Why Having An Only Child is Nobody Else’s Business But Mine

I will never forget the trip to the supermarket on a day when I was feeling really low about not having a another baby. There I was loading all my usual shopping onto the conveyor belt. It was obvious I had a child, packs of wipes, fish fingers, rice crackers, ice lollies. I smiled at the lady on the till who was scanning them through. I’m sure it was her intention to just make a bit of polite conversation, but for me this was going to be one step too far today. The conversation started like this:

“So, you have children do you?”

“Yes.” I gave a curt one word answer hoping it would go no further.

“Oh how many do you have?”

“One.”

“Oh, only the one? Aren’t you going to have another one then?”

“No, not at the moment.”

“It’s such a shame, children need other little brothers and sisters to play with. You should do it, you have plenty of time”

Thankfully she had finished scanning all my shopping, so I grabbed my Tesco Clubcard, ย and money-saving vouchers and got out of there as fast as my legs and trolley would carry me.

Back in the safety bubble of my car, tears rolled down my cheeks. It’s happening again the same old scenario, why do complete strangers feel they have the right to discuss with you in public your future family plans? I know many people are just making an innocent conversation, but could someone please teach supermarket cashiers or any other well-meaning person to keep their probing questions to themselves? They have no idea what so ever why I might not be having another child. I may have had fertility issues or my Husband may have just left me. Neither of which are true, but please a bit of sensitively could go a long way.

I will tell you why I am having one child and no more. Lets get it out in the open shall we? Firstly I am 41 years old and I do not honestly think my general health, mind or body could cope with another pregnancy or a newborn. I suffered with Post Natal Depression and it is only now four and half years later than I have finally managed to come off my antidepressants. Secondly my Husband really does not want another child, he is in his mid fifties and says the prospects of another newborn would finish him off! So despite still having a strong desire for another child I have decided against it.

It is a sad fact that my Daughter will never have a brother or sister and I can tell you the pain I feel when she asks, (which she does often), “please Mummy can I have a baby Sister” it goes through me like a knife. Or the time when I see her stoking the head of a newborn, which she does in such a caring and gentle way, another little piece of me dies.

However, I try to be positive and see how blessed I am to have a healthy happy little girl in the first place. In my work as a Nurse I often come across women who have fertility issues and will never conceive naturally or at all. So I am grateful every day for my gorgeous girl, but that doesn’t stop me wondering what it could have been like if I hadย more than one child.

I have learnt to accept my position as a Mother of one. I am not going to be part of the baby number two club. No, I won’t be able to join in the conversation at the school gates about how you entertain two children at the same time. I know I will never again feel that strange butterfly feeling when your baby kicks for the first time. However, I still need to get rid of that newborn car seat that I was hanging on to just in case. I am almost at peace with my situation, if only people would just not have to ask ‘that’ question, “is it just the one child you have then?”

Mummy Times Two

17 Comments

  • 6 months ago

    Own it mama!

  • 6 months ago

    At the moment, out of choice we are stopping at one. That could change, and we’ve stored all of the baby paraphernalia in the loft, just in case. But I completely agree with you that these questions are unwanted. I don’t need to tell strangers that I don’t think my body or mental health could cope with another child, nor do they need to know that it’s financially not viable for us to have another. Thanks for putting this out there as it needs to be said. Great post! #PostsFromTheHeart

    • 6 months ago

      Thanks for commenting Mrs Lighty. I really like it when I hear that another person feels that my post rings true for them also. x

  • 6 months ago

    *hugs* I went through a long infertility journey, and it’s awful whenever other people ask insensitive questions like that. It’s never easy, but yes…keep giving thanks for your precious daughter ๐Ÿ™‚

  • 6 months ago

    I can relate to this post in so many ways, having been asked this question many times during the nine years between my children. There were times my heart broke when they asked – especially when we finally got round to trying to conceive, and others when my blood boiled, as I wrestled inwardly with what the right thing to do for us was. I have no idea what gives people the idea that they have the right to comment on the lives and d visions of others, but I do think that they need to learn when they speak. I also understand holiday onto that car seat. We have firmly said Number Two will be our last, but the thought of letting things go makes things far too final. Thank you so much for sharing this post with us at #PostsFromTheHeart. People need to read this post. It’s important.

    • 6 months ago

      Thank you Mummy Times Two and I hope to join in with your linkie #PostsFromTheHeart again soon!

  • 6 months ago

    I have 2 and get asked everyday when we are having N03 , i dont think it ever ends ! My hubby is 35 and i think one more newborn would see him in an early grave ( even though he does bugger all !! ) I remember having a bad day when i was heavy pregnant with my 1st and the checkout lady reaching over touching my belly and telling me i was huge. To this is slapped her hand told her ‘she was one to talk ‘ and gave her the death stare. sadly you are just going to have to learn to brush it off and not let it get to you . Thanks for sharing #PostsFromTheHeart

  • 6 months ago

    Totally agree, it’s no-body else’s business. But people like to talk. Whether you have no children, not enough children, or too many children, they still like to give you their opinion!
    However, it’s your decision. Enjoy your little girl. I’m sure she laps up all that individual attention ๐Ÿ™‚ Sending hugs..
    #BloggerclubUK

    • 6 months ago

      Thanks for your comment. Yes, that is true she is definitely enjoying all of my attention, that certainly is one positive of having an only child. Hugs back x

  • 6 months ago

    I agree- you should be thankful for the child you have as so many can’t but it doesn’t stop that pain when people (or indeed your daughter) ask about siblings. Keep being awesome!

    • 6 months ago

      Hi Michelle, thanks for reading! No I don’t think the pain will every go, but I carry on and try to be grateful for all the great things in my life.

  • 6 months ago

    I totally agree! What make people think they have the right to impertinently ask after my family and parenting choices. We have one, and that’s our joy – no more. I am so sorry that this upset you when you made your peace with it – your life, no-one else’s

    • 6 months ago

      Thanks for your comment Michelle I think it helps a lot to know that there are other Mum’s like you going through a similar thing. Here’s to the only child! x

  • 6 months ago

    I never understand why anybody at all feels the need to probe into your personal life, especially total strangers. There’s making conversation and then there’s just plain old nosey. I’ve always wanted a large family and my partner is older so doesn’t want them past 35 which is fair enough but I really don’t have long , just about two years really to have another two and have my dream of four children. It’s great that i could have my dream four if all goes smoothly, it’s just all really fast and I already have a 2 year old and 6 month old so I’m looking at 4 under 4! Not really how I would have liked it but I suppose it’s a choice we’ll have to make at the time. It’s such a hard decision! #bloggerclubuk

    • 6 months ago

      Thanks Amie for that, i love it that you are following your dreams! Deciding is always so hard. All the very best with having more children I hope it goes to plan! xxx

  • 6 months ago

    Why is it that we women are our own biggest critics? I never planned to only have one child but after life threatening complications and a newly diagnosed heart condition after the first one my husband says he is never touching me again! I don’t know if I will be able to have any more and that is hard enough to face without everyone else’s two cents worth. I feel your pain. Hold your daughter close and cry all you want โค

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