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Just One

I wrote a post a while ago on having only one child. At the time I was single, raising Marlowe alone, confused about what my next steps with Alex would be, and saw no big moves happening anytime soon for a family. I was happy and sad with what I had. Maybe not sad-sad, but I was accepting that what I had originally planned or thought I would want in my life (two kids pretty much back to back) would not, could not happen in my situation--- it was already too late for that. That was in November of last year. It's crazy how much can change in a years time, right? Previous to that, in February 2012, I wrote about my miscarriage. I became pregnant when Alex and I were together (again) and I found out I was pregnant about one week after we split. Talk about shitty timing, right? If we hadn't of split, I still think a lot of the emotions I had, would have been the same. Either way, with him or not, I don't think I would have been happy or sad. I just would have been there, in the moment, making the next steps to be in a comfortable place. In both of those posts, my realization that I would have a future with only one child were existing right in front of me. In both posts, I wasn't incredibly happy, but I was accepting that a one child family would have to be enough. Here I am now, August 2013, with one child and no certain future of having more. And you know what? I'm not sad. I'm beyond accepting. I'm actually happy and content with this awareness that having only one child is not only enough for me, but maybe just right for me......... at least for now. 
(I'll get to that "for now" part in a second)
I think that highlighted excerpt from the current book I'm reading says it all (one and only). When I look back on my previous posts, especially when I was single and miscarriaging, the main (and maybe only) reason I wanted a second kid was so that Marlowe wouldn't have to feel so alone. I wanted someone by her side when living in a split parenting relationship--- a friend, a companion, someone who could understand what she was going through and be there with her. What I didn't want was to raise two kids (specifically two babies or a toddler and a baby) by myself, struggling to find a moment in time to just be myself and by myself. (does that make sense?) I didn't want to get lost in the struggles of parenting and lose the joy of mothering. And well, even with Alex here, I would be lost and I would be unhappy if I were to conceive another. The reality of our situation and Alex's career has caused us all to make a lot of sacrifices. Our relationship and our family works now when we are okay with the scarifies we made and continually have to make. We have a nice life. And we afford what we can afford, save where we can save, and splurge when we see best fit. I am happy now because Marlowe is not a baby---- she is done breastfeeding, weaning, she's potty trained, but most importantly, I'm happy because she's a sweet, caring, and kick-ass little girl. She still needs me and will need me for a long, long time, but I don't need help in raising her, not like I wanted and craved when she was a baby, I now enjoy my time with her. Morning, afternoon, nights, its still her and I and we're content together, I don't feel like I'm struggling and I've lost myself anymore. I know the sacrifices I've made for her, for Alex, for our family, and I'm mostly (basically completely) okay with them. Would I like more of my own thing my own success outside the home? My own definition of who I am and what I am creating? Absolutely, but I think we all would, we all yearn for more, it's natural.

Alex and I have discussed the idea of future children. We did it the first time around, when we started this 'dating' process again, and somewhat recently. He hoped for more, (like me, a family of two children) and seemed sad when I said I wouldn't want more later in life, not after 30 and not with Marlowe being older and past the baby and toddler stage. But both of us knew more children wouldn't be coming soon, or soon enough, within my timing comfort. I want to raise kids on my (our) terms. I want it to be easier, I want extra arms and hands, I don't want to be struggling by myself. I would want and need more help with a newborn in our house--- but that's something I'm going to get.... not now, not soon, and probably not ever. Don't get me wrong, I have help, I can list off a million things Alex does for us and our home, but more time or what one needs with a newborn at home? That's not happening. The (maybe selfish) reality for me is that---- even if Alex could offer me more time, I doubt any amount of help will be enough with a baby here. Mothering a newborn is too difficult for me, I'm happy to be past it.

