My husband and I were pretty sure we only wanted one child but we dabbled with the idea of possibly having two, after all, everyone kept reminding us how important siblings were. But, after months of debate and a lot of thought, we’ve decided that we’re a “one and done” kind of couple. I know, you’re thinking it’s just because we’re new parents and we’re overwhelmed and sleep deprived, but honestly, I don’t think my marriage would survive if we decided to have more children. If I said this out loud to anyone: friends, family, or acquaintances, people would assume that meant my marriage is on the rocks. But, it’s not. I’m not sure why making this statement or coming to this decision is seen as a red flag, there are plenty of things some marriages survive yet others would fall apart under the same circumstances. Some marriages can survive infidelity, distance, and financial strain, while others cannot. And for us, our marriage just would not be the same if we had more children. I’m not saying we would get divorced if I became pregnant again. But I know it would be very difficult to maintain a relationship under the pressure.
“We simply do not have enough time to dedicate evenly between multiple children.”
Having our daughter has taught us a lot. Before having her, we had no idea how busy our lives actually were. Fitting one baby in our hectic schedule with work and family obligations was extremely difficult, we couldn’t possibly imagine multiple children. We simply do not have enough time to dedicate evenly between multiple children. Not to sound cliche, but we were like two ships passing in the night. And sometimes it’s still like that. It was lonely, perhaps the loneliest I have ever felt. We also have a lot of family obligations that take up a lot of our time as well, so having one baby really threw us for a loop. And if I’m honest, pregnancy was very difficult for me. I had a slew of complications that are likely to occur again if I become pregnant again, so I also considered that.
I know pregnancy and children change everyone’s lives and I know it eventually gets easier, well sort of. But I know it in my gut, that we’re happier as a family of three. Studies actually show that mother’s with one child tend to be happier than those with multiple children. Also, the odds of divorce increase with each child a couple has. Let’s face it, there is way more pressure on us nowadays. Both parents usually have to work. We make more but then spend more on things like daycare. We are so much busier that it’s hard to even find time for ourselves, let alone a spouse, kids, friends, and family.
I know there are plenty of families with 2 or 3 or more kids, and they are really content, and they’d have it no other way. But there are also a lot of couples that have had way more children than they could afford or way more children than they had time for. Those couples perhaps won’t admit it, but I do believe, having “too many kids” is a actually a thing.
We may get a lot of crap for our decision. People will think we are selfish. But, I’ve seen it first hand, how relationships can crumble under the pressure when people try to live up to standards that are just not right for their lives. I believe, if we’re happy, we have a way better chance of providing a great life for our daughter. Life is way too short to live by someone else’s standards. I don’t care if having two children is satisfactory by society’s standards. I don’t care if you think it’s selfish. In my opinion, a happy couple has a way better chance to raise happy children than an unhappy one. And unlike generations before, I’m putting my marriage first, putting myself first, especially in this particular situation, because I’m a way better mom to one, and a happier wife, the way that it is.