My name is Kelly Schadt-Kelly and I am a married mother of one. That’s right. I have one child, and that is all I plan to have. This will not change because society thinks, or you think, that better moms have more children.

Having multiple children, a job, and dinner on the table every night is not necessarily the mark of a great mom and wife. I do not need to overextend myself or juggle to many tasks at once to prove that I am good at being mom. Being there to fix broken toys, give endless kisses for cuts and bruises, listen to the problems, calm fears, and instill core values are how I measure myself as a good mom. I am the entertainment, the teacher, the disciplinarian, the chef, and the monster-slayer.

To all of you moms of multiple children (and especially to those that are not parents) that judge me, I am not a lesser mom for only having one child. Motherhood pushes my threshold to the limit on most days, just like every other parent. I have had to leave a shopping cart full of groceries in the local store and apologize to store clerks because my child is misbehaving. I have left the house late to work and in tears and with my child screaming because he wants to stay home and watch cartoons. Life is not “easy” with one child; I am sure that life is not easy with two or twelve children. There is no time off, no users manual, and certainly no do-overs (I’m not sure about yours, but my son remembers everything I have said or done in front of him so that he use it against me in the future). Motherhood is non-stop and unrelenting, but it is my guilty pleasure. I always want more.

There are days when I feel like I can do everything right to make my child happy, but there are days when nothing I do makes him happy. Some days every step of the way is an argument or a debate about why we do things the way we do. That doesn’t mean that I need advice from an “experienced” mom on how to stop a tantrum or establish a bedtime routine. While I appreciate your concern and tips, it does not mean it will work on my child, who I know much better than you do.

I am learning to be the best parent I can be as I go. I learn from my mistakes quickly. I will always be there for my child to support, to guide, and to be proud of. That makes me a great mom, just like you.

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