For many of us a child is a blessing, a gift from God. In my circle of friends quite a few of us only have had one child. A combination of hectic careers, fertility problem issues and money worries have meant we have – bar any extra time surprises – stopped at one.
As Imogen has got older I’ve met more and more mums with just one child. Some have wanted to stop at one, but they are in the minority. As I said having an interesting and fulfilling career has meant many of us have put off having children till later which means we are less likely to have more than one.
In the Daily Mail one writer said she was bullied because of her decision to have one child.
While I’ve not been bullied, I have been asked by many when will I have another one. And to be honest I’m still really torn about whether to have another. A year ago I would have said ‘no way’ – in the last few months I’ve slowly come round to the idea of having another but am yet still totally convinced it’s a good thing to do.
My indecision also means that I tend to hang out with friends of mine who do have just one. I feel more comfortable with them because on the whole (with the exception of a couple of lovely friends) most of my friends with just one tend to be less ‘mummified’ than the ones with several - i.e I can have a conversation with them about things other than children.
Imogen is an intelligent lively three year old with whom I can actually hold a conversation now. If I did get pregnant I would be stuck in baby land again.
In truth I’m envious of my friends who have now two children and who aren’t planning any more because there’s still a chance that I will go through baby land again. Maybe this time I’ll be more chilled about it. it’s not a bad place to be, just a very sleep deprived, sore and chaotic one.
So here’s my list – and it’s not looking too decisive to be honest.
Pros of having another
Your child has a sibling – which means they can (hopefully) play together and grow older together.
They they have an ally – i.e. when mum and dad are telling them they can have a good old moan with someone else going through the same thing.
When their parents get older they aren’t the only ones around to look after them (although this assumes your only child doesn’t end up having any children of their own).
In fact the last one worries me the most. I don’t want Imogen spending her 40s having to look after frail old me and her dad.
Cons of having another
Not all siblings get on – look at Cain and Abel – and countless other famous brothers and sisters who’ve fallen out of the centuries.
Money is tight – for all of us. What if I need to send Imogen to private school or we need private healthcare – with one child we can afford to spend more on her education. Not that she is going to be spoiled.
Attention. Imogen will get lots attention, she’ll be pretty independent and she already has lots of friends and cousins.