Thursday, May 30, 2013

Domestic Enemies of the Mom with One Kid

This is a post a lot of people have been asking for. So without further ado... 
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The Domestic Enemies of the Mom with One Kid

A little background first – I am the 30-something year old working mother of one darling five year old boy named Firebreath Slasher (I let him pick his own name) but we can call him Taco for short (I also let him pick his own nickname).

The women in my family are FERTILE.  My Grandmother used to joke that my Grandfather hung his pants on the bed and she was knocked up.  So imagine my surprise when it turned out that I wasn’t fertile.  I was the opposite.  After many years of struggle I gave birth to an amazing miracle.  Which brings me to the first domestic enemy of the mom with one child:

The “When are you going to have another one” mom. 
As any woman who has struggled with fertility knows, never think you know the fertility status of another woman.  Just don’t.  Because on some days when you ask me that question I may offer a polite “Oh, I think we might be done” but if you ask me on a bad day, I may cry my face off or snark back “Well, I was hoping to three years ago but my disease riddled uterus had another idea and I had a hysterectomy instead.”  Which will leave the asker speechless. This is good.  Because the polite answer always leads to the next enemy...

“You can’t have just one. He will be SO spoiled/bratty/lonely” 
This is often said in front of Taco.  As though having a sibling automatically means a child will be a grateful well-adjusted child.  I got news for you – only 15% of serial killers are only children that means 85% had siblings.  My child will be spoiled because I LOVE spoiling him.  And if he had siblings, they would be spoiled too.  So suck on that. And please, please, please if I tell you that I CAN’T have another one – do NOT tell me that we can always adopt.  Just don’t.  Adoption isn’t easy, people.

“Oh, I remember how easy it was when I had one”

Before you say this to someone, consider how it felt when someone said it to you when you had only one child. It's just... backhanded. And let's be honest, all parenting is relative, right? Have you ever told your child to go play with their brother or sister? Well I haven’t.  My husband and I are the sole entertainment for our son.  At seven at night when your kids are playing together so you can answer one more e-mail, I am sitting on the floor playing my 7 billionth game of Candy land. Because Taco doesn’t have a sibling to pummel so I can buy myself five more minutes of (sorta) peace. 

You must have time to do more stuff. For me.
I only have one child so of course I have time to sew all the costumes for the 4k play. Or just assume that I will be so HAPPY to watch other people's children. I have a friend who thinks she is giving me a break by dropping her children off so Taco has someone to play with. Admittedly, it is a sort of break since Taco is occupied. But I'm also watching your kids, which is also added work for me. You know what a REAL break would be? The same thing we all need sometimes. A couple of peaceful, kid free moments on a rough afternoon.

You only have one child, you must save so much money. 
Let's just not go there, OK? Having one child is still expensive. I don’t magically have more money than you because I have one kid. Besides, talking about how much money people have and how they spend it is sort of uncool, right? It's nonya business territory.

“Only the one?” 
Yes. But know this, he isn’t “only”. He is the one that completes our family totally. The end.

 (c)Herding Turtles 2009 - 2013

75 comments:

  1. This is wonderful. You said it perfectcly. I have one little boy who is turning 1 next month and we are a complete family. He has an older half sister. Life is complicated enough. I like the way you spelled this out for people. Many many many moms should read this.

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    1. I agree. My daughter is 15 months and has teenage half-siblings, but there is a good chance she may be my "only." I think it took 8 months for people to start asking when we were having another one, so that she won't get "lonely." I have even been told "You need to have another kid so this one won't be as 'special.'" I pretty much stopped talking about my daughter entirely in front of that person, since I took it to mean "She's spoiled and you don't shut up about her and nobody cares." Point taken, thanks!

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  2. Love, love, love this post! Thank you, for sharing this for the whole world to read!

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  3. OMG WELL SAID!!! And re the adoption- OMG the stress!!! Our only son (17 months) was adopted.

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  4. In my 20's I was told I couldn't have children. 3 weeks shy of my 41st birthday I had a healthy baby boy. I have been blessed...Need I say more?

