A clarification.

I realized after posting the preceding “One & done” post that it may have come across a bit judgy. It probably wasn’t the first and it surely won’t be the last post that will. I have been posting under the presumption of an unspoken disclaimer that goes something like: All content is the sole opinion of the author alone, based on her personal experiences and situation and is in no way reflective of her feelings about how other people should conduct their lives. But now it feels like maybe this should have been a spoken agreement. So now it is.

I’m not the population police, nor the baby buzzkill. If you want to have 5 kids in 5 years, go to town (although I can’t actually imagine you’ll have the time or energy to physically go to town or even leave your house if you’re on that kind of a schedule).

But seriously, I’m not judging you for having or wanting a second or tenth kid. I will however enthusiastically judge you for having ANY number of kids AND also:

  • Bitching non-stop on Facebook about how hectic/tiring/expensive your life is.
  • Not putting aside money for their post-secondary education.
  • Expecting your older kids to help you raise the younger ones (Duggar style).
  • Neglecting or abandoning your once beloved family pet(s).
  • Refusing to vaccinate.
  • Insisting on bringing your kids places they are not welcome (adults only weddings, black tie affairs, Las Vegas) because you can’t afford a sitter. Bonus judgment if you get huffy because these places don’t have kid-friendly amenities.
  • Flooding my newsfeed with 70 photos of the same 2 month old on the same day. (Tip: they all look the same)
  • Letting them run wild in restaurants and fancy stores.
  • Lecturing people without kids on their “empty, selfish, unfulfilling lives”

Did I just make things better or worse? I can never tell these days.

One & Done.

With apologies to all the only children out there, we’ve all heard the rumours. They’re spoiled, lonely, antisocial, overly dependent, narcissistic, bored, intolerant, self-absorbed, bossy, etc. etc.

The thing is, it hasn’t really panned out that way evidence-wise. The fate of the once-pitied only child has been studied to death and it turns out, well, they turn out just fine. Better than fine according to several studies which suggest they may actually be higher-achieving, happier and more successful than their siblinged (new word) counterparts.

Realistically, I think underachieving, antisocial assholes hail from all kinds of families. I plan to not raise an asshole. Fingers crossed. This objective stands should I have one or five.

These days, we’re chanting the “one and done” mantra for several reasons. The first being:

I’m 35 and healthy. I don’t feel old for, like, life. But I do feel old for Gymboree and Bubble Guppies. I suspect that shit gets old real fast though, at any age. As it stands, I’ll be 50 with a 15 year old. That’s cool. I don’t really want to be 50 with a 10 year old though. If I’d started this procreation thing earlier in life, I’d probably go for two. But maybe not. All I know is that right now, one feels like plenty.

One feels manageable on so many levels. Less financial strain, fewer tantrums, less mess and fewer people pulling you in different directions.

Will there also be less joy? Maybe. Who’s measuring? I think I will get joy from having more money and means to live a fun and comfortable lifestyle with just the five of us (can’t forget the two shit monsters). And our child will benefit from more resources and opportunities than we’d be able to offer if we kept popping out kids we can’t easily afford or attend to.

Plus, I have to say, if things all continue to go well and I have a smooth pregnancy and healthy baby I will feel like I’ve already won the lottery, given my persistent paranoia. Is this something I’ll want to roll the dice on again? Methinks not.

Two of the most common arguments in favour of multiple kids fall into either the “but siblings are so important!” or “but what if your kid dies?” camps. Let’s start with the less depressing of the two.

Siblings can be wonderful. But there are no guarantees that siblings will get along or maintain a mutually beneficial relationship into adulthood. I’m sure we all know people with siblings they’d rather not admit they’re related to, or that they simply don’t really stay in touch with. Personally, I do get along with my brothers – but they’re not my closest friends or the people I turn to first for support or companionship. For that, I have friends. I know, what a concept?

As for the death of a child scenario, I can’t think of a better way to put it than Wendy Thomas Russell did in an article on PBS.com:

“And it’s true: If we lose our daughter, we lose everything. It’s like we’ve put all our money into one stock without knowing whether it’s a high- or low-risk investment. Parents who have two or more children are diversified; the experts would surely agree that’s a smart way to live, right?

Smart, maybe. But it’s not foolproof.

There isn’t, and would never have been, a replacement for my Maxine. A second child could not lessen the grief of losing her. Perhaps the distraction of a second child would help me get up in the morning during those early months — but I don’t believe in bringing children into the world to act as a distraction in the case of some theoretical tragedy.

Actually, the whole article is fantastic: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/case-just-one-child/

Now that I’ve directed you to another website, it’s probably time to wrap this up and get back to work…