My daughter just turned six and, despite the fact that my husband and I are completely satisfied with our cozy family of three, I am constantly barraged with questions about when we’ll have another and how only children are wrong for some reason or another. So, for those people, as well as anyone else who has posed similar questions to their single child friends, I offer the following reasons for our decision. The last, of course, being the only one that really matters…
1. I almost never hear the phrase, “it’s not fair.” Sure, she’ll get upset if she can’t have a second helping of ice cream and really does want that kitten that’s never going to happen, but she isn’t constantly trying to keep up with anyone else and is generally happy with what she has.
2. We have money to spare. No, we’re not loaded, but my husband and I both work hard and our daughter goes to public school. This means we have the funds to take a few vacations a year, save for college and put away for a comfortable retirement. If she wants to take art or karate, it’s not a strain like it is for my friends with three or four kids who are constantly stressed about how to pay for everything.
3. She has sophisticated taste. For as long as I can remember, we’ve taken Sophie out to restaurants of all kinds and introduced her to foods from different cultures. There’s no little brother or sister whining that something is gross and all she’s exposed to are two people who eat all their veggies. Her current favorite? Sushi and roasted peppers.
4. I can feel green. I don’t compost or grow my own garden, but hey, at least I’m reducing my carbon footprint somehow!
5. Our dog hasn’t been demoted. He gets as much attention as he ever did, if not more with a “sister” dotting on him constantly.
6. I can explore my own interests and don’t feel like any door is closed. If I decided I wanted to go back to school or take up a new hobby, there’s really nothing stopping me.
7. We can still travel. Sophie has had a passport since she was two and is the best little travel buddy ever.
8. Car rides are pleasant! I had no idea that was unique until driving in a hellish, bickering filled car with a family of five. The car is a time we chat, laugh and play games rather than yell, scream and kick.
9. We have chosen family. She may not have a biological brother or sister, but she has half a dozen “cousins” who she adores. Plus, this extended family doesn’t come with strings that blood relatives can.
10. Our family feels complete… and that’s really the only thing that matters.
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