being a mom
If I Give You All The Reasons I’m Not Having More Kids, Will You Stop Asking?
- My kid is a terrible person.
Obviously, I don’t really think my kid is terrible. I think that she is perfectly happy to grow up solo, and won’t sugarcoat that fact. I have another friend who drops off her kid from time to time. He is on the cusp of toddlerhood, and needs a lot of undivided attention as he doesn’t yet know that he can choke on/electrocute himself on/garrote himself on everything I own. This usually leads to my little one heading up to her room for the duration to write the kind of “I’m all alone and no one loves me” poetry that would make Sylvia Plath proud. People ask her all the time if she wants a little sister or brother. She side eyes those people. Hard. Do I let my kid dictate my life choices? No. Do I understand what a living hell it would be if I had a little thing that couldn’t even hold its head up and vomited on everything my existing child holds dear? Yes.
- I don’t need an heir, but thanks for your unsolicited concern.
The first time that someone asked me if I was disappointed that I didn’t have a son to carry the family name, I stared at them for a long time, unsure if I could control my throat-punching reflex. My daughter carries my genes; it isn’t something only boys can do, like pee their name into the snow. If my daughter takes a new last name later, I’m pretty sure that “Edwards” isn’t in danger of going extinct.
- Because I don’t feel like it.
I don’t want to, okay?
In conclusion, I love big families. I do. I don’t pretend to think I know better than other people or their families. I understand how the chaos of a big family can morph into a kind of noisy comfort. Hell, I grew up with 11 other kids. I do, in fact, get it. Still, this is what works for me and mine. Maybe I’m traumatizing my own daughter—plenty of people seem to think so—but I prefer to imagine that a family in 2014 can look like anything: a mom and dad, two moms, two dads, two kids, a Duggar’s worth of kids, or yeah, just one kid.
Besides, if I had another kid now, they wouldn’t even be out of training pants before someone wanted to know when I was adding a third.
(Image: getty images)