Is there a social pressure to have more than one child, and is there really anything wrong with being ‘one and done’?
My c-section scar had barely healed when people started to ask the question that now sends me into a rage – ‘when will you have another’?
It is possibly the most annoying, rude and unacceptable question a person can ask a woman. I imagine only comparable to a childless women being asked why they don’t have any kids yet. Grrr.
The thing is, as much as I adore my son, I’m not sure I do want another kid. So all these inappropriate questions aren’t just banter. It’s social pressure, guilt and inadequacy thrown at you in the form of a ‘harmless’ question. And it needs to stop.
This isn’t just banter – it’s social pressure, guilt and inadequacy thrown at you in the form of a ‘harmless’ question
I even have friends who periodically ask me it when we meet up, like I’m going to have changed my mind since we met last month. NO!
Keep Calm and Have One Child
There is nothing wrong with having one child, five kids or none at all. Everyone has their own challenges and personal circumstances – why should we have to all follow the same shuffle to death – marriage, kids, carriage clock.
In fact, it almost seems more acceptable to have no kids than just one. Because ‘just one’ is always prefixed with the word ‘just’. Like a fererro rocher, or a cat, or a Pringle – you surely can’t just have ONE.
Well yes actually, yes you can. In fact I think there’s something special about having ‘just one’. Having one child means you can devote your attention to them without sharing it with anyone else.
Having one child allows you to enjoy every moment of growing up with an enthusiasm reserved only for first children. And having one child means that your life, career and marriage isn’t put on hold longer than needed.
You never have to worry about dividing your love or attention. You’re their Mother, their Father, their best friend, and playmate. And that is a special relationship you can only have with ‘just one’.
The Worst Advice Given…
‘Go again’ has probably been the most irksome advice I received on the matter. The father of three said his children have aged him prematurely and he has no time to himself anymore . Yet he still suggested I “go again”. Yeah, thanks.
I watched a programme last year (I think it was called ‘child of our time‘) which suggested that one child families are becoming more commonplace, since families are under more financial pressure than ever and having children later in life. And if my memory serves me, I’m sure they said that half of families will ‘just’ have one child by 2020.
My friend recently told me I was part of the “one and done” gang, which brought smile to my face. In a world where every other family will be in my camp in a few years, I think it’s a much nicer way than saying ‘just one’. After all, my ‘just’ is my world.
I hope you enjoyed this post, and if you’d like to read more on the matter then you may enjoy this post about the challenges of being a working mum, here >>>