On having only one child

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I often get asked when I’m going to have a second child. It’s funny how most people just assume that. If you have one, you’re having a second one… at least! I grew up with only one sister, but tons of cousins and lots of friends that are like family. Those friends I grew up with are actually more than some family. I’m not saying I like one better than other, but I literally grew up with these friends and we became close family to this day. My house was also very cramped, full of people, no privacy at all… All of this helped me with my decisions today.

I always knew I wanted a not so big family and definitely not a cramped house. I like having people over and we do often, don’t get me wrong, but I like my house being quiet most of the time. It’s just who I am and luckily, I married a guy who thinks the same way. Growing up people would just show up, without notice and spend the whole weekend. Or they would show up for lunch and leave only after dinner. It’s a cultural difference, I know, but even as I kid I felt very uncomfortable with that.

After getting married, my husband and I knew we wanted to have kids. In my mind would be two. We took awhile to try to have kids and then, after three years of marriage Dylan came along. It was the greatest thing we could ever imagine. His made our family complete. By the moment I had him I already knew I didn’t want another one. Of course the beginning was hard, lots of emotions and hormones, baby crying, I was up all night… and I thought that was the reason. But with time, I never thought about having another child for so many reasons, but the biggest reason of all is that we felt that our family was complete and still is. We just love the way it is right now.

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Another child would always be welcomed and loved, but it’s not in our plans and I don’t think we’ll change our mind. I think having siblings is wonderful and I have an awesome sister, but having a sibling is no guarantee of anything. We hope they will be best friends forever and get along, but that’s no guarantee. Nothing can guarantee having one or five kids is better. Each one of us has different experiences in life and, by the end of the day, the most important thing is for you and your partner to be on the same page.

Raising a kid is hard, is super expensive, and we want to give the best to our son. We also like to travel and take him wherever we go. I don’t think we could live in NYC and travel the way we do if we had more. I also wouldn’t have the energy, haha. You can call me selfish and maybe I’m being a little bit, but we’re happy to give Dylan all these experiences. And I think he is pretty happy to have his mom and dad to him. Which brings to another topic…

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Will my only son be spoiled? To me, this is most ridiculous argument! As if only single kids are spoiled. Being spoiled comes from other things and not from having sibling or not. Trust me, I know kids (and grown ups) that are not single child and are extremely spoiled. So being the only child doesn’t mean he/she won’t know how to share. It’s up to the parents to teach that and I try very hard to teach my son how to share, how to be kind, to give away toys and books all the time. So it’s a silly argument, if you ask me!

Will me child be lonely and having no one to play with? This is another argument I can’t even start… Seriously! My son may not have another child inside his home all the time, but by no any means he is lonely. He has friends, we have friends, we live in a community, we have friends over, and we go over to their houses too… Having the argument the child will be lonely is another silly thing.

One more thing that I want to make clear is that because I grew up in a Latino country, many people for there actually ask me – “But who is going to take care of you when you get older? You need to have more children so they all can take care of you.” – I get that this is another cultural thing, but I’m not having kids so I can have caregivers when I’m old. I don’t want this responsibility for my son. I take care of him; I’m not raising him to take care of me when I get older.

So this is us… for now. People often like to tell what’s better for your family and how many kids you should have, but you need to do you. Remember, what works for someone, doesn’t work for your family. Having a child is a blessing and making the choice to have only one sometimes is not the easiest for some people. We’re happy with ours and we’re looking forward to many, many adventures with our child.

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