"One And Done" And The Pressure To Have More Than One Child
Families who are "one and done" often experience backlash - but is there anything truly wrong with choosing to have an only child?
Do you consider yourself "one and done," but receive relentless backlash for it? Is there any research on kids needing to have siblings as they grow, or is it totally fine to choose to have only one child and still have a fulfilling life as a family?
Societal pressure to have multiple children is never-ending. If you have a boy, people will ask when you're going to try for a girl. If you have a girl, people will try to convince you that your little family won't be complete until you have a boy. That pressure comes from all facets of society: family members, friends, television shows, social media, and so-called parenting experts. But what if having multiple kids just isn't something you're interested in pursuing?
What is "one and done"?
Being one and done means choosing to have an only child. Many parents decide that their first child is going to be their only child, and there is nothing wrong with that. However, the emotional and mental impact of societal backlash against only children can be difficult for parents to process. Many parents deal with criticism from friends, family, and even complete strangers when they choose to have one child.
Everyone Feels The Need To Comment On Only Children
When people observe single-child families, oftentimes they will make disparaging comments about a parent having an only child. People make it seem like having more babies is the ideal, and having a small family (or a large family) isn't the best decision-making.
However, parents should feel confident in their choice to have as many children as they desire. Not everyone wants to have multiple kids, and not everyone is able to have more than one child. The emotional and mental impact of struggling with secondary infertility or feeling nervous about the emotional toll of parenting more than one child is enough to make many people question whether they can successfully parent more babies.
Strangers might not realize what a person is going through when it comes to considering more kids. Factors such as economic uncertainty, lack of familial support, being a single mom (or dad), having children with special needs, the high cost of living, the desire for financial freedom, and postpartum mood disorders are some unseen facets of choosing to have just one kid.
Even if you and your partner ultimately choose one and done status, parenting can still be rewarding, joyful, and fulfilling. Don't let another person pressure you into thinking there is something wrong with having one kid.
Here are some (very valid) reasons why some parents are happy with one child:
Your Child Requires More Care
Raising multiple children also takes time and patience. Some kids are born with special needs, physical and mental. It is not easy for the mother and father to divide their attention between a special needs child and more babies.
If your first child is born with special medical needs, that might force you and your partner to put special consideration into bringing more kids into the world. Some families decide that their focus needs to remain on their one child, to make sure all of their needs are taken care of.
Your Family Feels Complete With Only One Child
There is no rule to say women in motherhood cannot have joy in life unless they have more than one child. Believe it Or not, pregnancy and motherhood are not easy on women, and the idea of going through that experience more than once might be too much for a mother to handle.
If you have decided your family feels complete with one child, that is perfectly fine. Your son or daughter doesn't need siblings in order to live a happy life filled with joy and fun. Sometimes, a parent will feel that the family is complete with just one baby.
Family And The Impact Of Financial Stress
Aside from the physical and emotional aspects of pregnancy and parenthood, the worry about finances can also be another reason that families choose to be "one and done."
Giving your child a sibling might add too much financial stress on the family, especially if your family structure is based on a single income. Not everyone can afford to have lots of kids. Even if you want another son or daughter, it might not be economically wise to bring a new baby into the world. Having the self-awareness to consider the economic impact of children is an admirable quality in parents.
You Don't Love Being Pregnant Or You Experienced Some Kind Of Birth Trauma
Being pregnant isn't always easy for a mother. From her changing body, to the overall exhaustion, to other pregnancy-related ailments, a difficult pregnancy for a mom might be enough to deter women from having another baby.
Similarly, if a mom experiences some sort of traumatic labor or birth, they might feel like having another child is not an option. Advanced maternal age might also be a factor in giving your child siblings. Some women worry that if they've experienced one difficult or traumatic moment during labor and birth, the same thing might be repeated with future babies. Many doctors support families in choosing not to have more kids after a very traumatic birth experience.
Your Partner Doesn't Want More Children
Not all couples agree on the amount of kids they want to have. Families are having fewer babies, due to many factors, and only children can survive and thrive just fine in today's society. Your husband or wife might decide that they only want one kid, and having more children isn't something they want. Single-child families function just fine in today's ever-changing world, and parents can live a happy, joyous life being one and done.
The Mental Health Aspect of Parenting
Although people are hesitant to talk about it, the mental health aspect of parenthood is an important factor in deciding whether to have an only child. From difficult pregnancy mood swings to postpartum mood disorders to the overall stress and anxiousness that comes with life as parents, many only-child families are due to the desire to protect the overall mental health of mom and dad.
Even if your husband or wife wants another baby, it is completely acceptable to say that you cannot be a parent of more than one child because of the mental health aspect of giving your child a sibling.
Being a one-and-done family is perfectly fine in today's day and age.
Many parents live happy, fulfilling lives being "one and done." If you want to only have one kid and not give your child a sibling, that is perfectly acceptable. The financial, physical, and mental toll of having another kid can play a huge role in families deciding how many children to have.
Meet Our KeaMommy Contributor: Kaitlyn Torrez
I’m Kaitlyn Torrez, from the San Francisco Bay Area. I live with my husband and two children, Roman and Logan. I’m a former preschool teacher, currently enjoying being a stay at home mom. I love all things writing, coffee, and chocolate. In my free time, I enjoy reading, blogging, and working out.