After deciding on having kids, would-be parents have to answer the inevitable “How many?” It’s usually a tough call for parents, only because there are a lot of factors to consider.
I am the eldest, and the only girl, in a brood of three. Growing up, I always envisioned a family life of my own with the same number of kids as us. It’s fun to have a sibling, anyway! In my case, I have guaranteed best friends for life, with whom I can share both serious and silly conversations! Now that I am a parent, my perspective about having more than one child slowly changes. Raising a child in this day and age is not the same as it was 30+ years ago!
While many parents believe in “The More, The Merrier” when it comes to having kids, some have firmly taken their “One and Done” stand.
How do moms know one child is enough? Has their child ever asked for a sibling? Let’s read the stories of these three moms!
As a single mother, Mommy Karen has come to accept the reality of raising her daughter by herself. Even if she had her daughter Kylie early on, she finished her degree and strived to support her daughter financially.
Mommy Karen believes that financial status should be one of the main considerations in deciding whether to have more children. She explains, “Through my experience, I have come to understand the difficulties and challenges of raising children in today’s economy, especially in the Philippines. This has made me appreciate the idea of having only one child. My work as a financial advisor has also reinforced this, as I have seen the high cost of college tuition projected for the next 10 to 15 years.”
For her, focusing on Kylie is the best choice. Since Mommy Karen currently lives with her aunt, she is determined to have their own home in the future. She believes that “having a clear plan and focusing on what is important for me and my daughter is the key to building a happy and fulfilling life.” She also said that whenever she shares her thoughts on not wanting to have another child, she is “usually met with understanding and agreement because many can relate to the challenges of raising a child as a single parent.”
With Kylie being surrounded by her cousins, she has not expressed any hints about wanting to have a sibling. In fact, she takes on the role of being a big sister to her 2-year-old cousin, and enjoys the company of her cousins who are of the same age as her.
It’s also a blessing for Mommy Karen to have a small age gap between her and her daughter. According to her, they have a bond that best friends and sisters usually share: they make Tiktok videos, shower and get ready for the day together, go to the mall, try out new restaurants, and even paint each other’s nails!
When Mommy Kianne was younger, she wanted to have two kids: a boy and a girl. After she got pregnant, she wanted to take time to focus on her first child before having another. As the years passed, she finally decided to not get pregnant again. It was a series of moments, instead of a definitive one, that helped Mommy Kianne arrive at the decision of having only one child.
Whenever she tells friends or family about this, they usually think she’s joking. But when Mommy Kianne asks them back if they will take care of the child or contribute financially, that’s when the change of tune comes in.
“I wanted to ensure that Belle gets to live a good life, not necessarily rich or fancy, but one that is comfortable where she doesn’t need to focus on survival. The current cost of living and other issues such as global warming plus economic ‘stability’ are big factors. I didn’t want to introduce an ‘unwilling’ participant to such chaos, thus the decision to not have another child, regardless if I’m financially capable or stable,” Mommy Kianne shares.
Belle was very vocal about having a sibling when she was younger; however, as Belle grew older, Mommy Kianne gently explained to her that she doesn’t plan to have another child.
While they have a relationship akin to that of best friends, they also maintain a boundary to remind themselves that they are mother-daughter.
“Aside from being motherly and affectionate towards her, whenever we have ‘serious’ conversations, I try to talk to her like an adult where I spend a good amount of time explaining the situation so that she is able to understand and make sense of the consequences and the decisions. Now that she’s a teenager, discussing concerns such as her school work, use of gadgets, sense of responsibility, and other topics become a two-way conversation where she gets to have her own say/opinion also instead of me just telling her what to do.”
Mommy Remy almost got her wish of having one girl and one boy until she had a miscarriage when her firstborn Mariel was around 3 or 4 years old. This heartbreak, along with the fear of having another miscarriage, prompted her to take birth pills. As a working mom back then, Mommy Remy was also not into the idea of having her child reared by a yaya, hence the decision to have only one child. It was a good thing that Mommy Remy’s parents just lived nearby, so Mariel was left to her grandparents’ care during the day while her parents work.
Mommy Remy and her husband would always ask Mariel if she wants to have a baby brother/sister. According to Mommy Remy, Mariel was consistent to answer, ‘No, I don’t want!’ maybe “because she enjoyed being the only star of the family or she was contented with the company of her cousins whom she is super close to as if they were siblings.”
As for their relationship, Mommy Remy happily shares that she and daughter Mariel “grew” together and that they have a very strong bond. Needless to say, she and her husband have been so protective of Mariel because “she’s the only one they got.”
“We would always accompany her in almost every school field trip – from elementary to high school! (Our car tailed their school bus). When she was already in college, I even tagged along when she and her friends together with their boyfriends/girlfriends had a beach trip. I became their photographer/videographer,” she shares.
Mommy Remy was not shy to admit that she had her “what ifs.” However, in the long run, she didn’t regret her decision at all. Mariel had to migrate to Canada when she got married. Since Mommy Remy has been widowed and was living alone, it became an easy decision for her to retire early from work and follow Mariel to Canada to help her raise her own family. Mommy Remy said that if she had another child left in the Philippines, it would have been a lot harder and more costly for her to go back and forth between the Philippines and Canada should one child need her tender loving care.