After getting married the question no one is afraid to ask is, “When are you going to have a child?” In 2015, after announcing we were expecting a little girl the madness ended. Or so I thought. At Henley’s first birthday, that dreadful question clawed back into my life as, “When are you going to have a second?” It doesn’t stop. Saying “We’re not” has become a reflex.
So, I’m finally going to bite the bullet and answer the questions I’ve been dodging the past 20 months!
This is why I only want one child:
Why do you only want one kid?
In late 2013, I started feeling less than complete. As a newlywed that seemed odd. So I did what normal people do, I quit my job, moved to Austin with my husband, and set about a soul-searching quest. Luckily for our marriage, my quest took me to the same place as my husband. In May 2014, we decided to become parents. Right now, we feel complete. Maybe we’ll change our mind, but for now we aren’t trying or planning to try for a second child.
But you grew up with sisters?
Having an only child certainly feels weird since both my husband and I are from large families, but it also feels right for us. We love the close relationship each of us has with her and it’s nice to have the upper hand in the ratio department. Plus it’s not like we stow her away. She attends daycare, playdates, and even a weekly gymnastics class. She has plenty of time with other children playing and sharing! Speaking of sharing…
Aren’t you worried she’ll be selfish?
Sure, but I don’t think being an only child is why someone is or isn’t selfish. It may play a part, but it’s never the full story. I hope and strive to raise a compassionate child. That would be true whether I had one or five. Judging by her love of animals and trees + the care she puts into her two dogs, cat, and two fish – I think she’s going to be okay.
Don’t you feel selfish?
A little, but I also think that is part of what makes me who I am as a mom. When I’m with Henley, I’m with Henley. We sing “Let It Go” and decorate the driveway in chalk art. Her dad does marathon walks in her Cozy Coupe and Sunday breakfast at Torchy’s. We feel whole. I’m able to sneak in time for my career, working out, reading, and even writing this blog! Having a child was over two years of my life when I didn’t feel or look like me. I’m not interested in going through that again or the expense and insurance nightmare of it all.
Don’t I miss the baby stage?
Yes and no. There are certain moments I hope I never forget, but those are memories of Henley. It’s kind of like my marriage. Do I miss those early days sometimes? Yes, but would I trade where we are today for them – nope! I find joy in each stage and it’s magic when she says a new word or does something for the first time.
Are you sure?
Pretty sure! This morning Henley was on my hip and squirmed her way into a cradle hold. She said baby and pointed to herself. (Where does she learn this stuff?) I sang her, Hush, Little Baby. Her eyes fluttered until they closed. I was transported to her first week home. There were tears and I let myself sink into the moment with her. Of course, only seconds into my cry fest she wriggled free and then waved bye before running into the other room. And away we go!
What if you change your mind and it’s too late?
Not being able to conceive a second child is a possibility even now. If we decide to have another child – we’ll find a way to have another child. It might not be as straightforward as the first time, but I actually love the idea of fostering or adopting a child when Henley’s older. I don’t want to make a decision that doesn’t feel right for us based on a what if. Which brings me to…
What if something happens to Henley?
As morbid as it sounds, this is actually the reason that pulls at my heart the most. I feel like I was meant to be a mom so the idea of not having an earthly child – is gut wrenching. It’s also not the best reason to have a child. If something happens to Henley whether there’s a sibling or not, I’ll miss Henley.
As for today, we’ll continue to enjoy our complete party of three (six if you include our fur clan).