselves at a family of 4.

    Like any other parenting choice this is the choice that works best for us.

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  6. 9

    Glam-O-Mommy says

    Hear, hear! I’m an only child myself and love the close relationship I had and still have with my parents. My husband and I have one child and do not plan to have anymore for precisely the reasons Saucy B so perfectly articulated. We can afford to have another if we want, but we like having the time and ability to still do our own things and we love to travel (we’re in Jamaica right now with our daughter!), and it’s easier and we can do more just having one. And like Adryon, I kind of feel like my daughter’s the perfect kid (not all the time of course LOL)…she was a good baby and is growing up to be a smart, funny, amazing little girl, and I can’t imagine I could pull off such a feat if we tried again. :) We love our little family and feel it is complete.

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    • 11

      says

      Damn, I want to go to Jamaica. Would you make your one kid exception and adopt me?!?!

      I’m amazed at the people that have more than one kid. Like you, I feel whole. But that’s what great about the world, everyone is different. Otherwise it’d be boring.

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      • 12

        Glam-O-Mommy says

        Wish you were here Adryon! :) Jamaica was a lot more restful the last time we were here, when we were child-less, but our daughter is having a ball swimming and meeting the Sesame Street gang at our resort, so it’s fun to see her enjoying herself! My best friend from college just had her fourth kid–all four are under the age of four (one set of twins). I have no idea how she does it!! I do know traveling by plane is out of the question for them for awhile, so I’m thinking of taking my daughter to see them for a long weekend sometime in the next few months. My daughter can play with her three girls and I can see her new baby boy and marvel at how she manages!!

        Oh, and I never had a personalized anything either…my name’s not terribly unusual, but just enough that it never shows up on any of that stuff!! So annoying…

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  7. 13

    Jacki says

    I too never had a personalized pencil as a child. I feel your pain. I also have an only child, and while there are moments when I crave a little girl, my son is now 8 and the time has passed. And guess what, it is perfect. He has step siblings, but he and I know just how amazingly wonderful it is that the two of us can go off on adventures just for us. We have our favorite restaurant that we will not share with anyone and visit my brother each year just the two of us. That has created a bond we never would have had if he had to share me. You are not weird, although I never thought about my child turning out to be a centaur :).

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  8. 14

    amber says

    I’ve been going back and forth on this issue, but I think we might end up on the one and done side of the fence. Financially it might be better, but more importantly, I think it’s better for my sanity (says the mommy at work after being up all night with a puking toddler).

    My only issue is feeling guilty that when we’re gone, she won’t have anyone else…

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  9. 16

    Ally says

    We were going to have two. Then I threw up for five months of pregnancy, and grew depressed for month 6. By the end of my son’s second week of life, he had developed full blown colic. Even when that was over, he was needy, clingy. Not that we didn’t love him. We oogled over every little thing he did and loved him to pieces. But we kept putting off having another. Then my son turned four and became THE easiest child on the planet. There was no way we were going back. We’ve always been a happy family with an only child. He’s never expressed a desire to have a sibling and we have never doubted our decision. We, too, are complete.

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  10. 20

    Maggie says

    I am in the one kid club. There are moments I feel like maybe I slighted him by not giving him siblings to bond, fight, and laugh with. I just don”t want another! I come from a large family (youngest of 6), and his father has 2 sisters, so there are cousins everywhere!!! I am able to provide for him, and he is rediculously easy. I also feared if I had another it would be the devilchild! I am always in awe of my friends that juggle 2,3… 4 kids!!! I Have NO IDEA how the heck they do it!!!

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  11. 22

    KLZ says

    I think you’ve got to make your own decisions and everyone else should be quiet.

    Although, I am a little sad that you’re depriving me of seeing little centaur baby pictures. But then, I should probably be quiet.

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  12. 24

    Diana @Hormonal Imbalances says

    What a great post. We are discussing #2 after a rough pregnancy, and I go back and forth on it all the time.

    For most people, it seems to be a no brainer – you had one, obviously a second one should be following not to far behind.

    So now I’m pondering.

