“A man and a woman had a little baby…
They had three in the family.
And that’s a magic number.”
–from Schoolhouse Rock’s Three Is a Magic Number
For most of my life, I was sure I’d never have kids. I mean, kids are gross—with their puking and their snot and their sticky faces and that weird black stuff they get on their ears. Pregnancy is gross, too, because hemorrhoids. And childbirth is the worst of all because…tearing. Blergh. Totally not my scene. On any level.
But then 30 happened, and my feelings started to change a little. My sister had a bunch of kids, and they’re pretty cool and not always sticky. Then I met this great guy, and he didn’t seem to be so squeamish about puke and whatnot. He could totally handle that part of it, right?
My husband and I first talked about the possibility of having kids when we got engaged. We decided to wait until we had been married a full year before discussing it for real. We wanted to just be together for a while, get settled into the whole marriage thing, and blah blah blah. Six months in, I discovered that the biological clock is a stupid metaphor—it’s more like a biological punch in the face. Suddenly—and with no warning—I needed a baby, and I needed him NOW. I tried to wait out the rest of the year, but I just couldn’t. Resistance was futile. Not even the threat of hemorrhoids could hold me back. I went to my husband with a twenty-seven page PowerPoint presentation to plead my case. Luckily, he agreed right away, and we blissfully began our magical journey to parenthood.
It took more than three years.
By the time I finally got pregnant for keeps, I knew that it was a one-time thing. One and done, as they say.
Our son is almost 4 now, and the older he gets, the more often I am asked, “So… when are you going to have another one?” I say, “Never.” I find that it’s hard for some people to accept. They think I’m joking. When they realize that I’m serious, they get upset. They tell me why I’m making a big mistake. “He’ll be spoiled rotten.” Or, “[I’m] being selfish for not giving him a sibling.”
I suppose I could just say we have fertility problems and leave it at that, but that implies that it’s the only reason we have an only child. And the truth is that it’s not. We overcame that obstacle once, and we could probably do it again if we wanted to. We just don’t want to.
My husband and I have talked this through—at length—and have made a decision that we feel is in the best interest of our family. We know there will be challenges. So what? There are challenges in every family. We’re doing our best to make sure our son has as happy a childhood as we can. We have made a commitment to help him build friendships with kids his age and to take the time to be his playmates at home. And yeah, my kid may end up being a little spoiled, but there are a lot worse things that could happen to a kid than growing up with the undivided attention of both of his parents.
I’ve heard so many moms say they thought they were done having kids, but that they later had a feeling that their families weren’t complete. I don’t feel that way. My husband, my son, and me—that’s what feels right. My family is complete. Three is the Magic Number for us.
And in case you were wondering, I never did get hemorrhoids.