Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Let the flogging begin

Throw your stones. Please, I beg you. If only for every "um" and "ah" that came from my mouth during last night's BlogTalkRadio show, but mainly for not making my case on the only child debate clear.

After listening to myself even I was wondering what the hell my point was.

I could blame it on the hour (way past my bedtime), the strange medium (strange to me, not strange/weird), or the jitters (oh, my sweaty palms), but mainly I blame it on me being a dumbass. One word. DUMBASS.

I had good, strong, important points on raising an only child: On how it is a very important personal decision that only you and your partner can make for yourself. On how having an only child takes work, a lot of work, because you don't have that second child as a go-to playmate. On how it is a popular misconception that only children are selfish and spoiled and grow up to be Alex P. Keaton clones. On how it is not about not wanting to go through pregnancy and delivery again (okay, maybe it's about that a little bit). And so many more points. Oh so many more points.

Was it blog-fright? Stage-fright? Blog-stage-fright? I dunno. I'm sticking with Dumbass-ness.

This is not a thinly veiled attempt to get others to stroke my ego because, seriously, stroking is not what I want. Not ego stroking anyway. What I wanted was a decent give and take about this discussion, and though I felt like Lena did a fantastic job on her end, I feel like I dropped the ball on mine. I dropped the ball for me and for others who only want one child. I'm sorry. It was the sweaty hands that made my grip so poor.

Get a grip, Mrs. C, get a freakin' grip.

So, my point about onlies is the Desire with a capital D to want for a second child or a larger family. I truly believe you don't have a second child just because the first one asks for a younger sibling. What happens when the second child wants a younger sibling? Do you then have a third child for the second child? And you don't have another kid just for the social or emotional benefit of the first because that seems like a huge disservice to the younger child - I have to believe that you're considering the second child's emotional well-being, too. No, you have more than one kid because you want more than one. Because you believe that your family - that includes you, your husband and your first kid, hell maybe you even take the dog's feelings into account - needs to be larger and everyone will benefit from one more crumb crusher crawling around. Because you Desire to have more.

Am I being premature thinking that having one is the way to go? Will I change my mind when Chicky is older? Maybe. Anything is possible and when it comes to the future I try to keep my mind open to all possibilities, but today, yesterday and 12 months ago the Desire to have a second baby was and is still not there.

But this is not just about my point of view on the subject. It's about everyone's.

Kristen mentioned on her show the shit storm that evolved from a post of Amalah's - a post I missed unfortunately - about only children. I wasn't expecting anything closely resembling the negativity or the positive give and take that stemmed from that post because, duh, she's Amalah and I'm not, but I did expect something akin to what I get in my real, offline life: People trying to change my mind. I haven't, so far, gotten any of that. I've received wonderfully reassuring comments from parents of onlies, adult only children, and people who are still fence sitting. I thank you for lending your voice to this discussion. It is great to hear that I'm not alone on this rickety boat. I've also heard from parents of multiple children who believe it is everyone's right to choose how big their families will be. I thank you as well.

Still, I am perplexed. Where's the other side? The side that believes that a family needs to have two or more children to make it whole? Have we wordlessly agreed to disagree and that's that? I am not inviting negative argument (no, that would be silly) but an open sharing of ideas. Is it true, like Kristen said in her last post, that we parent bloggers (to paraphrase) would rather not comment than say something that could be construed as negative? Or, as she wrote, "Or say something funny like "cute baby picture" and run for the hills."

Are we afraid that by saying something unpopular or disagreeing with a particular post we will become the playground pariah?

I don't want to beat a dead horse (Okay, I lie. I love beating a dead horse. It makes it tender.) and repeat what others have already written. Instead I'm going to draw my own conclusions. It's the season of peace, love and joy and we're feeling charitable toward our fellow blogger. We're tired from our everyday life and just don't feel like getting into a steel cage match. Maybe only the enlightened and accepting women write blogs and on the days when a post does start a shit storm it's because the stars and planets aligned making commenters feel particularly randy and ready for a passionate fight. Or maybe the Mommyblog-osphere is like a sorority house or locker room and we all PMS at the same time.

