Recently, I re-blogged an old post of mine, Sibbling Squabbles. It was based on a discussion I had with few friends and on my personal experience.
I received a comment on it from Remya who blogs at Confused Humanity.
You can read the post mentioned in this comment here [Only Child….??]
My response to this couldn’t be in one or two lines and hence I chose to respond through a post.
The decision to have a child must be a collective decision of the couple involved. And because the major responsibilities and health issues are to be handled/borne by the female partner, a little more weight-age must be allowed to her in deciding. Having one child or two or more is solely a decision that CAN BE and MUST BE taken by the couple in question.
Since the time I understood the basic meaning of marriage and parenthood, I have always dreamed of a family with two kids. Though I wanted a fare gap of at least 6 to 7 years between them. Once Anu, my elder one was born after a lot of medical complications, and I had a tough time leaving her behind while going to work, I had not decided about the second one. I was always and always feeling guilty for leaving her behind like that. The good part with me was that I used to leave her at my parents’ place (which is close by), though both of them work, and my mother who is a teacher used to reach back by around 3 p.m. My younger sister was also working in shifts back then and would be home till about 12.30 p.m.-1.00 p.m. So for Anu, she had to be alone with the maid for only 2 to 3 hours. But during this period too, the neighborhood aunt took good care of her by dropping in once in a while and playing with her for sometime.
My second one had to be planned faster due to a medical issue that I’m facing. Yes, she wasn’t fully planned, but the doc had shown me a red signal if I delayed it any further. I’ll be very honest when I say, that when I saw the positive test result in the preg test kit early in the morning, I have cried a bucketful thinking of the injustice we were doing to Anu who had just turned two then. This in no way means that the second one was unwanted. It was only because I was worried that Anu would end up as a neglected child. But to my surprise, having the second one at that time has had a lot of positive impact on Anu.
Before I let you know of the positive impacts, there are a few things I need to tell. Being the first child in both the families, Anu was very close and highly loved by both her Mausi (my sis; maternal aunt) and Bua (hubby’s sis; paternal aunt). So much that many a days, I used to leave her at my parents’ place as she was fast asleep tightly hugged by her Mausi. Both Mausi and Bua got married between my conception and delivery. So Anu would have ended up feeling quite lonely and too suddenly.
Thus, Lil Love’s entry though not so planned, was at the perfect timing. Anu was always a shy and under-confident child. Genes received from both me and hubby. Lil Love, who was comparatively better in social skills gave her enough and more competition for her to want to improve. Within a year of Lil Love’s birth we had seen phenomenal changes in Anu. She still isn’t perfectly confident as her teacher mentions, but she has definitely improved a lot. She’s become more forthcoming, has become a little bit confident and sometimes does take initiative in doing things on her own and to prove that she’s no less.
It’s a wonderful sight to see them sitting next to each other and discussing their day/issues when on weekends I go to fetch them from school.
So for me, having opted for a second child has only been a good decision. While I say this, I do understand the difficulty in raising kids all alone when you’re a career mom, and the financial responsibility too is a huge factor.
My sis lives in the Mid-East and has to take care of everything from A to Z by herself, because they do not get domestic helps easily there. She has a three year old son, and I know how much tough it is for her to manage with the single child, his play school, day care and her office timings. I have always stood for the need of a sibling, but I myself support her in her decision to have a single child.
Rearing a child is a huge responsibility in itself and trust me, it doesn’t matter how many hands you have at home, the mother still has a lot to manage by herself. So the decision on the number of children is purely and purely yours alone. And there is no need to feel guilty. The single child will see you all through the growing years and will surely know how much effort you’ve put in and will definitely understand your reasons. More than the amount of time you spend with the child, it is the quality of time spent that matters.
You and only you know if you’re prepared for a child or not…let alone a second child. There is no point bringing a life into this world if we aren’t able to provide for them.
I hope I’ve answered you well Remya.