I stepped onto the elevator yesterday with my 5-year-old daughter, expecting a quick and easy ride up to our apartment. Already standing inside was our neighbor, an unmarried woman in her 50's. "Wow, she's gotten so big since the last time I saw her," she said. I smiled patiently. Then I starting counting in my head, "1, 2, 3...." Before I had gotten to 10, the expected and inappropriate remark fell from her lips: "Time for a sibling!"
Welcome to my world. It's the world of having an only, where every day someone is checking out my belly or blatantly asking me why Junior doesn't have a biologically, built-in-the-U.S.-of-me playmate. Tired of the comments and curious stares, I'm setting the record straight, right here, right now. Having an only child rocks. Here's why:
With only one, life is easy peasy. I have tons of time for hobbies, travel, adult conversations, impromptu trips to the outlet mall and anything else that suits my fancy. I don't referee little people's spats, wipe up their messes or spend hours coordinating pickups and drop-offs. I get QT with the hubby whenever I want. And my worry level about finances is just about nonexistent. In fact, I'd describe most of my family's days together as relaxing, fun and fulfilling. If you're the mom of more than one kid under 6, can you really say the same?
Wow. It was fun to share that with you. It was so cathartic that I'm going to tell you this as well: I don't like it when strangers, friends or family members make plans for my uterus. It's my uterus. They are my fallopian tubes and ovaries, and the last time I checked, those eggs had my DNA and not the neighbor's, the manicurist's, the doorman's, hubby's curious colleagues' or yours. Consider it this way: If it's not acceptable for me to ask how many orgasms you've had this week, it's just as unacceptable for you to ask me about my reproductive plans.
So to all of you getting ready to tell me I'm making a huge mistake by not having another kid, I say this to you with much kindness and affection: Mind your own beeswax. My kid is not lonely, maladjusted, selfish or inflexible because she's an only. She's not tugging at my arm every day, begging me to refill my womb. She's happy, carefree, silly, fun and thoughtful, and has more friends than I could ever wish for her. Yes, when my hubby and I grow old and get sick, she will have more responsibilities, but we're planning for that now. And yes, she might be missing out on a silly sister or jostling little brother, but I have no doubt she'll find other people in her life to fill those vacant spots.
At the end of the day, the bottom line is this: I can't produce another person just to give my kid a companion, someone she may or may not get along with now or decades from now when I'm lying on my deathbed. And I can't do it because other people think I should. So if you and I happen to be on an elevator at some point in the near future, feel free to compliment my shoes or complain about the weather. You can even mention (gag) the Kardashians. I'll talk about almost anything, except my uterus. Or your orgasms.