People are often wary of having just one child. Guest editor Olerato tells us what it’s like.

I often get asked what it’s like having just one child, followed by many other questions. Does she get bored? Doesn’t she feel lonely? Aren’t you sad she’s growing up so fast? Are you planning on having another, and when?

The truth is I always give the same lukewarm answer – it’s fun! In some cases, I go into details of why I say so, but in others, I just leave it at that. If I had all the time in the world, here’s what I’d say.

I have been blessed with a healthy, bubbly, very energetic baby girl, whom I absolutely adore. Watching her grow up into this little semi-independent human being has been an absolute pleasure and nothing short of magical.

I’ve come to know and understand her needs even when she’s not saying them out loud. She’s taught me to be patient, and to listen attentively. She’s shown me love even when I thought there wasn’t any left. She’s taught me to forgive fast and smile more, and she has introduced me to myself in ways I never thought possible. She loves me even when I am not very happy with her behaviour and she continues to be the shining light in my life.

But she has also driven me to my wits’ end. She has pushed boundaries, broken rules, sneaked out of the house to go play with friends, and just downright rebelled against everything. On these days, I am reminded of just how tough parenting can be, so I roll up my sleeves and soldier on, because there is no turning back.

So, getting back to the questions I get asked, having one child has been amazing. Yes, sometimes she gets bored – there are only so many rounds of hide and seek you can play with Mommy and Daddy before you get tired of it. She gets lonely too and, in those moments, she asks me for a baby sister. I am sad to see her grow up so fast, while also very excited for the journey ahead. But most importantly, I am grateful for the relationship we have and the decision to keep such a big gap between our children.

The four years I’ve spent with my daughter have helped me identify and understand who she is as a person. Those years have given me the opportunity to identify effective discipline techniques, parenting style, and put them into practice, with loads of room to grow and change as we go along.

I have given her my undivided attention without suffocating her, attended to her needs without hesitation, while at the same time enjoying my role as a parent. In a nutshell, each day has been a complete adventure.

Perhaps she will get a sibling at some point, but for now, I am soaking up the magic that she is. I am continuing to learn as much as I can about her blossoming personality and I am enjoying the freedom I still have as a mom to just one child.

Some people call it selfish, but the reality is there are no hard and fast rules on how to raise your kids, and there are none on how many kids one should have and how far apart they should be. It is all a personal choice, and my personal choice right now is to dwell on the magic of having one child.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Olerato is an IT specialist who’s worked in the corporate arena for the past seven years. She’s a blogger in her spare time, and has one daughter, Kamo, also known as Kbear. You can find her blog at http://mommyandbabyapproved.co.za/

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