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One and only. Only one?

My son turned one recently. My friends whose first-borns are around my son’s age are already thinking of or are considering having a second. I feel I am done.
My close friend was aghast when I revealed to her my feelings. She felt I am being mean to my first child by depriving him of a sibling.

I can’t help it if I cannot feel the need or urge to have a second kid. Is it really being mean? I am not sure. We are planning to buy a house. I am a stay-at-home mother hence just one income flowing into the household. A decent schooling these days burns a hole in your pocket. Now, I am not exactly saying that having a second kid will reduce us to a hand-to-mouth existence. But it will definitely put a strain on our resources. Above all this, I cannot quite bring myself to go through the whole process of being pregnant, the delivery, breast-feeding, sleepless nights, potty-training once again. Sleepless nights are not even over yet with the first and I have not even begun potty-training.

Yes, maybe I am being mean. I probably don’t have a strong maternal hormone in me. But this does not make me a bad mother. I love my son truly. He is a friendly and easy kid as of now, though quite hyper-active. He keeps me busy all day. I genuinely enjoy being with him and want to give my all to see him grow into a mature, responsible and sensitive adult.

Who says single kids grow into selfish adults? I can give examples of some selfish adults who didn’t have a dearth of siblings. Who says only kids with siblings learn to share? Those days mingling with other families who have kids were very rare. These days, thanks to a nuclear set-up, every other weekend is spent with friends. Who says only-kids become alone when the parents are gone? I think nowadays kids are naturally quite independent and the parents are gone mentally even before age takes them away physically once the kids reach the teens or pre-teens. I am already considering enrolling myself in an old-age home when the time comes as I do not want to be a burden- emotionally and financially-on my child and do not want him to have feelings of guilt and helplessness.

Maybe I have an answer to everything. Maybe I have searched within for answers or maybe they are excuses. Maybe I might change my mind altogether and go for a second one. But it will not be for the above reasons. The second will not be a missing piece of a jig-saw, just to fill up something. It has to be as desirable as the first. Only then. Till then, one and only.

Comments

  1. Hi, I read your article, very thought provoking. I have a son too. He is going to be 3 years old now. I think this article is primarily based on your peer pressure. For me its just the opposite. I have friends who do not want to have a second kid, for what ever reason. But I want, and yes the sleepless nights, the breast feeding, more freedom thats gonna be lost on having a second one, I guess its very difficult. But Once you are a mom, u will never stop being a mom..!!I realise that because I still neeeeed my mom so many times. U know just to talk to her sometimes, etc.Anyway for me rather than thinking practically I am going to listen to what my heart says. Thats def for another kid. Cheers

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  2. hi paru, thanks for reading my post and giving your views. yes, it's an individual decision and there is no right or wrong one in that. Kudos for doing what you think is right!

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  3. I always say, marriage and motherhood should happen only when you wish and not due to anybody else's wish.
    My second pregnancy was unplanned. I always thought I have had enough. 9 months of puking, delivery and feeding!But, when he came, I realised I could still love, I still had enough money, and I could still cope. My husband and daughter became more accomodating and understanding.
    So do it on your own terms. If one kid makes you happy and content, so be it. I can vouch that your first one will be instrumental in having or not having the second one and nobody else.

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  4. very true Asha..glad to know you are coping well with your second too..thanks for sharing your views and experience :-)

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  5. awwww, c'mon.... you are not mean at all! you know how much you can take or cannot.... if you are thinking this way for your well being, it indirectly means your family's well being. You cannot be termed cruel for not wanting another kid! its just the way you are. Do not feel resentful towards yourself because others think you are wrong. you have your reasons to think you are right!

    Down the line, maybe you will change your mind, maybe you won't. But until then making a hasty decision will be a bad move. I always say, you should have kids when you want them, not when people want you to have them!

    you are a mother already. Enjoy it to the fullest, I say!

    Cheers!

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  6. Many thanks Purima for the kind words..
    It is sometimes difficult to wade against the tide. I know it is not important that others necessarily understand your take on certain things in life but it certainly helps if they dont become judgemental of you.
    I am a mother anyway, well said!...:-)

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  7. Uma, so well written! Loved it totally. Totally agree that you need to want another baby and not just fill in a gap. We felt the same, we ought to have another baby and soon so they can grow together. Did not want a long age gap! God's been kind.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Vibha! Truly happy for to have found the conviction to go ahead. Yes, if there is a second, it is best not to wait for too long..a short age gap would be ideal.

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  8. looks like the three of us drew a triangle on this one!
    Vibha's comment on my post made me read hers & from there i came here.

    We both wrote on the same issue just a month apart and almost mirroring each other's thoughts! That surprised me & also made me realize this is a question all of us women/mothers ask ourselves at some point in time. Ultimately i guess it does matter whether we really really want to have a second one just as strongly as we wanted the 1st one.

    And naah, not wanting a second one in NO WAY makes us any less motherly :)

    oh by the way, my daughter is 6 now and i guess i long crossed the ideal age-gap deal :D. I am sure i wont go for a second one. In fact,she herself says now, "no need, i am enough for you!!

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    Replies
    1. Sujatha, haha..yes indeed!
      I was nodding away too as I read your post. It is definitely a million-dollar question when the first is around 2. I am simply amazed at how people go through it again even as they are complaining every waking hour about the difficulties with the first. Maybe it is just the conditioning of the mind.
      Most days, am sure I don't want the second but then there are also days when I feel if am being very unfair to the first by putting myself before him...hmm..time will only tell, I suppose.
      Glad, you've tided the phase and even relieved to hear that Tanvi herself has outgrown the desire to have a sibling :-)
      I am catching up with your older posts..
      And, many thanks for the follow..means a lot :-)

      Delete
  9. Wow, I also belong to the same school of thought. Indeed, it is not a thought but up to each individual to decide whether to have second child or not. Each word in your post echoes what is in my mind too. I also feel often that i do not have a strong maternal hormone in me :-). I felt good reading this post that i do have company of people who think on the sames lines.

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