One last conclusion? We're so over some topics.

Those are my theories and I'm sticking to 'em.




53 comments:

Tuesday Girl said...

I want one more child. I have a physical need for it.
the husband could be done with our twins.
It is a hard subject for both of us, and I am not sure what resolution we will come to.

People do change and who cares how many kids they have as long as it is what is right for their family.

Beck said...

Hm. I want a big, big family, lots of kids running around and the chaos and noise and runny noises, the minivan crammed full of kids, years and years and years of diapers and people who call me "Mama".
But I can understand that you don't. You're not me, and it's not for me to say. If we were talking about this in person, my enthusiasm for kids and my desire for more might be misunderstood as some sort of peer pressure to force you to have more than your happy one, but in writing, I can say that I am happy for you and your happy only.

Lawyer Mama said...

I haven't listened yet, but I'm sure it wasn't as bad as you think. We all tend to by hyper-critical of ourselves.

I have 2 little guys, but I can't say it was a conscious decision. Number 2 was a complete oops. I found out when my oldest was 6 months old. And it's been hard having 2 kids 15 months apart. I will say that the absolute best part about it has been watching the two of them interact. I hope that Little H will always adore Big H.

Now, I am foolishly contemplating another one in a few years but for totally selfish reasons. I don't think I would ever have another just to give my children a companion or to modify behavior. (That's what daycare is for! JK!) I just love my children in a way I never expected. And I loved number 2 just as much as the first. For me, I figure what can be wrong with even more love as long as I can handle the stress.

You may change your mind, but you may not. It's a big decision. But what's best for you will be best for your little one.

Mrs. Chicky said...

Beck - you're right. I may have gotten to a point where I'm so sensitive about the subject that I misunderstand people's exuberance for criticism. Thanks for that.

soleclaw said...

How did I miss all this hubbub about onlies? Hmmmmm...it seems I have some catching up to do!

I have been fortunate enough to be left alone about my decision to keep E an only child. My friends are sweet enough to know my opinion, respect it, and not try to change my mind. My family is another story.

My MIL, mother of 4, insists I should have another and wait no longer than 4 years to do so. Her main reasoning is so that E can have a playmate. My stance from day one has been, "I'll have another child if I want one, not because E wants me to have one."

I agree Mrs. C, Desire is at the root of this issue. Additionally, not only are you doing a disservice to the younger child, but you are second-guessing your first child's ability to make its own friends outside of family by providing a default friend in the second child.

My last defense against having another child is, "I was an only child, and I turned out perfect!" ;)

Kate said...

I listened in and you sounded great. I know how you feel about how you sound over the air, because I called in last week on the topic of circumcision, then listened to it the next day and I sound so nasal. Not because I have a cold, just because I have a totally nasal voice. Can't stand it.

Anyway, as far as your opinions on having an only child, I hear ya. My kids are over 4 years apart and that is totally due to the fact that for a lnog time, hubby and I opted for an only kid. We were overwhelmed at thinking we could handle another. Then I found myself pregnant when my son was 3, miscarried that pregnancy, and we were surprisingly sad. We discovered we wanted another and quickly tried again, having our second baby this January. But we are definitely done. No mroe than 2. I don't know how people handle more than 2. Good job on last night's show.

Ashley said...

I want another one. Not now, but one day. Little bit is 13 months today and not sleeping at night is still WAY too fresh on my mind to think about a second right now.

My reason: I was an only child until I was 16 (and my marriage and family professor said that since I was so old when my siblings came along, I was still an only child) and I hated it. I had no one to talk to, play with, goof off with. And now, I'm facing adulthood with no one close like that. My step sisters are ok, I guess, but it just isn't the same. Maybe when I'm 40 and my half sister is 24, I'll finally have someone.

something blue said...

The other side? Ok. All the super cool people should be forced to have a dozen children. Go forth and repopulate the world!

By the way I think you intelligently represented parents that have chosen to have a one and only.

Janet a.k.a. "Wonder Mom" said...

I'm listening to the broadcast right now...You're not on yet...I'm sure you did fine.

