Tuesday, October 09, 2007

My one and only. Like, EVER.

I was reading through the forums at the MotheringDotCommune website (the online forums for Mothering Magazine) and came across an interesting thread titled "Any Moms of an Only Child." I was intrigued for two reasons. Number one, because I have an only child, heh. And Number two, because I've found my only child scenario to be very different than those of my closest friends (both online and off) who either have several children or none.

Now that I think about it... I don't think I know any moms of one. Huh.

Anyway, finding this thread prompted me to add my voice, which kind of caught me off guard. Not the adding my voice part, that's rarely a problem, but the adding my voice to this particular subject. Considering, apparently, that all my friends are either one extreme or the other, one would think the topic would've come up. It almost seems taboo, or at the very least, to be a sensitive subject to approach.

But why?

We're talking about such a basic topic here. Maybe it falls too close to sex and/or religion and/or politics? Even so, the reproduction of the human race greatly effects so much of this planet and society, how can we not talk about it?

At any rate, clearly the thread got me thinking. Too bad for you, eh?

There were so many reasons why the moms chose to be moms-to-one: sustainability of the earth; having the ability to travel said earth more easily; experiencing a difficult pregnancy or infertility issues; not having the resources (time, money, energy) to afford more children; just plain wanting one kid; and on and on.

Of course this is all one-sided, and what would be really interesting (to me, because I'm selfish like that) is to hear why people choose to have more than one or none. Obviously, I can relate pretty easily to the moms about having an only, and it's nice to find a tribe of ladies in a similar situation as my own, but hearing differing opinions and thoughts makes for a way richer head trip, don't you think?

And so, in conclusion (that was for you, kah)...

Really though, in the name of self-awareness, honesty and mindfulness, I'm copying my reply posted to the forum, and placing it here on my blog. It's neither long and detailed, nor very opinionated, it's just more than I would normally put here, and for no good reason. Important topics are sometimes hard to talk about. Like MPG's and plastic bags and veg*nism and chocolate. Wait chocolate isn't hard to talk about. Though it's VERY important!

By the way, for all this disclosure, you can thank St. Francis and OMSH for their recent inspiration.

Hi, everyone!

I'm a single momma to a 10-year-old monster. There are lots of reasons why I've chosen to have only one child, all of which have evolved and changed over the years. Currently, my primary reasons involve sustainability and durability of our planet. No explanation needed I'm sure, as I see many of those reasons listed here

Of course, I've found being a single mother affects my decision greatly, as well. Becoming unexpectedly pregnant as a teenager determined that my son and I would be faced with some unique challenges, and that things might not be as easy as they could've been had I done things in a more traditional manner. Overall, I love being a mom and I don't regret a single moment of it. That's not to say that things haven't been nearly completely overwhelming (financially, emotionally, spiritually) many, many, many times over the past ten years. Though I wouldn't want trade any of it for a second, and I know that my son and I have an amazing relationship because of it, I certainly don't have the desire to repeat it

I appreciate the general sense of control and manageability that comes with one child, which is also something I've seen mentioned here, and is especially important to me not only as a single parent, but one who works full time out of the house. I can't imagine having to not only shuttle two kids around to lessons, practices, etc., but also afford everyone's interests. And in the middle of it all, still have the energy, time and money to hit the gym and cook healthy meals. In my house, I feel like we're already using all of our resources and adding another life would cause something (like sanity?) to suffer. I'm in awe of how parents make it work.

Also, I'm pretty sure fighting with one kid about bedtime/homework/showering/incessant texting/picking scabs at the dinner table/et. al. is just plenty for me. We all know what a mess one kid can make, I don't need to experience the carnage three or four little monsters could cause on a daily basis. I mean, isn't it generally a good idea to not be outnumbered?

It's funny because I absolutely love when my house is full of kids. I enjoy the loudness and energy and happiness and even the mess I just don't think I'd love it every day.

Eh, who am I kidding? The real reason why I'm not having any more children is because the one I already have is my favorite. We're not supposed to have favorites - I mean, really, what kind of mom would I be if I had another?!


PS: I do know two other mommas of one - Amy and Leanne, AC's bro's mom (bro below)!


Sam said...

hmmmm....why three kids? and not one? because if i had had only one, then i would have missed out on you and brooke (AND avery, now that i think about it). (BIG smile) not my original plan, but hindsight is always 20/20.

bazu said...

Interesting... I've always thought that if I decide to have a kid, that I'd have only 1. I'm not sure precisely why, though I agree with your points about sustainability, etc. The only reason I hear other people give for not having 1 is that you have to give your first child a sibling/playmate. Well, that poor 2nd kid! You only had it because "you had to" and the first one needed a playmate...?

Jody from VegChic said...

My mom always planned on two for the playmate idea like Bazu mentioned. Though it was planned that way before she had either of us.

Hmmm. Interesting post. Certainly one is more sustainable. I'm not sure I'd like kids at all. When I was younger everyone told me I would change my mind. This year I turned 30 and have no more interest than I did 10 years ago.

Some people make great parents and others don't. I tend to think I would fall into the second category.

It is important that people do what works for them. In your case, 1 works for you and I think that is great!

frekur said...

My decision to not have children is really just me being selfish: I simply don't want to give up the time I have in my life to travel, to raise a child.

That is all.

(See? Pure selfishness. Though, the human race being grossly over populated plays a role as well.)

Mac said...

I would not say that choosing not to have children is selfish. As someone who doesn't want children [I'm 35, so I'm fairly certain my opinion won't change], I look at it this way: I've thought through my options carefully and know what's right for me.

Like Frekur, part of it is that I am not willing to change my lifestyle to make room for a child or children. I really like my life and I'm very happy - adding kids to the equation wouldn't add anything to my life.

I don't have a maternal bone in my body and don't get the warm fuzzies when in the vicinity of babies. I think it best to leave the baby making to people who genuinely like kids!

Mikaela said...

Interesting thoughts :)

There seems to be a general feeling (not just here) that choosing not to have children is selfish. I agree with that, but only because deciding *to* have children, no matter how many, is just as selfish. We make babies, or not, for ourselves.

Crystal & Ryan - Café Cyan said...

Interesting post. I have thoughts on this, but don't want to seem heartless, so forgive me! I don't have kids and don't think I want them. If I did have kids, I'd only have one.

It seems that people have kids for the same reason people get married...because they are supposed to. They are born into that thinking that you can't be successful or happy in life unless you are married and have kids. I disagree. This world has so many opportunities for happiness and I feel I'm taking advantage of those opportunities.

I'd be an awesome mom, but I'm also an awesome auntie and I love it that way.

Plus...our world is overpopulated.