Most days I'm pretty unabashedly happy to have an only child. We are one of those families where being one and done just works! But even knowing I'm done doesn't stop me from wondering sometimes what life would be like with two kids (or more!).
I'm going to break the one and done code here for just a moment and say it: sometimes I'm jealous of parents with more kids. Usually it comes just after my daughter's latest buddy has left our house at the end of a particularly good sleepover. It passes, but I can't lie and say it doesn't happen.
Yes, oh parents with more than one kid, it's true, I think you have it better. Sometimes. Well, at least when it comes to the following:
1. There's Entertainment Value. When I was pregnant, I had a fear of giving birth to twins. My grandmother, who had seven kids, including twins (hence my fear that I could be carrying two!) insisted that they were easier because the two entertained one another. I thought she was nuts until my daughter started having playdates. My daughter is pretty independent, but I'll admit things are MUCH easier when there's another kid around to keep her occupied.
2. You're Not Always Defending Yourself. I've been called defensive about choosing to be one and done, and the critics are absolutely right. I am defensive ... because nosy and rude people MAKE me defensive. It's amazing how many people are willing to snark on my decision to stop at one child. Folks with two never hear "but she deserves a sibling" or "she's going to be so spoiled" or "he'll be all alone when you die." I'd love a life where people stayed out of my uterus.
3. You Don't Ask Yourself "What If?" OK, maybe you do. Maybe folks with two ask "what if" they'd had a third, and folks with three ask "what if" about a fourth, and so on. At the end of a wander down this path, I always come back to the decision that I'm happy where I am, but I've found that little monster in my head only starts talking when other people start criticizing my choice. If I wasn't hearing the constant criticism (see number two), I wouldn't ask at all ...
4. You Aren't Alone. When a fellow one and done friend mentioned the possibility that she might try for another baby, it practically tore me in two. On the one hand, I'm happy for her as a friend should be. On the other hand, a piece of me felt like I was being left alone on this one and done island. When friends keep on having babies after you've stopped, you lose something that once tied you two together, something you related both related to. Not to mention your friend is about to go back into baby mode, a stage you're never going to have again. I don't want to feel like a bad friend here, darnit!
5. Board Games are Easier. OK, seriously, what is with the games that insist you have at least 4 players? My daughter is still pissed that we've never played Apples to Apples.
6. Family Four-Packs. I know, it's alliterative. And it's an even number. But do you know how much of a pain in the behind it is to miss out on the "deal" because really, I only need three tickets?
7. You Can Hand Things Down. I love hand-me-downs from my cousins. I love handing things down to my girlfriends with daughters. But gosh darnit, I would like to get a little more bang out of my buck too! I have dreams of a pair of jeans actually being worn until they're ragged, but it ain't gonna happen with just one kid who's growing like a proverbial weed.
Alright one and done parents, can you relate? Do you harbor a secret jealousy of parents with more kids?
Image via WarmSleepy/Flickr