'We don't want another child'
After her first son wasn't planned, this mom wonders if it's selfish to want only one child.
By Tamaryn Watkins
I was raised as an only child by my father in a single-parent environment and I’ve been taught to think like an only child.
Article originally in Parent24
I also got the best of everything: my father’s undivided attention, the best education money could buy, and if I wanted something, I only had to ask for it. It might sound like I was spoiled, but trust me, it wasn’t that way. I had to earn every reward. Every thing I wanted (from a Barbie, to a cell phone, to a new camera and a car) had to be earned through academic achievements.
In short, being an only child rocked.
I wasn’t lonely, I didn’t mind playing by myself, I could keep myself occupied and didn’t need a sibling for company. I also never planned to have children.
I’d also been told, by a variety of different doctors after having a variety of different things go wrong with my internal workings down there, that it was more than unlikely I’d ever have children.
I’d made peace with that, and completely forgotten that unlikely does not mean ‘impossible’, so imagine my surprise when I discovered that the constant vomiting I’d been experiencing for a week wasn’t simply attributable to a really bad curry.
A family of 3
Our son is now 3 years old. Sure, he was an accident in so much as he was completely unplanned, but we can’t imagine our life without him. We learnt to adjust to being parents, still new in a relationship. We’ve grown together and we’re now a proper family of three.
Naturally, we’ve reached a point where people keep asking us when we’re having another one. Like it’s something one just does, because it’s what is expected.
I never planned to have the first one, and now people are asking me if I’m planning another?
It is something that my fiancé and I have discussed. On many occasion. I know he still wants to have a girl. I know that he’s a little envious at times of the mother/son relationship, and would like the closeness of the father/daughter relationship, too.
One of the realities of our situation, though, is that I have a condition called osteochondroma. It’s not life-threatening, but it’s been enough of a challenge for me that I’d not like for my daughter to have to experience it.
I know that there’s a 50/50 chance that the condition could manifest in a male, but all I’ve seen in my family history is that this condition manifests in females.
Basically, it involves growths of hard cartridge or spurs that sprout up from the bones, usually over or between joints, and these can interfere with growth and movement and I had a fair amount of corrective orthopaedic surgery on my legs when I was younger - my first operation at the age of 11 and the last, at 20.
I wouldn’t wish any of that on anyone, let alone my daughter, and it’s for that reason that I’d choose not to have a daughter, if I could. And we’d prefer not to have another son, either. So where does that leave us? As the parents of an only child - Is it strange that we want it to stay that way?
What are your thoughts on Tamaryn's decision? Have you made a similar decision? Share with us in the comments below.
Disclaimer: The views of columnists published on Parent24 are their own and therefore do not necessarily represent the views of Parent24.