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  5. Love this! I almost died after having my son due to complications, and people WHO KNEW WHAT HAPPENED still ask when we are having another. It's infuriating. Thanks for posting!!

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    1. Same for me with my daughter. She was 6 weeks early, spent 2.5 weeks in the NICU and I almost died. When am I going to have another one? Yeah sure, let me get right on that for you!

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    2. I pushed for 3 hours, then had to have an emergency C-section, where they had to push him back up inside to pull him out from the incision...then I passed out from losing so much blood, only to awaken with my epidural completely worn off feeling the most deep agonizing pain I've ever felt in my life. Then I got a inflamed vein in my leg after I came home. It was hell. STILL my husband insists we have another.

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    3. YES!!!! Emergency C-section 5 weeks early and both of us almost died. Same thing - people who KNEW what happened started asking when we were having another. Are you kidding me?!? Just had my hysterectomy - we are DONE!!! THANK YOU for this.

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  6. Oh yes. And still yes. We both always thought we wanted two. We had our first child, looked at him, looked at each other, and said, "Yeah, our family is complete." I get asked on a weekly basis by co-workers, hair stylists, acquaintances, and total strangers when we're having the second and how we simply CAN'T stop at one. Really? My husband's vasectomy begs to differ.

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  7. From one mom of an "only" to another, THANK YOU!!

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  8. "He is the one that completes our family totally. The end."

    That's exactly how we feel! We have one kid by choice. It's our choice and our family. Our family is complete just the way it is.

    Thank you for such a great post!

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  9. Hits home on soo many levels for me....thank you so much!!

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  10. I have one child by choice, not by difficult fertility. I admit to keeping things at one because my husband and I DO have more time for each other (and ourselves), that my husband's biggest hang up about having another IS that it would cost more than having just one, that I definitely love having the ability to give my daughter more — more time, more love, more travel, and yes, things like a new bike on her 5th birthday — than I could if there were two. I love this post's message and I think it's also okay to acknowledge that any reason for having any number of kids is personal, individual, and perfectly all right. My only real domestic enemy at the moment is my husband's libido.

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  11. Exactly! I'm happy with my only child. You wrote everything I've been thinking and saying for the last ten years!!

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  12. Loved this, thank you! I have one son with a very fertile family also. So struggling with secondary infertility is so awesome for me ;) Hope lots of people will read it!

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  13. Amen on adoption! I love adoption with my whole self, but it's not the magic answer to infertility. Adoption is a completely different world than having bio kids. I'm thankful for it, I love it (and also hate that it's necessary, that there are millions and millions of kids without families), but I wish more folks viewed it as a way of creating a family rather than picking a baby or child from the cabbage patch.

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  14. Thank you so much! Seriously, I am sick of being asked 'any more?' or flat out being told 'you HAVE to give her a playmate' as if Little Miss Virgo is the only child on the planet and the only way she will see another kid is if I get knocked up.

    I only ever wanted one child, financially and emotionally we can only afford one child, and I had 3 separate genetic issues converge during pregnancy that convinced me only to have one child.

    I tell nosy people that Little Miss Virgo is so perfect we would never get that lucky again ;-)

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  15. A million times yes to this!

    Add on the, "Oh, you only have one?! Then you aren't a "real mom"." Excuse me? I have been barfed on, peed on, and pooped on. I have stayed up all night staring at a congested, fever-ridden child. I have kissed boo boos, played tag, and done tiny pedicures. I have worried, I have chided, I have loved. I am MOST CERTAINLY a real mom.

    As for the fighting. Know what? An only child will fight with the dog if it's the only thing she has to fight with. I've even been accused of loving the dog more than her. Never underestimate the ability of a child to be annoying.

    Luckily, as I'm getting older, the pestering to have more is coming to an end.

    Great post!

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    1. I love when I'm told that I'm not a "real mom"! Excuse me a moment- my fake child is flushing all the toilet paper down the toilet again, sorry you were saying? Actually I can be witty about it now, but the first time it was said to me, I cried :( Thank you so much for this post, I love love love it!!

