I am a stay at home mom and I “only” have one kid. I say “only” because it feels like when you tell someone that you’re a stay at home mom, the automatic assumption is that you have a few kids. Like one isn’t enough to validate the choice to be a stay at home parent. All the podcasts I listen to about raising kids at home and all the blogs I read about parents who stay home all have multiple children to take care of and it feels like being a parent to only one child isn’t considered “enough.” I feel like I’m not allowed to be as tired as I sometimes am because I “only have one to worry about” as if my six year old doesn’t sometimes feel like an entire tribe all in herself. Like I’m not supposed to get overwhelmed or frustrated because “it’s not like you have to split your time between multiple kids.” Giving all of my attention to only one kid can and does get overwhelming - there’s no downtime. It’s not like I can send her to the other room to play with her siblings. It’s just me and her most of the time.
And that’s an awesome thing. I can devote myself to her and really focus on her when we play or talk to just spend time together. She’s has an amazing little imagination and can entertain herself with her toys for hours if she’s so inclined. We’re past the point of diapers and bottles and constant supervision so I can let her play by herself without (too much) fear of the trouble she could be getting into by me not being right next to her. She goes to Kindergarten and comes home filled with stories about her day and the other kids and her teachers and how awesome school can be. And I love that I’m available to her for field trips and after school activities and help with homework and projects. But when asked by other parents about what I do for living, I inwardly cringe when telling them I’m at SAHM because I’m almost always immediately asked how many other kids I have. When I answer that Scarlett is enough, the next question is invariably, “So when are you going back to work?” Because once your kids are all in school, you’re no longer needed at home, right? And if you only have one child, then as soon as they start school, you’re supposed to clock out of being a SAHM and get right back into the workforce.
I don’t buy it.
There is still work to be done at home. Chores to be done, food to be cooked, laundry to be folded. Granted I may not have to do as many loads of laundry or dishes as someone who has a bunch of children, but that doesn’t mean my work is any less important or necessary.
Having a bunch of kids is awesome for those parents that choose that. But having just one is completely valid, too. It still takes a toll on you - both mentally and physically. I shouldn’t have to feel less than for answering that Scarlett is an only child and we’re not planning on having any more.
One is enough.
She is enough.
I am enough.
Motherhood is not a contest and it sucks that it so often feels like it is. Whether you have one kid or an entire brood, it is enough.
love & cupcakes,