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One and Done: No More Womb

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I think it's my business if I only want to have one child, but not everyone agrees.


Momlogic's Momstrosity: The conversation started innocently enough while waiting in line at Target with my 2-year-old. The woman behind me had an infant in a Bjorn, a toddler in a cart and a 4-year-old clinging to her leg--I'll call her FertileMom.

FertileMom: (re: my daughter) Your first?
Me: Yes.
FertileMom: Are you going to have any more?
Me: No. We just want one.
FertileMom: (shaking head with disapproval) Tsk. What a shame.

OK, why is it OK to tell me how many kids I should have?!

Imagine if the conversation had been reversed:

Me: How many kids do you have?
FertileMom: Three
Me: Wow, that's plenty. Are you having more?
FertileMom: I hope so.
Me: God, I hope not. You should give it a rest, I think you've got enough.

But there was no time to ask Fertile Mom any questions, because she launched into how sad it will be for my daughter as a "lonely only," and how the best gift we could ever give her was a playmate. "You know what they say about only children--they're spoiled," she added emphatically. It all made me feel pretty bad and guilty for making the choice to only have one child. But the truth is, I love having a "singleton" and can't picture my life with more children. My life is perfect, just as it is with my husband and daughter. Just the three of us. One and done.

I've heard all the arguments for more children: Two is more than twice as hard as one but three is easier than two and 16 is way easier than 28. But hey, I'm no mathematician. I just know what I can handle, and I can handle one. Scratch that. I can handle 1/2. My husband, bless his heart, splits duties with me pretty much down the middle. The best part is, we can give our daughter everything she needs: abundant attention, college education, piano lessons, camp, vacations. Yes, I realize you can do all of these things with larger families, but from what I understand it's much, much harder. If I added another kid into the mix, I'd have a nervous breakdown. But hey, if a total stranger in line at Target thinks I should have more, maybe she's right?

How about you? Do YOU think I should have another kid?"

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54 comments so far | Post a comment now
Katie February 25, 2008, 7:08 PM

I have a BIG family - I’m used to some weird comments about that. I have ten kids of my own (a few adopted and a few biological): Akeelah, Danielle, Addison, Meredith, Julia, Jenn, Bekana, Parker, Laken, and Monica. My oldest is 26 and my youngest is 8. I also have two granddaughters (Emma and Sydney, born to my daughter Danielle) and a newborn grandson called Brendan (mothered by my daughter Akeelah). I think how many kids you have is ALL a personal preference: some people want a ton of kids and some don’t. I wanted a big family and I love having them all - my daughter Danielle is just like me, she and her husband got married young and are so thrilled with their two little girls that they want more. My eldest, on the other hand, says she’s content with one and doesn’t want another. My third daughter says she will never have children. I think any decision about how big a family you decide to have will have some people complaining about it - I’ve sure gotten my share of complaints from my own twin sister who has two kids - but at the end of the day, it’s YOUR family, NOBODY ELSE’S. Every type of family has it’s ups and downs: just love your kids and love your choice and everyone will be fine.

mscheng47 March 5, 2008, 1:54 PM

I always wanted two, but it’s a small miracle that I have one. I may not be able to have more and it took me a long time to come to terms with that. It’s enough that my family badgers me about having more and trying and all that. So when strangers do it, that’s just cruel. It’s none of their business and they know nothing about your life - so they have no right to judge.

I still feel so much pain when someone even asks me if I’m having another and I have to tell them that my body might not allow it.

Emily March 7, 2008, 8:30 AM

I heard this so many times after I had my son and would end up fighting with people who said it to me, especially family. I always knew I wanted one, no more. Funny for us, God has a sense of humor and blessed us with an “oops” due in October so there will be two. Now I hear the neverending “Told ya you would have more than one!” People are idiots.

Steph March 20, 2008, 3:31 PM

I am also struggling with the decision of having only one child. I love my 3 month old son dearly. I just feel that I could not endure the pain of a c section delivery again. And I have always felt that i would have only one child. I used to tell my friends ” If I do not have twins the first time..then this will be an only child.” I also experienced Post partum depression the first husband is permanently disabled and other things have cemented my thoughts on this being my only baby. I just hate the criticism by others..mainly my in-laws. They do not live my life. I have my baby AND my husband to care for…and of course myself. I wish people would encourage moms that know how many children they are capable of raising rather than criticize. I have two brothers—we do not have much of a relationship due to them being wrapped in their addictions. So…question could be..being a happy only child or a person with siblings that tend to make you worried and unhappy at times? It can all go several ways. I just pray that my son is healthy and happy…and I know that he will be loved to the fullest.

sheila e May 9, 2008, 6:53 PM

Well people always give opinions when you dont ask and politiely all you can do is smile but at the same time in your head you want to be disrespectful and say something back but you being a very nice woman did not say anything rude or opinionated to her but what makes you and your husband happy and what you can afford because having a family is not cheap…who knows maybe later you will have another one but that is up to you and your husband not anyone else

Nicole J. May 16, 2008, 3:51 PM

My partner and I are having the discussions now about having a second child. He’s an only and I have one sibling. We have discussesd our son’s “need” to have a sibling and our desires to give him everything we possibly can in terms of resources, love, education, etc. But I am having a feeling like I would regret not having another child, or at least not trying to have another child. I also realize that life rocks for our family right now. We get full nights of sleep, have enough time and money to go around, etc. So adding another person will cause sacrifice for all of us. We are still on the fence.

As for the noisy rude ‘fertile mom’ - she needs to mind her business. Why do we feel the need to ask personal questions of complete strangers? I work very hard to keep my judgments and opinions to myself. It seems that once you have a child (or are even pregnant) than all your reproduction choices and challenges become everyone’s business. I have no idea why.

