Almost immediately after my daughter Everly was born, it began. As soon as she popped out; after the obligatory “Oh, she’s so cute,” (she was) “Who do you think she looks like?” (me) and “Are you OKAY?!” (not really!) the inevitable question loomed large. I cringed in anticipation and pain from you know, a caesarian, hospital food and the indignity of needing assistance to use the toilet:
“When is the next one coming?”
Like all aspects of parenthood, everyone has an opinion. And usually it’s that you’re somehow wrong for wanting one child.
As of right now, almost all of the mums I know with kids Ev’s age are pregnant again. It seems like once your child is 1-2 years old it’s just assumed that you’re trying for the next.
“Why only one?”
Let me answer that question with a few of my own that I’ve been thinking about.
Why is it still socially unacceptable to want one child?
In Queensland alone, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, couples with an only child increased by over 15 percent between the years 2006 and 2015. So it’s not uncommon, and it’s actually becoming more common for couples to have one child.
Why did a GP say Everly needs a sibling to learn to share and interact with other children?
If I can’t teach my own child the importance of basic manners without another tiny human to help, what does that say about me as a parent?
Are only children selfish and bratty?
According to Lauren Sandler, “Only children test more favourably than ones with siblings on generosity and sociability; two traits with which they were thought to struggle. Also teachers found only children to have fewer ‘nervous symptoms’ than their sibling classmates.”
“Don’t you want someone for them to play with growing up?”
Everly has friends to play with. She has more friends than I do!
She has two loving parents who adore playing with her.
She can also play alone with her imagination. Everly plays with sticks/ face cloths/ pieces of paper. Sometimes she spends 12 minutes putting on her gumboots. She can sing the alphabet and count to ten (with a bit of help). She is not bored, believe me!
(If you’re not prepared to entertain a kid for 10 years + then you probably shouldn’t have had one, let alone have more than one.)