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One Amazing Child




Google “only child” and you get more than 31 million hits.


This strikes me as completely ridiculous. Why is our society so obsessed with only children and the good or bad aspects of being one?

I am often asked if Sabine is an only child and up until recently I would always give my very canned response with downcast eyes.

“Yes. She is, and will continue to be, an only child. It took years and a lot of medical intervention for us to have Sabine. She is very special.”

While this response was not bad in the sense that it brought to light our struggle with infertility, it was not particularly good. You see, I don’t like the negative edge that “only child” has. The word only implies “not enough” and that is not fair when it comes to a human being. We are all enough. We are all amazing creatures with cool thoughts and awesome abilities. Why on earth would we refer to ourselves as an “only.” We might be one, but we are far from only.

It is with this in mind that I have changed my canned response. When someone asks me if Sabine is an only child I now respond with, “Sabine is our one amazing child. It took a long time and a lot of medical intervention to have her. She is very special.”

I want to change the way we speak about families with one child. One is awesome. One is perfect. One is exactly what we all longed for when we were neck deep in injections, transvaginal ultrasounds, pregnancy tests and tears. One is amazing.




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  1. June 16, 2016

    You should submit this to Scary Mommy!

  2. June 16, 2016

    I like your new canned response, but I disagree that “only” means not enough. I am Brian’s one and only, and I surely think that means the opposite of “not enough.” When I learn that people have just one child, I usually think that one is simply their ideal number, not that the child is “not enough.” I have a lot of friends who have chosen to have just one child, not because they can’t have more, and their lives are so incredibly fulfilled because that one child is all they wanted.

    As a side note, people often say to me, “you only have the two boys?” or, “only the two boys?” and I’ve never thought that they think they’re not enough or that they think I should have a girl. I just think they’re showing interest and making conversation.

    I guess we all view even the simplest of words differently. 😊

  3. June 17, 2016

    Oh god I so needed to hear this today xoxo

  4. June 17, 2016

    ❤ & ^ what chon said.

  5. Kathy #
    June 17, 2016

    Growing up as the oldest of five, we lived next door to an family with one child. I envied her at times for being the centre of all the attention and receiver of all available resources. I’m sure at times she envied me for having in-house playmates, there was never a dull moment. Both of our households were filled with love and that’s all that really matters. I like your response to the question, but are people really owed an explanation ?

  6. jak #
    June 17, 2016

    needed to hear this. thanks and ❤ 🙂

  7. June 17, 2016

    This is an absolutely gorgeous picture of Sabine.

  8. June 17, 2016

    Whats wrong with 1? I personally wouldnt say the trouble conceiving part when asked such a question because that would mean you actually want a second, but cannot for whatever reason., which does make your family sound incomplete.
    Just my opinion though!
    Let me however say that even 2 is not enough, most people expect every family to be complete only if there is a boy and a girl. Sad! I think 1 is wonderful, my husband is a single child and I see the benefits he had while growing up.

  9. Amanda #
    June 17, 2016

    I needed to hear this too. Thank you

  10. June 18, 2016

    I like your response but i hope you don’t take it too personally. I don’t think these comments are reserved for parents of only children. I have 3 boys and I get “but surely you guys are going to try for a girl next” ALL the time. Even from people who know we went through IVF twice to have those wonderful boys. I get comments in front of my oldest “oh that’s sad, no girls?” and it makes me so angry because I don’t want him to hear it and I also very much disagree. We thought we might never have kids and here we are with 3 amazing little boys. I have had exactly zero moments of wishing one had been a girl.

    • June 18, 2016

      I am in the same boat as you. The, “only the two boys?” comments don’t bother me at all, but the, “surely you want a girl?” comments make me so damn mad. When we were thinking of having a third, even my mom said, “you wouldn’t be considering a third if this one was a girl,” as she pointed to my very pregnant belly. I told her that just wanting boys was what was KEEPING me from wanting a third. People assume we all want what they want, which is ridiculous.

      I am a very enthusiastic “boy mom” and having a girl doesn’t even interest me. If I didn’t have a bum uterus that got me fired from our OB office, we’d maybe consider a third if we could be guaranteed a third boy!

      • June 18, 2016

        Same here! I was a tomboy as a child and I love boy play! Sure, a girl *could* like the same things but I find that here (I moved to Canada from the Netherlands) girls are usually raised with pink/dresses/princess stuff etc. so I’m actually happy to have boys. Plus I think it’s easier to have all the kids be the same sex.

        • June 18, 2016

          Yes! I’m one of three girls and I always pictured myself with all of the same. Silly, but I did, and I got that. Starting over with a girl would be surreal to me. When people suggest we need a girl or worse, wish we had a girl, I correct them very quickly!

  11. Lisa @ hapahopes #
    June 19, 2016

    Damn straight!

    My canned response is, “Yep. It took a lot of IVF to get her and I’m not doing it again!” Maybe I should add something about stopping at perfection. 😉

  12. June 20, 2016

    I’m sometimes tempted to say “only living”. But I usually don’t.
    And you’re right. One is wonderful.

  13. August 9, 2016

    Instead of ‘my one and only’, I have started saying ‘he’s my one and everything’.

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