Is anything wrong with having a single child?
As a kid, I was blessed with intelligence; I was a stickler for sincerity and passionate about work. And all these assets together ensured that I excelled at academics. It was only natural that I should have stars in my eyes; yearn for excellence and desire to chart a successful career. To my happiness, everything happened as per plan. I found myself doing well in my career, getting the right opportunities and being appreciated for my efforts. Soon I met the man of my dreams and both of us settled down; each pursuing our own aspirations. Life was cruising along. And then the inevitable happened.
Parents, relatives, friends started popping the same question, directly and indirectly — when are you going to plan a family? We were jolted out of our reverie. Oh yes, my body clock was ticking away and we needed to plan. It took some time but finally we decided to take the bold step; and I am really happy that we did. Our daughter came into our life like a breath of fresh air. She not only became the apple of our eyes but was also a source of great joy for both sets of grandparents. They prided themselves in teaching her about various aspects of life that school would never do. She too basked in the attention she got from everyone.
We managed to keep our careers afloat with support from our parents and our respective organizations. Soon, our daughter was admitted to kindergarten and we had the right caregivers to help us. Life was slowly getting back to normal. Then we received the second jolt — what about the second baby, questioned our well-wishers. They gave ample arguments in favour of having two children. That left both of us puzzled. Was it really necessary to have two? We thought over the pros and cons, and finally decided that we were fine with one child. And here are the reasons why.
We can maintain the right work-life balance with just one child — Yes, we want to fly high and reach the zenith in our professional lives. We have every right to think about our own personal aspirations too. After having experienced all the joys of having a child, there would not be anything new to achieve by having a second one, while it would certainly be demanding on our time and energy. It would be really difficult to balance work and life with the responsibility of two children on our shoulders; it would take a toll on our career graph.
We can do justice to the needs of only one child — Today every parent wants to give the best to her child. This includes education in a good school, professional degree from a reputed institution and then a higher degree from an international university. It also includes other comforts and luxuries at home along with vacations at exotic global locales. With both parents earning in the family, it might be just comfortable to meet these needs of one child. However, a second one means a lot more expenses and maybe a lot more compromises.
We have done away with the generation gap — Gone are the days when children used to be in awe of their parents. They would hardly utter a word in their presence and shy away from any kind of discussions. However, parents of today are much closer to their children. For example, I can talk freely with my child on any subject and that includes sex too. We are much more understanding, provide them their freedom and in turn children confide in us about all their problems; be it bullying, drugs, boyfriends or simply academics. We are just like their friends, only more mature.
We live in nuclear families and hence can provide support system for just one child — Unlike yesteryears when joint families flourished and children grew up easily with everyone sharing all the responsibilities, it is now the era of nuclear families. With couples flocking to metros for better career opportunities, it can be a real strain to look after two children. Yes, caregivers and crèches are available, but they cannot provide the emotional connect that a family does. And it can be physically draining to do justice to the needs of two children, home and office.
Are there any disadvantages of having a single child?
Well, there is a flip side to everything in life and the same applies here too. A single child gets all the attention of parents and there is every danger that she will become self-centred. She might think that it is her right to receive all the privileges of life. Parents become over-protective. The child does not learn to struggle to achieve anything; everything is dropped into her lap without asking for it. In the long run, she might get frustrated and easily depressed if she does not get something she aspires for.
However, intelligent parents can ensure that such situations can be avoided. They will nurture their children so that they will become resilient enough to overcome obstacles in life. By developing a more mature mindset, parents can show the world that having one child is fine; they can be winners in every field too!