I like the idea of pregnancy and labor again. Did I say that? Yes, and I mean it. I would love to experience pregnancy and labor again. Pregnancy was great for me and I'd like to think it would be again. Labor was hard, but quick, and I'd like to think that if I were to do it again, I would do it better, with more preparation, and more grace.... basically, I would kick labors ass. I know not to say that I'll never experience this again and that Alex and I won't have more children, because I'm well aware that in this life, anything can happen. But I do know, that something I've thought since day one of being single and pregnant, is that there is and would be a resentment there. Being alone or with Alex, past resentment exists. It's not something I can explain to someone who hasn't been here in my situation, but it's this battle and no easy effort to be with someone you love and have to conquer over past resentments time and time again. Sure you forgive, move past, and get over things, but the past never goes away. Even in the families close to be me, experiencing pregnancy, labor, and baby raising together, I think "well, that must be nice."  I look at new families and wonder how many fights I would start with Alex in nights of pure exhaustion and discomfort. Would I be a big enough person to not make angry comments of "well, you don't know, you haven't been here before."??? I don't know. In the calm, I'd like to think I could, but in the stress of a newborn, I don't know. I've envisioned and thought about labor and what it could look and be like with Alex here, more times than I can count. Through my own pregnancy, after, and even now, I wonder what that feels like to have the person you love more than anything support and share one of the most important moments in your lives and your child's life. (I'm sure he wonders it too). At one point I thought for sure, I would be sad--- sad to have him there for a second child, but not there for the first. Now, I'm pretty certain my (and our) joy would overcome past sadness, but with a big mess of hormones and everything else, one never really knows how fantasy ideals would compare to real life.

I don't worry about Marlowe and how she'll do by herself, without other kids. She'll have friends, lots of them one day. She's outgoing, smart, sometimes shy, but usually social, and always the kid who wants to share, entertain, and wants other kids around. I love the idea of big families. I see lots of kids, sharing, growing, adventuring, and making friendships together. But I also see those families and wonder at what cost is all this happening at? Emotionally and time wise we all know more kids means less solo time and attention with each or any parent. Environmentally, adding one extra person creates  a huge, HUGE energy consuming, trash building footprint in this Earth. And at what cost? I'd like to think (and know) I'm smart with money. I've always been a saver, hardly a spender, and occasionally, when the time is finally right, and if I've saved enough, a rare splurger. I take my one child to the zoo. I spend 70$ a year for a single yearly pass. That makes our (twice) weekly trips to the zoo about sixty cents (thirty cents for each of us). We visit and I see families of three, four, and five kids, two parents, and I try, but can't imagine, calculating how much it not only costs for their one day visit but for their food, their clothes, doctors visits, their everyday wear and tear. Something so simple for us now, would be a something we would have to save for, for months, to make a yearly event. Even if money wasn't an issue, time and life is a concern with multiple children (for me). I like knowing that not only will I be able to live more of my life with one kid, but my one kid will live more of a life. More focus, more education at home, more time, more one on one connection, and less concern of "will there be enough  of any and everything?". Don't get me wrong, I am fully aware that big families can have an advantage and sometimes multiple siblings is in fact a better fit for families--- mostly for the children, but for us? Marlowe does just fine by herself. I don't think or worry that she'll stand out or be a weirdo, or a selfish narcissist. I don't worry about being an over-protective helicopter mom because I don't have multiple kids to share my attention with. Whether there is one child or five, kids needs their space to grow, create, explore, and become their own individual, I know this and give her this. She doesn't need a full-time sibling for lessons in sharing and niceness and responsibility, she has those lessons. And lets be honest, sometimes children of big or small families won't learn these things anyway. I feel like my calling to mothering is fulfilled, completely to mostly. Like I said, no future babies. Just one is more than fine, BUT this thought and feeling has been popping in and out of my head for the past few months, and not wavering---- this thought that I'd like to adopt. I'm openly throwing this out there into the universe, knowing full and well this idea may never come to reality for our family, but if I had it my way, I'd like to adopt in the future. It's a newer idea for me, I mean, I never thought much about it growing up, and I've never seriously thought about it into adulthood, I had no reason to. But now, as I sit here with what I have around me and the family I love, I know I would love another child to support, help grow, and help give a good fighting chance to in this world. Not a baby, but a child--- I'd really like that. I like thinking about how nice that would be. I think adoption, more than any other option, would fit our family best. I don't know if it will ever happen, I'm not in the process of doing it, and I don't plan to be for at least a little while, maybe a few more years, but I thought I should put it out into the universe to receive. Adopting an older child into our home would make our lives more fulfilling. 
Right now, I have a happy, well rounded, loving kid. Just one. And I couldn't be happier. Maybe one day we'll be a family of four, maybe not, but I'm grateful for my small family of three with just one child. On the day to day and in the special moments or big trips and adventures, I don't question if having another baby would add more to this life, because while I'm sure it would, the security and happiness I have in one is enough.




