One and Done
By Ericka Clay on December 28, 2010
My husband and I want only one child. You may not know this (especially if you've been able to survive the baby epidemic up until now) but having or wanting only one child makes you a bit of an anomaly. In fact, sometimes I feel as if people treat me like I'm contagious, as if my willingness to allow my uterus to shrivel up will most certainly send theirs into early retirement. I assure you I'm not that powerful. For the most part.
So why be so selfish and have only one bundle of joy? Easy: there's more I want to do with my life than be a mother. I'll take a second for you to catch your breath after choking down your mild (or not so mild) disgust. I know what you're thinking. You're wondering why the state would allow someone like me, someone who wants to do something more than just stare at her baby and crochet all day, to raise an actual human being. I promise you I'm not as evil as I seem (in fact I'm usually too gracious for my own good no matter how much of a badass I pretend to be. Ask my husband. He does this killer impression of me answering the phone where my voice goes up ten octaves higher so I sound like a little school girl. I can't stop doing it).
I'm not evil, I'm just ambitious. When I was younger I never thought about marriage or weddings or babies. I thought about this: graduating college with my creative writing degree, getting my MFA, publishing a couple of novels, becoming a professor at a small New England college, living in a bungalow with my dog who I never got around to naming but for our purposes here let's call her Midge. I've accomplished one of those things. I have my undergrad in english/creative writing from the University of Arkansas. Check and check. So imagine my surprise when a husband, two dogs and a baby fell into my lap (and I swear to you it happened exactly that way. One day I was minding my own business trying to be all free and single and what not and then this jackass had the audicity to introduce himself to me and change my life for the better. Douche. Bag.). So some might say I'm clinging to the future I thought I'd have, the one where Midge and I play ball for hours on end before heading into the bungalow to grade a crapload of papers. But I'm not. I just know what I want and I'm tailoring my life to achieve it.
I see nothing wrong with this. I see nothing wrong with having one child because I know I'll be able to concentrate on my writing and raising my kid (emphasis on the singular). I see nothing wrong with knowing you're not equipped to take on more than you can handle. In fact, I sometimes wish other people would adopt the same mentality.
Now don't get me wrong. I'm not hating (oh hell, let's go with hatin.' It just feels right) on people with more than one kid or those who want more. As long as I don't end up paying for them knock yourself out! If you respect my decision i will most certainly respect yours (unless you decide to kick puppies. Then you shall fear my wrath).
I must go and pay attention to my child now and the incredibly tall pile of laundry I must conquer. Oh and by the way, i totally know I've just jinxed myself by posting this. I should probably add "study up on baby names" to my to-do list.
Ericka Clay, Writer
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