The Internet is hopping today after actor and mom Elizabeth Banks was quoted as saying the following in an interview with PEOPLE Magazine,
“You don’t realize how easy one is until you have two. Now I’m really a mom. Oh, I am a mom now! This is for serious — I am responsible for two people now.”
Instead of me telling you how my career and my breasts took a nosedive after having my one and only child, I’ll just share this piece by my colleague Shannan Younger over at Tween Us, who is also the mom of an only.
When you’re done here, mosey on over to Huffington Post, where you’ll see how ticked off everyone is at me for sharing the little known secret that having an only child rocks.
Answering the “just one?” question
~By Shannan Younger
I’m often asked, “How many children do you have?”
I always answer, “One.” Because it is true. I have one daughter. She is my only child.
Many times the questioner responds, “Just one?”
Or some, like Elizabeth Banks, imply that I’m not really a parent, because I have the infamous just one.
I want to tell Elizabeth Banks and all those that, just like becoming pregnant, it only takes just one to become a parent.
One time of holding that child as you count fingers and toes to make sure they were all there. One time of begging the infant to just point to what’s wrong so you make the screaming stop. One time trying very hard to memorize the sound of a sweet, baby belly laugh. One time of feeling the terror that comes with realizing a thermometer really can go higher than 104 degrees.
One time accidentally locking your kid in the car and having to call the police. One time cheeringly wildly for the only basket made in an entire season of Bitty Basketball. One trip to the ER. One time of fighting back tears while watching the dance recital. One time doing math homework with fractions.
One time desperately hoping that I was strong enough to survive as a single parent. One time sobbing because I felt like I had utterly failed.
My one child has molded me, and I have molded her. She has changed me, and challenged me, and hurt me. She has cracked me up, and embarrassed me and elated me. This one child has made me into a mother.
I may not know what it is like to experience all of that from multiple fronts at the same time. I admire the hell out of those who do, and I know so many women do it ridiculously well. I may not know the benefit of learning from my mistakes on the first one, and ease and peace of mind that come from knowing that they will in fact survive, either because of, or in spite of, me.
But that doesn’t take away from the fact that I am a mom.
To those who have told me that it must be SO easy to have just one child, I ask, “Is parenting ever really easy?”
Bring me the mother that said, “Birth to 18? THAT was a piece of cake.” I have questions for her.
Yes, moms of only children are at times different from mom with 3, 4 or 18 kids in the family. Sometimes short moms have different worries than tall moms (believe me, I know this first hand being 5 feet nothing). Moms of gifted or challenged kids have different worries.
Often, though moms face exactly the same issues and have the same worries and share so many truly wonderful experience that we wouldn’t trade for the world. Let’s focus on that. I don’t consider Elizabeth Banks less of a “mom” because she became a mother through surrogacy and not through her own pregnancies.
In my view, she’s a mom, and we need to stick together and be supportive. She’s in the club, as am I.