Saturday, December 6, 2014

Yes, Just One.

Very often when I'm asked if Devin and I plan on having another baby and I respond with "probably not" I find myself facing looks of horror and/or disappointment followed by a series of questions and statements that I would never in a million years have the guts to let fly out of my mouth to a stranger. 
"Oh you have to have another one, she will be so lonely!"
No she won't.  She has me, her dad and the rest of our family.  And I'm going to take a leap of faith here and say she will probably make friends at some point in her lifetime.
 "What if something happens to her?" 
Let's pray it doesn't.  And I'm just going to assume that you didn't just imply that another kid would replace my precious Kollyns if something did.
"Don't you want her to have a best friend growing up?"
I have a best friend.  And she isn't my brother.
"Are you able?"
Maybe, maybe not.  Won't know unless I try and I'm not going to try just for fun. 

You don't even know how badly I want to say those things back.  Instead, I just smile politely and speed walk in the other direction.

And then I get a lump in my throat.  Because what if they're right?

And then I choke it down because my gut is telling me they aren't.
I know God may have another plan for our lives and I could show up pregnant any day now even though it's not necessarily in my own plan.  And don't think for a second if we ever got pregnant again I wouldn't want another child.  Of course I would embrace another pregnancy and love a second kid just as much as I love Kollyns. 

But no, I'm not going to try to get pregnant again. Go ahead and gasp.

Call me selfish, or whatever else you want.  But I know what works for my family and I think for me, at this point in my life... it would be selfish to have more than one.  I work full time, my husband works at least 5 or 6 twelve hour shifts a week swinging back and forth between nights and days, and I know I would probably be incredibly overwhelmed trying to juggle everything we have going on plus a baby.

I also know how present that I desire to be in Kollyns' life and I know a second kid would change that for me.

I was an only child until I was 10 and even then I only saw my brother three days a week because my parents divorced when I was 6.  The age gap always left me feeling like an only child anyway because I didn't lose any of the perks.  I had time alone with my parents growing up, I had my time to play by myself and  I had time with my friends too, and my parents always gave me a good amount of attention.  When my brother came along I helped take care of him because I was so much older and loved every part of it.  I enjoyed feeding him and dressing him in cute little baby clothes, and kissing his chubby cheeks and watching Thomas the Train with him more than you will ever know.

  And even though I have an awesome relationship with my 17 year old brother and I love him more than life... it doesn't mean I want to have another baby just so Kollyns can have that bond with someone.  Of course a little bit of sadness accompanies the idea that she will never share that closeness with a sibling.  But happiness follows right behind it because she will share a bond with her parents that is unique to being an only child. 

You can argue all day that pure undivided attention from both parents will inevitably produce a selfish, greedy, and spoiled child.  But based on the behavior of my Kollyns... I could knock that theory clean out of the park.  And I do, every chance I get.

She has been around mostly adults for all of her life.  And I feel like that has contributed to her expansive vocabulary and her ability to outwit most grown ups at any given moment.  She's my sidekick.  She accompanies me to church meetings, outings with friends, shopping trips and work.  This exposure has led to maturity that sets her apart from most of the kids her age. 

She is compassionate and kind and nurturing towards her peers.  Because that's how I am towards her and she has learned almost everything she knows from me and her dad and grandparents.

She is confident and self-assured and she doesn't compete for attention or love.  She doesn't have to.

She shares with a smile on her face anytime she gets the chance.  Maybe because she knows when she gets home what's hers is hers.

She is content by herself and with herself.  Probably because that's all she has ever known, or it might just be a trait that was passed right on down to her from her mama.  I've never been one for crowds.

And I could go on and on and on.

Even as a kid I never dreamed of having two.  I said when I got married that if I was blessed enough to have even one that I would be perfectly content with that and would parent with all my heart from the first day.

And I think knowing that she would probably be my only from the get go has changed my perspective as a parent because I knew that this was my one chance to give mothering everything I've got.

We have been a co-sleeping family since she was born and she still sleeps in our bed.  Yes, it's getting more and more uncomfortable as her pretty little legs and arms grow and they flail about during all hours of the night.  Still, I'm not willing to give up our cuddles as we fall asleep and the stillness of those mornings I just lay beside her and stare at her perfect face and thank God for lending her to me as she's sleeping so peacefully. 

I breastfed her until she was almost three because I knew I would probably never again experience that precious gift and it broke my heart when I had to stop. I didn't look at it as a finish line I had to cross nor did I keep reaching for the next 'however many month mark' to pass.  It was our time and I wouldn't trade it for anything.

I have taken her to work with me almost every day since she was an infant just because I could and I wasn't willing to miss a single moment of her life as she reached countless milestones.  One kid at the office is very doable, two kids would make it feel more like daycare.

Now I'm not going to pretend like my kid is perfect.  She can be a huge brat at times, and pitch fits that embarrass me so badly I can feel my cheeks burning. But for the most part, she really impresses me with how she handles situations.

There are so many positive things that go along with having more than one child too.  The bond, the friendship, and the life lessons they learn from growing up with siblings.  The family experiences, the great memories, a live-in playmate and so much more.

So don't think for a second that since my kid is an only child, I'm insinuating she is more loved and more well behaved, better off or smarter than your child.  Nor am I saying that kids with siblings are please don't hate me and misread any of this.  I'm just telling you that one kid works for our family. 

We are happy and content and so incredibly thankful for our one beautiful little girl.

Our sweet precious Kollyns.

And when asked if she wants a little brother or sister she never fails to respond with...

"No, I want an elephant.  And I want all of your cuddles."

You've got it, babe.  Except for the elephant part.


Tawnya Faust said...

Aww I love this post! It's so true! I don't know why people feel they need to have an opinion on how many Children is the right number for someone else's family. Same goes for years apart for siblings! :) I can relate to so much of what you're saying. I would be completely content with our one sweet girl... I feel so blessed to be her mama and love that I don't have to divide my attention between her and a second child. With that being said I do want to have one more but I'm in no rush!

Megan B said...

Even though I tell you all the time to have another one (because you make freaking adorable babies and seeing your kids love each other is so amazing), everyone has a number and you KNOW what that number is. I have the same feeling as you when someone says that I have to have three, gotta give my husband his boy. Ummm, no I don't LOL If I was meant to have a boy one of my existing children would be a boy. Just the thought of three kids makes me nervous and slightly nauseous! You know what works for you better than anyone else :) PS Telling people your husband had a vasectomy shuts them up real quick!

Kelsey Almond said...

Exactly! Each family is unique and everyone knows what works for THEM! :)

Kelsey Almond said...

Haha! You are so funny! Well you make being a mom of two look easy and if I thought I could pull it off as gracefully as you I might just try! ;)

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