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April 14, 2010


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My daughter is my only child and she'll be staying that way. Don't get me wrong, I had an amazing pregnancy--no sickness, no weird side effects (like Super Swollen Nose Disease), only gained 17 pounds, etc.--but I have no desire to have another. Just a personal preference. When people ask me "So when are you having another?", I reply with one of these 3 answers:
1. "Can I borrow your uterus to do it?"
2. "When my husband brings home a second wife, a la 'Big Love.'"
3. "After I win the MegaMillions and can afford it."
Usually, it's the second comment that shuts them up the fastest. Why is there such a stigma against plural marriage? :)

How lovely to just honor another family.

I get that same question and I have four children! "So, when is your next one going to come?" I want to kill people when they ask that. I have a 5yo son, a 4yo daughter, and six-month-old twin girls. I'm done. If I were to get pregnant again, I'd probably pass out after seeing the blue lines on the stick.

Some people are insensitive. They think it's a joke or are just plain nosy, both unwelcomed.

I've learned a great way to come back at them after they ask that question. I tell them I'll have another child when they get surgery to remove their tongue. Or when they'll have that filter surgically implanted into their head, preventing them from asking questions about things that are none of their business.

Thank you for writing this.

I actually found a way to shut my dad and brother up about having kids before my husband and I had any. They didn't know we were struggling with fertility issues, and I wasn't ready to tell them. So one time when my dad and brother were saying we should have kids already, I looked at them and said, "We are practicing. A lot!" The look on my dad's face was priceless! It shut them up until we were ready to explain the issues we were having. And then, they felt really bad about all the times they hassled us.

You just never know what's going on with people, so it's better to keep your mouth shut. Also? Nothing wrong with having just one! I know many wonderful kids and adults who were only children. Also? Nothing wrong with having none (just so long as you don't judge others on their parenting abilities).

Thank you so much for this post. I've been thinking about it a lot, as the parent to an only child (3 and 1/2 so I'm definitely in the "when are you going to have another?" phase--I get asked this all the stinking time).

Personally, I used to want more kids--before my 5+ miscarriages followed by cancer (treated with that life-saving but fertility-killing cure called chemotherapy). More kids just simply isn't an option for us, really, like not at all. Some days this is really, really hard for me to accept. Other days? Well, I count my lucky stars to be alive....to have my ONE beautiful, miracle child, and to have the ability to lavish this one beautiful, miracle child with all of my love, joy, and affection.

Thanks again.

As the currently somewhat-fertility-challenged mother of an only child (and the recipient of much teasing and many questions from a collection of very Catholic, very fertile, very prolific in-laws) let me just say, thank you.

People just need to learn to keep their mouth shut and count their OWN blessings.

I love your post! We have an only child, and I wouldn't have it any other way. I've learned the art of cheerfully answering with a resounding "Yes!" when asked if she's our only.

Most negative comments can be deflected by by switching the subject to my sister who has FOUR BOYS. ;)

Those kind of questions have never bothered me. I guess I just don't take them personally.

I love all the parents of onlies that have commented. It just warms my heart.

I have an idea, we can just start trading off for people who have more than two kids, like they want to trade for carbon emissions. Sure, I only have one, but I sold the credits to this blogger lady in Atlanta. If Margot ever really misbehaves you can just send her to Minnesota in January. Everyone wins. ;)

We often get the question, "Why no kids yet?" Before it was, "Well, we're trying, PCOS, blah blah blah."

At least now, as of Monday, I have a pretty definitive comeback, "Cancer took my uterus."

Take that, you intrusive effers.


on the other side of this are the people who asked me last year why in the world i'd want a forth child. i wanted to say, oh cause i'm not so fond of the first three. or, i'm going to be a duggar one day. lol.

personally i think junk punching people who ask these questions should be allowed.

I never thought I would have the chance to be a mom and now have I have a son, an only child. Often folks will say, "Oh, you just have one?", like somehow that's not being a full mom, like I haven't worked hard enough. But, you know, it only takes one kid to become a mom. At least that's what my kid thinks.


You never know what people are going through and I always wonder why people ask such intrusive and personal questions. I have two boys and a brain tumor and recently wrote about this topic on my blog. http://greymatterlife.wordpress.com/2010/01/12/for-those-who-just-must-know/

I will never understand why some are so intent on inserting themselves into my life and our decisions when we've never invited them.

If there is one thing I've learned with regard to pregnancy and children, it's keep your mouth shut! You never know what situation another has chosen, or as you mention, what situation has chosen them! And that applies to people who have 0 kids and those who have 8 kids. Every time I've announced I'm pregnant, people act like I'm trying to be the next Duggar woman or Octomom. Notcho' business!

AWESOME POST. My daughter wasn't 3 months old when I started getting the pestering questions. It's taken us 14 months to get pregnant (fingers crossed) with another but the PG isn't looking good. If it doesn't "take" I don't know that I would do it again. Yes, I'm F'in selfish and NO, I'm not prepared to deal with the questions. I'm praying I won't have to.

And AMEN to Isa. Bring on the embarassment, it's well deserved!

I love being the mom of one, and I don't need to justify it to anyone. If someone asks about it in a judgey way I just laugh it off. I know I slept good last night!