I've actually had a few people coincidentally email me about having only one child and their maybe struggles with it, asking how I felt, and if it was right for them, etc. I think everyone is different. Everyone has to raise their kid and have their family how they see best. No book is going to tell you what's right for you. It might give you more insight or more ideas you haven't thought of, but only you and your gut will be a good indictor how you should live and how you should raise your one (or more) child. Children aren't for everyone. Only children, big families, adopting, it's all so different for everyone. Not one option is better than the other. This is what works for us. I don't have much advice to offer, but if you're unsure or on the fence about a one child home, One and Only could be a good book for you.

Have a great weekend, friends. We're really looking forward to this one. 

37 comments:

  1. Wonderful post. The newborn/infant phase is really kicking my butt and I'm really questioning whether or not another child is in my family's future. I might just need to pick up that book but I wouldn't want my husband to see it, he's incredibly pro-one and done.

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  2. We have decided that Roozle will be an only and feel pretty good about it. I'm sad to never breastfeed again or wear a little tiny baby, but it's the right decision for our family. I wrote about it last fall and included a link to a podcast that I really enjoyed. You may like it.

    http://www.lifewithroozle.com/2012/09/30/adventures-as-a-family-of-three/

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    1. ooof, I'm the opposite. I hated all 14-15 months of breast-feeding. I'm happy to never do it. I'd like to think that maybe I could have an enjoyable breast-feeding situation with a second one, but I dunno if it's worth the risk :) I'll def check out the link soon, Casey!

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  3. You are a wonderful mother - a thoughtful person - and that last picture is just so darn cute. I always thought I wanted zero children but lately I have also been thinking that an older child would make my life more fulfilling. I have no interest in that baby part. Like you, it just seems really difficult - maybe too difficult.

    I hope you do it.
    <3
    Jessa

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    1. I mean, the difficulty is worth it, if it's what you want. And I totally understand why some people want and feel the need to birth children---- but I totally, 100% can see fulfillment in only adopting. :)

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  4. I found your blog about six months ago when I became a mother and was breastfeeding around the clock. Those were rough days and I found solace here and other voices online. Thank you.

    I'm an only child. I'm fine. I don't feel damaged or cheated because I didn't grow up with siblings. I know my mother wanted more kids but she was in a bad marriage and basically a single parent from day one and just couldn't take on more kids. Only kids, from anecdotes and studies, are consistently shown to be well-adjusted, productive people with great friendships and relationships. So, if anyone is worried about depriving their only child, take it from me: we're just fine. Also, we're getting more and more common so your child won't be the only only.

    The only time I've felt ambivalent about being an only child is as a mom. I obviously have no siblings and my husband has a brother who doesn't have kids. So, our daughter has no cousins or any extended family beyond grandparents. This does make me sad. I did grow up hanging out with my cousins (but we don't really see each other now that we're grown). I've also always been drawn to friends with big families and have always wanted three or four kids. I like the idea of big, noisy houses full of kids and having a sister be my best friend but don't know how I'd deal with the reality of it! :) I need my quiet, alone time. A lot.

    I definitely want at least one more kid and if I were younger and wealthier, I'd be up for trying for even more than two (I'm 33 and currently not generating an income). Still, I really feel okay being an only child and I know having siblings doesn't guarantee closeness for life. I agree with the passage in the book you've highlighted: kids need happy, healthy, functioning parents. If you know another child would be a burden, then it's not a gift to your child.

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    1. I can totally understand the third part. Marlowe has one biological cousin and a few others through other marriages--- with now family that I love so much--- even though they are far away, but I know I would want her to be around more family. And I totally understand, the idea of a big family is great, but Alex and I are more introverted (unlike marlowe) we like quiet time.

      Yeah, I'd be okay with more kids, I'm sure we'd all live a happy life, but I'm more than happy with just one, I don't have a NEED for another. :)

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  5. I have three children......the youngest is nearly 9, so I'm well and truly past the baby/toddler phase. Like you, I'm glad......it was hard, but I don't regret my choices....not one bit.

    What I can tell by reading your post, and you probably know this anyway........is that your scared. Scared to be left alone during pregnancy, labor and the newborn stages. Scared that you won't have enough love for another child. I can understand that considering what happened the past 2 pregnancies.

    However........your married now, things are different. Perhaps this offers some security and commitment to your family of three? As women we need to feel safe, to have that emotional support from our partners. Doing it alone is hard work. But doing it together is also hard work, sometimes harder in fact. Emotions are running high, hormones are a nightmare......they cause resentment and pain anyway. I believe there's no escaping it. Because, lets face it.........a man doesn't understand what we (as women) go through during pregnancy.

