Mo is a middle-aged, self-deprecating wife and the mother of one teenage girl child who has mastered the art of PMS. In her spare time she likes to read, write and dream of one day having a housecleaner. She loves wine and hates manual labor but has discovered that mixing the two works out pretty nicely. You can find Mo blogging at www.momfeld.com.
My husband and I talked about the size family we wanted to have prior to getting hitched. We felt it was an important conversation. We wanted to make sure that we knew what to expect from the other, so there were no surprises.
I was never one of those women whose groin ached for a baby. I never dreamed of my wedding day when I was a child or had all the names of my future children picked out by the age of twelve.
In fact, I was terrified of being a wife and mother. For some reason, I envisioned beer-can rollers and mu-mu’s, waddling down the baking aisle at the local food market. I thought that was what being a wife and mother was. And I wanted no part of it.
Of course, being a wife and mother is what you make it to be. My life does not happen to be filled with beer-can rollers and mu-mu’s. Well, unless you want to call wearing sweatpants to Shop Rite on a Tuesday afternoon a mu-mu. And my hair, on the days I forget to brush it, could actually benefit from some beer-can rollers. But that’s a whole other story.
We have one child. We agreed upon that. Before we got married. We both agreed that one child was enough to love. For us, anyway.
“One child isn’t a real family.”
“Is something wrong with one of you?”
“It’s not fair to not give your daughter a sibling.”
“What if she dies?”
“I’m so sorry.”
“You will spoil her rotten.”
“She won’t know how to socialize.”
“You’ll regret it one day.”
Every single one of the above statements could not be farther from the truth. Here are my answers to all of the unsolicited opinions and questions I have received over the years:
We actually are a real family. I looked it up and we fit the definition. I could be wrong here, but I even think a married couple who don’t have any children are considered a family. Don’t you agree?
To my knowledge, there was nothing wrong with either of us. We had no problem conceiving our daughter. But honestly, I wouldn’t know. Because we never tried again.
Our daughter is completely fine with the fact that she doesn’t have a sibling. In fact, if you ask her, she will tell you that she does not feel slighted. And believe it or not, she does not need therapy.
If she dies? I’m not even sure what this means. You mean, we won’t have back-up? Even if we had twelve children, I can’t imagine the hole ever healing in our hearts.
No reason to be sorry. You didn’t bump into me or anything.
Sure, we spoil her. I cannot lie. But she’s not rotten. In fact, she has grown into a beautiful, smart, compassionate young woman and we couldn’t be more proud.
This child has the socialization skills of the mayor. Thanks, in part, to her dad and me, pre-school, play dates, friends, and lots of cousins. She also has always been outgoing. Part of that just comes naturally.
And finally, no. I have never regretted not having another child. Ever.
Our daughter will be seventeen years old in two months. We are just about done with our job of raising her. Having “just” one child has always worked for us. It’s not for everyone. I understand that. But for us, it is.
It is, and always has been, enough.
So, when you see someone who is the parent of a single, don’t be judgmental. Don’t ask stupid questions. In general, mind your own business. To each his own. After all, that’s what makes the world go ’round, wouldn’t you say?