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Stephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor

Stop Shaming Parents for Not Having a Second Kid

“I chose to give him a happy, healthy mommy rather than a sibling.”
PUBLISHED ON 12/07/2018

So when are you having kids?

You and your partner will be asked that very personal question in endless amounts before you begin to grow your family. So once you welcome a sweet child into your hearts, you’d think you’d be putting the kibosh on the constant inquisition. But ask any parent with one kid, and they'll tell you that is so not the case.

Family, friends and even random bystanders love to ask these invasive questions. But whatever your reason for only having one child, you and your partner should never feel the need to defend that decision.

Jen Schwartz of MotherhoodUnderstood shared a guest post on the popular Instagram page Hello My Tribe, where she talks about how and when she knew she was only going to have one kid, and why it’s really no one else’s business but her own.

“If you were to ask me when I knew I was done having kids, I would tell you—I knew I was done the day after I brought my son home from the hospital, the day when postpartum depression (PPD) hit me like a category 1 hurricane.”

Little by little we’re talking more about PPD—its warning signs, symptoms and how to treat it—but there are still so many moms who feel the pressure to hide their anxiety and depression. And the only way to truly be happy and healthy for you and your child is to acknowledge your postpartum feelings and turn to your doctor for help.

Hindsight is 20/20, and Schwartz isn’t afraid to admit how much PPD affected her after her son was born. But that doesn't necessarily mean she wants to get into the nitty-gritty details every time someone asks her when she plans on having another kid.

“One year after I became a mom, I was getting a mani-pedi next to a woman who asked if I had children. I told her I had a 1-year-old boy. She then asked the dreaded question most people follow up with: When are you having your next one,” the mom recounts.

She began to feel defensive, because “saying you are 'one and done' isn’t always met with such acceptance.” Trying to justify her reasoning, she replied with, “my husband and I decided one was enough and the right decision for our family. Our family felt complete.”

And while her reply was normally met with resistance, the new mom was blown away by the stranger’s refreshing response.

“She replied that she only had one son, and ‘sometimes when you create a masterpiece, it doesn’t make sense to paint another.’”

It was an eye-opening moment for Schwartz, who realized the decision not to have more kids was what was best for her and her family.

“When Mason turned 1, I finally felt happy and confident as his mommy. I felt like I had come so far,” she shares. “I went through so much that first year, and I just knew I couldn’t go backwards...I already missed so much of his first year, and I refused to miss any more.”

So while others may judge her for only having one kid, she has zero regrets and is at peace with her decision.

“I made the best choice for my family. I wanted to be the best mommy I could be to my son, and part of that meant taking care of my health. I chose to give him a happy, healthy mommy rather than a sibling.”

Because it was a long road for the family of three, and she’s happy to say: “He is my masterpiece. I’m proud of both of us.”

Every couple has their own reason for whether or not they’ll be having more than one kid. It can be a hard decision to make, and it’s no one else’s business but the parents. In the end, whether you have seven kids or one sweet child, all that matters is you love them endlessly.

PHOTO: Hashira Leon