According to a People Exclusive written by Alicia Dennis: “Having 19 kids – and willing to welcome more – isn’t just a Duggar thing any more.”
The article talks about the Bates Family — Gil and Kelly and their 19 kids.
While I admire a woman who can raise that many kids, I’m definitely not one of them.
For years whenever someone asked me why I only had the one kid, I would tell them that I didn’t need to have another one because I got it right the first time.
But now, after all these years I think it’s time I told the truth.
The real reason I decided to not have another kid after my son was born is because raising him caused PTSD, a nervous tick in my eyelid and an anxiety disorder that lingers still to this very day.
He was a colicky baby and he cried from the moment I brought him home from the hospital until he was about three months old. By the time his colic disappeared, he was spoiled rotten, his sleep schedule was non existent and I was a crazy person with a wrinkle above my eyes that made me look like a Shar Pei puppy. The experts (those who had successfully raised a kid) told me to let him cry it out, but what they didn’t realize was that my nerves were so jangled that the sound of his crying was more torturous than listening to someone scrape chalk across a blackboard or being water boarded.
Then he learned to crawl and he spent the next few months searching for something to put into his mouth that would either choke him to death or poison him. The rest of his time was spent trying to find an electrical outlet that he could stick his fingers into or something sharp with which to gouge out his eye.
And then he learned to walk!
It seemed that he was constantly trying to injure himself. When he wasn’t climbing to the top of the cabinets or one of the trees in the back yard, he was running toward the street or plowing up the dirt or sidewalk with his face or some other part of his body. I was constantly chasing after him to save him from one looming disaster or another every time we went outside.
One day when he was two he decided he would run next door to the neighbor’s house where their gigantic Saint Bernard was waiting to gobble up anyone who stepped foot into their yard. I ran after him and ran smack into a clothesline which was the exact same height as my forehead. I’m not kidding when I say that it addled me for a good five minutes. I walked around for days with a huge red welt that was roughly the size of the equator across my forehead. Not to mention I was so embarrassed that I avoided my neighbors for the next six months.
Over the years there were other episodes of chaos like minor car accidents that left both of us without cars on several different occasions, speeding tickets, less than average report cards, embarrassing visits to his school on parent-teacher days, and lots of other little things that we can now look back at and laugh, even though it was far from funny back then.
He finally grew up, graduated high school, attended college, got married and had a son of his own, and he turned out okay despite my poor mothering skills. I’m just glad I didn’t break him.
Despite all the nerve-shattering, mind-breaking, traumatic stress-inducing, hand-wringing years of child rearing, I wouldn’t have taken a million dollars for my kid. However, I wouldn’t have given two cents for another one.
And that is why my son was an only child.