The only thing you can do is try. I am proud of you for voicing your opinion. Whether you think it was voiced clearly or not, you tried. Bravo you.

Christina said...

(I missed the discussion, because I can't keep my sorry butt up past 10pm anymore.)

I think deciding how many children to have is a personal choice that people can't argue with. If you only want one, that's great! Guilting someone into having another just to have another could lead them to be too stressed and make them a bad parent, when they would have been fine with just one.

I was an only child, and while I did find times when I was lonely, I had lots of other good things happen, too. I did wish for a sibling sometimes, but other times I enjoyed the privacy and time to myself.

I can't quite fully explain why we wanted two children. I'm nervous about how to deal with two kids, since I have no experience with siblings. But I also don't want Cordy to be in my situation - being solely responsible for my family as they grow older, because I'm the only child. Having two children, for me, means that hopefully there won't be a single child who has to go through the entire financial and emotional strain of caring for her elderly or ill parents. They can share the responsibilities, and hopefully not dump us in a nursing home. :) OK, that's kind of a grim reason, but it is something I considered.

Only children can grow up to be just as happy and successful as those from larger families, so I say make the choice that works best for you.

ewe are here said...

I'm sure your show went better than you think it did. Why? Because you've articulated your thoughts so well here. :-)

I agree that you should 'desire' a second child before having one, not just go on and have a second one because everyone says you 'should.' We definitely decided we wanted Number Two. I'll admit, though, that part of our 'desire' was to ensure that MF would have a sibling to share things with in the future.

Deanna (Domestic Chicky) said...

I was an only child, and I was ok with having just one, until I realized that, being an only child, all the memories of my family are mine alone. My parents are not around any longer, so I have no one to ask about my childhood, or talk to about shared experiences. So I chose to have another. It's definitely more challenging, and definitely more fun, and I wouldn't trade my little guy for anything. Sometimes I do second guess myself, because I got a lot out of being an only child-I am never bored, because I learned to occupy myself, and I learned not to be afraid to talk to people. But I also learned to be a bit reserved in giving anyone ALL of myself, which could be either a positive or a negative thing. It's a very personal choice, but one I'm sure you'll make with a great deal of care.

GIRL'S GONE CHILD said...

I totally agree with Something Blue. The amazing parents I know I'm always like "HAVE MORE!" but only because I know the assholes who SHOULD NOT be reproducing do. All over the place.

One-child is A-OK and if peeps have a prob? WHO ASKED THEM? I don't get how some people think its their place to "offer insight". That being said, I think I just told you in the above paragraph to "have more" so, um, yeah.

I personally want more. RIGHT NOW, AHHHH!!! BUT we're gonna wait a while. Tons of shit needs sorting, first.

You're an awesome mom, regardless and your little miss is beyond lucky to have you as an only child or otherwise.

MUAH!

sweatpantsmom said...

I'm with Beck - I come from a large family and have always wanted tons (okay, I'll settle for two) and can see how my nutball enthusiasm for a big brood may be misconstrued as disapproval of the one-child family, when it's not. I absolutely believe that everyone has the right to choose how many (if any) children to have. Or dogs. Or cats. Okay, maybe eight cats is a little too many. (Prepare for firestorm from multiple-cat people.)

I respect your decision, and for voicing your opinion.

Heather said...

My brother-in-law to be is an only child of only children. I don't know his parents well but would vouch that he's a cool guy. While I'm all for out-breeding the stupid people (and MAN are they breeding at an alarming rate) and think you'd be great parents to another one (at least from what I read), only you can decide if you want another. I didn't listen to the broadcast but am sure everyone who did and said nice things here is right.

Lisa said...

I am so bummed I missed that...

I have no real opinion on the only child versus having more... But then again, I'm not the one who has to pay for other people's kids, attend their parent teacher conferences or clean up their puke in the middle of the night...

Anonymous said...

I talked with Kristen on the phone last week during the show and I too felt like a blubbering idiot- you didn't sound like one at all!

I'm over it- do what you want. I got my own problems sista.

Dirty Birdie said...