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    2. I canNOT believe anyone would say that to you!! Who gets to decide that motherhood is defined by the number of children we have?! Then again, I can't believe the comments I get either - 2.5 year old triplets conceived on our 4th IVF and our singleton surprise due in two weeks - but this "real mom" comment is beyond the pale.

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  16. I'm having my 3rd and my husband's side of the family acts like we're trying to be Amish or something. So, rude people are everywhere. They weren't fans of being parents so we shrug them off.

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  17. Thank you. I have a two year old, and because of our seemingly-never-ending difficult financial situation, she may be an only child. I hope that someday things will really turn around and we will have a second child, but even then, the two kids will be so far apart, they might sort of feel like only children anyway!

    I get asked ALL. THE. TIME. when we are going to have a second. Not IF. WHEN. Because apparently this is the time to start having more. I have no qualms telling people what I said in the paragraph above (I refuse to be ashamed that we're poor), and usually they're respectful and understanding.

    But MY OWN MOTHER once asked me, "Do you really want to do that to your daughter?" Um, what exactly am I DOING to her by not having another child? I didn't realize it was a form of neglect and abuse to not provide her with a sibling.

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  18. It's not that anyone discounts having one is "enough" or "costly" or "completes our family." It's that when you have more than one, you have a different perspective. Each family unit is unique in and of itself- no matter how many kids are in it. When you have one, you're a member of that "club." Then when number 2 comes along, you realize you're all of a sudden in a different "club." Same with #3, #4, etc.. Doesn't mean any of those memberships are without hardships..just that there are different "club" rules for each one you join! :)

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  19. Or maybe you DO have more than one child...but he now resides in heaven. That also requires more explanation than sometimes a mom can handle too. People should THINK before they offer opinions about something so personal. Great post...hope it resonates.

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  20. Coming from an only child, I will say, I always wished I had siblings. My parents weren't able to have another child and that's fine. But I always wanted someone to play with, someone to fight with, etc. Now that I'm older and my parents are getting older, I wish I had siblings to help me with caring for older parents. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not bashing anyone - least of all my parents. Just putting my feelings out there as an only child. I've had a lot of parents ask me about it, and I'll tell them the truth. I wanted a sibling. I always say though, if you can....think about it. If you can't, that's their business and I've said my piece. Even after having my first, I can totally understand the desire to stay at one child. I too had very hard pregnancies and nearly died with my first. I wouldn't have had 2 unless my doctor said it was okay. She did say stop after the second though. :)

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    1. I'm an only child and I NEVER wanted siblings (I'm 44) - everyone is different. I wish people would give up on this myth of siblings being automatic friends and companions in youth or as adults. My husband and I also have an only child ourselves and we never wanted more than one - we never understood the arguement of manufacturing playmates for our daughter and she has never asked/wished for a brother/sister. In fact, she often says she is happy that she has us all to herself! So don't think you are doing your child any favors by providing them with a sibling.

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    2. On the other hand, I have a biological sister that I grew up with. We weren't friends. We were (and are) polar opposites. I wanted to play house and read. She wanted to play football and daredevil. We only played together if we were forced to, and it led us to resent each other. Only recently, as adults, have we begun to build a relationship. Having more than one child does not guarantee playmates.

      Nor should second (and subsequent) children be had specifically for the purpose of providing playmates for the first. That's like saying, "We had # 1 because we really wanted a kid/baby. The rest of you are just accessories for the first one."

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  21. Whenever anyone says that we need another I just say, We are going to quit while we are ahead! :)

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  22. Thank you! As the mom of an only child I get asked this on a regular basis. I love my daughter with every fiber of my being but she is high maintenance lol! My husband and I both have brothers who we adore and would like to have another child but it's just not in the cards. Honestly, she's never asked for a sibling and I think she enjoys being the center of our (and her grandparent's) world. I've struggled with guilt over just having one child but like my husband says "we have to be happy with what we have" and if it's meant to be, then it will happen. I joke that knowing our luck we will have twins at age 45 & he starts convulsing so I stop :)

    I have a $2500 bill from my fertility doctor that I will be paying off for a while after trying to get pregnant two years ago so when people ask me about having another child, I tell them to help me pay off that bill & we will think about it, haha!

