Yes, we only have ONE child.
We’ve been thinking a lot about family planning lately. We started trying for a second child a year or so ago, but then after a couple months of the stress of it all, I was like, why are we doing this to ourselves when we’re happy with our miracle baby?
The truth is, we put a lot of expectations on ourselves. We see our friends having second and third kids. We end up being the only couple with only one child when we’re at birthday parties. People ask us everywhere we go, “Is she your only child?” (Yes, Margie, she is our only child.) I don’t know if it’s society or our own selves, but why do we feel the need to be just like everyone else? I actually thought to myself this past weekend how happy we are with Kennedy. She’s always been the happiest and easiest child. She’s soared through every transition with flying colors and we’ve still never had a hard season with her. We’re a very mobile family and she’s a champ at adapting! After like the millionth person asked if she was our only one, I found myself wishing we lived in China, or on a space ship with limited oxygen, where it was totally normal and okay to only have one child. (See, I just did it to myself…”Only”)
All of this got me thinking about the pressure we put on ourselves to be or look like everyone else or to be seen as acceptable to other people. The phrase, “You do you, boo.” is running rampant, but who actually does that? I think it’s time to start making some changes to my 36 year old self.
Stop trying to fit in. In this culture of competing with the Joneses, it’s hard not to compare yourself to other people and families. But at some point, you have to realize we are all different, and praise God for that or how boring would life be? We’re all different, we all have different personalities, different things that fuel us, and different passions. So there is NO norm, and competing with the Joneses is exhausting. Be who God made you to be, focus on being YOU, and your own unique family. Then, we can start celebrating instead of comparing.
Stop worrying about what other people think. I tell myself all of the time, and pride myself on not caring, but at the end of the day, I care a lot. LIKE ME is something always at the back of my mind. And really, what other people think of you is none of your business, and we should all spend less time worrying about what other people think and more time focusing on how we’re going to love others and love our family well. Comparing just makes us self-absorbed and insecure. So stop the comparing, stop worrying about your perception and enjoy life. The worst part about comparing your weaknesses to other people’s strengths, is that it’s a dead end road. We’re comparing what we know of ourselves to someone else’s highlight reel. We all have issues. So focus on the good, focus on loving and serving instead of comparing and judging.
Learn to say “No” without stressing over it. There are seasons and in certain seasons of life we have to learn to say “No” and “Sorry, I just can’t right now.” Who needs that kind of added stress, and everyone understands because we’re all in the same boat. A lot of us women want to pile on the activities, but at some point, we need margin for the most important things or we’ll be loving our families out of an empty cup. So learn to say “yes” to the things that fuel you, and “no” to the things that drain you.
And hear me out, we still haven’t decided against trying again, even though the thought of it gives me anxiety because it’s literally never been an easy process for us. AND, we are seriously praying about adoption too. The point I needed to make to myself is that I can’t worry about these things because I feel like we are broken or flawed somehow for only being a family of three. I can’t feel like the abnormal one because our family doesn’t look like everyone else’s does. It’s time to stop worrying about what other people think, stop comparing and judging, and learn to say “NO” when we need to. Let’s truly live it out – “You do you, boo.”