There’s that question again: “Will you give her a sister or brother?”

They seem taken aback when I tell them I don’t plan on having another.

With nervous laughter, I say, “I’m one and done,” my voice sounding meek.

I scan their eyes for judgment—do they think I’m selfish and weak?

Then there’s that awkward silence while they wait for me to explain why.

I try to come up with a good enough reason, but I don’t want to lie.

I can’t really say my birth experience was traumatic.

Actually, labor left me feeling quite ecstatic.

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Single mom? Nope, I’m grateful to still be with my husband and baby daddy.

As far as I know, we’ve got no issues with fertility.

Maybe I could say that one’s all we can afford?

Not very convincing seeing as we’ve just traveled abroad.

Guess I could say how having a baby just wasn’t what I thought.

How I felt so overwhelmed and isolated and didn’t have much support.

Honestly, though, I don’t like to talk about those days an awful lot.

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Plus, would it be oversharing to mention how I’d bang my head against the crib?

I could be vague and say I had a bad case of the baby blues.

But that’s no excuse though, is it? Moms of multiples get them too.

I could moan about how balancing motherhood with work is such a struggle.

And wouldn’t adding another in the mix be too much to juggle?

Maybe I could instead preach all the perks of having an only.

Just because my kid has no siblings doesn’t mean she’ll be weird or lonely.

Truthfully, I prefer calm over chaos, I cherish time to myself.

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And let’s face it, I need a decent night’s sleep for my mental health.

We do love to travel as well, but we’re definitely not rolling in money.

With one, there’s enough money left to see the world a bit.

More than anything though, our family is complete, even if it’s small.

And maybe, that’s the only reason I need to give at all.

Ashleigh Wallace

Ashleigh Wallace is a mother of one living in Palmerston North, New Zealand with her husband, their daughter Annabel and three "fur" children. She has always enjoyed writing poetry; however, motherhood has been her biggest inspiration yet.