I read your blog religiously (you got me through the 3 months of bedrest) and you've brought me to tears a few times. But this is the first time I've commented. I am the mother of an only and deal with everything that has been written here. Thank you for writting this.


Thank you for writing this, from mothers of one child by choice or by circumstance or just by time -- those who aren't sure if another kid is up ahead. It's refreshing to hear these words instead of all the hurtful ones people think it's okay to say when it comes to having one kid instead of two or more.

Wow, I'm a little stunned by these comments. I have an only child and for some reason when I get the 'are you having more' question, it doens't bother me. It's a normal question that I've asked plenty of people with one child. I just say 'no, I had horrible PPD and it almost killed me, I never want to go through that again'. Selfish? Maybe, but my mental health is more important to me then what people think. I don't think it's nosy, just people wanting to know more about your situation to get to know you better, that's how I take it.

As you know, I only have one and what you might not know is it's not by choice. I'd love to have one or two more but it's looking impossible and honestly: it's heartbreaking. Sure I joke that couldn't handle more than one but I know it's not true, it's just a defense. I grew up youngest of three and hubs is oldest of three. Only children are just foreign to us. That said, I often want to drop punch those who start telling me single children turn out weird/stuck-up/[insert BS here]. Why people just don't think "hmmm maybe there is a really good reason that this child is only AND it's beyond the parent's control" before giving their opinion, there would be less uncomfortable conversations on the playground.

My son is only sixteen months old, and I still get a ridiculous amount of pestering. "When are you having another? Are you pregnant yet?" It gets so dumb. We are planning on having another, but no time soon. I can't even imagine how much fun it would be if he was actually my only.

I have found the solution! Start a blog and talk incessantly about your decision to have only one child. Not everyone in my life reads my blog, but I just direct them to my parenting category if they ask. Nobody wants to read my archives, so they have learned to steer clear.

The funny thing I've found is that parents of two or three keep trying to palm the kid they have closest in age to my daughter off on me. I end up with two kids more often than not. And then I'm all, hey, wait a minute ...

Great post, Kristen!

Thanks for posting this. We have one kid, not by choice. We've been trying to gave another kid for three years, with two miscarriages to date. You're right on the money about commnents from others. I have gotten to the point where I tell inquiring minds that we've been trying for three years, or something along those lines. Your post was like a breath of fresh air. I needed that.

I like to tell people that she tried to kill me (pre-eclampsia), so I am not keen on having more. It is only partially true. There is a chance that hormone issues mean I would have problems. There is a chance of a repeat of last time. There is also the financial reality that two would break us and we wouldn't be able provide well enough. I love that she's a happy healthy well adjusted kid. I go out of my way to make sure she isn't spoiled. I work at making sure she spends time with her cousins so that she has family peers her own age. My mom was an only, I get it. I adore the support of the community of mom's of only kid's on the Internet. I am pretty sure that I would have a much harder time with this if I didn't have people like Rita, Christine, Cecily & Jodi around.
That being said it will only be a matter of time before I just tell people to shove it. She's a good kid, because I'm a good parent, and they need to mind their own damn business.

K, you have made me teary all over again, though in a good way. It's a strange thing -- I feel as if the external judgment is stupidly present no matter which way you go. Certainly, we get a lot of the only child judgment and inane commentary, and then particularly if you have 3+ it goes the other direction. For example, we have friends with 4 kids and both parents are petite and look really young, and they constantly get all sorts of nasty comments. It's terrible.

My cousin's husband (who is Caucasian) started dealing with this line of questioning (they have twins but you know Asians are always asking about more offspring...) by responding that he has a little problem... he no longer has a penis. :-)

Thank you for this my friend. -Christine

I've got two, and was seriously thinking about a third, but our second has (high functioning) autism, and I'd be worried about not being able to look after a new baby properly, or even having another autistic child. Three was how many I'd dreamt of but two is actually plenty... In any case I'm thankful for the fact that very few people ever raise the question of whether we should have more so I don't have to justify myself unless I choose to. Somehow if you have two or three, it's 'acceptable' but one is 'not enough' and four is 'too much'! What kind of people even have the time to come up with such petty criticisms of other family's situations!

I have an only child, first by choice, and now b/c I actually can't have any more due to a medical condition. And I'm one of the most relaxed parents I know. So parents come in all shapes and sizes. And I get ALL the only child comments. ALL of them.

I'm a mom to an only. An only that we never thought we'd have. So, when I get the questions and prying words, I tend to go with a few basic standard responses:

1. We figured out what causes it faster than others.
2. There can be no more. (I don't elaborate, but say it in the tone of if you want me to go on, I'm going to talk about my uterus...in detail.)
3. So, when was the last time you had unprotected sex? Was that too personal? Hmmm.

and my favorite:

4. I'm the third generation of only children, he's the fourth. Since my grandmother, my father, and I all turned out pretty darn ok, I'm thinking I might know a thing or two about only kids and what they need.

The thing I've learned is that no matter what you have, someone will think you ought to have something different -- most likely whatever THEY had.

I have finally lost my inhibitions and learned to deal with these inquiries the way they deserve. To any questions on why I don't have any more I just say 'I can't'. Politely. No further comment. They either get the information they were seeking or a useful lesson. Itn't is funny how we tend to protect people from feeling the embarassment they have earned?

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