My only thing about being my mother's only child (I have 3 half brothers I barely know) is that when my mom is gone, I will have noone to share her memory with. I won't have a brother or sister to lean on and reminise (?) about our childhood memories. I won't have someone to remind me of her, to carry on our family traditions or who will be able to share with me what a wonderful woman she was (is.) When my mom is gone, my memories will be all I will have of her, and that makes me really sad.

That's one reason why I want to have another child, being an only child can be very lonely.

Dirty Birdie said...

I didn't read the other comments until after I posted mine. WOW, I thought I was the only nut job onsie who was saddened by not having someone to share memories with. It's nice to know that other onsies have the same fears/feelings.

I too also worry about the financial obligations of taking care of both my parents by myself. I can't depend on my step-brother to help, he can't get his head far enough out of his butt to get his life in order so he's useless to me.

Blog Antagonist said...

We have two children. And that's enough. My husband and I wanted a big family, until the reality of raising two children set in. We didn't feel we could give enough time or attention to any more, and we also wanted our kids to have things that we didn't growing up.

But our reasons for stopping at two do not invalidate somebody else's reasons for having ten.

Anybody who presumes to tell others how many children they should have is a boob.

Blog Antagonist said...

Oh, and I meant to say that I'm sure you weren't a Dumbass. I haven't listened to it yet, but I know that I'm always far more critical of hearing myself speak than is necessary. You're a smart chicky. I'm sure you made your point and made it well. :?)

Mom101 said...

I like your theories!

I haven't heard the broadcast yet but I heard from a little birdie that you were articulate, thoughtful and smart. So if that's you sucking it...well I'd hate to see you when you're "on."

Mommy off the Record said...

I missed the broadcast, but I KNOW you were great and you can't convince me otherwise (plus, we are always our own worst critics).

On the only child issue, my thoughts are that people should not judge others on their choice - whether that be to have only one child or more than one child. However, personally, for my family, I want more than one. I desire it for myself AND for my son. I want him to have a sibling. Ideally, I want him to have many siblings, but in reality he'll probably only have one or two. Honestly, I would feel bad if he grew up in the world without siblings (there's my politically incorrect statement for ya). But that said, I do not think that people should have more than one if they don't want to. I think it's a completely personal decision. Plus, most only children I've spoken with say they loved being only children.

mothergoosemouse said...

Mrs. C, I came away from that discussion knowing exactly where you stood. So I think you articulated yourself quite well.

One of the points you made last night that really resonated with me is that you often feel as if others think you just haven't thought it through. I think that would bother me more than any other reason someone threw at me if I had chosed to have only one child.

But most of all, I think your last theory is right on. We're so over sniping at one another for personal decisions, and we give each other credit for having thought through our reasons.

scribbit said...

An interesting post, interesting because as the oldest of six I honestly never gave the idea of an only child a thought. I wanted several and though I know others don't feel the same way I forget. Good to hear another side to it, though I disagree with the idea of consciously deciding to only have one child unless health is a factor. That's what's happening in Europe, the birth rate is dying, the only people having babies in Europe are immigrants, and to see a culture lost because no one will reproduce is unfortunate. Mark Steyn had a fascinating article in the Australia Opinion on the subject:

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,20163817-7583,00.html

This article adds another element to the discussion: is having at least two children (when physically possible) a civic responsibility? Do we have a duty to perpetuate?

You mentioned how mommybloggers are all yes men (or women) so I'm going out on a limb here and respectfully disagreeing :)

ECR said...

I haven't had the chance to listen yet, but I know how you feel when it comes to second guessing what was spoken in public. I am incapable of having a coherent thought if I'm being recorded. I can write a pretty piece, but speak one? No way. As for the whole debate, it doesn't engender any strong feelings in me because I know there's no wrong choice as long as the family is united in whatever decision it makes. But don't worry--if it was a different debate on which I vehemently disagreed with you, I would definitely not blow sunshine up your ass ;)

MrsFortune said...

