Does having only one child help women succeed professionally? If you're ambitious should you stick to an only child? The title of this article over at the Atlantic certainly expresses one point of view: The Secret to Being Both a Successful Writer and a Mother: Have Just One Kid. But I think the winner for best discussion on the topic goes to Jane Smiley, who comments on that piece:
I am Jane Smiley. I have written 23 books. I won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award. My last novel, Private Life, was named best novel of the year by the Atlantic in 2010. I have been short-listed for the Orange Prize (Horse Heaven). I have three children of my own and two stepchildren. The key is not having one child, it is living in a place where there is excellent daycare and a social world that allows fathers to have the time and the motivation to fully share in raising kids. Ames, Iowa, where I lived for many years was just such a place. I thank you, Iowa State University and the Ames Community Pre-School Center for enabling my career and my life as a mother.(Hat tip to Laura at 11D, who has a great roundup of articles on the only child question.) It's not just about how many people are in your family, but how your family and community work together, no? What's influenced your choices around family size?