Days after reading that, a mom came up to me after a talk I gave about the work-parent juggle and said, "Thank you so much for saying that the juggle is hard even for parents of one child. People think I have it so easy as the mom of one. I feel like I'm not allowed to ever say it's hard."
Okay, here is the truth. In some ways it IS easier to have one child. There are less expenses for daycare, after-school activities, medical costs (probably, hopefully), saving for college, and so on. And there may indeed be less carpooling, lunches to prepare or pay for, school drop-offs, library books gone missing under the couch, and performances to attend. I have no problem admitting this is all true. Heck, it's part of why my husband and I wanted to have one child. Yes, wanted, people.
And the parents of one child I've interviewed over the past year will tell you in some ways it's harder to have one - such as Shelley R., who said, "There are no siblings to entertain an only child so we take on that role too! We're the ones playing endless board games." Leslie P. agrees: "I spent weekends practically pimping out my son because he was so social and there were no siblings to entertain him." We only parents are also labeled selfish routinely for "robbing our child of a sibling.'"
Please do not say we have it easy. It's dismissive, inaccurate, and demeaning.
The only thing worse may be saying that we are not mothers. I know Elizabeth Banks was speaking about her personal experience - that she did not feel like a mother until she had a second kid. She is allowed to feel however she feels. But when you put that sentiment out there publicly, you slam all of us parents of one, who, yes, are really parents even with just the one kid.