As my husband and I have been trying for almost 2 years to get pregnant with our second child (it’s been 22 months of trying to be exact), there’s been a lot of time to process and think (and rethink!) over my feelings.
Blogging has been an eye-opening way to chronicle my journey of trying to conceive. As I go back and reread old posts, I can remember the times when I felt hopeful, fully anticipating that pregnancy was going to happen for me at any moment. Then came the shock of hitting the 12-month mark with still no baby – of realizing that I had suddenly become a statistic, the 1 out of every 8 couples dealing with infertility.
After about a year and a half of trying, and after being evaluated and realizing we had some fertility challenges, I started coming to terms with the fact that my husband, son, and I might always be a family of three. I grieved, I accepted, I (mostly) made peace.
I love my family and think we’re pretty great! But I hate feeling like others view us as an “only” family. We “only” have one kid. If “only” our family was different, we would be complete.
There’s no one right way for a family to look – I’m always disappointed when I hear people say things like, “when are you going to have kids?” or “when are you going to get married?”
What do you mean when? Why do you presume that everyone needs to follow some prescribed path like we’re playing the Game of Life, filling up our little plastic car with pink and blue peg people?
I recently came across the following tweet and have found it so validating:
Yes, a couple is a family. A person living alone can be a family. Roommates can be family. Pets can be family. The friends and people you choose to invite into your life are family.
Having children is not the only way to be a family.
As I continue to think about my life of being a mother to “only” one, my sweet son Calvin, I prepare myself for the inevitable comments from “concerned” observers:
Don’t you worry about Calvin becoming spoiled if he’s an only child?
Won’t Calvin be lonely without any brothers or sisters?
You should consider fostering or adoption.
I think for the most part, people who say these types of things are wanting to be helpful. But I have to say I’ve never found these comments helpful in the least – they are invalidating, insensitive, and offensive. Having kids (or more kids) does not automatically solve problems or make raising a child easier. Most of these issues need intentionality and time to be addressed.Read More »