Only child?

Even though the world has progressed, some things still remain the same. Like unsolicited advice.

Once you graduate, the constant pressure to get married (especially for women) starts piling up. When you get married, the next barrage of well-meaning advice is to have a baby – complete your family – they say. Oh well, alright. And along comes a baby.

The baby hasn’t even started walking confidently yet and look, there’s the bombardment again – yes. You guessed it right. The baby needs company. Complete your family. You don’t want him to be alone after you’re gone. Blah blah.

Even before I got married, when my husband I were dating, we were clear on how we wanted our family to grow. That’s where communication plays a major role. Talk. Discuss. Agree (or agree to disagree). There were two things we both agreed to:

  1. We will not rush into starting a family
  2. We will have only one child

I am glad that we were able to stick to our commitments.

  1. No matter how long you’ve known your partner and how deep your love is, the real compatibility test starts when you start living together. There are behaviours you discover, quirks you try to accept, and a family you get to know. There are agreements and arguments, celebrations and compromise, love and lash-outs. The child changes the equation between a husband and wife. From “two is company” you jump to “three is a party”, leaving you with no time for yourselves for a while. It is a journey that challenges you and tests you at your most vulnerable point. And until the man and woman cruise on smooth waters, getting a child into this world is a risky matter (purely our opinion).

We had been married three and a half years before we embarked on the parenthood journey with all our valour. And even then, there are days when we find ourselves not on the same side of the court. But we’ve learned and we’re still sailing. 🙂

2. Only one child (whether by choice or through necessity). Phew! Now this one is a little difficult to explain especially to those who think one is not enough. If you and your partner have decided to have one child, you will find a lot of people offering you unsolicited advice. After all is said and done, how many children you wish to have is solely your decision as parents. Given the times we are living in, and how unpredictable this world is becoming, this decision took a lot of thought.

  • We, as parents, are happy to have one child. And as parents, it’s our decision to decide how many children we want to get into this world
  • With the way the world is progressing (read a study that by 2050, all aquatic life will disappear), pollution, global warming, natural calamities on the rise, forest fires etc, why would I want to bring more lives on this planet that is already struggling to live.
  • Any newspaper you pick up is full of violence, of shootouts, of abductions and rapes and murders. Living in the times of fear. Is this the society I want to raise my children in? Nope.

Yes, we were aware that no matter what decision we make, there will always be another to counter. Sharing with you a few points we as parents often ponder upon before making that humungous decision. A few benefits as well as challenges of having an only child.

Plus / Pros / Benefits

  • More time to devote to your child so the child gets undivided love and attention. Quality time with the child helping him focus more intimately on these relationships.
  • Better quality of life. Let’s face it – if only incomes would increase in direct proportion to the family size! The inflow of funds is unaffected by the family size, however, the outflow and expenditure totally depend on the number of people dependent on that income. So one child = more financial stability, hence better life quality for all. An only child gets the best of everything – material things and otherwise.
  • More energy – this one is a no-brainer!
  • More independent child – without an elder sibling to support every step, the child will find his own footing, make friends outside of his first circle, become more social
  • No sibling rivalry
  • No comparisons 

Challenges:

  • Growing up alone – it depends on what kind of environment do the parents foster at home. Are they around to fill the gap?
  • Companionship – We all crave company our age, so do children.
  • Sharing – Living with someone means sharing their space and stuff. Siblings learn that lesson pretty quickly.

Just like there are two sides to a coin, there are two perspectives towards everything. You just got to decide which one will make you happier. In the end, how a child turns out to be is totally dependent on how the child is brought up.

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One thought on “Only child?”

  1. I agree, never cave in. Don’t let PPL dictate how you should live your life or how many kids you should have.

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