What do you think about when you hear the term “only child”? Were you an only child or perhaps wished you were (lol)?
My husband and I are not planning to have any more children, and although Sylvie has two half sisters, 15 and 12, the age range pretty much puts her in “only child” status.
I had a sister close to my own age growing up as did my husband, so we have no idea what the experience of being the one and only might be like. When I’ve asked only children what they thought of it growing up, the answer is almost always the same, “I never knew any different, so I don’t know.”
I feel ok with the decision. My husband and I have three girls for which we need to provide and care. We gave the decision a lot of thought, and it makes sense for us.
Sometimes when I tell people that I’m only going to have Sylvie, I get interesting responses. They assume that Sylvie was too much of a handful or a difficult baby. They assume that I don’t like motherhood that much. They assume that I’m being selfish with my money and time. They assume I’m just too old (there might be some validity there). For every couple that makes the decision to have only one child, there are different reasons and rationale for doing so. It doesn’t matter why they made that decision any more than it does for a couple that chooses to have no children or many children, it’s an intimate decision between them.
It doesn’t make it easy. In all truthfulness, I adore my daughter, and I feel so honored to be her mother. I sometimes wonder if things were different, would we have more children? I get sad when giving away her baby clothes and would love another tiny soul to inhabit them and bring those moments to life again for me. I think of all the things I would know now and do differently than I did the first time. I wonder what the faces of my unused baby names would look like. Would Rowan or Sonnet look like Sylvie? Would they have her curls or my darker hair? Will I regret this later in life? More importantly, will Sylvie regret my decision?
Regardless of the unknowns, I am at peace with being the mother of one child; a dear, sweet, loving, enthusiastic, funny, joyous, animal-loving being who chose me to be her mother. She is my one and only, and for me, that is enough.
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