|Sidney with her two cousin Faith and Lexi, 2010|
My older sister Beth is pregnant with her second child. I can’t begin to tell you how thrilled I am for her, and how thrilled I am to have another baby in the family! Her daughter Lexi is also very excited to become a big sister.
However, my daughter Sidney has been begging me for a baby sister or brother since one of her friends at school last year became a big sister. Now that her cousin is “getting” a younger sister she’s been asking me every day.
The thing is, I really don’t want to have another child. Not now, and probably not ever. I can’t explain why I don’t want another child, maybe it’s because I’m really just not a baby person. I love children, especially my child, but babies are a lot of work and I really just want to take some time to work on a career, myself and my current family members.
When I stop to think about it I feel really guilty. Growing up I spent a lot of time with my sisters and cousins. I always had a playmate, had someone to talk to, someone to help me get through those family events we didn’t want to go to, someone else who understood what it was like growing up with my family (our great, wonderfully weird family). I can’t begin to understand what it would be like to be an only child. I just keep hoping that having cousins close to Sidney's age will be good enough.
Am I being selfish by not having a second child? As guilty as I feel, I don’t think I am. We’re not in a financial position to have another child. Living in my parents house, without a job or a post-secondary education really isn’t what I had planned for myself and Sidney when I found out I was pregnant. Adding another child to that equation would feel wrong.
I know that within time I will be working again, that by September I will be in college and by living at my parents house I am able to pay off my debt and save money.
But how can I expect a five year old child to understand any of that? I can’t, and I don’t, so it’s a difficult topic - one I keep trying to avoid.
What are your opinions on having multiple children vs. an only child?