From the moment my son George was born, people started asking me when I was going to start trying for another child. I’d barely got my head around the fact I was responsible for one tiny baby, and friends, family and complete strangers had already decided my family needed to grow.
He’s now almost five years old and I still get asked if I’m planning to have another baby. I like to deflect the questioner by asking how THEIR sex life is. Alternatively, I just give one of these 19 reasons why having one child is enough…
1. No bickering
Having two or more children doesn’t mean you’re creating an instant squad. It means you’re creating opponents in what will become a decade-long squabble. With just the one child, I don’t have to ever referee a scrap started by one of them getting a slightly larger slice of cake than the other.
2. The expense
Kids are expensive. Having more kids is more expensive. It really is that simple. From how much you spend on Freddos to how many pairs of PE knickers you need, having just the one child will limit the damage to your bank balance.
3. The effect on your body
Speaking of damage, having a baby tends to leave its mark on your body. Yes, there are those weird types who just ‘ping back’ into shape after giving birth - think Victoria Beckham and Abbey Clancey - but the majority of mums are left with stretch marks, saggy tummies and all sorts of other unmentionables.
4. One word: Labour
There’s a reason it’s called ‘labour’ and not ‘fun time’. I still have nightmares about giving birth - I certainly wouldn’t want to be going through it again.
5. Having a favourite
Anyone who has siblings knows that despite their protestations, most parents’ DO have a favourite. And if it’s not you, it sucks. George will forever be my favourite.
Nothing is made easier by adding more children to the mix. You need more stuff. You need eyes that can look at more than one thing at a time. You need a brain that doesn’t go into meltdown at the thought of two children running wild in the aisles of Tesco. That’s me out.
7. Getting your life back
Obviously having a child will change your life completely - in wonderful ways as well as some not-so-wonderful ways. But if you want your new normal to in any way resemble the life you had before, then call it quits at one kid.
8. The joys of being pregnant
Some women love being pregnant. They glow. They look amazing in dungarees. I was not one of those women. Funnily enough, I’m not keen to repeat nine months of puking, acid indigestion, back ache, cankles and an uncontrollable craving for sugar.
9. A better bond
As it stands, George only has me for entertainment and as much as he might wish he had a brother to punch, I really think we have a better bond as a result.
10. More eco-friendly
If you care about the environment at all then you’ll stick to one child. Obviously it’s better to have no children at all but if you do want a family, go small and go green.
11. Less impact on public services
You might have noticed that public services - the NHS and education – are crumbling before our very eyes. If we all had only one child, we might be able to save some of them being ripped up and sold off for parts. Maybe.
12. Less impact on your career
For me, the double whammy of needing to work around nursery hours and needing to move to be near my family meant that I had to completely change my career. I can’t imagine what impact having a second child would have, but I imagine it would involve stress, horrible hours and probably a lot less pay.
13. The ease of getting a babysitter
If I fancy a night out or just need someone to watch George for an hour while I nip out to get my nails done, a babysitter is relatively easy to find. If I had, say, four kids that needed watching, I imagine volunteers would be thinner on the ground.
14. Cooking just one meal
With one child I don’t have to do eight versions of the same meal to keep everyone happy. Which is handy, as I’m a terrible cook.
15. Choosing a name
Deciding on a baby name that I would like forever was seriously hard
work. And then, once I finally thought I’d found one I could say, on a daily basis, for the rest of my life, Kate and Wills had Prince George and ruined it for me. Like pregnancy and labour, I have no urge to go through that process again.
16. No hand-me downs
George has never had to wear a slightly cruddy old t-shirt or pair of jeans. And when he has grown out of it, it goes straight to the charity shop, making me feel warm and fuzzy
17. One uni fund
Assuming university still exists by the time George gets to 18 (and they haven’t all been shut down in a post-Brexit apocalypse), I only have one child’s education to save up for. It’ll probably cost £100k a year by the time he is old enough to go, but that’s another story…
I was one of those smug mums whose baby started sleeping for 12 hours a night from the age of 12 weeks. There is NO WAY I would be so lucky again.
19. Having a sports car
When my midlife crisis hits, I can buy a two-seater car and be able to fit my whole family in it. Happy days.