    It always tough for a family with very young children. My marriage was in pieces at times when I had babies around, because I lost myself (and everyone does), I was tired ALL of the time, even with him doing the night feeds. He was so patient with me and I through it back in his face, but where there is love, there is strength.

    However........I don't think you should let your past, map out your future.

    You don't regret or resent Marlowe for your problematic past, neither will you resent or regret another child.

    Sure, its hard - but isn't it worth it?

    Please don't make excuses for yourself if deep down you want another child - because regret, would be the hardest thing you'd ever have to suffer.

    I hope this has helped somewhat......and I'm sorry for being blunt. You have a lovely family and your a fantastic little mother.......please don't be scared :) You could could easily 'kick-ass' another pregnancy!

    Emma (Dear Thirty) x

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    1. ooof, no, no regret, no fear, and no resentment towards a second child--- not anymore anyway, maybe before, some of those fears made me want a second, but not in anyway now. I totally make all big decisions in life--- with alex, kids, work, whatever--- on the basic question of "what won't I regret?" I'm certain I wouldn't regret having another kid--- just like Marlowe, it wasn't what i planned or wanted and it was hard, but we're all happy now, like I'm sure I would be with a second. And at the same time, I know I won't regret only having one. Like you said, it's tough either way, past or no past, tempers will flare and stress will be there. Whether I'm was alex, someone else, or by myself, I'm at a point where I'm really happy and fully and completely satisfied with one natural born child :)

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  6. I don't have a child of my own yet, but this is something so heavily on my heart lately. I am dating a man with two children of his own, and in our near future is marriage and A baby. I wanted two -- I've always wanted more than one child, but he only wants one more. I have put every single thing into both perspectives and there are oh so many positive things about having one child. But at the same time, it is impossible to truly ignore the desire I have, or the dream I have always had, for more than one child. Reading your thoughts and knowing that you're happy with your one baby, helps me know that things can be fine with having one child, even if a part of me always wants more.

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    1. Def. one day at a time. My head has gone a few directions with this. Part of me still likes the idea having finally raising a baby with Alex, I'm sure I'd be okay with it, but I'm at a point where I don't need it. His head too has changed a bit, whether one more would be a good idea. Maybe your guy will have a change of heart when the time comes-- maybe it'll be you :)

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  7. I always love reading your posts. You are so honest and wonderful. Thank you for sharing. I don't have any kids yet and don't know if I ever will. It's a big decision, and I struggle with "knowing". I'm waiting for that lightning bolt, but don't know if that will ever come, and if it doesn't, does that mean something? Marlowe is so cute, and she is lucky to have you for her mother:) I hope you have a fantastic day:)

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    1. If I didn't have Marlowe and I was here---- I think I would have moments where I'd think "yes, maybe kids", but never a steady, full time "def. want kids. need kids". It happened, I'm happy, thats that!

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  8. This post could not have come at a more perfect time for me. We decided that we would have a one and only. Conception was difficult for me- it took years and it took a much bigger toll on my mental state. Even with that aside, I want just one child for all the reasons you stated. I love our family of three. And I've been struggling since she just turned 3 and all my mom friends are on their 2nd kid or pregnant and I feel a bit judged. Society seems to think that having one child is selfish and mean. Like my kid will be worse off not having a sibling. I struggle because the only reason I would have a 2nd would be for her. And that isn't a good enough reason to me.

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    1. yeah, that book, would be a good book for you. Lots of research based notes and things on society statistics, and how despite our common belief that only one child is not right, it is and can be. Happy mom = happy kid(s). period. You be happy for yours--- however that is, and thats the best decision you can make.

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  9. I basically grew up an only child. I have an older brother (interestingly he was adopted) and we were never close. Ever. Most of my friends were only children and I really thought I'd only ever want one child. When I met my husbands family- wow- so big, loud and so much love. Messy love. Complicated love. Fierce love. Now I'm pregnant with our fourth. I'm still shocked about that! Anyway- you're so right, each family knows what's right for them. Sometimes it's a leap of faith - believe me, I don't have it all figured out and I, too, struggle to remain "me" in the wake of three young children and a busy husband. I do have help, though, and I'm very open about that. If I didn't, our family size would surly have stopped at two. While this time in their young lives is hard, I'm hoping for the big family benefit years down the road. My children having each other to lean on, protect one another, learn from eachother (and their mistakes). There's no guarantees of closeness, I know that, but I do hope for it! Whatever your life brings you down the road, I'm sure you'll be fine. People are so very adaptable.