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  23. One and done here! Did IVF once and lucked out with our daughter almost 11 years ago. Husband and I discussed and didn't want to go that road again - I didn't want to spend my daughter's early years being that sad, spiteful, crazy, infertile woman. Rather be a happy, grateful, crazy woman. Husband had a vasectomy just in case as we were unexplained infertility. Not once have I regretted our decision and NOT ONCE has our daughter asked for a sibling. Loved the advice of mothers of many when daughter was small that I was being selfish and mean only having one, usually when there's were beating the crap out of each other. Love the Domestic Enemeies and keep them coming!

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  24. Amen, sister! Our lives are full and we are fulfilled by having this one individual person with us! Our daughter is simply enough and we wouldn't have it any other way. Nothing more, nothing less -- our family is complete.

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  25. Thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou. One and done here. We made the decision for many reasons, none of which are anyone else's business. I actually had someone tell me that having only one child was "Abusive"! And yes, she said this to my face.

    I wish we could all just accept things. Whether we have one, two or ten, that's an individual choice.

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  26. Thank you. I have been blessed with two wonderful daughters. The oldest of which returned to God when she was 2 1/2 a full year and a half before her younger sister joined our family. Since we appear to have a single child family, we often get comments like unto this and people just don't understand the emotional tole losing a child takes on a family. Again, thank you for spelling it out.

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  27. I have sometimes offended just trying to get to know other parents. Now if the topic of number of children comes up I usually ask, "would you like to have more children?" Then the mom can answer yes, no, or none of your business. If that's hurtful, perhaps I should stop trying to talk to any parents that have fewer chilren than I do. It sounds like parents of single children are already defensive about it and are going to attribute nastiness to the conversation even if none was intended.

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    1. Asking a couple if they want more children is perfectly fine. If they say 'no' and you insist that they are wrong or ruining their children by not breeding further, then that couple has every right to be offended.

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    2. I agree with this. I feel like most of the time when I'm getting to know people the topic comes up and I don't think it's necessarily rude to ask. I have 3 kids and most of the time people ask "Are you done having kids?" I don't really take offense to that - it's just a question. If the question comes up about having more children just answer, "I don't know," and move on with the conversation (even if you know that you're done). That way you're not stuck explaining your feelings to people you don't feel like sharing with. Then change the subject and talk about something else. I honestly don't understand the animosity. This is life - if you have friends or want them you probably have to tell them something about yourself. If you don't want to engage with the person asking, just give a non-answer or say "I don't know" and move on!

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  28. Thanks for this. I have an only and I tire of the commentary everyone feels free to make. It's like they think that just because your kid has a sibling that those siblings will automatically be besties and that you are depriving your kid of some super special relationship. My brother and I are not close at all. He's great, but we just never really connected and he doesn't enhance my life at all. We never played together as kids either. I have met plenty of only children who feel great about being only children. And I'm pretty sure mine will be ok too!!

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  29. I only have one, it is by choice. For those who ask, I would like to tell them "I have only so much patience and the one child used all of that patience. If I had more than one, you would be hearing about me on the nightly news, not in a good way more in a Andrea Yates way".

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  30. My wife and I got these questions or comments. Our reason was medical. Six months after giving birth to our beautiful baby girl, we were hit with the diagnosis of a tumor in my wife's brain. It was terminal, but with the help of skilled doctors we staved it off for almost three years. We lost our Wonder Woman in February and now I I handle the questions alone. It's not only the "oh, she'll be spoiled" or the "oh, she doesn't have any siblings." It's the having to rehash my wife's death.

