Before I was even in labor with my son, Cole, we were already getting the most annoying question ever:
"So, when are you going to try for baby number 2?"
Here's the short answer: Never.
It's a question I literally get asked on a daily basis. When my husband or I respond with, "Cole is our one and only!", some people (even strangers) will respond with: "Oh. No. You NEED to have AT LEAST one more." They are completely shocked and sometimes even appalled that we would do something so terrible and outlandish to Cole like make him an only child. *cue the eye rolls*
Apparently women are supposed to be programmed to want as many babies as humanly possible. As soon as you push out the first one, you should be preparing to create and birth baby number 2.
I guess I missed that memo.
Don't get me wrong. I love children. I have a degree in Early Childhood Education and worked with infants & toddlers for a good part of my teenage and adult life. Loving children and wanting multiple children are two VERY different things. Cole was a planned pregnancy. When it came to timing we did everything exactly the way we wanted. We don't feel like we just HAVE to do everything all over again. It was perfect the first time around.
We're completely wrapped up in the world of toddler-hood. We're helping Cole learn his ABC's. We're taking family vacations multiple times a year. We're traveling the world and going on new adventures. Cole is currently obsessed with balance bikes and dirt bikes so we are perusing his wants and interests. We are completely focused on Cole's wants and needs.
I often get asked, "Don't you miss newborn snuggles?", and my answer is this: I miss Cole's newborn snuggles. If I could time travel back to when he was 4 weeks old and sleeping in my arms in the cutest little fleece footie pajamas I would in a heartbeat. I miss HIM being a newborn because he is growing up too fast. That does not mean I have the desire to go through pregnancy, birth, and infancy with a totally different child.
Another follow up questions that people ask when they hear we are not planning on having another child that bothers me the most is this: "What if something were to happen to Cole? You would feel so alone without another child. What if something happens to you and Brian? Cole would be so alone." My answer is this: Life is filled with uncertainties. It's just the way it is. If (god forbid) something were to happen to Cole, having another child around would not fill that void of Cole being gone. We try to live every day to the fullest and make sure Cole's life is filled with nothing but happiness and adventures. You can't go through life constantly thinking, "What if?". It's something I choose not to dwell on. It's quite morbid actually. If something were to happen to us, Cole would never be alone. We have lots of family and an AMAZING group of friends that would pick up right where Brian and I left off. There is no doubt in my mind he would be more than ok.
Think I'm just being selfish for not wanting another one? You're right. I never want to be pregnant or give birth ever again. I love Cole & I'm happy that he is here, but being pregnant & birthing children just isn't my cup of tea. I've experienced it once and once is enough. I just got my body back (somewhat) and I'm not ready to be stretched out like a mini whale all over again. I don't miss sleepless nights. We're on the verge of potty training and I can't WAIT to be done with diapers.
We are a family who LOVES to travel. We take vacations multiple times a year. All that becomes way more complicated and less doable with two little monkeys running around. Financially we would be lucky to take one vacation a year with more than one child. I'm not willing to sacrifice Cole missing out on life experiences just so we can reproduce again.
We're wrapped up in our own lives -- our own lives which 100% revolve around Cole.
I'm not worried about him "being lonely" or "socially awkward" as an only child. He's only 2 and the kid is more social than most adults that I know. Cole is a social butterfly and makes friends wherever he goes. He has no issues walking up to children he does not know and playing with them. He's our pride and joy. We enjoy spending so much 1 on 1 time with him. I know every mom thinks this about their own children, but he literally is the perfect child.
If you choose to have more than one child, I applaud you. I'm sure it's not easy raising more than one little munchkin. You're doing what's best for you and your family and at the end of the day that's all that really matters. You're doing what makes you happy and your heart full.
We feel our family is complete. We have the child that we have always wanted. If for some reason I happen to be pregnant again, we would embrace it with open arms as we are firm believers that everything happens for a reason. But until if and when that day comes, we are completely content as a family of 3.
Cole is more than we could have ever asked for, and for that we are truly blessed.