Why would anyone stop after having just one child? Surely anyone who has voluntarily turned their life into a blur of sleepless nights, mashed banana and The Wiggles might as well throw a second child into the mix while they’re at it, right?
Any parent who is “one and done” can expect to be asked, repeatedly, whether there’s another baby on the way, and if not, why not. Judgement is inevitable.
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But the fact is that many parents do stop after one, for a huge range of reasons. Sometimes the “one and done” decision is made happily, with no hesitation. Sometime it’s made reluctantly, through a flood of tears.
Nine women explain to Mamamia why they’re having just one child.
"Mentally I was a mess."
“I had severe morning sickness – hyperemesis gravidarum – that lasted 20 hours of the day. Mentally I was a mess after months of lying on the couch, unable to move from the bucket. (It’s 18 years ago, but still a vivid memory.)
I knew that my mental health could not sustain another stint of this, so we made the decision to stop at one.
We did randomly check in with my daughter over the years to see how she felt about not having brothers and sisters and she never seemed bothered by it.”
"I would make the same choice again."
“Only ever wanted one. I never really felt that motherhood was a natural fit for me, but when my daughter was born, I felt an immediate love and protection and went on to love, nurture, support, celebrate and enjoy her.
She’s my best friend, has been always. But there were other things I wanted in life – writing, freelancing, travel, sex, friendships, me – and I knew kids would detract from that.