Kate May 21, 2008, 8:17 PM

No! It’s totally you’re choice. I’m an only child and I think that I turned out just fine. I was never lonely and had a great family life with just myself and my parents! There are positives and negatives to being an only child just like being a first, middle, or youngest child, so it’s ridiculous for someone to assume that an only child would be unhappy. Although maybe it would have been nice to have siblings, I was never upset that I didn’t have one. Also being an only child made me more independent and introspective and a thinker at a young age. I was really happy and I’m definitely not shy or anti-social. In addition, having only one or two children is I think smart for many reasons (ecological, economic, and ethical) This world is overpopulated already. I don’t see the point in having six children when there are millions of starving children without families already.

Anonymous May 22, 2008, 4:11 AM

I just can’t believe you were shopping in Target. Walmart has much better prices.

Trace May 22, 2008, 8:07 AM

It took me a long time to have the one I have due to fertility problems then once I finally became pregnant i was on bed rest for most of my pregnancy so I’m thankful for the one I have. I’ve known I always wanted only one. People need to mind their own buisness.

Jenn July 15, 2008, 2:16 PM

Totally up to YOU!! I have one, wish I could have another, but it’s not in the cards right now so one is just as good!

Candace (Mama Luxe) July 15, 2008, 2:22 PM

The poll on the side is silly.

You should have as many or as few kids as your family wants and can provide for emotionally, financially, etc.

I was an only and do not really wish one way or the other about siblings. I had plenty of cousins and neighbors and classmates growing up.

I want multiple children because that makes me and my husband happy and we feel we can do it. If you and your partner only want one child, then you should only have one. Period.

As far as the article: People say stupid things. It may be about the number of kids or breastfeeding or bottlefeeding or babywearing or your kids should be wearing a hat or whatever…people who think they have the right to butt in when it is clearly a personal matter are just who they are. The “issue” is irrelevant—they’ll always find something to butt in about.

stevenbrycesmomm July 15, 2008, 2:25 PM

Honestly, I hate it when someone says to me ” oh aren’t you going to try for a girl?” We have two boys and are perfectly happy with our family the way it is. Why do others feel the need to pass judgement on the size of someone else’s family? If you are not paying their bills then mind your own business.

momof9 July 15, 2008, 2:29 PM

I agree that it is no ones buisiness how many children a couple decides to have. I also really hate those kinds of calous comments that I hear women make to one another all the time. I agree that you need to take the time to develop some snappy comments to take the wind out of the sails of those who would be so rude as to interfere in your family planning decisions. How about “Wow” I am speechless that you would tell me how many children to have. Or if you are feeling particularly mean you could say “after observing the behaviour of people in large families like yours I have decided that one child is plenty”. I have lots of children and I also get my share of snide remarks from folks about how many we chose to have I have several nice zingers all lined up for folks who dare to broach the subject with me. I would never be so nosey as to interfere with others decisions in this area.

Brandie July 15, 2008, 2:36 PM

It really bothers me that people can’t mind their own business. It is no ones business how many children you want to have. It only matters what is right for you. I think that that should go both ways though. Don’t harp on someone who wants 3 kids just because you only want one either.(not talking to you specifically but those that do that)

Amy July 15, 2008, 2:59 PM

The audacity of strangers truly amazes me. No matter where you go these days (And I shop at Target NOT Wal-Mart — much cleaner) people feel the need to tell you how to live your life. I recently had twins, one boy and one girl, and I cannot tell you how many people tell me I should be done. I’ve always wanted a bigger family, and given that we will be able to raise them well and they will be loved, I’m certainly entitled to have as many as I want!!

So I agree with you as a “fertile mom” -tell those strangers to shove it!! Live your life however you see fit!!

Can you imagine if everyone was FORCED to have more than one if they only wanted one?? I can’t imagine the unecessary and unwarented resentment in the world…

Tara July 15, 2008, 8:08 PM

I love that you wrote this. I get the same response several times a week. I personally think that my little family is perfect, so I’d prefer if everyone else would mind their own business.

yellowmom July 15, 2008, 9:50 PM

You should ignore people who make comments about the amount of children you wish to have. I have 4 children (3 within 4 years), and I got comments about my decision to have that many children. My faves were, “Are you crazy?” and “Did you mean to get pregnant again?”. People do not seem to realize that some things are none of their business. Enjoy your one child and don’t worry about anyone else’s opinion. In the end everyone should do what’s right for them.

Mary @ Adventures in Mommyland July 16, 2008, 2:02 PM

I’m a young mom with one child and no plans to have any more for a while- if ever. I think its perfectly fine to have one child, and just so your child can have a sibling is no reason to have another baby. Thanks for bringing up the subject.

Mashaun July 16, 2008, 5:16 PM

I only have one child, and I know that having two children is not the best situation for my young family right now. I was career oriented before I became pregnant, and having a second child would be a definite strain on finances, my stress level, my relationship with my fiance, etc. I dont want to discourage anyone, but these are the types of issues that most people deal with when they plan/not plan to have children.

Although Im not married, I feel blessed to have had my baby, without having to sacrifice my career, and Im blessed to be in a relationship with a man who is family oriented and supportive of my outside endeavors. With that said, everyone has an opinion and thats ok, but its also ok to do whats best for you and your family

heather July 16, 2008, 6:13 PM

One is perfect. you can give them your unbroken focus and attention and be sure they get the discipline and love they want! THAT BREEDER LADY needs to understand that her kids plastic diapers ect. are polluting the earth and she is overpopulating as well. arent there enough beautiful kids already? its NONE of CRAZY LADYS business

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