Hi- Sorry, I am just returning to this thread.
When you have one child, people act like you are doing something wrong to them..and they often say it to your face. "You're really going to leave her ALONE??" When I write that my top goals for my DD are to give her the best mental health possible as an adult (which I believe is linked to early childhood experiences) and parents who stay together and remain friends, this is in reference to MY family only. My DH and I both have careers, no family around, I'm already pulled in many directions and I also understand MY DH and what he needs to be the best parent and husband he can be (it's tough for him to handle more chaotic environments). I know that for MY family, two kids close in age would have changed EVERYTHING around here and I believe would have been a huge negative for my DD. If MY circumstances were different (if I could have taken complete time off from my career without financial trouble or losing all that I had worked for for the last 20 years) two kids close in age would have been doable, and I probably would have gone for it. That said, siblings OFTEN (not always) are negatives throughout life and I DO 100% believe that true lifetime friends ARE family- the family you choose. My DD's "aunts and uncles" are DH's and I best friends met decades ago..people with whom we have healthy relationships. This is how WE operate and it's perfect for us.
BroodyWoodsGal- you are completely reading what I am saying the wrong way. I hope my post clarifies things (and thanks pickle18 for your reply).