one and only

As Evan and I zipped up and down the aisles of the grocery store, it was brought to my attention (AGAIN) how we should expand our family. We ran into an old classmate of mine, who has 4 littles. It was a quick “Hello! How have you been? I love seeing photos of Evan on Facebook”, kind of conversation. But before all was said and done the inevitable question was asked: “When are you having another baby?”.  In the past when asked this question I have responded with “We aren’t sure yet,” but this time I was sure, I knew Patrick was sure, and I said with confidence “We are all done, Evan is our one and only.”  You would have thought I grew 3 heads and a unicorn horn with the way her eyes bulged! “ONLY ONE?!” she said. “Yup, only one!” She followed up with “But who will he play with?” I said “His friends and us.”  We said our goodbye’s and I smiled as Evan and I pushed off.

Before being a Mommy I desired two children; we now know that 1 is our desire. I am an only child and my husband has 1 sister, so having a small family is something we are used to. We think having an only child is pretty rad, so we’ve decided to keep it that way.

We have a busy family life. Our responsibilities as husband and wife, as Momma and Dada, son and daughter as well as being musicians and friends occupies the majority of our time. Having 1 child for us means we can not only embrace the busyness of parenthood but we can give Evan more. When I say “more” I don’t mean gifts or material things. I mean financially we can provide better for our family with 1 child, we have more opportunities to give attention to Evan’s education (we are researching homeschooling) and our time isn’t divided further than it already is.

Now that I am a Momma I notice now more than ever how as parents tend to judge one another. We judge the kind of food we feed our children, having a c-section instead of a vaginal birth, epidural vs. natural and breastfeeding vs. formula. You name it and we judge it. Judgment even happens between those we consider friends. Having one child is yet another thing we judge each other about. All parents are awesome. PERIOD.  It’s always seemed to me that Moms of large families are looked at as superhero Moms. But what is important to know is that no matter how many children are involved, being a parent is serious business, and it’s tough! 12 kids vs. 1 you’re sleepy, overextended and surrounded by love from tiny little humans.  In my opinion having one child doesn’t make you any less of a superhero; parents to only children, you’ve earned your cape too!

When it boils down to it, no one can make plans for my uterus besides me (I suppose Patrick has some input too, tee hee!) and we aren’t going to have another child just to give Evan a built-in-bff. I am a proud Momma to our only child and embrace the time we are going to spend together as a 3 piece family.

Evan’s 2nd birthday is right around the corner,it seems like he was just turning 1! Last year I decided to start a tradition to write Evan a birthday letter every year to let him know how much I adore him and enjoy being his Momma.  

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When I was growing up I never wondered why I didn’t have siblings and I never desired having siblings either. I loved my one on one time with my parents and I was the only grandchild until I was in Junior High School (which I most certainly wasn’t complaining about). When and if the time comes that Evan wonders why he doesn’t have siblings I want him to know how much he means to us and that we decided with careful consideration to keep our family small.

Below is this year’s birthday letter to Evan (his birthday is May 31st) and I hope you don’t mind me sharing it with you all.

 

Dear Evan,

Happy 2nd Birthday my sweet, kind and adventurous boy, thank you for being my son! Our time as Momma and Son is eternal, and I am so blessed to have you as my one and only child. You fill our hearts and bring so much joy to our family that you are all we desire. I don’t want to forget a single moment of the life we are building together.

As you grow older our time together will change. You will make friends that you will want to play with more than me; maybe you will want to play sports. But for now, you are my one and only little guy who I share laughs, cuddles and tears with and you make me proud every day.

I cannot believe you are 2 years old! The time has flown by. I have learned so much about you and myself over the past 2 years and I am looking forward to getting to know you even more.

You love basketball, baseball, story time and counting. Recently we went to your first baseball game and you LOVED it. Seeing the joy in your eyes and hearing you cheer was amazing. Every day your communication grows. You are learning how to put your words together and expressing yourself. It is amazing!

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Your Dada and I adore your sweetness, your willingness to give unlimited hugs and kisses and desire to learn. My handsome little man, you are phenomenal! Happy 2nd Birthday!

