Single Child Mommy Guilt

Baby J recently celebrated her 2nd birthday and in honour of the big day I threw an Elmo themed party at home with a special appearance by the red furry monster himself. (thank you partyatyourplace)  Baby J was so happy to see him and enjoyed her special day more than I ever expected. She brings us such joy every single day that it was great to do something for her.

Since that day I have guilt nagging away at me. What if Baby J isn’t truly happy in the future? What if we choose not to try to give her the one thing she really wants?

My husband and I grew up in big families, with each of us having 3 siblings. Yes we fought/fight with our siblings but we are grateful to have them. My siblings each have two children of their own. Many of my friends are on to child number three; yet I am perfectly content with having an “only child”. Only one child to put to bed at night, only one child to get ready in the morning, no sibling rivalry to deal with etc etc etc. Baby J benefits by getting our undivided attention and activities are age appropriate for her. The list of pro’s could go on and on.

But the cons weigh so heavily on my heart. What if Baby J grows up lonely? What if she longs for a younger brother or sister to grow up with? What if she sees the sibling bond that others have and wants to feel that also? What if she doesn’t understand our choice to not “try again”.

To understand my dilemma you need to understand that prior to having Baby J my husband and I went through 4 years of hell, including two stillbirths one year apart. (will blog more about that another day). To make a long story short, my husband and I are not willing to gamble on another pregnancy. We feel we hit the jackpot with our miracle baby and we are neither mentally nor physically prepared to try again. We have learned the hard way that a happy healthy baby is not always a guarantee.

Do we owe Baby J to try again? Are we being cowards? Are we being bad parents? For the most part our family and friends have been understanding of our decision as they know the pain we experienced in the past.

I just hope that Baby J will someday understand….

11 thoughts on “Single Child Mommy Guilt

  1. Hi Shweta,

    I loved your blog and understand where you are coming from. Reading it brought years to my eyes – no one can truly understand what you went through.

    I just have one point to make – imagine my life if you weren’t in it?

  2. I don’t think ‘cowards’ should be a word used in your story…all you went through for your little one demonstrates that you two were quite the contrary. You have to do what is right for your family…what feels right. Your baby will know that you love her…and the battles you went through to bring her this very family that adores her. lovely post.

  3. Families are unique with their own stories. They come in all ‘shapes’ and sizes. All have pros and cons. Everything in life does. As an only child I always wanted siblings. I now have a step sister I love like my own but it’s not the same as we don’t share any common parent. For me, I wanted my son to have a sibling more than anything and so we have 2. They are begging for another baby but that is not in the plans at all.

    As I began reading I was ready to say go for it, try again. Then I continued reading and realized that you have tried really. You’ve experienced loss and then had your miracle baby. That is such a blessing. When she is older she will know you did try and she will understand.

    The nice thing for her is she will always have a lot of cousins to bond with and I would only suggest encouraging those connections and relationships. Taking time to form close friendships with friends she meets along the way will also help fill that void. Just know that at the end of the day she will be ok and you are not cowards or anything similar if your decision is not to try again.

    There is no ‘correct’ way to be a family. Society likes to place these expectations on us but it’s all a bunch of hogwash.

  4. Shweta,
    This post brought me to tears. You have a beautiful family and are so blessed to have little J, as you already know. I can’t imagine the difficulties and ordeals you’ve had to endure on the path to giving birth to her and I admire you for your strength and courage. You are neither cowards nor bad parents to be able to recognize the incredible blessing you have and decide to make the most of it. She will one day learn how strong and courageous her mother is. Thanks for sharing such a personal story.
    Sheba

  5. My cousin is an only child, and he’s perfectly amazing – intelligent, has a cute little family with wife and adorable daughter. He had his cousins growing up and plenty of friends in school and via sports. I think Baby J will be okay and will grow to love the company of her parents. I was an only child till 8 years of age, and loved it. Try not to worry 🙂

  6. I think you and your OH are amazing – that you kept trying despite such grief.
    My hubby and I have one child – we met late in life and feel very lucky that we managed to conceive let alone carry her to term. Before her, I had an early miscarriage and since her birth I’ve had a further 2 miscarriages. It took a long time to get over those and that affected the relationship I had with my husband.
    My daughter is 4 and constantly plays with her imaginary sister – it breaks my heart but I hope that one day she’ll understand why she’s an only child. In the meantime, we spend as much time as possible with her content in the knowledge that we don’t have to share our affection for her with anyone else.

    • Thank you for sharing this with me. I’m so sorry for your losses but so glad that you have a little girl to watch grow up. My little one is only 2 and so hasn’t asked about siblings yet, I am nervous for the day that she does.

      • Hi Shweta, I found your blog through Masalamommas. The courage you and your husband have is simply indescribable. I am so glad you have your miracle baby, such a precious child. I wrote about my daughter asking for a baby sibling recently: http://kitkattwins.blogspot.com/2012/02/that-one-wish.html

        It’s hard, but from very early on I would tell my babies the story of their birth, so they have it ingrained in them that they were fought for very hard, and wanted so very badly, and that we have to be so grateful we have each other.

      • Thanks Raji! I read your post and am following your blog. Look forward to the updates!

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