The other day while driving to work, I was pondering, as I often do, about only children. I was thinking about how great Chelsea Clinton turned out (I guess, I don't know her personally) and wondering about other famous onlies. That same day I was waiting in the lab to get Squishy's blood drawn for her 1 year checkup and I saw a Time Magazine with this article on the cover. An article about onlies! I found the article online when I got home (who reads actual magazines anymore?) and loved it. It includes a slide show of famous onlies from Elvis to Condoleezza Rice. The article really resonated with much of my reasoning for having only one child.
Financially, it's much easier if we just stop with one. Squishy's school is already really expensive, and if we want to choose the best schools for her going forward, we're going to have to continue paying. I know that public schools are an option and could be a great option for us, but we're going to look into everything. I have this sinking feeling we're going to want a private school. And of course there are college costs as well as all the other extras that you pay for with a child. An extra plane ticket on a trip, extra meals, extra clothes, everything it takes to support an additional human being.
Emotionally, I often feel like I've bit off just as much as I can chew. Balancing a full-time job along with being a mother is challenging for anyone. Add DH's frequent business trips to the mix and I'm doing the best I can just surviving on a day-to-day basis. I can't imagine doing everything I'm doing and then adding another little person to the mix. I devote a lot of time and energy to Squishy when I'm not at work and I wouldn't want to feel like I was stretched to provide as much love to both kids. I know that love isn't finite; you can give and give and more grows in its place but still, my time is finite. I also like that DH and I still have couple time together. We can work as a team to parent Squishy when we're both home. I feel that if we add a baby to the mix, I'm going to have baby duty and DH is going to take care of Squishy. We'll have to divide and conquer for a lot of the chores. And that's just how we'll be - divided.
And then there's that little detail about my age. I'm 33 and barreling towards "advanced maternal age" at a break-neck speed. DH is no spring chicken either folks. Do we want to accept the extra challenges and risks of having a child in the caution zone? Plenty of people have absolutely healthy kids into their 40's but who knows what we'd have to face as far as fertility and all that.
I also look forward to all Squishy's milestones and knowing that as a family, we'll be moving on to the next phase. Some day she will walk and that will be the end of crawling. Some day she will be potty trained and that will be the end of diapers. Some day she'll graduate to a big girl bed and that will be the end of the crib.
But I guess that's just it, isn't it? The end. The end sounds so final. This is why I'm still saving her baby clothes and my breast pump and various other items. I am not totally sure that this is the end. I do feel that our family is complete and that Squishy is all I ever need as a parent, but I'm leaving the door open a crack. I feel like I'm 80% in favor of having only one child but there still is that 20% to contend with.
I hate leaving things open ended. I hate that I don't have a 100% decision on this right now today so that I could just move the heck on already. But life evolves and changes and so do we. So for now, Squishy is our one and only. But...
What are your thoughts on this? One and done? Two? Shooting for a big family?