Have you ever had someone question your parenting choices? Or, make comments, jokingly of course because that would just be rude of them to be serious, about the number of children you have chosen (or not) to have? I have and you know what – I have come to accept that I am a one child mama and I think it is way better than trying to wrangle multiple children. In fact – it’s the best way to be a parent.
Ok, so I’m probably going out on a limb there. I think parenting in general is freaking awesome and crazy hard! It really doesn’t matter if you have one or 10 (or more) – it’s still hard! And you have to be superhuman in order to do it! Calling all superheroes! With that being said – I do think there are advantages to both sides. Since I’m not a mother of multiple children, I can only speak for us only-child parents. So here are my top 6 advantages to raising an only child.
- You Know Who Did ItI was once told that “You’re not a real parent until you have more than one and have to figure out who did it!” REALLY? Well I personally like the idea of not having to figure it out. It makes my job that much easier. Trash can dumped over, toys left out, clothes on the bathroom floor, makeup used as crayons – yup there’s only one person that could have done that. It’s not rocket science to figure out who did it when there’s only one child. With multiple children you do have to become a PI and forensic analyst sometimes in order to figure this out. Score one for only-children parents!
- No Jealous Siblings/Sibling Rivalry Mother’s laps are only so big and if you have more children than lap – problem! Well, no worries when you only have one child. Or ever experience this scenario? Junior is having a hard day and needs some extra attention (hey it happens we all have bad days) well Lil’Miss doesn’t like that Jr. is hogging up all her time! Enter the terrible two, nuclear level meltdown! None of that with only children. If Jr. needs more attention, Jr. gets all the attention needed to help him out.
- Only One Other Schedule to Keep Up With Have you seen some kids’ schedules lately? Sports, piano, singing, tutoring, church groups, scouting and on and on and on. I cannot imagine keeping up with 2, 3, 4 or more kids’ schedules. Holy moly, when would you sleep? Nope, only one schedule, besides mine, to keep up with. There’s baseball on Monday/Thursday, Scouts Tuesday, Family Night Wednesday, and me time on Friday.
- Cost This is a bit of a no-brainer. It costs significantly less money to raise one child than it does multiple. Every year at the beginning of the school year, as I’m buying that years school supplies, I think “Man, I’m glad I only have one.” Every year at Christmas – the same thought. When it comes time for sports and other activities, still the same. My son is 8 and I feel like he eats me out of house and home already, I can’t imagine what my food bill will be when he’s 16!!! Again, grateful I have only one mouth to feed. The list of expenses is GIGANTIC and I cannot
- No Fighting Over Who Rides Shotgun Who rode shotgun last time? No, you can’t sit there, that’s where your brother sits because he’s taller and needs more leg room. Sound familiar? Not to me, my kiddo has his pick of seats (except for the front because he’s not big enough yet). Some days he is behind me, some days he’s behind the passenger seat and if he’s really feeling froggy, he just sits right in the middle! When he is big enough he will have free reign of the front passenger seat without worrying about sharing it with another sibling. And I, as mom, get to enjoy getting into the car without fighting!
- “Less” Worry I worry about my kiddo all the time. Is he getting enough sleep? Did he eat enough? Does he get enough free play time? Does he need this or that? What about when his body changes? What about when he starts getting interested in girls? What about… What if… The list is exhausting! I am so grateful that I only experience this kind of worry for ONE child. I can’t imagine worrying about 3 or 4 rug rats! How do you ladies do it? When do you sleep?
Now that I think about it, yes there are advantages to having only one child, but there are definite advantages to having more than one. Like: built-in playmates, more people to love and love you back, more hands to help with chores, more people to join in imaginative play, sharing rooms with siblings. Both lists could keep going on and on. My point is that while we may not have control over the number of little minions we have, but there is joy in both. I have spent many, many, years hoping and praying for another child. I have come to accept that it is just not meant to be and I need to enjoy the one that I have. So moms enjoy what you have, be it one or many!