I missed it! Dang. I'm sorry! I'll give it a listen in the archives. But okay, here goes, some disagreement. My father and husband are both only children. It is totally clear to me that they have difficulties relating to other people, and while their "onliness" doesn't explain this fully, I really and honestly think it contributed to it. I think it's different for male children, but not so much. I would not want to have an only for that reason. I think they do not have the same social skills that those raised with siblings have. Now, I have also had a lot of interaction with people who come from huge families - 11 or 12 kids - and they have a lot of problems relating to people, as well, because as children I believe they probably did not get enough one on one attention (hate me if you want to, that's been my experience). So, as usual, I am aiming down the middle.

EC said...

I wish I had heard it because we probably would have had very similar views. For me, I am strongly in favor of only having one child. Again, I say for me. Matthew and I have our thing going well, we know each other well, we hang out together without having to worry about other people, lol. I know that sounds strange, but we have our "groove" going so to speak. We do our playdates for socialization and I'm putting him into preschool soon so he gets even more attention. I think as long as you do it the right way, you can have an only child who is not spoiled or self absorbed.

jen said...

we go back and forth but i know we'll end up w/ only M. and while i know there is a loss somewhere in there, it's all i feel i can muster for now.

and that needs to be good enough, because it is what it is.

and you are right...enough said.

PunditMom said...

Stick to those guns, Mrs. Chicky. We have an "only," as well, and it's going to stay that way. It's a spin-off of that 'have a child v. don't have a child' deabte. Now, it's 'have one child or more than one,' with many being judgmental about those of us who choose to have one child. No one can know what works for each family except that family.

'Nuf said.

dana said...

I've always wanted lots of children. Five to be exact. But my husband is ten years older than me and I don't think he wants babies in his 50's so I probably won't have more than three. Heck I just have the one right now and I desperately want another. But we just can't seem to get pregnant accidentally and neither of us wants to consciously try because THEN we know that it won't be easy with two kids.

Hmmm. That actually came out better than I thought it would.

mo-wo said...

I always thought I was a onsie family type. Now we have the DYNAMANIAC Duo so whatever. So entirely pros and cons to both. One con if you have two like mine you don't have a moment to listen to blogradio.

Velma said...

In this day and age, with all that is going on in this country and this world, I just can't fathom someone giving you shit for such a well thought out, deeply personal, emotional and deeply intellectual choice!

Honestly, I just don't understand why people don't admit that so many of these opinions about someone else's parenting choice are just based on wanting thier own choices to be validated.

It truly makes me crazy to see so much energy flying back and forth over something that is such an individual choice.

Grrrr.

Janet a.k.a. "Wonder Mom" said...

By the way...you did great. I listened to the entire thing yesterday and I loved it. And I agree with you. At this point in time. One is plenty...The future holds whatever...But for now, you are content. As long as you are happy! Right?

And I say the same thing to the other gorgeous moms Lena and Kristin. If they want 2, 3, 20 kids and they are ready for it. I am so happy for them too. I just want all mommies to be happy. I really do. We deserve it, No?

mrs. incredible said...

I think that there are a lot more people behind only having one child. For many, many reasons. And I think we've all evolved past the point of being breeding machines. I think you find that most people, now-a-days only have one or two. For reasons such as finances and time.
Two friends of mine, each, have three children. And it is interesting to hear their views. They've said that they have (possibly perceived?) experienced so many negative interactions with people based on the fact that they - deep breath & horror of horrors - had 3 children. It's almost unheard of..... So, I'm not at all surprised that you've gotten an overwhelmingly positive response. It's what is the socially acceptable norm in this era. But the bottom-line is that you & your partner are the only ones who know when YOUR family is complete. And no one should interfere with that.

mrs. incredible said...

And let me just add here, that it was our plan to only have one. However, we had an oops & ended up with my little Gracie. However I don't regret having two, and this may sound terrible, I see what my kids miss out on now that I have two compared to the mommy I was with one. I always say, "I'm half the mom I used to be."
Again, it's a personal decision & I can certainly empathize with all sides & wish only happiness for anyone's decision - whatever it may be.

IAI said...

Didn't catch it.
Frankly, we only have one and will only have one (big V) and I get so much shit all the time from people, I just tune out. Strangers, friends, family ... you name it. So thanks for defending families with onlies - although why a personal family decision needs defending irks me. I'll shut up now ;-)

Mama of 2 said...