    We talked openly about having another, but our options were shot, because to our understanding, they would not adopt to a family where one parent was terminally ill. Now that might be based on some bad research, but either way, one was enough for the two of us, at the time. But what is wrong with only having one for the reasons of financial stability or not adding to the world population? I think it is being personally responsible on a global scale. In the past, families had large families, not because they were fun, but because it added workers to the fold. Well, in the information age, large families are not necessary and I think a family should think about what they can handle; mentally, physically, financially, etc.

    My little girl is surrounded by love from grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends of the family, and her teachers. What child is going to turn out "wrong" with all of that going for them?

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  31. I was an only and very happy to be so. I loved that I had my parents sole and full attention. As a grown-up facing the eventual need to care for aging parents, I do occasionally feel wistful for that sibling that'd be able to pitch in and help when the time comes, but I do not feel cheated that I missed out on anything being an only.

    When it came to having kids myself, I got started late, and a miscarriage preceded each of my two beautiful kids. One of the things that disturbs me most about this post is that when I go walking around with just one of my kids, no one asks or assumes that he/she is my only. This means that the hassle this mom is getting is from people who *know* how many kids she has and it makes their comments fairly insensitive -- particularly since there's a decent chance they might have an inkling of fertility struggles. Yipes!

    But those sorts of comments are not reserved for those who stopped at one. I get them, too. "So are you guys done yet?" And they are particularly painful for me because I've been pregnant a total of 5 times (that I'm aware of). Two were miscarriages, two were healthy wonderful kids, and the last and final pregnancy I chose to terminate. And the shadow of that decision chases me every single day -- particularly when I'm asked if we're done having kids, or when I see a fellow mom struggling, yet managing to cope with three or more.

    I made my own personal decision, not for any huge understandable-by-society reasons, but for multiple small, yet significant reasons: we set out to have only two; I'm an older mom and a 3rd pregnancy would have been hard on my body (I've got some minor nerve issues in my legs as a result of the first two); professional reasons (we've been living okay on one salary, but if we want to afford college and such, I'll need to return to work fairly soon); small house just barely fits us four; need to upgrade the car to fit everyone; just too old (40) to do the infant thing all over again. But most significantly I was worried that I would become a harpy of a mom if I got stretched too thin, and I did not want that for my family. And yet... In many ways I am stronger for the decision, but I am also significantly saddened and damaged by the decision and more compassionate of the choices of others because of my experiences. It's just the way it is.

    How many, when, how, and in what manner are intensely personal choices/circumstances that we face. And they are not easy -- particularly when coupled with the expectations and judgements of others. Be kind to each other. I see few posts up there that carry the faintest whiff of judgement. Something that really shouldn't be here in Mommyland, where we need all the support we can.

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  32. Thank you! I am separated from my husband and it looks like we're heading to divorce. One of the first things I had to reconcile was the fact that instead of having 3 kids, I may only have my daughter. And, you know what? I'm fine with that. She is amazing and wonderful and completes my family (of 2, thank you very much). But, people say "Oh, you'll meet another man and have more kids." Ugh. Really? Thank you for your complete family planning. Will I be disappointing you if I don't get a new husband and knocked up in the next 5 years? As you mentioned, you never know what a person's reasons are for having one child (fertility, financial, relationship status) and you should never assume. Great post.

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  33. I had "only" one for five years...now I have four. My close friend has one. While I have a filter and none of the above comments ever leave my mouth, there are so many things I want her to know that I have only learned from having "so many" (as most of the "only one" moms I know put it). She puts so much pressure on herself to be everything to her sweet little, as he is everything to her. She worries about his development being "on schedule". Everything he does holds so much meaning, and so much mystery. She barely sleeps for all the worry. This is all so common with your first baby, but when your first is your only, you aren't forced to find the perspective it takes to accept that so little is within your control. It's easier to hear and trust your instincts when you've had a few do-overs, but if you're a mom, you've got them. So go easy on yourself, honey. Stop reading books on how not to screw your kid up and just trust those instincts. That's all that we moms of "so many" want to share.