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  10. I basically grew up an only child. I have an older brother (interestingly he was adopted) and we were never close. Ever. Most of my friends were only children and I really thought I'd only ever want one child. When I met my husbands family- wow- so big, loud and so much love. Messy love. Complicated love. Fierce love. Now I'm pregnant with our fourth. I'm still shocked about that! Anyway- you're so right, each family knows what's right for them. Sometimes it's a leap of faith - believe me, I don't have it all figured out and I, too, struggle to remain "me" in the wake of three young children and a busy husband. I do have help, though, and I'm very open about that. If I didn't, our family size would surly have stopped at two. While this time in their young lives is hard, I'm hoping for the big family benefit years down the road. My children having each other to lean on, protect one another, learn from eachother (and their mistakes). There's no guarantees of closeness, I know that, but I do hope for it! Whatever your life brings you down the road, I'm sure you'll be fine. People are so very adaptable.

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    1. My brother and I HATED each other. We're close now, 24 years later, but I don't think I would have been any less happy or any more adjusted as an only child growing up. Even if we aren't super close, neither one of us are big conversationalist, I am happy to have him around now, especially so M can be close and have "siblings" with his kid(s)... but even if he wasn't near by (I love you mark, glad you are!), we build connections with other people we find around us, and so will she. When I thought about maybe more kids before, I knew it would be s truffle, but I def looked at the long term benefits, which there are quite a few!

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  11. I was an only child until I was 12 (my dad and former step-mom had my brother at that time). So I know what it's like to be both only child and have a sibling. Growing up I never thought about it though. I was just used to me and my mom living together and later on only seeing my brother on weekends. That was normal to me. I liked playing by myself and any time I grew bored I had a friend come over. I don't think there is a right or wrong number you have to have in a family. One kid, three kids, no kids. Whatever floats your boat!

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  12. I have two children, i always knew it wouldnt be more. One child to replace each parent, and you know what... Two is absolutely enough. Its not about be scared or doubtful. Its about loving my two children to the best of my ability while still keeping my own identity. I dont live for my children, i live for myself. I do things that make me happy, and so im a happy mom with even happier children. Its ok to jqve one child. Its ok to just have two. Dont let other people guilt you. Its amazing how many people need to share their opinions with me because im not wanting a large family. Just do you. And Marlowe. :-) forget the rest... Peace and love. Lauren

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  13. This book has been on my to-read list for about a month now. My (only) child is nearing 3 1/2 and I am more sure than ever that this is the right choice for our family of three (plus three dogs! Which makes a family of six, if you ask me!). We are happy. We have room. We can afford pre-school. As both of us adults are freelancers, we have time and flexibility to work our asses off when we need to, and then kick back and spend a handful of days outside and barefoot when we want to. We have time to indulge in our individual interests and friends, as well as help foster our son's interests and individuality. We have a great big tribe of friends, some with one kid, some with two, one with three, and one with six (!) as well as some with none. When we want to play in a crowd, that crowd is easy to find. And when we want to unwind, a quiet place is near. It works, and it's very much te right choice for us. Happy you found your "it works" spot, too!

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  14. I have a 1 year old daughter and it is tough raising her with only just me. But at most times its fun and rewarding. I also dont mind having only one daughter. The infant stage is hard but i just miss the pregnancy stage. oh how i love to be pampered and to be able to eat whatever I wanted hehe.

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  15. I just want to say, it's not all the time that I read through someone's long-ass blog post ;) but I always read to the end of yours. I love what you have to say, and they way you share your thoughts in writing. It's really conversational and I appreciate that. Thanks for being so honest with the world.

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  16. I was an only child, and I am fabulous! I raised two children but each was an only child, as they were 6 years apart and two totally different children. They still do not get along and it gets really interesting around here, especially when we have family Sunday brunch...UGH.
    Having one child is plenty and is a blessing. I love each child equally, but they are both an only child.
    xo

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  17. Thank-you for this post. It was heartfelt and honest and spoke so true to how both my husband and I feel. We always imaged two kiddos (society's impression of american perfection) and when we had our daughter in May of 2012, we immediately both knew that we were going to be a family of three. I'm not quite how we knew, but we knew. We're so happy and honored to have her in our life, she's such a fantastic child and feel like we've basically won the kid lottery. Why chance it? Why add another into the mix? We're so blessed to be able to spend all of our time with her. Both of us watching her play sports or dance in a musical, holding hands and just enjoying her moments.

