We live in a culture where having no children is considered abnormal. Our culture also tells us having one child is equally unacceptable. I have one child and am frequently asked when I’ll have the next. I have friends who have divulged that their relationships are on the rocks but decide to bring another child into the family, despite a hostile environment. I know of people who find one child incredibly challenging and seem to hate the whole experience. And yet they proceed to have another child willingly.
I wonder about these decisions. For me, I would be a terrible mother if I had another child.
Please keep in mind, I am only wondering why having one child is considered so wrong. There are myriad benefits to having multiple kids (potentially close sibling relationships, sharing responsibilities when parents age, etc.). But there are also just as many, different, benefits to having one. (It’s less expensive, allows for full focus to be on the one child, cars are only made so big, etc.)
I only have one child right now, so technically I will never know if I would be a terrible parent if I have more. However, I am in my mid-thirties and have been around myself long enough to understand how I operate.
As a child and young adult, I had the temper of my father. He was encouraged by alcohol, and his rages were loud and abusive, physically and otherwise. What I got from witnessing that and being the victim of it was a temper to mirror his, perhaps slightly smaller in scale. With little guidance from my parents, my childhood was a mess. I was always in trouble at school, had little understanding of social norms, was bullied incessantly, and came home to a neglectful, abusive, and dirty house. It wasn’t until my twenties that I got my temper and anger under control.