    And of course it's not easy, being a parent never is. But I cannot describe the ache I feel for the days when my oldest and I could go to Starbucks and sit for hours, learning letters and playing farkle or hangman, signing together like it was our secret language. Or the regret that I will not get that kind of time with my younger three while they're at this magical age of learning. This time is flying by so fast, and I'm struggling to find just 15 minutes of one-on-one time with each of them every day. I'm tucking my very last newborn into bed every night with a sadness that my turn is over. I don't get to have babies anymore. So, if anything, what you're hearing is a little bit of jealousy. We do think you're lucky, and while we may have forgotten a little bit what it's like to be in your shoes, you haven't walked in ours yet.

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    1. Love this perspective. Thanks for your comments!

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    2. THIS is fabulous!! I had an "only" for five years too! First it was financial, then there was a deployment. Then a miscarriage. I always wanted to have my kids closer together, and we really wanted our second, so the miscarriage was a major blow. We had our second just shy of 5 years later, then our third two years later. And I enjoy the chaos so much! LOL But, sometimes, I DO miss the perfectness and completeness I felt when it was just me and my oldest. I regret that I don't have that kind of time to spend on my younger two (who are much closer in age!) and then worry they won't know as much or be able to do as much as their big sister.

      I would have one more.......not sure about the husband......because I think I'm still too sad to have this be my LAST baby! In some ways, it would be awesome to be done with that and close that door, but I also still get weepy and nostalgic about new babies! :)

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  34. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!

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  35. I have only one by choice. I agree with everything you said. My daughter is all I have ever wanted in life. I am happy!

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  36. AMEN & THANK YOU!

    After not being sure I could ever carry a baby to term, I had my beautiful daughter the day after my 40th birthday. The pregnancy was difficult, I was high risk for everything under the sun due to my "old" age and my daughter spent 16 days in NICU.

    Would I like to have another one? You betcha. Do I want all those associated risks again now that they are even greater? No thank you. I will count my blessings daily that I have my "miracle baby" and kindly thank the "domestic enemies" for minding their own business!

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  37. love it! as a mom of four (with a few friends with just one), I have blundered a few times. I am not proud. thank you, thank you for writing this. it's great to have a reminder of the things I (should) already know. ;o)

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  38. My answers to the why-only-one questions are: "That's our plan, and we're sticking to it!" Or, if they get really pushy, "We did it right the first time. Why mess with that record?"

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  39. Finally! Someone who understands! People have absolutely no concept of how much pain they are causing when they ask "When..." Three miscarriages later I really don't feel like answering that. Now that I'm forty and Nakey Toes is ready for kindergarten, I don't need more dirty diapers and snotty noses to feel fulfilled. My lonely/spoiled single is happy and well-adjusted and gets plenty of socialization at daycare. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

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  40. I love this post!! You were missing just one that I have come across and that would be the "Don't you feel like an underacheiver?"
    Are you kidding me?!?! Don't you think that MAYBE I tried for years before my son turned 10?!?

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  41. Awesome post. I actually had a co-worker tell me when my son was about a year old and we had gone through multiple hospital visits and learning to deal with his food allergies and on the verge of an MRI to determine if his macrocephaly was benign or not (all's good) -- she told me, "You're not really a mom until you have more than one child." It stung then...it still stings now. We have one and he's our little world. I don't think I can go through another pregnancy (and anyone who says "every pregnancy is different" can stuff it in their pie-hole) or another c-section (I hurt from that for over a year). I still have nightmares about it. Do I wish I was a fertile bessie who loves being pregnant and squats 'em out at delivery time? Hell yes. But I'm okay with the lot I've been given in this life and our little guy keeps us so busy we don't know which direction we're headed in anyway! It doesn't bother me when people ask if we're going to have another one - that's okay - it seems like a natural question to ask. It's those people who start to argue with me that "it's never too late"...I'm "still young enough"..."every pregnancy is different"..."your little boy needs a sibling"...really, people? I don't need a therapy session - I need more vacation time so I can spend it with the blessing I do have.

