Having “Just one child”

More and more recently I have been thinking about our decision to have “just one child” and I have questioned that decision. In recent months a lot of pregnancies have been announced in the blogging community and there have been a few births as well. Beautiful videos of announcements are shared and I watch how happy children get when they discover they are going to be a big brother or sister and I feel a pang, a guilt that it is something I am denying Cheeky Chap.

I feel like I have to justify our decision to just have one child. People always seem surprised when we tell them we are not planning any more children because Cheeky Chap is, for the most part, such a great kid to be around. He’s happy, polite, fun, kind and loving. For the most part he sleeps well (although that hasn’t always been the case and even now he is five years old we can still have issues getting him to sleep or staying in his own bed all night) and is well-behaved unless tired. Why wouldn’t we want another child?

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For a start, just because we have an easy time with Cheeky Chap, that is no guarantee that another child would be just as easy. Every child is different.

With my health problems, which were brought to the surface through pregnancy, another pregnancy would no doubt impact my body even more and earlier. I was signed off from work due to SPD around half way through my pregnancy and I was pretty much bed-ridden a few short weeks later. Back then I only had myself to worry about and we lived on the husband’s work premises so he was able to check in on me and see if I needed anything. Now we have Cheeky Chap to think about as well and it would be him who would miss out the most.

I don’t know how my body would cope with another pregnancy or how I’d manage looking after a mobile baby or young toddler again, after all the husband ended up having to give up work for a number of years because I was simply unable to keep up with Cheeky Chap.

There’s also cost issue. Due to moving a few times and lack of storage space, we haven’t kept anything from Cheeky Chap’s baby days so we would need buy everything all over again. We would also need to move (eventually) as our flat is only two bedrooms, with the second one not being big enough for a cot and a bed or to use as a double bedroom.

However, while I get broody and have pangs at times, ultimately I am more than happy with “just” Cheeky Chap and I simply have no real desire or longing to have any more, which apparently makes me rather unusual among the female population. It’s not that I don’t want another necessarily, more that I don’t want another enough to put myself through years of pain again at a time when it has largely become more manageable, with the aid of strong pain relief, which is not advised while pregnant or breastfeeding. And while Cheeky Chap would love to have a sibling (and he has asked for one) he would miss out on an awful lot through me being pregnant and in the early months at least.

I do get broody when people announce pregnancies and births but ultimately I know we have made the right decision for us as a family and we are secure in that decision. I just wish I didn’t feel the need to explain myself often!

Is your family now complete? And if it is how did you know it was? I’d love to know.

21 thoughts on “Having “Just one child”

  1. There’s no ‘just’ about your lovely little family. I can understand completely why you don’t plan to have any more and it’s really sad that so many people make you feel like you have to explain your life choice. You’re making a decision that is right for you and your family I don’t know why people feel that this is something that they have a right to an opinion on. If it makes you feel any better though, you really can’t do right for doing wrong. When I had my third (and fourth!) the world and its dog had an opinion on that too! ‘But why would you want ANOTHER one? You’ve got one of each!’ Sigh. I wonder if men feel the same judgement that we do over these choices?

    1. Men definitely don’t feel the same sense of judgement, at least my husband doesn’t (I asked him after I read your comment!). It certainly seems to be the way that you can’t do right for doing wrong, as with so many things! x

  2. I feel very sad that in this apparently enlightened age we live in, people have to justify decisions they make, or that are taken out of their hands and I really don’t understand why. People often think they can weigh in on why we don’t have children and to be honest I really don’t feel like going into the fact that I can’t all the time with complete strangers, or friends of friends. It’s frankly no-ones business. Good for you for deciding what’s best for you and your family X
    Lins @Boo & Maddie recently posted…Creating a Guest Room – Starting to PlanMy Profile

  3. People are so opinionated about children aren’t they in whatever capacity. How you raise them, on pregnant, how many you should have. You should do what is right for you and your family and looking after your health is very important too. We’re not sure we are complete and people feel they have to comment on that too – oh you have one of each – you don’t want another do you. It’s noone else’s business but you and your family and you look like a happy family to me. xx
    Laura’s Lovely Blog recently posted…REVIEW: Hello Party Personalised Party Decorations & GiveawayMy Profile

  4. It’s the words “only one” or “just” that get on my nerves. My son is not my “just”, he’s my world. You know my feelings on this I’m sure. We couldn’t have children (according to the dr) but we miraculously had one and he means everything to us. We know we can’t have another but we are happy with that and for all the same reasons as you. We can commit totally to our son, financially, emotionally, time spent, everything on him and we don’t feel the need to risk the lives we have to fit with what society deems normal. What upsets me is when people ask in front of my son, if we’re planning another. How insensitive!! They have no idea of our situation and have no right to ask anything as personal as that. Grrr!

  5. Great post. Our ‘only’ is five too and will also remain an only child. I too hate having to justify it. Sometimes when people ask if he’s my only one, I say ‘yes’ and then there’s this awkward pause where they are clearly expecting me to clarify why. And yet nobody expects anyone to justify two kids (I expect once you get to four you are back to having to justify though…) x

  6. Don’t feel you have to justify it. The number of children you have is very personal to each family and not something that anyone else should impact but they should always try and understand and ultimately just accept it. I get the same pangs of broodiness and everything else with all the birth announcements and pregnancy announcements but I know we’re done at two. Another would be lovely but it would be so life changing and we are happy where we are now – life is easier! x
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    1. I do wonder why I feel I have to justify it. I mean, my husband doesn’t! People just always look so shocked. It’s good to know that even though you know you are stopping at two you also get the pangs of broodiness, I don’t feel so strange now! 😉 x

  7. everyone has their reasons on having one child only. everyones different. things may change in the later future but you wont know unless you feel its right

  8. What a beautiful and honest post. It sounds like absolutely the right decision for you and your whole family with your health problems.
    I always knew I wanted three children and thought I would feel complete once I had three, but as soon as my daughter turned a year I felt like I’d want another one! I know my husband didn’t want another one and I don’t know how I’d cope with any more, so I had to ‘just’ be happy with my three. I’ve been so lucky with them, who knows if I would be lucky again?
    sarahmo3w recently posted…What she wore: Vertbaudet dungaree dressMy Profile

  9. It’s a wonderful thing, I think, to know your family is complete. People think they have every right to question how many kids families should have, they annoy me so much sometimes. We always wanted 3 but that’s not really possibly for us and I am so grateful we somehow ended up with two. CC always sounds the happiest and adventurous little boy, I think he’ll always have a very supportive network around him even after he’s grown up x
    Notmyyearoff recently posted…Discoveries Little Z has made at school – The Reception YearsMy Profile

  10. I do love a honest post. It is your decision how many children to have and you don’t have to justify it at all. We all make our choices. Looking back although I have 3 and love them all and would not want to be without them, I do wonder whether it would have been better for me just to have one as I am not the most natural yummy mummy in the world whatever that is anyway. You enjoy your son and get out of the habit of worrying what others think. I have done that for years and it gets you approximately nowhere which is why I like getting more sane with age and experience and living life my way
    Kate Holmes recently posted…Autumn joysMy Profile

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