This topic has been on my heart lately. I have several mom friends that have one child and they so often throw me the line, “it’s easier for me, I only have one,” or “you’ve already got your hands full and I just have the one child.” Stop apologizing moms of only children, you’ve got it tough too.
I have three kids now, but for the first four years of motherhood, I had one. Many of my friends around me were having their second child. I watched them through the transition of having multiple children, and in many ways, I struggled to relate. My world as a stay at home mom wasn’t changing, but theirs was going thru a complete overhaul. I felt a little lost.
Our regular playdates were changing, around nap schedules and exhausted moms that found getting out the door on time impossible. I tired of being my son’s main playmate. I wanted him to be in the company of other kids, of a sibling. When he was around the new little infants, he was loud and didn’t know to be gentle with them like their sibling did.
I know moms of one who feel bad when they drop off their child for a playdate, because I already have three crazy kids running around. Can I tell you, your child is such a blessing to our home? My kids are sick of each other, and your sweet kid sets a whole new tone. I win because they play together and I know that you are enjoying some kid-free time. Please stop apologizing and asking if I’m sure. I’ve very sure.
Before my second child, I was diagnosed with unexplained infertility. I had to get my head around the fact that I would very likely be the mother of an only child. I cried and cried because I wanted siblings for my son so badly. But as I talked to other moms of only children, I started to hear about all the advantages of having an only child. Did you know that only children typically are happier, do better in school and are kinder to others? (source)
There have to be so many bittersweet moments for parents of only children. Yes, they may have less divided time and it can be easier to manage the schedule of one child, but stop to consider that all the firsts, are also the lasts. The first pregnancy is also the only. The mom who rejoices in freedom once her child is finally starting school, also realizes that there will never be a first day of kindergarten again. Moms of only children may feel more pressure to savor every minute because they won’t be doing it again.
Nothing about being a parent is easy. It’s an exhausting, emotional, ever-changing experience. So please moms of only children, stop apologizing. I see you, and you are working just as hard as I am.