    Being a family of three has taken me from feeling lost and lonely to feeling sure and courageous. Proud to stand against the "norm" and break the barrier. Proud to stand up and speak for my family and all other "different" families out there. That no, it's not ok to question my parenting based on how many children I have. And no, it's not ok to ask me in a grocery store when her brother or sister are coming. That no, it doesn't make any family any less of a family based on the size, shape or color. It's all about love. And in our family, quality vs. quantity has become a personal motto.

    If you find happiness in three, then there is no need to defend it. So thank-you for being brave and telling your story. There are plenty more of us out there that feel just as you. Much happiness to your beautiful family.

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  18. This is interesting. I went through my last pregnancy as a single mother in turmoil. My son's father and I are back together and I often wonder how it would be if we had another child. How it feels to go through a pregnancy feeling joy instead of drama. How it feels during those newborn days to know that you had the full support of another. I hope (if we make it) it would be filled with joy but I can't completely say that there wouldn't be resentment either.


    xx
    josie
    www.straightnochase.com

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  19. I have 5 children...from age 20 to a 4 month old..I have been parenting half my life..since 22 and now at 42..my youngest daughter is 3 and my youngest son is 4 months..when I had just one I could never imagine loving someone so fully as I did the first..never thought a new baby would fit anywhere in our life..there was just room for 3..but when I had my second I was just so beside myself saying "where have you been all my life" they went together like peanut butter and jelly..life was bliss..and crazy and sleepless..whoa..enter divorce..dum dum dum..a remarriage...one more beautiful baby..hey 3 is pretty easy peasy...enter a second divorce..and finally I kissed my prince..3rd time is a charm and I am now so happy and so myself and so loved..we said what the heck lets try for a baby..and we got one...then we got two miscarriages...then we got number 5...perfection..I have never loved a number more than I now love the number 5..my 22 year old self or my 30 year old self would of never wanted or imagined 5 kids..but she wasn't thinking with her heart..there is no "right" number of kids..none is great..one is fantastic..5 is a joy..it doesn't matter..they need a bunch of love and lots of nuturing..I think who I am is really because of the mom I am..and the only down fall of all these babies is I have to drive a mini van and I don't dig that at all!!

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  20. This is so...timely, I guess. For me right now, this is the ultimate question. My husband and I have been married for 3 tumultuous years. We're sort of in a "figuring it out" place, but it's not stable by any means. I always dreamed of having a bunch of kids, but the reality of having a baby with him was so, so hard. He struggled for a long time to connect with our daughter, and still lacks the ability to think in terms of the family, and not the self. I keep dreaming that maybe one day he'll be in that place, but I think I know deep down that he won't. I wonder if I would regret it the rest of my life if I stayed with him and only had one child. Don't get me wrong- she is extraordinary. I got really lucky. I just thought there woul be more, but I know I couldn't do it a second time like I did the first. I barely survived it.

    I'm happy for you, that you've come to a place of peace about it all. I'm definitely going to pick that book up and see if I can't find myself some peace too.

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  21. I just want to say thanks for always being so open and honest. This space is bs free and it's refreshing and inspiring. I agree with what you said-you just have to trust your instincts, but be open to what the universe has in store. Adoption has always interested me too.

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  22. I love your blog, read alot, we're pretty much the same age, I'm married too but have no children yet. I must admit this post made me sad. Each to his own, how many children you have is up to you, but I have 3 siblings and believe nothing on this earth but family have any value. Whilst I agree and would like to have my kids before 30 my parents had my two younger sibling many years after my brother and I, I love them fiercely and would rather have them than any material thing in the world. My husband was adopted and an only child, and while he loved it and was very well balanced when we found his bioligical family this year and for the first time in his life he had siblings it brought a love and joy out of him that I had never seen in the 14 years I've known him. Maybe my mom and dad are just extra special but they managed to give us individual love & attention, we are all well traveled & well educated. I'm with you on the adoption idea, we want the same, but please don't ever use money, or waste as a reason to not have children. I don't care how much extra "Waste" my sister put into this world, I don't care if because of her we had to wait an extra month or two for new shoes, I don't care if at times my mom had to focus on my baby brother over me. When we face death all we really have is family.

