Friends of mine have been raving about a stylish parenting magazine called 'Cookie' lately. A major magazine afficionado, I am familiar with this tomb, but had not been previously 'wowed' by it. I decided to give it another look when I had a few minutes today at the library.
I saw a few interesting features. One that really caught my eye was labeled something like, "Writers speak out on the right number of children for them: 0, 1, 2, or 3." What followed was four separate narratives, one from a childless (or 'childfree' however you want to put it) woman, and the remaining three had, you guessed it, 1, 2, or 3 children.
Due to my limited time, I was mostly only able to skim the piece by the woman with the single child. It was lovely. She talked about how she never really set out to have just one, things just turned out that way. Now that her daughter is 12, she just loves it. The writer cited her own childhood in which she was one of a few children. She said her favorite memory was one when she visited a flower market on a rare outing alone with her mother and had just a magical day. She talked about how much one-on-one time with her mother meant, and how as it was so rare, she remembered every moment. The woman went on to say how close she and her own twelve year old daughter are, and how they never have to work at having quality time together. Every day is 'flower market day' and she really treasures it.
She went on to say that recently they took a vacation and brought along a friend of her daughter's. Although they had a fun time with the friend, the writer talked about how she kind of missed her daughter on the trip, as she was making an effort to really spend time with the friend, including her and making her feel welcome. After the trip, she and her daughter went to lunch and shopping. They shared fav moments from the trip and just chatted about hairstyles and school, etc. The mom reflected again on the special bond of just one.
As a mother of just one myself, I really enjoyed this article. So much is written and celebrated about the joys of large families, and the joys of families with 2 children. I can totally see the benefits of both family sizes, and sometimes even feel a little wistful, even though I definitely feel one is the best number for us. Its just nice to see someone also tout the positives of just one (because there are a lot!) and not treat it like an unfortunate situation.
When I get Christmas cards from friends featuring a group of cute kids in matching outfits, or hear other moms affectionately refer to their family as their 'brood' or 'gang', I will likely sometimes still feel slight longing for multiple children. As my daughter is growing older, however, I am enjoying her more and more. She adds such a dynamic to our little family. Like the author, even though quality time comes much more easily, we still both treasure it so much. Our games, our jokes, our shared hobbies, all make our relationship so amazing.
There are so many benefits to every family size, don't you think??? What family size works for you?