Saturday, March 24, 2012

People With Only One Kid Have It Soooo Easy

The other day I was at a homeschool park day with some friends. I was running off at the mouth like I do, this time about how hard it would be to have another kid now. I don't think it's particularly my age, although I am more wiped out than usual, but I think that has more to do with the fact that I'm caring for FIVE little people AND homeschooling them and and and ... (and it couldn't possibly have anything to do with the fact that I'm about 20-30 pounds overweight currently).

So I'm griping with a couple of other pals with 5 kids (and one with 10!) about how hard it would be to have another kid and try to get out of the house with just me as the responsible adult. My friend with 10 kids had a good point about how as you have more, the others get older and can help out here and there with going places, Duggar-style ... like not having 100% responsibility for one of your children, but just help schlep stuff and hold hands across the street and things like that.

Then I realized I'm doing all this griping and my friend who *only* has one kid is just listening, not judging or anything, just listening. So I shut up. Only later did I realize that sometimes that ONE kid can be quite a handful, like that one kid can equal 4 of someone else's kids. Like not everybody with an only child should be felt sorry for, as in "oh, she probably couldn't have more kids." No, many of these parents choose to have ONE kid based on all sorts of smart reasons (for example, like they enjoy going on expensive family vacations and being able to pay for their kid's college education while they look at me like I'm insane for not being able to do those things for my children ... we all have different opinions, perspectives and priorities). And my friend should have said, "Shut the hell up, griper, and count yo blessings [typo intended so as to sound like a sassy chick!]."

I'm sure you know by now that I'm an only child. My parents wanted it that way. My mom says she might have had another if things had been a little different in certain areas of her life. Maybe my dad would have been happy with another if it had "just happened" (read: birth control failure).

I don't judge people with only children as if they are all selfish jerks who don't want the work of a big family. Some only children have special needs. Some are just a handful. Some are so wonderful the parents can't imagine having another. Some start older and only can physically have one. Some think people like me are the selfish ones, hogging all the kids.

I think we all have issues nobody even knows about that makes us choose things the way we do. Sometimes maybe it's God choosing for us and we have to trust.

So my blog title is kidding, I'm sure you've figured out by now. So put down the tomatoes and get away from my front door, kay?


  1. With one kid, you can never say "Go play with your brother." So in that way, having one kid is much more time consuming because you are his or her only "always there" playmate.

  2. For me, one was the hardest. Three was challenging, after that I just took everything in stride. But it does get easier as they get older and help out.
    As for only having one, as long as that person doesn't make derogatory comments about me having six, I have nothing to say. But my favorite comeback for the family when they say I have too many and don't need any more is, "Which one would you have me send back?"

  3. Sometimes you have one kid that is so awesome, you can't imagine being able to love another equally. True, but another reality...I became single and smart enough to know I don't want to raise another child alone. I had assistance and backup, but I was the only person 100% responsible for the child. I'm no overachiever. It was hard. Lack of love and commitment kept me from having more.

    I'm not saying it was as hard as having more than one. But I can only imagine that more than one with a good partner in the mix makes it not so hard. Just to have someone to bounce things off at the end of the day or to play tag team has got to feel nice. Anyone that has that, don't dismiss that luxury.

  4. I don't have but a second here and will come back later, but wanted to thank you all for commenting ... all these thoughts are so wonderful and make me thing!

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  6. I tried commenting earlier and it didn't take or something. Anyway - good post Kerrie. And I'll have you know, I think you're supermom for handling all you do!! :)


  7. "I don't judge people with only children as if they are all selfish jerks who don't want the work of a big family."

    Not sure how this sentence was intended, but it could be taken that you think only most people with one child are selfish jerks.

    Also, it seems to assume that "big family" = "the best way", and that not having a big family needs a "explanation" besides "we like it that way".

    As I mentioned, this could totally be just a phrasing thing, or it could speak to unspoken assumptions.

  8. Well, since you saw that I said I am personally an only child, I am certainly not trashing my parents. My mom got sick of explaining why she "only" had one kid just like I get sick of explaining why we wanted to many and how we do it on a day-to-day basis. I certainly don't think having a big family is the best way. I enjoyed being an only child and have always said that. I never asked for brothers and sisters and loved it. Perhaps I am the selfish one for wanting so many children and having them :-) Thanks for visiting.


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