I have one child, he’s almost two-years-old, and my close friends aren’t asking if I am having another one – they are encouraging me to embrace the “one and done” phenomenon.
Having an only child may well be a trend, but I can’t prove it. Even the Australian Bureau of Statistics can’t prove it – it’s tricky to track.
“It’s really difficult to know when a family has stopped having children. No one asks that. The government never asks people that so we don’t have any information on that, ” says ABS Demographer Alex Cleland told Mamamia.
In my case, having a child later in life has left less time for more.
Charlie, a few days old, babbles with his Grandmother. Post continues after video.
My grandmother had seven children. That was what happened back in the day in a small mostly catholic country town. Then my mother, a middle child who gained the attention of the family with a teen pregnancy, matched her mother with five children of her own – and two step-children.
I am from a big complicated blended family. My sister is one of nine. She has a brother and sister that I wouldn’t recognise in the street and I am not related to them at all. I have two ex-step-parents. I also ran into an ex-aunt on the weekend.
My new family structure is the opposite – it’s only us three. We live in an urban apartment and we have no pets.
The ABS does draws a correlation between where you live and fertility. For example, there is a lower fertility rate in inner city Sydney than in the outer suburbs.
“The beginning of families happens further out of the city,” said Mr Cleland.
Charlie in the city. Image supplied.
So my one child family fits with the inner city data. However, the average fertility rate in that area could be a result of a lot of women who don't have children and other women who may have two children.
"There is no one measure that will tell you that one child families are increasingly popular," says Mr Cleland.
Despite my lack of evidence, I think only children could be a rising trend. I don't get asked if I am having more babies I get advised to leave it at one.
"One and done," said a friend in front of his two pre-teen children.
"You should leave it at one," and he dusted his hands like he was washing his hands of it all.
His second child is a "spirited" girl who constantly challenges him, he explained.
Charlie plays alone. Image supplied.
Then another close friend, who has two children under four, told me that having her second child added 100 times more work.
"It's wonderful, of course, but also a lot of time you can't breathe," she said.
"It's like an elephant sitting on you at times because there's just no time to yourself and I sometimes feel like a slave to my environment.