Time Magazine recently debunked a whole bunch of myths related to only children. The main findings from the author's research is that only children aren't really that much different from other children. In fact, some studies have suggested that only children score higher on SATs and have higher self-esteem. Does this mean that children with siblings are dumb and hate themselves? No, of course not! But perhaps we have been misled by stereotypes when we think about only children.
A big debate is happening in our house right now. Actually, that's not true - it's just happening in my head. Every day, I wake up with a different thought:
"I will try for another baby"
"What, are you crazy!? No more babies!"
It seems easy for some people - they either embrace the only-child thing, or they have always been sure about multiple children (some are so sure that they bang them out in a matter of a few years!) I'm more curious to hear from the people out there who just don't know...who wake up each day having made a different decision than the day before.
I love babies. I wouldn't be doing doula work if I didn't love babies.
But do I want to love another one of MY babies? Gah!
First of all, I realize that I'm already assuming that I would be blessed with a pregnancy. I've heard of plenty of women who have tried for a second child (after a fairly easy conception the first time around), only to discover a fertility issue. So I realize this "debate" in my head is entirely based on the assumption that I would actually get pregnant if we tried.
I keep listing off all the reasons why we should try for another child - A. needs a sibling; I want to bring another child into the world; I wonder if we're "complete" as a family; and somewhere deep down I worry whether I'm a "real Mom" if I don't have more children (this is a belief that I think truly exists out there - just listen to this quote from Jessica Alba). And as more and more friends have second babies and announce pregnancies, I do feel the pressure mounting.
The pressure in my HEAD of course....brought on entirely by myself.
So why don't I want another baby? There are a number of reasons, which maybe some of you can relate to.
Personally, I don't know if I was cut out for this Motherhood Thing. And I'm not just saying that so you'll leave nice comments telling me how great of a Mom I am - I'm saying it because I really believe that some women have a harder time adjusting to motherhood and all its demands. Perhaps it was lack of preparation, or unrealistic expectations...or a bit of both! I feel very well adjusted right now, and love my daughter to bits, but the newborn stage is just not for me.
So then my head tells me: ok, fine, why don't you just suck it up and get through the newborn stage? It's not that long!
But there are other questions: how will I do doula work with two children? How will we afford me being on maternity leave with no benefits? Can I juggle two children when I find one to be a challenge?
Many unanswered questions, and I know I've got some time. While a decision doesn't need to be made today, I certainly don't want to be wavering for many years to come.
So tell me - what do you think? Are you an only child? What was your experience growing up? If you're having children, or planning for children, do you know exactly how many you want? Why?