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  23. loved this post. i grew up in a very large family - i am the oldest of eight, and saw some of the struggles (and joys) of having a large family. i knew i would never want a very large family, but always felt that i would want a couple, or maybe a few children. my daughter was a surprise. had we planned we would have gotten hitched first, tried to get out of student debt, and prepared a bit better - but it was alright. my husband and i both grew up in big families with single and modest incomes living paycheck to paycheck. we both know that big family can be done on a budget - you just make it happen. things aren't always easy, we learned that we cannot have it all - but we also don't need it all to be very happy.

    i have many friends who are child free and very happy - they love my kid and i don't ever wish for them to have children, if they don't want to. my attitude towards folks who decide to have one (or seven) is the same - i just want them to be happy and have a happy family, whatever that family is for them. for me, i think it means another child - or maybe two (i always liked the idea of having two back to back as well!).

    i have read a few blog posts about having one child vs. having more than one and i must say this is one of the better ones i have read. i love the thought and honesty you put into your writing.

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  24. i have one child. she is 18 months and the love of my life. i was single when i became pregnant and when i had her. it was an interesting experience :) scared as shit when i found out but then quickly realized how blessed i was to have the opportunity to be her mama forever. to our surprise, her dad has been in her life since day one and him and i have slowly and beautifully formed a relationship together. our modern family. now, we are ever so happy to be together, raise our daughter together and spend our lives together, as a family of three :) i loved reading your post. rings true to me in so many ways. thank you for sharing.

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  25. I am interested in the money saver thing, because i always see you and marrlowe with nice clothes , you have a nice house,you go on vacaction...you go out to eat out and so on....i mean can you share some saving tricks, how do you do to keep uo with your lifesytle and still save money?

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  26. I am interested in the money saver thing, because i always see you and marrlowe with nice clothes , you have a nice house,you go on vacaction...you go out to eat out and so on....i mean can you share some saving tricks, how do you do to keep uo with your lifesytle and still save money?

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  27. i am interested in what you say about been a saver, i mean, you and you family always look nice with cute clothes,go out to eat,travel and so on.Hoy do you keep up this lifestyle and still save money? can you share with us some tricks? thank you

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  28. Thank you for this. I had always planned that "perfect" family-four kids two years apart. My firstborn daughter Reagan was born at 26 weeks into my pregnancy, so that shook things up for us. We knew there would be issues, so we were proactive with my next pregnancy-but my body just couldn't carry the baby, and we lost it in my second trimester. R was only 2 1/2, so she doesn't remember any of that turmoil. We knew I'd have issues-I'm totally high-maintenance when I'm pregnant, bedrest starts early-so we waited a loooong time before trying again. I knew we were past that window of "perfectly spaced" kids, but that stopped mattering. I got pregnant last March, and was put on bedrest at nine weeks. Harrison Michael was born fifteen weeks into my pregnancy. We were able to hold him and get a picture of him....it was heart-wrenching, especially because Reagan was totally aware of what was going on( she's almost eleven now).
    So-we're a completed family of three. What do I tell people when they ask how many kids we have? Usually I tell them "one"-because who wants to hear my depressing story? But-I have noooo problem unleashing on anyone who gets nosy/pushy about only having one. Why do I need to defend that? Even though it wasn't my choice-my body made that choice for me- who cares? What if I had six or seven kids? When did it become anyone else's concern how many kids others have? True, I may be a bit on the defensive side, becuase there is that "mom guilt"..... R has made comments here and there about wishing she had siblings-and we tell her we understand. We also point out the good points-and there are many, like it or not-about being an only child. She also is blessed to have many cousins she's extremely close to, as well as my good friend's toddler boys that are like little brothers to her. And you know what? I wonder if she would enjoy them as much, and tolerate the hair-pulling/squealing/typical toddler issues, if she had younger siblings of her own that tried her patience daily.
    The three of us are extremely close, we have an awesome bond and love our life as a little family of three. Good for you for sharing your feelings and thoughts-your little girl is lucky to have you.

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  29. I'd love for you to comment on this subject again. I'm currently coming to terms with maybe only having one child, and there doesn't seem to be a lot of women who express their opinions on the subject. Particularly, how they are accepting of it!

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