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  42. Amen! Even when my baby was newborn I got asked about when I was going to have another. File those comments under "beeswax = get your own"

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  43. While I understand the need to identify with others in a similar situation as you, I get frustrated with the number of blog posts online that push the "my situation is harder than yours" deals. (Reminds me of the working mom vs. the stay at home mom.) There are sets of challenges with one child (as I have) just as I am darn sure there are different challenges with more than one. I don't think it's fair to judge what you can't or haven't experienced. Respond to comments you take as backhanded with something gracious, and roll your eyes when they are not looking. Recognize that those comments are not a personal attack, and are probably just someone trying to make conversation by connecting with something personal, not trying to attack you and your choices or situations.

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    1. I'm sorry. I have to disagree with that. When someone tells you you aren't a "real mom" based solely on the number of children you have? They deserve the Maude face. I usually like to repeat their question back to them, as in, "Did you just tell me I'm not a real mom because I only have one?" When they hear it, they tend to realize what they've said is demeaning. I can let it go, but that doesn't mean I'm not going to call them on it.

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  44. I have 3 siblings. I do not see them, rarely speak to only 1 of them & get relatively nothing out of that relationship as we have conflicting personalities, morales & values. I don't see how or why anyone would ever say it was a benefit for me to have had siblings. Growing up was no different, in fact then we hated each other more than ever & fought constantly, never spoke & resented having to occupy any space & time with one another. Just because you're a sibling doesn't mean you'll have a bond or companionship or anything. It's more of an annoyance if you asked me.

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  45. I think I should write a post about Domestic Enemies of the (still) single "girl" with no children at the age of (gasp) 48 who was "lucky" enough to go through menopause at the age of 42.

    I am constantly told by women with children what a good mother I would be and how I should adopt/have a baby on my own. Um, yes, I think I would be a good mother too and I considered a baby on my own but it was not the right choice for me. Your unsolicited advice is not all that helpful. Imagine hearing this "helpful" information while in the middle of menopause when you are already an emotional hot (pun intended) mess.

    Bottom line, people are just rude. That being said, I know these remarks are said with love and my best interest at heart.

    Oh and for the record, just because I am single does not mean I want your husband. Thanks for asking. ; )

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  46. After going from being a stay-at home with one, to being a stay at home to two, to being a full-time mom of two (who wants three, but that's not going to happen)... Pleasing people is out the window. Just the other day I broke three (THREE) rules of parenting I never thought I'd break (and that I had judged others for breaking) ALL AT ONCE. Imagine my surprise when it gave me the greatest satisfaction. Anyway, HAVE one. HAVE two. HAVE three. But, whatever you decide to do HAVE some respect!!

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  47. Love this post! Whether you have one or four, it's always the same. Rude people will always have a comment to make! I remember taking our four children out for ice-cream, at that time we rolled in a triple stroller...so we were a bit of a production to say the least:) As we were enjoying our ice-creams a "spectator" - jokingly said "you could be a poster, for birth control" My kids all started asking "what's birf control Momma?" I chose to completely ignore the spectator, I kissed my little kiddies & continued to lick away at my ice-cream. My oldest boy asked "Mommy, why are you ignoring that lady?" I told him that when we don't have anything nice to say to somebody that we shouldn't say anything at all!

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  48. Thank you! What a great post! I've told friends (with multiple children) before that actually, having 1 child is quite trying, since I am his ONLY source of entertainment. He doesn't get the chance to play with a sibling, and I don't get any alone time at all because I have to be available to play since he doesn't have a sibling to play with. a friend with 2 kids did agree, that having 2 kids was actually easier than just one, for that very reason.
    And considering I was told not to get pregnant again due to life-threatening complications I had while I was pregnant (plus, due to those complications, he was born early, and spent months in the NICU and still has multiple medical issues), it's really quite hurtful to hear comments about ONLY having one child, when we WANTED another, but preferred if I didn't die during the next pregnancy!

