One and Only?

Lauren Young

When you start dating someone seriously, everyone asks you when you are getting married. And once you walk down the aisle, you are interrogated on your procreation plans. Then first child comes, and everyone wants to know when the second one will arrive. If you have two kids, the next question is "Will you go for three?" (Suddenly, two is the new three.)


Right now I think I’m stuck on one. But that doesn’t stop people from asking me when I’ll be knocked up again.

A good friend told me over the weekend that having two kids is more than twice the work, and, as a Working Parent, I’m not sure if I can handle the juggling act.

The reason for my reluctance “to go for two” is probably because we had a rough start: our son Leo came out on Halloween 2004 with an enormous, lumpy, bumpy birthmark covering 80% of his back. I’ve blogged about it before, so I won’t bore you with the details.

Suffice it to say, he’s spent more time with doctors and hospitals in the past 21 months than all of my family members combined. Leo's surgeon suggested to us that we delay having kids until we are finished with his medical treatment (which should be by the end of the year), and frankly I'm enjoying the free pass.

Yet I think about having another child every day. As I write this, I'm sitting in our guest room/office/crapatorium which is filled to the ceiling-—literally—-with baby crap that I cannot bear to part with yet: a bouncy seat, an exersaucer, five trunk-sized plastic bins of baby and maternity clothing. Still, the idea of two bambinos seems so daunting.

My biggest fears?

When I'm tired, I'm an uber-bitch. I'm not sure my marriage can survive another kid.

How will we afford college for two children?

Can I work full-time and have enough of me left to go around for my family?

If Leo is an only child, who will he have after my husband and I are gone.

New York Magazine did a provocative cover story on sassy only kids, which included these amazing statistics: “Today, according to the 2003 Current Population Survey, single-child families outnumber two-child families (20% versus 18%), and social scientists tentatively predict that the number of onlies will keep growing, bringing the national average number of children per family down below 2.1. In Manhattan, more than 30% of New York City women over 40 have only one child, and over 30% of all families are single-child families, according to data compiled by Rutgers University.”

I'd love to hear from other Working Parents, especially those with only children, about your choices.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.