Adventures as a Family of Three

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I grew up the youngest of three. I have two older brothers. MCB is an only child. Growing up, I thought I wanted two kids. I never considered having just one. MCB thought she wouldn’t have any kids, but quickly changed her mind when we met.

When Roozle was 9 months old, I read a post by our friends who wrote about choosing to have just one kid. Until then, we hadn’t considered just having one. It’s always about children, not child. The nurses and doctors were already talking about next time moments after Roozle was born and I was nursing her for the first time. Another one was always in the plan, until then. We started talking. What if we just had one? What if this was it? How did we both feel about it? What would that mean? What would it look like?

One sounded okay. Then we started to make a list. And one sounded better. And better.

Getting pregnant wasn’t easy. It was expensive. It took longer than we wanted. It was hard on us. What if we didn’t have to go through that again?

There was a shift. Instead of thinking about having two it turned into, why would we have two? We didn’t know if we would even be able to conceive again, anyway. I know a big reason people want more than one kid is to provide siblings for their child. MCB is an only child and is just fine. We have friends with solo kids that are awesome and very much fine. I grew up with brothers, but while having siblings in some ways is great, it also can be really hard. We definitely didn’t think Roozle was missing out on anything by not having any.

The biggest reason for us is just that we don’t want to do it all over again. Roozle is awesome. We’re happy. Another kid would of course be awesome too, but is a lot of work, a lot of money, would need more space, would take up more room in the bike trailer, oh and in the car. There would be less money for schools and bikes and eating at the Dogwood. There would be less time for hanging on the couch drinking coffee.

All of which can be sacrificed in a second if you want another. But we really just don’t.

I listened to a podcast about only children this week. One of the points that stuck with me is this: If a couple (or a single person) wants more kids, you can’t really do anything to convince them not to. And if a couple (or single person) decides to just have one kid. Or two. You can’t do much to convince them to have more.

We’re all set. A family of three. With a dog. And too many cats.

The Case for an Only Child: This podcast is awesome. I took four pages of notes and then used none of them for this post because I can never remember who is talking in podcasts and how to credit the ideas to them properly. You can listen to the whole podcast here.

Left Behind By Choice: Here is the blog post that got us thinking the first time. You can read the whole post here.

Pictured Above: Photo by Kelly Lorenz at Riley’s second parent adoption.

Thanks to Jeanee for asking this question as a part of the writing challenge this week: What do you want to challenge me to write about?

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8 Comments

  1. Thanks so much for posting a on such a personal topic. This is such a difficult decision for me and so many, and it really helps me evolve my opinion on what is best for my family by reading other people’s thoughts on the matter. I am undecided on whether we will remain a family of 3, but one conclusion I have reached is that the decision must come from the heart, not from some pros and cons list. It sounds like you have made just that decision from your hearts, so it is bound to be the right one for your family!

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    • Charis, you definitely should make the time to listen to the podcast I posted. It really breaks apart a lot of the only child stereotypes and talks a lot about the statistics and research of only children vs. sibling families. I was surprised at how many stereotypes I had believed without thinking about it. That was the big thing for us, we just hadn’t really thought much about it. It’s assumed that if you have any kids, you will at least try for more than one. And if you don’t, it’s considered selfish and a long list of things. The podcast digs into all of that. Good stuff. Thank you for the comment!!

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  2. Thanks for pinging us. Obviously we agree with so much of this post. And we have since written perhaps a more eloquent post on the subject, and that time, when our son was nearing 3 years old (so no difference in our feelings from when he was 9 months to 3 years and beyond…for all those still wondering if we’d change our minds) :)

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      • Thanks! I will check this out. I would love for you guys to listen to that podcast and write more of your thoughts. It was great for me to hear your ideas, as a couple who have always planned for one child, and would like your thoughts on what was said in the podcast. I went back to that original post and saw my old comment from 2010 saying that we were thinking of trying again in a few months. Now, standing with a lot more confidence in the only child plan, I can’t believe we had even considered it!

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  3. Great post! I often wonder if I wasn’t single if I would feel this way. Briar wrote a fantastic post about this as well. I’ll dig around for the link.

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    • Thanks Dresden! I thought of the single vs coupled issue too and wondered if I would feel differently if single. I think I might. Actually, there are a lot of factors that I’ve considered that might make me think differently. Like if we had done IVF and had the possibility of doing a FET, etc. For us, there weren’t any factors pushing us in the way of two which caused us to think about just one and were able to look at it pretty clearly without any outside influence on our decision to work out what feels right for us.

      PS Is it possible that this is your first time commenting here?! I had to approve your comment!

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  4. Lovely post. I’m always curious about couples who say “one and done” and what brought them to that decision. Generally, however, I do not ask as it is a very delicate subject to some and I don’t want to risk offending anyone (which is why I apologized after asking this to you :) I, like you, have ALWAYS wanted children. Always the more, the merrier. Now with 2 children, 12 years apart, and the first about to spread her wings and fly out of the nest, I’m in a journey to figure out what to make of this yearning for a 3rd. Thanks for the insight. I look forward to listening to the podcasts. :)

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