“Is this your first?” That’s the innocent question I get the most when people see my baby bump. Yes, it is. I’m 35 years old, and while this technically isn’t my first pregnancy, I just stick with the easiest answer. This is usually followed by “I guess you won’t be leaving much time between number one and two”, casually assuming that I plan on having more children, because hey, that’s what people do, right?

I am, at this moment in time, quite confident that we will be a one and done family, and I find myself having to constantly defend that position or feel apprehensive about even sharing that fact, as it’s usually met with some form of awful question or statement. My nature is to give people the benefit of the doubt, so I really don’t think the people who make these comments realize how horrible and damaging their words can be. In hopes to bring light to this issue or to maybe even open your eyes to things you’ve perhaps said yourself, below I’ve rounded up the 10 most common things that have been said to me about only wanting one kid, ranked from bad to worse.

  1. You’ll change your mind. Just wait.

Maybe I will, but it’s more likely that I won’t. Besides, I see my friends with one child and think to myself “why in the hell would anyone chose to do this twice or more” and frankly, I don’t think that’s a normal reaction from someone who wants a big family. I don’t even want to tell you what I’m thinking when I see my friends and family with two kids.

  1. Your kid needs a sibling.

This is a lie that people need to stop telling parents. You don’t NEED a sibling. Siblings are a blessing and I love my sister more than life, but I also know only children whose friends have become the siblings they have chosen for themselves. I truly believe that they are just as close to each other as I am to my sister. I know people who have sisters of their own that they never talk to, but have a best friend who has taken the place of a sibling. Chances are you yourself have a best friend that feels like your brother or your sister. Someone you would do anything for. Siblings aren’t always blood relatives.

  1. That’s selfish of you.

I’ve spent my entire adult existence building this life and I love it. I like to travel and have nice things. I like a clean house and making social plans with friends on short notice. If that makes me selfish, then I guess I’m selfish. I’m good with that.

  1. Aren’t you afraid that your kid will be lonely?

Sometimes. But I plan to teach my child socialization skills, have him participate in group activities and engage with his family members as often as possible. Even if he had a sibling, I would still make these things a priority. And he will always have a dog, thats for sure. I’m not suggesting that a dog is a replacement for a sibling, I just like talking about dogs.

  1. Don’t you want to at least try for a girl?

And what if I get another boy? Or twins? Or TWIN BOYS?! No thank you. Besides, if you met my husbands family you’d see that my chances of having a girl are very slim.

5.Don’t your parents want more grandchildren? 

Probably. Do I care? No (sorry mom). But thanks for putting such unnecessary pressure on my husband and I.

  1. Having two is just what you’re supposed to do.

I have never been the type of person to do something because that’s “just what people do”, so why would I suddenly become that person when it comes to something as important as family planning?

  1. One child just isn’t enough.

The implication that my unborn son is already not enough for me is offensive on so many levels.

  1. What if you die?

I don’t think people realize how shitty this is to say to someone who is about to embark on childbirth, but I’ve been asked this more often then you can imagine. Firstly, I pray that by the time my husband or I pass, my son will have built himself a full and rich life, including a family of his own, and a support system that will be there for him in his time of need. Should we both die early (unlikely), we have numerous family members that would do an amazing job at raising our son.

  1. What if your kid dies?

Guys this is real. Someone actually said this to me. The exact question was “what if you only have this one kid, basically putting all your eggs into this one basket, and then that kid dies.” How am I supposed to respond to this? And furthermore, why would anyone want to make a pregnant woman think of her child’s mortality? If you have said this to someone, pregnant or not, you need to re-evaluate yourself as a human being, and take the necessary steps to becoming a much better person, because frankly, you suck. And to answer your sucky question, having a second child does not somehow reduce the pain a parent experiences when losing a child, so I don’t see how this is relevant.

 

Here’s the thing; I know having one child isn’t easy. I know having two is much harder, but having one does comes with its challenges. I am aware my son will one day pepper me about having a baby brother or baby sister, and if I still feel the way I do right now I will use that as a teaching moment to have a real conversation with him. I’m fully aware that my husband and I will have to play the role of primary playmate, make frequent play dates with other families, and balance a lot of kid time with alone time and house work. But I also know what feels right in this moment for myself and for my family, and while it may not be what feels right one or two years from now, it isn’t something others should so cavalierly comment on.You never know why someone has made the decisions they’ve made. No no one knows what’s best for someone else’s family, and you certainly don’t know what personal struggles someone could be going through, particularly when it comes to family planning. Many women are having children later in life for a variety of reasons. Because of this, many of us are choosing to only have one. In fact, 60% of my friends with kids, don’t plan on having a second. In many cases the first was so hard to come by, that having a second seems like a pipe dream. When I was growing up only children were the anomaly, but my guess is that my child will grow up in a world where only children are very common.

So the next time you meet a woman who only has one child, or only wants one child, think before you speak. It’s probably best to keep your opinions to yourself, and believe me when I tell you that you are not saying something she hasn’t heard before, or hasn’t already thought of. Children are a blessing regardless of how many you have, and for some of us, one is definitely enough.

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