Mrs. Chicky - throwing my hat or 2 cents into this discussion. My children are 1 month shy of being 8 years apart. So for the longest time I was of the mindset that Little Man would be an only child. And I was okay with that. There was a great deal going on in my life and my marriage at the time of his birth and early years taht made me truly believe that one was quite enough. Yet when my marriage began to get stronger and I had a different perspective I started toying with the thought of having another child and along comes Girlie Girlie. I couldn't be happier with our addition while it definitely changed many aspects of my life I couldn't imagine it without her in it.
If I wasn't getting up in age or didn't think my mom could handle baby sitting 2 small children while I work part time I would consider having one more child but it's not in the cards really. In all honesty I wish I had a child between Little Man and Girlie Girlie. But as it stands I am happy with our family and feel that whatever decision spouses make on the size of their family is theirs and theirs alone.

Kristin said...

I listened in to about half of the show and I thought you were fine... damn, no smackdowns!

I'll let you in on my dirty little secret: both of my pregnancies were accidental. We didn't plan either of them. I don't know if I ever would have been able to say I was "ready" for a child, let alone, a second!

Of course, it was the greatest blessing for us.

Eva was the only child we planned for and I tell you, I needed another child. I "knew" our family wasn't complete...

But, that's my story, not yours or anyone elses, and I think that, in the end, the only choice that matters is the one that is the very best for you!

ali said...

all i can say is that how many a children a person wants to have is such a PERSONAL decision. i don't think anyone can judge anyone else on this. i wanted to have 3 (or maybe 4) kids. my sister doens't want to have any. do i understand her decision? no! do i respect it? of course. it's her decision to make. not mine.

Jonathon said...

Don't stress! I totally freak out when I have to be extemporaneous, and can't pause, reflect, and re-write my thoughts to make myself more clear.

From all accounts, it sounds like you were awesome!!!

Pattie said...

Mrs Chicky,
I have tried to listen to that show twice now. For some reason, I can't get it to work. I gotta have the hubby help me with my seriously lacking computer skills so I can hear what you had to say. Knowing you, I am willing to bet you were quite articulate.

bubandpie said...

I agree with Beck - IRL, it's easy for people to just be excited at the possibility of more babies! (The babies that other people give birth to and raise are the best kind, too - I love it when friends get pregnant because I get all the excitement and none of the work!) But that exuberance does not necessarily imply any judgment.

Is there any moral/ethical responsibility attached to the number of children one has? Some people have pointed out the disadvantages faced by onlies, and certainly many parents feel that it is somehow "not fair" to have only one child. I think it makes sense to want to give a child the blessing of a sibling - but that doesn't mean it's unfair to stop at one. Not all siblings turn out to improve one's quality of life: having two children does not in any way guarantee that either one will have a companion through life.

The other approach is the "civic responsibility" argument that there is a duty (in Europe and North America, at least) to do our part to counteract falling birthrates. This is the reverse of the old argument that it's wrong to have more than two children because of the population explosion. Neither argument makes sense as applied to individuals: there are plenty of people who WANT to have several children, and if we want to address the falling birth rates, we need to do so by creating support systems (through tax incentives, humane parental leave policies, etc.) that enable these couples to have as many children as they wish. Putting moral pressure on those who are happy to stop at one child is NOT an effective solution.

K said...

Here's the deal.

First. You rock. You're so freaking smart and articulate it's mind blowing.

Second. The desire thing? Sure. I think it's perfectly wonderful to wait for it - however, I never got it with #1 (And if I remember, you didn't either), so do you really think it will ever happen for #2 -- and maybe if you just did it, it might be better?

Third. I sound like I'm trying to convince you to have more than one. I'm just thinking that if you decide as such, that's perfectly up to you. I just know for me, I didn't desire #2 --I just did it. I'll let you know how it goes hehe :)

A lot of only kids that I run into who say they are really well adjusted and fabulous people with amazing interactional skills... and well... take a guess... hmmmm...

Glad to see folks came out to comment on your post. Love the pic of alex p. keaton, btw.

I feel like I know you so much better now. Makes reading your blog even more exciting.

