July 21, 2009

Having An Only Child

One of my friends’ husband recently decided to take their two older children on a weekend trip to D.C. This left my friend home alone for the first time ever with her youngest. I might add that her youngest has also been her most challenging. They came over for dinner one night that weekend – and she was exhausted. She had never realized just how much attention one child needs; especially when he is high-energy.

She can handle all three with no problem. They keep each other entertained (when they aren’t trying to kill each other) and out of her hair most of the time. But with the one – with no one to play with or talk to – she became an instant target. I had to laugh – because this is exactly what my husband and I went through with our son.

Having just one has its pros and its cons. Once or twice when he was smaller he asked for a little brother. Then after thinking about it one day he came to me and informed me that he didn’t want a little brother after all. When I asked why his answer was that he would have to share us with the new baby – and he didn’t want to do that. What insight from such a little guy.

We never planned to just have one. Or two or three. We had the one and he was a very, very busy baby and I knew I couldn’t deal with two tiny ones at the same time – especially if the next was as busy as the first. So we just kinda enjoyed him and didn’t think about it. After awhile, I began to get those “baby blues.” My husband was against another one. He felt that he had two (one from a previous marriage) and that was enough. He also felt he was too old (he’s twelve years older) and wanted to retire someday. Selfish? Of course. But I think if I had really pushed the issue he would have caved – he loves little ones (and me) too much. But time flew by, as it so frequently does, and then I looked up and I was 40. Too late. Well not really, but I don’t think I could deal with the anxiety and worry of a “late in life” pregnancy – unless I absolutely had to.

Even though my boy is no longer a little guy – he still seems to require a lot of attention from us. In fact, he just called to beg me to come home for lunch just so he’d have a little company – and so he wouldn’t have to make something for himself (he can be lazy – as most teenagers, I suppose). My husband still seems to be his best playmate. They talk sports, roughhouse and basically do all the things that brothers would do. Sometimes it goes a little to far however, and hubby has to remind him that he IS the father.

I admire all the moms out there with more than one child – I don’t know how they do it. But I also admire the moms of “onlys” because I know just how challenging that can be also – particularly with those incredibly busy, busy babies.


“The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new.” ~Rajneesh

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