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One and Done

Photograph by Getty Images

We love being a family of three. Me, my husband and my son. People used to try to convince me that we had to have more kids. But not only am I glad we’re a family of three, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I am in awe of parents that have more than one kid. I know that I couldn’t be the kind of mom who could handle more than one. When your child is a baby, many people will tell you why you must have two or three kids. If you, like me, are being told to have more than one child and you don’t want more, here’s how I explain my choice so people stop asking:

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1. I'm a good mom right now, but ... Although I may seem to always be a wonderful, calm mother, I promise you this: What you’d see if there were two or more kids would not be pretty.

2. Things I don’t want to hear: “He’s hitting me!” “He’s sitting in my chair!” “Tell (insert name) to stop bothering me.” With one, I have a much more peaceful home and that works for me.

3. Where would I sleep? My son already kicks my husband out by hogging the bed on nights he sneaks in. But if we had another I’d be kicked out, too!

4. Amusement parks are supposed to be fun. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen friends with several kids who do not even know what happened to one or two of their children. Yikes! Talk about stress!

5. I can actually talk to a friend at a park. See #4. On numerous occasions, friends with two or three can only keep an eye on one, and the others just magically disappear. Having only one to watch is doable, and allows me to connect to other people as well.

He asks on occasion, "You promise you’re not having any more?”

6. My son requested it. A lot of people think it’s not fair to have one, but my kid wouldn’t trade it for the world. He gets all our love and all our attention. He asks on occasion, "You promise you’re not having any more?” He’s made it clear he does not want to share our love with a sibling.

7. Having two kids doesn’t guarantee happy companionship. I know a lot of people who have two and then the kids end up hating each other. And my son has the best playmates there are—my husband and me. We don’t steal his toys, push over his blocks or pull his hair.

8. It costs less! I’m actually amazed at how much it costs to have one child. I can only imagine what my friends of two, three and four are spending. The expense of one child is plenty for our pocketbook.

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9. My kid already knows how to share. That one always amuses me. My son couldn’t be more well-behaved, sweet and kind. Good parenting is good parenting. You don’t need two kids for them to learn it. Just good parents.

10. China says so. If having one child is good enough for an entire nation, then it’s good enough for me. Well, at least that’s my answer and I’m sticking with it. It at least gets people to stop in their tracks when you say it!

In the end, no matter what someone says, if one works for you, then trust your gut it’s right for your family. We’re happy this way. And if you think you’d be happiest with one, then you owe no one an explanation. In our family, three is definitely a magic number.

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