Kellie Martin's Blog: The Loneliest Number
July 17, 2012
© Kellie Martin
Welcome Kellie Martin, our latest celebrity guest blogger! Kellie is an Emmy-nominated actress who recently appeared on Lifetime’s Army Wives, and is perhaps best known for her work on ER and Life Goes On. She has assumed a new role with her takeover of ROMP, an online modern children’s boutique. Kellie is mom to 5-year-old daughter Maggie and hopes that ROMP will "inspire conscious, thoughtful parenting practice and will, in turn, help moms feel confident and fulfilled.”
I have one child. One beautiful, precocious, impulsive, energetic child. She's a lot, and for now she's enough for me—all I can handle. I cannot tell you how many people (daily!) ask me, with a gleeful glint in their eye: "When are you having number two?" Through slightly gritted teeth I've perfected my response: "We'll see... you never know." Cue the tight-lipped smile from me, and satisfied nod for the total stranger asking me this inappropriate and terribly personal question.
Where is it written that one must have this so-called "number two?" And why must we refer the second bundle of joy as "number two"? One, two, five or seven does not a family make. A family is a family, and there are many ways to have a family. I felt like a family when I married my husband. We were a family, and then we chose to expand our family with "number one," er… I mean our daughter.
I love the idea that we can just pick up our daughter and go to Paris on a moment's notice. With just one child, we have relatively few details to coordinate, so we have the luxury of being spontaneous and chaos-free. But with two kids, it's man-on-man defense and the potential for chaos goes up exponentially. That seems intense.
It’s about this point in my argument when I hear my mother's voice in my head: "Kellie, don't make her weird." For those of you who don't know my mother, that is code for: Don't try to mold your only child into who you think she should be—don’t give her too, too much attention. My mom knows that I like to work on a project-to-project basis. I like to throw myself completely into whatever it is I’m working on. Give it my all, so to speak. She cautions me that it doesn’t always work that way with human beings. Human beings are not acting gigs, they’re… human beings. Maybe having a microscope on one single offspring isn’t the best idea in the world.
I try very had to live in the moment and not think about “what ifs” and the possibility of future regrets. Yes, it would be really cool for my daughter to have a sibling. I cannot imagine growing up without having my sister in my life. That’s a great reason to go for “number two,” but at this precise moment, not enough for me to shift our lives.
Then I look at my kid. How is she doing? Is she happy? Are we, as a family, happy? At the end of the day these are really the most important things to consider. I’m grateful for this moment and for all that we have together. And, for the record, we haven’t yet jetted off to Paris at a moment’s notice, but you never know what tomorrow might bring.
How many kids do you have? How many do you ultimately want?