Last night I was chatting with my 7 year old daughter and she was telling me how she feels the odd one out as an only child among her peers. She says that it’s so unfair how she doesn’t have any brothers or sisters to play with. She feels left out. I can’t have anymore children as I had cervical cancer and had to have a hysterectomy. My daughter knows this. But what she doesn’t know, is that my mind was already made up before having the hysterectomy that I only wanted one child after a traumatic child birth experience with her. The thought of having another child paralyzed me with fear.
So, I decided one was enough despite society dictating that you really should have more than one child and meddling busy bodies telling me that I was selfish not to have more and how my daughter would be lonely. But here’s the thing…I had an older brother who was born with cerebral palsy and he died at 36. For me, having a sibling was never the experience that my daughter now craves. So, sometimes it is ok not to have it all. Just because it might seem the norm to have more than one child doesn’t mean that it’s right for everyone. I’m also a stay at home mum and feel immense pressure to have the high-flying career but feel that you can’t do it all and have chosen to concentrate on raising my daughter.
As I only have one child to raise, I’m made to feel that this is not enough and I should be doing more. And there it is: the wrestle with feminism, society and, of course, my own inner negative chatter.
But again I find myself saying…it’s OK not to have it all.