Why Do I Get Crap For Having ‘Only’ One Child?

one child

I get this question a lot — I’m sure many of you do, too. Mainly by strangers, but sometimes by acquaintances who don’t know me well enough. “Do you have other children?”

I normally respond with, “No, he’s my only one.” Which is usually followed by the inquisitor to frown or give me some other sympathetic look, or even better, a comment like, “Aw, that’s too bad,” or “You should give him a sibling.” I normally bite my tongue and just dismiss the subject because there isn’t a good way to say what I am really thinking: If you must know, we have tried to get pregnant for three years now. I miscarried two years ago, and have been unsuccessful since — probably because my eggs are old now that I’m over 40. In vitro fertilization hasn’t worked for us either, and so we are running out of time and options. Oh, and by the way, how is the number of children I have any of your freaking business?!

Wow, that felt good. All that pent-up anger each time I am asked really bothers me more than I thought. Maybe I should try that response sometime and see the reaction I get.

The truth is, we want to have another child. But why is this anyone’s business? Why do I need to defend my only child? Why do people feel bad for me because I only have one? If another child isn’t in our future, I know I am even more fortunate to have an amazing and healthy son who is my everything.

I get excited when I know someone else has only one child. I feel sort of relieved to know that there are other families of three out there who are happy and content knowing one is enough. I am often curious myself if they have similar pregnancy challenges or if they opted to have “just one.” I know a lot of couples who got married later in life, and so one is plenty for them at that stage in their life — and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

I know I won’t regret anything later in life because we’ve tried our hardest to get pregnant, and it may just not be meant to be. Will I be sad that I couldn’t create another miracle? Yes, of course. But, I find more joy in my only son than I could have ever imagined. And he has so many friends and cousins close in age that he will never be alone and will always be surrounded by love. It doesn’t need to come in the form of a sister or brother, right?

So, the next time someone asks me how many children I have, or if I have any other children besides my son, I plan to say: “I have one amazing, healthy, beautiful son — thank you for asking.”

, , , , ,

3 Responses to Why Do I Get Crap For Having ‘Only’ One Child?

  1. Megan G. Apr 28, 2017 at 1:44 pm #

    Well said, I’d love to have another child, maybe even two more, but I’m recently divorced, just turned 40 and don’t want to rush into a relationship just to have more babies. We did have one miscarriage before we divorced and it was heartbreaking.

    When asked about a sibling for my daughter, I always give the answer that I am happy with just one but like you, I want more and for whatever the reason it may be, I don’t. And it is no body’s business.

  2. Shannon May 8, 2017 at 7:45 pm #

    Thanks for this! Even though my husband and I only have 1 son by choice, it doesn’t make it easier. (He’s pretty amazing too.) I frequently get the “how are your kids” or “are you going to have another one?” I generally go with the humor route “oh just the one, unless you count my husband.” I am an only child, and I was lonely at times. When I was younger I told myself “I’ll never have an only.” But life brought unexpected things, like graduate school when my son was 3. I worked full-time while going to school on Saturdays and did my 1st set of clinicals in the evening. By the time I graduated, he was 7 years old and very well adjusted. I was tired, and knew I didn’t have that same desire for 2. I love being able to attend to his needs and not try to balance it with another sibling or have my husband and I each going a separate way with a kid. 1 works for us and I too am thankful for the connections I make with other parents with only 1 child.

  3. Patricia Jun 3, 2017 at 3:58 pm #

    Thank you! We tried for two years, had a miscarriage, and were finally blessed with my crazy little boy 🙂 he is my everything! I’m 35 and we have decided that we are not going through all that again. My husband is an only child and he promises that it was ok lol also, my sister had her daughter two months after mine and those two are like brother and sister 🙂 I count my blessings and when asked I say “one-and-done”

Leave a Reply