Ericka said...

i'm sittin' on the fence, swinging my feet back and forth 'cause well, frankly, i don't understand the urge to have even one. i'm having trouble coping with a kitten, no way in hell am i ever going to attempt this with a human child, where people will be watching and potentially calling the cops on me when i lock it in a cage and start to guzzle alcohol.

but, hey, whatever floats your boat!

wendy boucher said...

Sorry I missed it.

Honestly, I'm surprised to find out that it's a subject that people debate. There's no proof that one child or more-than-one child is better or worse for any particular family. Talk about a personal choice for the parents. Sheesh.

I have an only, by the way, and although I might let her choose what she eats for breakfast or wears to school, I'm not consulting with her about a sibling.

penelopeto said...

ah, sorry i missed it, but i have a hard time believing that you weren't as clear and eloquent as in these posts.

as for rocking the boat - trust me, when issues that boil my blood come up, i'm not afraid to graffiti the blogosphere with my opinion, regardless of how unsisterly (or unsufferable) it might seem. number of kids is one of those debates that i truly see in a 'what's best for you' way.

Ruth Dynamite said...

The people who dive into these discussions are ones who have a strong opinion. Hey - I'm all for people doing whatever the heck makes them happy, whether it's having one child or eight or wearing thong underwear. It's not my place as a kindly blog reader to impose my personal beliefs about decisions as personal as these on others.

I just want you to be happy, Mrs. C. Is that so wrong?

Lena said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lena said...

You rocked. I, on the other hand, sound like I am speaking THROUGH MY NOSE.

In hindsight I think - and I even thought this while we were "debating" (it was really more of a friendly discussion, don't you think? Here, have some more tea) - I think this is a personal decision. One that I feel strongly about for myself and the fam.

That's my opinion. Worth exactly two apples. ;)

Heather said...

Hey girlie-
I'm an only child and I have a wonderful relationship with my parents. We've always been very close and I feel like they raised a daughter who is not spoiled or self-centered. I've always wondered why people say that about only children, but then again I know very few only children (besides myself).

I had a happy childhood and I didn't feel "alone" without siblings. However, sometimes now I really wish I had brothers or sisters. I wish my son had aunts and uncles and cousins from my side of the family instead of just my husband's. And when I think about the day when my parents will be gone, I feel horribly lonely and sad. I can't imagine life without them and without siblings to share the pain with as well as the wonderful, happy memories. I feel like it will be me alone in the world staring at my husband's family, feeling like an outsider and so desperately wishing for my parents to come back.

Every situation has its advantages and disadvantages. You all will make the decision that is best for you and it will be the right decision. And you're right....you should have another child if you want it for you.....not just for Chicky Baby.

halloweenlover said...

I'm going to listen to this tonight, I'm bummed I missed it!

I actually have the same feeling as Heather. I'm an only child, have a glorious relationship with my parents, very successful child, teen, adult, etc. People always seem surprised that I'm an only child because I'm so social and outgoing (which is rather offensive), so clearly being an only didn't impact my development in any way except positively.

That being said, I want 4 kids. I'm lonely now. I wish I had siblings. And I definitely feel quite a bit of pressure from my parents as they are growing older. I also wish I had a sibling to diffuse some of the attention my parents shed on me these days. But at the same time, my husband has a sibling and he doesn't get along with her. I don't necessarily think that his relationship with his parents is any easier because his sibling is there. I think it is equally trying at times.

So make the decision that is right for you! I grew up happy and well-adjusted and just fine and Chicky Baby will too, no matter what you decide!

Crunchy Carpets said...

I am an only. My mom tried and could not have any more. She is an only raised by her grandmother.

I had two realy out of experimentation!
I have been horrified by the siblings I have known..the fighting and so on.

My dh wants more, but I am 37 and losing my grip.

I don't think this is a debate topic at all.

Maybe the debate is WHO should have kids!

Watch Mike Judges film...Idiocracy...it is about what happens to our world when only the dumbest of the dumb breed.....

Being well adjusted has nothing to do with siblings or not.
It has to do with how you parent.

The baggage and all that.