I have noticed that, since having a baby, one question has cropped up practically from day one and as time has gone on it has been asked much more frequently; when are you having the next one? Sometimes it is phrased: is it time for the next one? or About time you had another one, but each time it is said I swear I cringe even more. I understand that society thinks it is the norm to have a couple of kids and that having them close together is favoured due to the idea that siblings will get on better if they are closer in age BUT what if I only wanted to have one child? What if age gap isn’t an issue for me? What if I couldn’t biologically have another baby?
I wouldn’t say I am offended by the query, but I can see how others may be and I wonder what makes us question this area of people’s lives but not other parts?
I know of a few families who have made the choice that one child is enough for them. They are happy with their little unit and I cannot understand the occasional lack of acceptance of this. I also have friends who… wait for it… have an age gap between their children of more than 5 years! Oh yes, they have a supposedly ‘big’ gap and yet their children do get on. Who would have thought it eh?! There are 3 1/2 years between myself and my sister and we are best friends. Yeah we had our moments as kiddies, but who doesn’t? That’s what being a sibling is all about. You can be yourselves, laugh, argue, cry and easily make up but at the end of the day you have that bond that nobody else can have.
Right now I am happy with one child. He is energetic, makes me laugh, wears me out, makes me cry, keeps me on my toes, wakes me up some nights but he is my world. I will be honest, after I had him I actually swore I would not have any more children as it was all just far too tiring. I was not ashamed to say this, I was not saying I was struggling I was simply stating a fact – having a child in your 30’s is exhausting. Since Jake has got older and his personality has started to shine through, he can talk more, he sleeps through most of the time I can now say it is much easier. I can also begin to think that one day I will have another child. The question still comes up but as I watched a friend pushing her pushchair with her teeny one whilst chasing a toddler who wasn’t listening in the slightest, desperately trying not to wake the baby by shouting and bringing every toddler/baby based item in her bags, I can still easily answer people with ‘not right now, thanks’ and feel relieved that I still only have my one to deal with. I totally get that it’s each to their own and if you want a small age gap then that is great but you need to remember that each to their own also works the opposite way.
So please, next time you feel that question pop into your head maybe just stop and think if they want to hear this for the millionth time in 2 years!! Good things come to those who wait.