I Decided to Have Just One Child—Here's Why

It wasn’t a conscious decision… I come from a fairly large family (I’m the oldest of five), so having only one child was unexpected, especially as I was the first sibling to give birth. In my native Australia, most people have at least two kids, so I’m definitely not the norm, and I’d be lying if I didn’t say I felt pressured to have more. But that’s just how it ended up working out for us. If I think back, though, there are a couple tangible reasons—albeit subconscious at the time—that factored into the equation.

Neon was a fussy baby. At the two-week mark, colic and reflux hit, and for months thereafter, he screamed and vomited every day while my husband and I took turns bouncing him on a ball or walking the streets trying to burp him. I simultaneously cut everything out of my diet that might be causing the discomfort. That, along with the lack of sleep, turned me into a zombie mom, and in retrospect, I think I suffered a little postpartum from the trauma.

But we all get what we can handle, right? And this experience contributed to a powerful bond between my son and I that I can’t comprehend or put into words today. Yes, those years were tough, but 10 years later, he’s a confident, kind, loving independent little man I’m incredibly proud to have as a son. However, I wasn’t prepared to put myself through that again for another baby (and neither was my husband).

The second reason is that we moved a lot—this is what our international move taught me about life—and I’ve been hesitant to have another baby without the help of family or friends. When Neon was 2, we moved to Melbourne, and we didn’t have any family there. It was hard in the beginning, but we established an incredible group of friends who became a huge support for us. Each time we made a big move, I wanted to explore, make new friends, and establish my career, so inevitably a second baby was put on the back burner.

A perk of being a family of three is that relocating our family and traveling the world has been much easier (and cheaper!). But that’s not the only benefit: We’ve also been able to graduate from a child-friendly space into a chic grown-up home much more quickly. We recently completely redecorated our 350-square-foot living-and-dining space to fit our family of three (now we have a new puppy, but that’s another story entirely), and we could choose every piece without worrying about spit-up on our new white couch.

As our son is now 10, we were able to involve him in the decorating process, something Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent also do with their two young children. As Berkus told me, “We’re not going to live in a padded cell until our kids are 10 years old. No one’s going to enjoy that.” Hear, hear. I loved the process of redecorating our grown-up home so much that I wanted to show you some of the pieces that helped us get there.