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How Selfish!

“How many children do you have?”

“One – our daughter – Lovegirl.”

“So, when are you having the next one?”

“The next what?”


“Oh, I think we’re through.”

“Well, that’s mighty selfish of you.”

And that’s the way the conversation usually goes.  Friends, family members, coworkers, strangers.  Their uninvited inquiries into the status of my womb never generates the answer they were hoping for.

I think we will only have one child.  There.  I said it.  When I was pregnant with Lovegirl I always anticipated that we would add at least one more child to our family.  And then I had her.  And I love her.  But And one is enough for us.

  • Lovegirl will likely go to private school.  We can do this for one, not so much for two.
  • We like to travel.  This is easier, and more affordable, with one.
  • I’m not near any of my immediate family, and don’t feel like I’ve got a strong support system here.  My friends and in-laws are cool, don’t get me wrong, but in a pinch, I feel like it’s just me. And Smoochy.  But the man now drives trucks for a living and is rarely here.  I semi-joked to a friend the other day that I’m a married, single mother.
  • I’m not sure I want to do the new baby thing again.  The other day I was thinking how much easier life was when she was new – she stayed put, didn’t fuss a lot, and most of her life’s issues could be solved with a 10-minute nursing session.  On the other hand, I now have a child who can tell me what’s wrong, sleeps through the night without requiring a 2 a.m. feeding and no longer requires her diaper fix.  I like it.  I like it a lot.
  • I honestly don’t know if I have the energy to have another.  Is that selfish of me?  Probably.  But I think it is better to acknowlege and accept this fact and do a good job raising one than to have another just to succumb to societal pressures and expectations and do a half-ass job of raising  two.

 Of course, time and circumstances change a lot of things, so who knows – in a few years, I may be sitting here journaling with a newborn on my lap.  But for now, we’re good – my husband, my daughter, and I.  My lovely family of 3.


4 thoughts on “How Selfish!

  1. I am totally cosigning on everything you just said (except maybe the private school part). Having an “only” is not selfish, it’s realistic in this overpriced, overly stressful world. My wife and I couldn’t manage another kid anymore than we could manage being the foster parents of a grizzly bear. I’m blessed enough to have one child that’s healthy and happy and smart. Why mess with something so good?

  2. Keith – If the district we live in holds steady, then I may change my mind about the private school attendance. Maybe. I’m usually not one to feel a whole lot of guilt – especially from external sources, but man – saying you only have one child is an automatic invitation to be debated, rebuked, ridiculed, etc. I swear, right after I posted this, we ran out to the home improvement store:

    “Is she an only child? I can tell. You know what they say – the only good way to handle an only is to find someone else with an only child and give yours to them.”

    Thanks much sir at the Low*es. Thanks much.

    And I definitely feel you on having one who’s healthy and smart. Why mess with that?!?

  3. Hey, count me in as a member of the “one is enough” club. In my case, the hubby and I really waited too late. We’re both too old, grouchy and tired to think about dealing with a newborn (smile).
    Every once in a while we talk about adopting, say like a kid who is between 2-5 . . . but then we’ll see a toddler or preschooler having a royal meltdown–screaming and falling all out somewhere and immediately change our minds.

    Ignore all the outside haters and the butt-inskies. As long as the folks in your house are happy, it’s all good (smile).

  4. Nerdgirl,

    I’ve been reading you for a while, and I had to respond to this entry.

    I’m divorced, and don’t want kids (part of the reason for divorcing). When I mention to people that I don’t plan on having kids, they always try and convince me that I would change my mind if I had one. No, I wouldn’t.

    Even after explaining that I: don’t hate kids but have no desire to be somebody’s momma; like doing what I want to do, when I want to do it; am a solitary person, etc., some folks still try and convince me that I would change my mind. Again, no, I wouldn’t.

    You know what’s right for you and yours.

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