I have learned that for moms, no question or comment seems to be off-limits, which can often lead to awkward situations with complete strangers. All moms field this kind of drive-by commentary when parenting in public, but I have found that for me personally, there has been no way to prepare for the overstepping questions and aggravating comments aimed toward me as a mom of just one child.
For those of you who know what I’m talking about, I am sure you will be able to add a few of your own experiences to this list. For those of you who have asked these questions or made such comments before, this can be a chance for you to think about how they land on moms of only children.
Eight comments that make me cringe:
1. You must have so much time to yourself. Well, sure, I spend most of my time binge-watching Netflix and eating Chicago Mix in bulk from Costco. Oh wait. Nope. That’s my fantasy. In reality, being the mom of one is the same as being the mom of two, three, four and even more. I have all the same responsibilities: cleaning lady, laundry service and personal chef. I spend my time doing these things and with my child just like any other mom.
2. Isn’t having one child being a bit selfish? If I don’t want another child and have another for the sake of it, would this would make me less selfish? I spend my days ensuring my child is well cared for and loved. Is that selfish? I don’t think so.
3. Your poor child. She must be so lonely. Children who have siblings never feel lonely? I imagine that when she is older, she will have friends who will help her with that.
4. Take it from me, having more is so much better. While I am so happy you are content with the children you have, here’s the thing: So am I. You may think it is better to have more than one child, but I am perfectly satisfied with one, and I think I know myself pretty well.
5. She will grow up to be selfish and entitled. Let’s be honest. As parents, don’t we all worry about this? Is there some scientific study out there that proves only children will grow up to be entitled and selfish? There probably is. Either way, I guess I will have to do my best to raise her to not be that way–like any other parent.
6. Don’t you want a boy (or girl)? I am happy I have a healthy, vibrant and beautiful child. Her gender does not define our happiness. Families with multiple children might only have boys, girls or a combination of both. Family is family, and they come in many different sizes and variations.
7. But, what about when you die? I really don’t love thinking about the pain and sorrow my death will cause my child, but even if we did have another child, who’s to say they would get along? I know plenty of siblings who can’t stand one another. Regardless, I hope that she will have a wonderful network of people surrounding her when that time comes, because losing a parent is devastating. It sucks—only child or not.
8. You have to have another. She (or he) is way too cute to only have one. Exactly. She is awesome. She is brilliant, hilarious, kind, amazing and basically the best human to ever walk this earth. Why have another when you get it perfect the first time? But, seriously, I didn’t realize cuteness was a valid reason for procreating.
I’m not saying having another child is out of the question for me. But for now, we are more than content with one. With everything our children have to deal with, being an only child will likely be the least of my daughter’s problems. We all have the same odds of screwing this up, and I don’t feel my odds are greater if I don’t provide her with a sibling.
Let’s join forces, everyone. Let’s support the choices of each and every mom.
From a mom of one, I thank you in advance.