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  49. Thank you for this. We have a wonderful 3 year old, and then when trying for a sibling I almost lost my life through an ectopic tube rupture, had 3 subsequent miscarriages and are now faced with the brutal truth that there probably will never be another child. We are constantly told how easy we have it with just 1 child and that we should get a move on to create a sibling for him. It breaks my heart every time.

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  50. people complain no matter what you do. we are on our 5th and we get the "when are you going to stop" bit. i think 2 is the only socially acceptable number of children anymore.

    I was an only child and i think there are a ton of benefits...though i am bratty and spoiled, but i'm working on it. ;)

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  51. Thank you. I have an acquaintance that I see 2-3 times a year and would ask every damn time when we were having another one FOR 12 YEARS. Not that we hadn't been trying for another one for some time, it just never happened for us and we accepted that we were probably never going to have another one.
    This year, we got pregnant and our 13 year old will be a big brother soon.
    When I saw this lady this year she had the audacity to ask "so are you getting your tubes tied after this one, or are you going for another one?"
    I so wanted to throat punch this lady!

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  52. Thank you for this post. Most people asks us when we're having another, or my favorite, " he's too cute for you to not have another"?!? ALL THE FRIGGIN' TIME. I never thought we'd only have one child, but after nearly dying several times, being hospitalized twice and requiring a 24/7 PICC line to remain hydrated for seven months I think we're done. (for the record, hyperemesis gravidium SUCKS.) I get so sick of saying this to people I meet in the park/store/street corner! I lost six percent of my bone mass and thirty one pounds growing the little boy I have. While I wouldn't trade him for the world, I don't think I can do that again without serious damage to my body. Not to mention the logistics of a 24/7 IV line with a toddler!?!? I shudder at the idea. :/

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  53. I had the best of both worlds. My brothers were 11, 14, 16 and 18 years older than me. My mom was 35 and my dad was 37 when I was born. It was awesome! I had the experience of nieces and nephews as "brothers and sisters" I loved playing with them. Then , when I got tired of them, they went home and I was alone with Mom and Dad again. : ) My mom passed away 4 years ago and I miss her terribly. She was my best friend. I don't know if we would have been so close if I weren't her "only". Although, I could not have kids so my husband and I adopted and I was adminant that my child have a sibling for the reasons stated above. I wanted him to have the experience and now they are 8 and 4 and I wouldn't change it for anything. The funny thing is at least ONE person on a daily basis still asks if we are having MORE. LOL I don't understand people.

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  54. Having grown up an only, I can say my mom got bombarded with all these even in the '80's. Some things never change. It was always funny to us when people would call me spoiled for being an only-my parents worked damn hard to make sure I wasn't spoiled and that I grew up to be a well-adjusted kid, 'despite' being an only. Now that I'm in my 30's, have one kid with another on the way and have parents that are retired and growing older, I will say this-one of the things no one talks about when bashing only children is the reality that, when our parents get older, we will be the ones to have to make all the choices regarding their health care and estate, and we will be the ones who have to deal with the emotional fallout of being the only ones left in our nuclear family. Not to sound morbid (and thankfully my parents are currently in good health), but that is something that has been weighing on my mind for a few years now. My husband has an older sister, and these thoughts never cross their minds.

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  55. I have never asked anyone when they are going to have more kids (not even married couples - as they may not want children or having difficulty trying), I have 3 and yet still get asked myself when I am going to have a 4th (?!) so not to have a "middle" child. there are rude insensitive people everywhere, this is a great reminder to never ask or assume any woman's fertility or choices she makes.

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  56. The worst for me is that I have diastasis pretty dramatically, so I look like I'm between 4 to 6 months pregnant depending on what clothing I'm squishing my fat belly into. So not only do I get the 'when are you having the next one' I also get the 'oh! And when is THAT one due?'. No one wins when I have to say it's fat and my insides poking out due to complications from 38 hours of horrible labour that ended up with me under a general to get a c-section. We all feel badly.

    We should do a domestic enemies of the diastasis mom...

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