You Want One Child - That's Okay.
You want one child, guess what that is okay. Unfortunately, society is a little too predictable these days. When you start to date someone, you are asked when you are going to get married. When you get married, you are asked when you are going to have a child. When you have your baby, you get asked when the next one is coming. Now, granted, maybe people don’t have anything else to talk to you about besides the weather. But, some things are just too personal for an every day how's the weather chat.
Universally, and especially if you or your friends have a religious belief when your first child turns one year old that conversations will start with "When is your next one coming?" For many women conceiving may have been one of the hardest things she's done. There could have been years of trying, IVF, etc. you just don't know. For others, they may just want one. It can be an uncomfortable position to tell someone you don't want any more children. We asked a licensed psychologist for some tips on how to address friends, family, and strangers when the topic of baby number two comes up.
1. If you don't have another baby, your child will be lonely.
A lot of people say this blanket statement because all they know is having siblings around them growing up. If you were to ask an only child if they felt lonely growing up, the vast majority of them would tell you no. Everybody is a product of their environment, and what you know to be the only way isn't the only way. When this blanket statement is given to you, just reply with a quick and to the point: My child will not be lonely, they will be content with their own company and figure out who they are as a person. It also gives them the opportunity to expand their extended relationships with friends, cousins, and other family members.
2. If you don't have another baby, your child will be selfish and spoiled.
All too often people do not understand that being selfish and spoiled can apply to all children, not just only children. Being selfish and spoiled is a product of how the child is parented. By teaching your child young to share, give to others, and limit material possessions but give emotional support can quickly curb selfishness and over spoiling.
3. If you don't have another baby, you won't have (boy or girl).
This is another psychological hang up that people have because they assume based on their experiences that having both sexes makes a family complete. That can't be further from the truth. A simple answer for anyone asking this is to tell them that genders are never guaranteed, you are happy being a (insert gender) mom, and your family is complete the way it is.
4. I need more grandchildren.
The mentality of a grandparent is a unique one. Remember, they get the joy of having grandchildren for the day; then they get to give them back. Long are the memories of sleepless nights, fighting siblings, and constant battle of wills. They simply get to enjoy and give back. When they tell you they need more grandchildren, you can ask them back if what they have isn't good enough allowing them to look back and reestablish their thoughts. Or you can simply tell them you are not interested in having more children and you hope they will respect your decision.
5. If you don't have another baby, you are missing out on something special.
This statement is easy to take personally. It's a blow to the gut that your current son or daughter isn't special enough for someone else as they are to you. It is easy to comeback with a witty comment pointing out that the only special thing they are going through is breaking up fights, dealing with arguments, extra diapers, and exhaustion. But, hold off, don't do it. You can easily stop this conversation in its tracks by simply telling them that the relationship that you have with your child is special, and that is how your family has been made. What is special for them is different for me, and that is okay.
No matter your reasoning to only have one child, it is just that, your reason. You do not owe anyone an explanation; you do not owe anyone an apology. Keep in mind while you are being asked these questions about only having one, those who have more than two are asked if they made a mistake. Society misconceptions about a women's choice being open season for criticism is just that, a misconception. You do not owe anyone an explanation for your choice in family.