Parents Of Only Children

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-25-2003
Parents Of Only Children
91
Sun, 07-27-2003 - 11:00am
I'm a parent of an only child. I feel that it's totally up to a couple how many kids they

want. I'm just tired of people making remarks to people who have only one child. They say things like "When are you going to have another?" or You're going to have a spoiled brat if you only have one". I don't hear it so much now, but when my daughter was between 2-6 years old I heard it alot. I would never say to a parent of 3-4 kids "Why did you have so many?" because it's none of my business. Are there any other parents of only children that have experienced this before?

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Avatar for laurenmom2boys
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Sun, 07-27-2003 - 11:06am
As the mother of two, I totally agree with you. I have two boys. After DS2 (Keith) was born, people asked me *constantly* when I was going to try for a girl. My response was, "I did, his name is Keith." People are always going to say things to you about how few/too many kids you have or the fact that your children are all the same sex and "when are you going to try for...." I learned after a while to shrug it off and do my own thing. The comments will never change. The only thing that you have control over is how you respond to the comments. Don't take them to heart because everyone has an opinion!
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-12-2002
Sun, 07-27-2003 - 11:22am
Some people are just idiots. A lot f times people with multiple children DO get asked "why do you have so many kids" or "don't you know what causes that?" or "do you not believe in birth control?" or any other stupid remarks they can come up with.

I see this a lot with people who are over-weight or under-weight. I don't think I have ONCE seen an article on how "fat" Camryn Manheim is. But you see them almost monthly (or more often) about how "deathly" Calista Flockhart or Lara Flynn Boyle are. Heck, *I* used to get comments from complete strangers all the time. Of coarse that was before my hormones went all psycho and I gained 40+ pounds. ;) I was an athlete, and VERY small. I weighed more than people though because most of me was muscle, but just by looking at me you couldn't tell that. And complete strangers would make comments about me. I would overhear conversations about "well SHE must be anorexic" or "you know SHE is going to go throw that up!". UGH!!! Drove me INSANE.

Okmrsmommy-36, CPmom to DD-16 and DS-14

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-12-2002
Sun, 07-27-2003 - 11:30am
OMG!!! it just BURNS my butt when someone says to me I have the "perfect set" (meaning a boy and a girl). Makes me want to scream at them, asking if they thought I should have drown my son if he had come out a girl! UGH!

Okmrsmommy-36, CPmom to DD-16 and DS-14

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-20-2001
Sun, 07-27-2003 - 1:48pm
I was the parent of an onlie for 8 and a half years. I smiled when I'd get those comments ... because before I was a mom I was guilty of saying them. Imagine the comments I got when I found I was pg with twins when my ds was turning 8yo ... oh yah, "Oh at least you aren't having just one, your ds is so much older it would be like raising two onlies. Twins, they'll have each other." Now that was crass ... of course my ds was older, but he was getting two siblings for the price of one. For crying out loud.

Linda

 

Linda - wife, mother, grandmum                     &nb

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 07-27-2003 - 4:27pm
omg, did you read my other post about that??? i HATED when people would say, "oh, you have a perfect little family". well, i put an end to that!!! i had kenneth!!!!LOL
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 07-27-2003 - 4:31pm
it happens in reverse too. i have three children, the youngest of which i had when i was thirty. plenty of times i have been asked by younger child bearing age women when im going to have another one, to "round it off" to four. and maybe try for another girl. so i feel your pain as well. parents of single children dont experience ignorant comments exclusively, but i will let you know a plain truth. with only one child, you will never experience the sibling rilvalry which imho, attibutes to most of the parental experience. not that one child by any means is insignificant, but there will never be the competition, or jealousy to deal with, that comes with more than one child.
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-22-2000
Sun, 07-27-2003 - 5:09pm
Oh yeah, I hear it all the time. I've had people tell me how selfish it is of me to only have one child, and how unfair it is for him to not have siblings.

First of all, I don't feel that I have to explain my medical history to the world, so I don't ever explain my reasons...that I was told another pregnancy would probably kill me (the last one almost did) and that I feel my child needs a mother more than he needs a sibling. I also don't feel that I need to explain to anyone that I don't even know for sure that I'd WANT to have another child, or that the child I have (who has special needs) keeps me busy to the point of exhaustion, and I'd never be able to give another child the attention s/he deserved.

So I just say, "It works just perfectly for us." They usually don't pursue it further.

My SO, on the other hand, gets LOTS of comments about having "so many" children. He has 3. I don't think it's that many, although for a single dad with no help it's pretty overwhelming.

No wonder we get a glazed look in our eyes whenever anyone (usually one of the kids) suggests that we should become a Brady Bunch.LOL We're both completely overwhelmed as it is. ;-)

I think that there are just some people who have to find something to be negative about, and every once in a while, we're lucky enough to cross their paths and be the targets of their negativity. It goes away quickly enough. :-)


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-31-2003
Sun, 07-27-2003 - 11:07pm
I like Judith Martin's comeback for this one (since we seem to be quoting her rather a lot around here lately):

Just gasp and then laugh. Then you follow with something on the order of, "I swear, I think my hearing must be going. For a minute there, I actually thought you had asked me when I was going to try for a boy." If the snoop is really thick-headed, you can pound the point home with, "Why on earth would you want to ask such a personal question?"

People used to badger me all the time, but it finally stopped when I turned 40. (As if that was some kind of magic menopause number. Silly people.)

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 07-28-2003 - 8:32am
While I had an infant in tow, and pregnant, people didn't dare ask me when I was going to have another. After I had my babies 11 months apart, I got remarks to the opposite effect - people look at my kids and ask, 'Are they both yours??' Or even worse, they ask if they are twins... then go on and on about a set of twins that so and so's uncle's first wife's cousin had.

I have never understood why when you are pregnant or have children that people think it is okay to ask very personal questions about your life. When ds was born, we had a period of time in which the only health insurance we had was through the military, and we live in a very civilian town. I had to take my kids to the Medicaid clinic until dh's new insurance kicked in. Anyhow, while sitting in the waiting room for ds' 2 week appointment, with my 11 month old dd in tow, the young girl next to me, who was pregnant for the first time and anxious was asking me all sorts of questions about labor. After a while, she just blurted out, 'Do both your kids have the same daddy?' - I about fell outta my chair.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 07-28-2003 - 8:42am
I suspect any parent with a child between 2 and 6 gets asked the same kinds of questions regarding their child bearing end point. In fact, if you happen to have more than one in that age bracket, you are probably more likely to get "are you done yet?" than a parent of one is to get "are you having any more?". I get tired of people complaining just because they've been asked a simple question. Its prudent to avoid asking people questions which might make them uncomfortable - why are you in a wheelchair - why were you laid off - why do you have only one child - why can't you afford more in life. However - are you having any more kids - is not one of them. If you feel uncomfortable answering, you are the one with the problem, and you need to figure out why you feel uncomfortable having only one child (or five of them), and deal with it.

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