I read a recent article discussing the merits of having an only child. It discusses the constant badgering to have more children that parents who have made the choice to have only one child receive. I will admit that I have been guilty of the "so are you going to have more?" question. Personally it is not a choice that I (obviously) made for myself or my children. Being raised as an only-child-with-siblings I was lonely and didn't want that for my own children. I longed for the companionship and even the antagonistic nature of a sibling close to my age and in my own house. I wanted to have to share a room and fight over what toy was mine. I wanted a confidant. I wanted a partner-in-crime. I wanted someone else that understood. I was jealous of friends with siblings close to their age. What I would not understand until I was older was that if I had only one child she would not know the loneliness that I had felt for a variety of reasons - least of which was a lack of siblings. Now that they do have multiple siblings I do what I can to foster a close relationship between them. I am constantly trying to remind them that there is no relationship in the world like that of your sister. When I am long gone it will be your sisterhood that binds you together. Part of my desire for another child is a fear that Fiona will someday know the pain of having a sister you have no hope of being close to because of the gap in your ages. It is not the only reason but I would be dishonest if I did not admit that I do think about it and often.
The fact that we are trying to have another baby is something that gets me the same type of rude remarks people choosing to only have one child are faced with. Things like: You know what causes that right? Are you ever going to stop? You want ANOTHER ONE? Are you NUTS? Well, that will be your last one then, right - because you can't possibly want more!
Are you freakin' kidding me, people? STAY OUT OF MY WOMB! The only person who really and truly has option to comment on the state of my reproductive life is the person that I am reproducing with! I hadn't realized how much this truly bothered me until I was reading about how upset and defensive people were made to feel about only having one child. I understood their desire to not have to explain the choices that they make in their own families, marriages and bedrooms.
(To my friends with only one child that do not plan to have any more I say this: I am sorry if I have EVER made a comment that has made you feel uncomfortable or defensive about your decision. I ask only out of curiosity and as a person who is passionate about birth and pregnancy - not from a place of judgment or rudeness.)
Please, General Public, if you are not helping to make the baby keep your shock and awe to yourself.
I love my large family. With every child we bring in more love. We have struggles unique to a large family but are without those that a family with few children might have. Don't ask what those might be, I can't remember. Every child we have is an amazing miracle. Maybe I like a challenge. Maybe I am in fact as crazy as people tell me I am. Either way I am proof that contrary to what this blog might want you to think, I am happier than I ever thought possible. My children do not make me happy but are very much a part of my happiness.
I think in an age where the innermost workings of our lives and thoughts are shared in two line updates on social networking sites and in greater details in blogs people have lost the ability to think before they speak.
One last note: Parents of only one child, please remember you are as much of a freak to people like me as we are to you. :)