Love,

Momma

 

 

12 Responses to one and only

  1. Rita Templeton May 23, 2014 at 8:36 am #

    There is SOOOO much judgment between moms – and we’re the ones who should be understanding each other and the respecting the individuality of our parenting choices! No matter what we choose for our kids, we all do it with the same love and the same ultimate goal: to do the best thing for them. That’s universal, even if the choices are different. 🙂

  2. Jill V. May 23, 2014 at 8:49 am #

    Thank you for this post! Whether we have 1 child by choice or due to outside circumstances (infertility and pregnancy issues in my case), we are so often questioned about WHY? I love your perspective and totally agree with the awesome things about having an only child!!!

  3. OneMom May 23, 2014 at 9:30 am #

    Great post and you have an adorable son. Less judgement, more support! I have a thank you to send out to a non-judgmental mom. Leaving the grocery store with my very sensitive emotional 5 year old. She was having a mental breakdown full of tears over some injustice I bestowed upon her, (maybe I denied her request for candy before dinner or wouldn’t allow her to use one of those ankle braking kid’s carts – I don’t remember). She was holding my hand as we crossed the parking lot but in full tears and whining. A woman passed us and smiled the ‘don’t worry, I’ve been there smile’ at me. Just wanted to say thanks to the mystery mom – she could have just as easily looked at me in disgust for having a ‘naughty’ child. I appreciated the gesture and try to make sure I address other stressed out parents with the same – ‘Yea I’ve been there and I got your back’ look!

  4. Siri L. Hirth May 23, 2014 at 9:36 am #

    Thank you ladies, I completely agree. It’s been such a learning experience being a Momma. I’ve matured a lot over the past 2 years and learned not only about parenting but friendships.

  5. Ashley May 23, 2014 at 10:23 am #

    Love this! Funny– I was an only child (til step family, aka best day ever) and ALWAYS wanted siblings, and #2 is now on the way. Maybe we are just born with our perfect number.

  6. stockingfamily4
    stockingfamily4 May 23, 2014 at 10:51 am #

    Thank you for sharing this, Siri. Beautifully written. As someone who wanted more, but circumstances led me down a different path, I still feel the pain when people judge why we aren’t having “more”. Congrats on your beautiful family!

  7. Annie May 23, 2014 at 11:49 am #

    I got a lot of judgment on having one – it took us six years to have a second because of infertility. I also got lots of praise that was hurtful because people assumed we were making some kind of statement with one, when really we so desired another.

    The one and done philosophy has never resonated with me – being one of nine – I see siblings as the ultimate gift you can give your child. But it’s so true that one child is no less a gift, no less a parenthood, no less amazing.

    Within a family, we are all called to different paths. The idea of one and done or two and through makes me sad, and after so many years of infertility, I’m a little touchy on the subject, but what moms of all size families need is support, not judgment.

    Can we also agree you need to be a REALLY close friend to even broach the subject of family size? 🙂

  8. [email protected] May 23, 2014 at 12:43 pm #

    This was such a great post, Siri. I think that sometimes moms don’t even realize that questions they ask feel judgmental. Or at least I try to tell myself that. Regardless, I think the beautiful of parenthood (and LIFE) is that we can blaze our own path. There’s no one right way and I really love reading about your journey.

    Also, that sweet little boy is lucky to have such a wonderful mom and dad. =)

  9. Siri L. Hirth May 23, 2014 at 1:14 pm #

    I love reading all of your responses ladies. Thank you for the feedback!

  10. randidanielle May 23, 2014 at 4:31 pm #

    Thank you for sharing your story! As a fellow mother of an “only,” this resonated with my in a profound way. It could have been me writing those words above.

  11. Chris May 27, 2014 at 6:25 am #

    we are a ‘one and only’ family as well….unless you count my two fur-babies:) we get asked that all the time and instead of telling people not sure when, we say with confidence he is an only! probably the most hurtgul comment i have heard from a ‘friend’ is that you aren’t really a parent unless you have two. i have a real child, so i that makes me a real parent!

  12. Siri L. Hirth June 2, 2014 at 11:35 am #

    100% real Chris 🙂

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