When “Only” Is Enough

When "Only" Is Enough

We recently celebrated our son’s second birthday. I posted a picture of him on social media with a tribute to all that year two has brought our family. The comments were full of sweet compliments and heart emojis, all things I expected to see. What I wasn’t expecting was a conversation I found myself in a few days later at the office. It started with something like “I can’t believe how big he’s gotten” and turned into “When are you going to give him a sibling?” It caught me off guard because it’s been a while since someone has asked me that question.

You see, we don’t plan on giving him a sibling and we’re ok with that.

Credit: Photography by Taryn Yager

If you would have asked me ten years ago how many kids I wanted, I would have said “at least three.” However, our journey to becoming parents was not an easy one. It spanned over seven years and was full of medications, appointments, surgeries, and procedures — none of which resulted in a baby. We had essentially given up and were coming to terms that it may just be the two of us. We sold our house, moved into a flipper that would eventually become a rental, and booked a few vacations. After receiving some truly Heaven-sent signs to not give up, we got our first ever positive pregnancy test. We were shocked and elated all at the same time. Nine months later, we were home as a family of three. I won’t say that I immediately had peace that he would be our only one, but it happened quickly. It wasn’t because anything happened during pregnancy or birth. It wasn’t because of anything he did or didn’t do as a newborn. I just knew and I was at peace with it.

I remember the first time I was asked “Are you ready for number two?” We hadn’t been home for even 24 hours (I’m pretty sure I was still wearing my hospital bracelet); between the fatigue and pain, I became defensive. Little did I know that question would continue to follow me in all kinds of forms. “You and your sister are so close. Don’t you want that for him?” “Poor guy. Don’t you want him to have someone to play with?” “Don’t you want another?” And my all-time least favorite “Do you really feel like your family is complete with just one?”

These questions used to bring guilt, shame, doubt, and anger. Enough was enough.

No mother should be questioned about the number of children she has, especially when others have no idea of what has happened before, during, or after her journey to motherhood. I had to surround myself with family and friends who would never question our decision to stop after one. I watch our son play with his cousins, our friends’ children, and his friends at school, and I’m reminded that he’s not lacking in peer socialization. I’m not naive to the fact that there will be a time where he may want a sibling or miss a relationship that never was, but I will not let those “what ifs” rob me of my joy.

As we’ve celebrated his second birthday and the Timehop app reshares all of those sweet newborn pictures, I am reminded of what he means to me. He is more than just an only child. He is an answer to countless prayers and that’s enough for me.

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Megan Burnette
Hi! I'm Megan - wife, mom, french fry aficionado. I'm a Knoxville native and can't imagine living anywhere else. After high school, I left Knoxville to attend East Tennessee State University where I earned a degree in Elementary Education. As soon as graduation was over I made my way back to Rocky Top and got my first teaching position. I eventually went back to ETSU for my masters in Reading Education, but was able to complete that online while teaching full time. I currently serve as a Science & STEM Facilitator for the same school district I grew up in. I love giving back through supporting teachers and current students in our community. My husband, Greg, and I will celebrate our ten year wedding anniversary in June 2024! He is a Knoxville native, too, and is a teacher & realtor. When it's just the two of us, we enjoy date nights at local restaurants, concerts at the Bijou, and happy hours at our neighborhood wine bar. Our son, Mills, is almost 2 and he is so much fun! As a family, we like heading to Zoo Knoxville or spending time at any of our local parks. We also love cheering on the Vols! When I'm not hanging with my two guys or working, you can find me on the Peloton, planning a good themed-party, or enjoying a glass of bubbles with my girls. I'm so excited to share with and learn from this community of Knoxville Moms!


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