Monday, March 17, 2014

A weak finish...

So, I may have gone a little crazy with my last post…maybe I was a little ahead of myself.  So, the book was good, but not as great as I thought.   A couple of the chapters (8 and 9) were a little too macro for me…they felt disconnected to the "real life" points that I THOUGHT the author was making.  They talked about financial considerations and the environment.  Unless she was trying to convince everyone to have only one kid on order to save the world (which is just as stupid as trying to convince everyone to have an army of children), I think those two chapters could have been left out, or at least presented differently.

So, I remain in search of some type of solace, not so much in my decisions but in not letting others "get to me" in their horrible, negative, mean comments.  I suppose that needs to come from within, not from someone else's work.  Nonetheless, many of the points in the book did express my thoughts and feelings.  Here is the review I wrote on Good Reads:

I enjoyed this book, though chapters 7 and 8 felt disconnected with the macro-level approach. I suppose I was really hoping for the justification I need in having an only child (especially being an only child myself). Of course, the book fell short of that as that is a ridiculously lofty goal--especially for someone else to provide FOR me. ;) 

I definitely recommend this not only for only children and/or parents of only children, but for anyone. The horrible, mean, degrading things people say to me have cut me to my core and I would love for others to shatter their negative "beliefs" about families of 3.

I also think this book is missing some important points, at least from my perspective. The term "choice" needs to be more broadly defined. Sure, it was my "choice" to have only one child, but it was not strictly economic, nor was it anti-religious or selfish or freeing (as I feel like this book may come across as suggesting). For me, it had a lot to do with (physical) postpartum complications and a husband who was at war for 3 years following our daughter's birth. It had a lot to do with perusing a career that I feel contributes to motherhood--not at odds with it. It has to do with nurturing a marriage and respecting the opinions of my husband on the most important decision we can make as parents. 

But, ultimately, I hope that people outside of the only child world read this to understand we are still onlies and the parents of "only" one child. We have the same triumphs and challenges as anyone else. I loved the point that, though we are the same, we do tend to experience live with more intensity. I also like that this book isn't a ploy to get people to have only one child, but rather an argument that families are not one size fits all, and that it's time to stop stereotyping only children or looking down on their parents, as there is no basis for such. We don't fit into a categorical box any more than anyone else.

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