Circumstances being as they were, FuBu and I knew not long after DQ came along that she would be our only child (at least by birth). Consequently, I feel guilty (surprise!):
- For quitting my job because it was too stressful being a full-time working mom, with one child
- When I think about how DQ will bear the burden of looking after elderly parents by herself, without the support of siblings
- For telling others with more than one child how busy home life is, with one child
- That I don’t offer to look after friends’ children more often, since I only have one child
- And of course, whenever DQ asks, “Why don’t you want to have another baby?”
But FuBu sets me straight. He reminded me that having one child was a deliberate choice on our part. Our life is our life. How others live their lives is also their choice. So if they chose to have more than one child and feel stressed out or overburdened by that, while I “only” have to deal with one, I shouldn’t feel guilty about that and I shouldn’t feel sorry for others.
We have a terrific family unit and overall, we lead a pretty balanced life. We choose not to disrupt it or tilt the scales in any way. I am able to work from home on a schedule that works around DQ’s, so I can still maximize my time with her. The best part of the day is when we sit down after dinner for her daily indulgence of some TV just before bedtime and she immediately snuggles into my arms. If we had another young child in our lives, I wouldn’t have that special moment; I’d have been too busy trying to get the little one to bed.
The reality of having just one child actually heightened the importance of quitting work – I have only once chance to get this right and I intend to do just that.