23 May 2016

Our Choice to be One and Done and Why It Works For Us

With every year that passes, I am more and more convinced that our decision to be one and done is the right choice for us, and that’s the part I’d like to emphasize – the choice to have only one child is what works for us. If you want 20, by all means knock yourself out. Or up. Every couple has to determine what is right for them and them alone because at the end of the day, they are the ones left dealing with the ramifications of their choices. Having children is a deeply personal decision that should be understood and respected by all. In as much as you and your spouse may want 20 kids, some couples don’t, and when it’s all said and done, both sides should respect the other. As I said earlier, no one has to live your life but you.


It started around six months after Maddy was born.

“So – when are you guys going to have another?”

Truth be told, I was still struggling with becoming a new mother, returning to work full-time, coping with the sleepless nights but most of all, my body was still recovering from Maddy’s C–section. The thought of having another child with all those life adjustments going on was the furthest thing from my mind.

But the questions, assumptions and interrogations continued…

“You are still young! Have another one quickly before it’s too late!”
“You don’t have any fertility issues, do you? What’s the problem?”

Each time, my answer was simply “We do not want another child.” By people’s reactions, you would have thought I magically sprouted six heads and blew fire.

Then would come the litany list of reasons Michael and I should have another child:

“You don’t want your daughter growing up and taking on life alone, do you?”
“Single children tend to be really spoiled. You need to have another one to balance it out.”
“Doesn’t Michael secretly really, really want a son?”
“You don’t think she’ll feel pressured to be perfect as an only child?”

Out of all these questions, my personal favorite would have to be: “But you and Michael make beautiful children. It’s your obligation to make more!”

Um, okay.

Becoming a first-time mother at 35 I was even shocked that I had Maddy. I never thought I’d have the chance to become a mother, coupled with the fact that I never had much of a mothering instinct growing up, I was perfectly fine and dandy with just one child. From the moment I met Madeline in the hospital, I knew instinctively that I only wanted one child. For me, our family felt complete. I had zero desire to have another child and Michael felt the same way.

With every year that passes, I am more and more convinced that our decision to be one and done is the right choice for us, and that’s the part I’d like to emphasize – the choice to have only one child is what works for us. If you want 20, by all means knock yourself out. Or up. Every couple has to determine what is right for them and them alone because at the end of the day, they are the ones left dealing with the ramifications of their choices. Having children is a deeply personal decision that should be understood and respected by all. In as much as you and your spouse may want 20 kids, some couples don’t, and when it’s all said and done, both sides should respect the other. As I said earlier, no one has to live your life but you.

Having said this, I understand where the questions and input comes from. With the average American household now holding at around 2.01 kids (How the heck is a number like that possible when you’re talking about people??) it’s easy to understand people’s confusion and hesitance when you say you only want one child. So to add a little balance to our more-than-one mentality in our culture, I offer my own personal reasons for being one and done:

1.       I Know My Limits and My Limitations. It basically boils down to this: I could be a great parent to one child or a mediocre parent to more. Pretty simple, huh? I know that my temperament and personality is suited for one child and that having more would put a huge strain on that. I’ve also discussed how I’m a mother who battles depression many times here on the blog. In order for me to be at my healthiest mentally and emotionally, I keep this in mind with regards to kids. Knowing this about myself, why would I want to have more children knowing I’d only be a sub-par parent at best?



2.    The Financial Aspect. I feel that when a couple starts discussing the topic of having kids, it’s important to take into consideration what you’re financially able to afford and provide. Bringing a life into the world is a huge commitment and you never know what life will throw at you on any given day. If you’re not prepared to take on that commitment financially, it brings a whole new set of challenges into your family. For us at this specific time in our lives, even if we wanted more kids, it wouldn’t be prudent because we’re not in a position to do so financially. As it stands now, we are living within our means with one child and we are more than okay with that.

3.    Still Having Time for Personal Interests and “Freedoms.” I am a firm believer that while we as parents make a life-long commitment to our children, it by no means translates into “Give up everything that makes you happy as your own individual person.” I’ve come to find that the happiest I’ve been in parenting over the last three years has been when I felt like I was still able to have a sense of “me,” time to myself and the flexibility to have social time with friends and time with Michael. Being who I am as a person, and Michael as well, I don’t think if we had more children we would be able to handle the added stress of raising kids. I feel that now, we have the best of both worlds – we have the child we always wanted and we still have the ability to have a certain amount of freedom that we both enjoy and need as individuals. In my book, that’s a win-win.

I also truly believe that if you want your child to have a happy, fulfilled life, you have to model that. If this equates to having more than one child for you, great, but if not, and all you’re doing is struggling to keep your head above water every day because you gave into societal, family or friend pressure to have more kids even when your gut told you not to, you’re not modeling that and your children will know it and feel it.

4.    Speaking of Freedoms & Finances, Let’s Talk About Being a Working Mom. I’ve discussed many times why I enjoy being a working mom. If we were to have more children and were not in a place to do so comfortably with regards to finances, I would be forced to be a stay at home mom. While there is nothing wrong with being a SAHM, (I’ve done it!) it’s not what truly makes me happy. Again, it goes back to having the balance of individual wants and needs that translates over into a happy and healthy parent.

5.    The Plain Simple Fact that We Don’t Want Another Child. It’s fine for me to sit here and talk about 1-4 on this list and all of those reasons and explanations are true but really, the simple fact of the matter is that we don’t want any more children, period. Neither Michael nor I have any desire to do the baby days all over again, but it’s more than that. When we think of our family as a whole, we feel it is complete.



Is this choice always an easy one? Nope. I’ll be the first to admit that at times, I’ve questioned our decision to only have one child and not give Maddy a sibling. So many times Michael and I have both been stretched thin while trying to juggle a million different things at once and all the while, Maddy is begging for attention. Of course in situations like that it would be nice for her to have a sibling to play with to keep her company. I’ve felt the fear of, god forbid, something happening to me and Michael and she is left without us and a sibling. But then my reason kicks in and I’m reminded that I don’t believe in bringing children into this world just for the sake of having siblings and play mates. I feel very confident in the way that Maddy is being raised and along with her magnetic personality, that she will have no problem making and having life-long friends. She will also have her aunts who are seven and 15 years younger than myself along with any children they may have. I feel confident that she will never be left alone in this world.

Do I fear the day when Maddy comes to me and her father to ask us for a sibling or asks why she doesn’t have one? Sure, it hits me every so often but in the end, I hope we have the courage to be honest with her to tell her – she was enough for us, and not from the aspect of raising a child but more from the heart…that she was enough to fill our hearts and lives. She and she alone. From the moment we met, we knew our family was complete.


Happy are we, our family of three.


Courtney @ Shiraz In My Sippy Cup
Courtney @ Shiraz In My Sippy Cup

Courtney is a published author, mom, taco enthusiast, and a Star Wars and Tennessee Volunteers fanatic. She's never met a piece of sushi she didn’t like and enjoys an amazing glass of wine and a great cut of meat. You can read more of her wine-induced, sleep-deprived adventures on The Huffington Post and Scary Mommy.

3 comments:

  1. I agree. it's a personal decision. you have to do what's best for your family.

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  2. Yep all of your reasons definitely make sense. We have two children and are considering being done got done of those you shared. Regardless though, good for you in not being pressured either way.

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  3. Family is so personal and everyone should do what is best for THEIR family! Good for you!!!

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