When I first got pregnant, I didn't plan to have an only child. But after a miserable pregnancy complete with hyperemisis gravidarum (the sort of morning sickness that hospitalized Kate Middleton), the reasons to stop at one started mounting. Some are serious, some not. All are very personal.
And I have a message for all my fellow one and done parents out there. People can tell you that you're selfish, but until they know your story, they have no room to judge. In fact, I asked some other parents who have decided one child is it for them to 'fess up to the whys and wherefores. Their stories, the real stories of why people have only children, are anything but selfish:
1. I was a happy only child, and I want to give my child the same happy childhood.
2. My brother and I didn't get along, so I'm not buying into that whole siblings make kids happier thing.
3. I have a special needs child who requires my full attention.
4. I'm concerned about the planet! Having fewer kids is the single most important thing that people can do to lower their carbon footprint.
5. We knew going into parenthood that we only wanted one.
6. Our one daughter keeps us busy enough!
7. My ex-husband decided he wanted another woman.
8. I knew one was (and still is) all I can handle.
9. I would have loved to have more, but I struggled with infertility after my daughter was born.
10. We don't make a lot of money, and one child is right for our budget.
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11. My boyfriend died after our son was born.
12. We adopted our daughter, but the cost was so much that we just couldn't afford to adopt again.
13. My marriage crumbled after my son was born, and my second husband wasn't interested in having kids.
14. I don't believe in gender selection, and I couldn't guarantee I'd have a daughter the second time around.
15. I had a high-risk pregnancy, and my doctor warned it could be worse the second time.
16. My husband and I didn't meet and fall in love until I was close to 40. We only had time to have one!
17. My daughter was born with a serious health condition that turned out to be genetic. We didn't want to risk the same genetic combination with a second child.
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18. We did have two children, but one of them died. I couldn't imagine having a second now. It would feel like I was trying to replace my son.
19. I always wanted a lot of kids, but my boyfriend doesn't. I can't pressure him into having a child he doesn't want.
20. I had uterine cancer after my son was born, and I am unable to get pregnant again.
Do you know parents with only one child? Do you take time to find out their stories?
Image via andrechinn/Flickr