Friday, 15 November 2013

Am I Less of a Parent?

At the moment Holly is an only child. So most people I meet feel the immediate need to ask when she might expect a younger sibling.

I'm often met with a look of shock, surprise or even pity when I say we are happy as a family of three and that although it isn't a definitive no, I have no actual plans to have more children.

Before having Holly we had always said we would have two children. Yet when Holly came along she completed our family in a way I hadn't expected at all. Unfortunately not everyone understands this.

Apparently it isn't fair on Holly. She'll be lonely and unhappy.

I'm selfish as I could easily have another child and provide for them.

If  I concentrate all my energies on Holly, I might end up putting too much pressure on her as she grows older.

I'm obviously just not maternal at all, otherwise I'd never be able to JUST have one child.

I've got it easy. I have no idea what parenting is really like or how hard it is because I only have one child.

I've heard them all, and more.
I'm tired of justifying and defending my choice. More than that I'm upset that I'm judged as some second class parent because I don't have multiple children. I'm sure if  I had another child it would be wonderful, but I don't need to in order to feel complete. I already do.  Also, I'm in absolutely no doubt that having more children would be harder. I often wonder how people do it, and I'm genuinely in awe of people that do it every day. However, that doesn't give anyone the right to sneer at me for not doing it. To tell me I'm not maternal or I'm less of a parent, less of a mum. I live and breath my daughter. I would die for my child just as other parents would for theirs.  I get that some people simply can't understand this choice, but I don't get why it should be of any concern to anyone other than me. I have a happy family who I love with all my heart and soul, a family I would kill for, a family which to me is absolutely perfect, just as it is. I just wish people would stop insulting me because I don't fit their standards.


Makemeanearthmother said...

I dreaded that question before I had my second -infertility meant it wasn't a given. It's no one else's business! Do what's right for you. Interesting post.

Sonya Cisco said...

People ought to mind their own business. I felt exactly the same after I had Betsy. I didn't have my second until she was 7, perhaps it was her being in school full time that triggered the urge for me. I cant understand why people poke their noses in something so personal. Plus- you are an ace mum and Holy is lovely and sociable so they can stick that in their pipes too! :) xx

Marilynn said...

Thank you. For some reason commenting on other people's families seems to be totally acceptable now. People need to learn boundaries. It's very rude I think.

Marilynn said...

Thanks. I try not to let it bother me, but you can only hear something so many times before you explode. I feel like I should just wear a sandwich board with my reasons on it, so I don't have to keep repeating myself. Really though I should just be able to tell people it's none of their business but then I'd come across as rude and over sensitive I'm sure! Can't win really!

woolmeister said...

I got fed up with people asking me when we were going to start a family. We married at 23 but I wasn't ready to think about having children until I reached 30. Our daughter was born when I was 32. I always thought we'd have more than one but, when our son was stillborn last year, it changed our perspective. Lots of people did/do expect us to give our daughter a living sibling but, at the moment, I'm concentrating on being grateful for what I have. Perhaps there is another baby in our future?

The 40 year old said...

People are so odd! Just as there are lots of good reasons to have a sibling there are just as many to not! Holly won't be in the minority growing up. 1 child families are now a dime a dozen and she'll reap lots of benefits. At any rate NOBODYS BLOODY BUSINESS how many children you have. Drives me bonkers.

Karen Marquick said...

My friend is currently frustrated as she is having the same comment made to her, but like you she is happy with having one child.

I have 3 children, but when I had my eldest I had no intention of having anymore. Eventually, when he was about 5 years old people stopped asking me if I was having anymore. I remarried shortly after that and did go on to have 2 more children, but if I'd not remarried I wouldn't have felt any less of a parent with just my eldest.

Being a parent is being a parent.

If it helps, I've had people slate me for having three! Can't win.


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