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  13. 26

    dusty earth mother says

    I’m very glad that if you were only going to have the one, she turned out so great. And one winner is always better than two challenges. Oh, sorry, thought we were talking about me…

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  14. 28

    Serene says

    Oops, broken link. But awesome post. I always dreamed of having just one kid, and I ended up with two who would fight over a dog turd. (I didn’t bear them; my sister did. I just raised them.) If I’d had my way, I’d have had an only child. Might have something to do with my own sibling history. Have I mentioned I’m raising my sister’s child(ren)? ;-)

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  15. 29

    Aimee @ Ain't Yo Mama's Blog says

    It seems like more and more parents are opting for the one-and-done route and, although they may have various reasons for having one child, it all comes down to believing it’s the best path for their family. I don’t see anything selfish about that!

    We have one child who is almost three and we love having this small family. My husband and I thought we would have two, but now we’re doubtful. Life is really good with one. I recently read a study that found that women with one child, no more and no less, tend to be the happiest. From a personal perspective, I agree.

    -Aimee

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  16. 30

    Steppy Paige says

    I use to be very opinionated on this subject. Mostly becuase My dad would talk about being an only child with tears in his eyes and told us the main reason he married my mom was becuase she came from a family of NINE and He loved the “brother-sister experience”. We however weren’t crazy about the fact he made us a new brother and sister with another woman, while he was married to my mom. Kinda fucked up.
    I have found myself on the other side of the judgement. The “have you ever heard of birth control?” disgusted look experience. I was happy, HAPPY with three kids, my husband however wouldn’t let up… something to do with someone sitting solo at Disneyland. *teehee* I had a weak moment (Sometime after my BARELY 2 yr old started saying words like “actually” and “extraordinary”) and gave in. Everyone happy with our family of 6 I went on the pill. Enter an antibiotic and a sleep deprived mommy who forgot the two don’t mix.. Wah-laa #5! Not w/o many trips to Planned Parenthood and a bawling scared mom not daring to go inside. A failed vasectomy (NO SHIT!!) #6!! Now if we ever needed welfare or couldn’t COMPLETELY provide for our kids (okay minus those trips to Disneyland) I might judge too. But that’s not our case.
    My point is, everyone has what -works for them-. I never judge anyone for THEIR choices anymore. EVER! I couldn’t imagine life without my two littlest ones, especially b/c they’re my favorites! ;)
    xoxo

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  17. 31

    Joy says

    My daughter, an only child, is now 20. It was the best choice for us (me) at the time. Her dad was unemployed (by choice) and I was the one rushing off to work every day while he stayed home with her. He always said he wanted a baseball team, but that was easy for him, right? By the time we divorced, my daughter was 8 and I couldn’t imagine having more children.

    After I remarried a few years later, she lived with her step-dad and me, and her dad became background noise. To be honest, I think she was pretty lonely sometimes but we always made sure that she could have friends over when she wanted, etc. One of the best things we ever did after she turned about 14 was allow her to invite a friend on summer vacations. It allowed us the freedom to do our own thing sometimes without having to “entertain” her, and vice versa. She loved it. We could not have done it, however, if I didn’t *really* like the friend. And I’m not sure we could have afforded it if we had more than one child.

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    • 32

      says

      We definitely struggle when no one in the neighborhood can come out to play and she’s bored out of her mind – and even more bored with us.

      Nice idea on letting her bring friends on vacation. I bet that helps. We’re currently planning the first sleep-over. Maybe that will give me a taste of having two kids. I hope I make it.

      Thank you!

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      • 33

        Joy says

        Good luck with the sleepover! Yes, having a friend along was great — but the key really is to find a friend that you all like. The “four of us” went to Disneyland twice. We didn’t have to worry about three on a ride and we felt comfortable enough to let them go off by themselves for a while. And my husband and I got to sneak in some “us” time!

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    • 37

      says

      Valid and great question! When we first started dating we talked about this situation. I thought I’d be willing to have another kid, and he said he’d like to as well. We even picked a name.

      After having a part in rearing an older kid, he one day told me ‘If this is as hard as it is with an older one, I don’t think I could do it from scratch.’ Every couple of months we re-visit the topic and it hasn’t changed and he’s still adamant that she is all he needs. Not to mention his parents spoil her rotten as if she’s always been a part of their life. I think I even emailed his mom one time to ‘apologize’ for not being a conventional package for him.

      Maybe I’ll check in with him tonight – I do like seeing that deer in the headlights look.

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