Author Topic: Having only one child - news story  (Read 1381 times)

marty998

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Having only one child - news story
« on: August 20, 2017, 03:37:35 PM »
Article discussing the benefits (and unreasonable criticisms from others) of having one child.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-21/parents-of-only-children-judged-despite-evidence-of-benefits/8789592

sparkytheop

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Re: Having only one child - news story
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2017, 05:56:40 AM »
The judgement from other people is real, and often blindingly stupid.

I had not planned to have children, but was young and dumb, resulting in an unplanned pregnancy.  My husband left when the kiddo was three years old.  The year before, I had finally started college (a program at the community college that was partnered with my employer, that would lead to a good job.)  I was working 30 hours a week and going to school full time when the ex left.  I had to keep up that schedule for another year, while raising the child by myself (ex has seen him three(?) times since he left, his choice).

Anyway, during that time and as my son got older, I had several people chime in with their opinion that I "had to" have another child.  That I was doing a disservice to my son by making him an only child.  That I was selfish.  And on and on.  This went on until my son was at least 10, and I even had people tell me "it's not too late" when he was 16!

What they knew, but completely dismissed in their need for me to have a second child--  I was single.  I had enough money and time to well provide for a single child, but not two.  I had enough extra that we could go on some great trips.  The cost of two children, as a single mother, would have removed the ability to afford a pretty decent standard of living.  Besides that, where was this magical father going to come from?  Why would struggling to get by with two children to care for be so much better than the life we had just the two of us?

When people would get rude about it, I would finally reply that "I can't have another child".  I completely left out that the fact I couldn't have another child was a sterilization choice I made for myself, with no regrets.  They went from smug, pushy, and annoying, to feeling guilty (not sure that's the right word) pretty quickly. 


little_brown_dog

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Re: Having only one child - news story
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2017, 07:02:40 AM »
I can see how hardcore the judgement would be. As a parent you are judged for practically everything you do, and the bigger the decision (family size, education, etc) the more harsh and crazy the criticism. In fairness though, anyone on the “Extreme” ends of the family planning spectrum get judged in today's world. In my experience, 0 or 1 kid families get crap…2 kid families usually get a pass….3 kid families might also get a pass except people will keep asking if the parents are “done yet”…but if you move into 4+ territory then you start getting obnoxious comments again, often extremely inappropriate digs at the parents’ intelligence level or understanding of human reproduction. I've seen 1 kid families called selfish, while 4 kid families have their parents flat out questioned on whether or not they are religious extremists or if they "know how babies happen and that birth control IS available nowadays."  You really can’t win unless you go with the standard 2 kid family, and even then you’ll probably still get a nasty remark now and then.

sparkytheop

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Re: Having only one child - news story
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2017, 07:56:24 AM »
Yeah, you can't win!  I was #4 out of 5 (girl, boy, girl, girl, boy), and I think my parents would have done best stopping at 3, but, here I am...  I don't know how often/openly they were judged, but we were each accidents, while my mom was on birth control, so it's not like they didn't try!  After the last one (almost 18 years after the first), they pursued a more permanent fix.

I knew, being one of the forgotten middle children, that I was done with my one. 

okits

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Re: Having only one child - news story
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2017, 01:07:17 PM »
You really can’t win unless you go with the standard 2 kid family, and even then you’ll probably still get a nasty remark now and then.

We have two kids, one of each sex (apparently this is important - I find that attitude annoying), and we still get comments and prods about having more children.  There's some social conditioning where people (myself included) think it's not offensive or intrusive to voice their opinions about your family size (I try to be mindful about offering only when asked, but the knee jerk reaction is to comment).

I have heard the common choice to have two children described as "boring".  Umm, people should choose their family size based on its entertainment value to others?  As sparkytheop said, "blindingly stupid".

FrugalToque

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Re: Having only one child - news story
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2017, 01:20:30 PM »
I'm fortunate in that I came from a family where, in the previous generation, someone had medical difficulties and hadn't had their children "early enough" to satisfy cultural conditioning.

Someone then sat down with some of the "cultural conditioners" and bluntly told them where they could stick it.

Therefore, since the 70s, at least in that wide swath of my family, no one ever bugs anybody about having/not-having children.  My own parents didn't say anything to Mrs. Toque and I until we told them she was pregnant.  Then they congratulated us.  Zero pressure up to that point ... even though this would be their first grandchild.

Toque.

2Cent

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Re: Having only one child - news story
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2017, 11:33:17 PM »

Probably not exactly true, but it feels like this.

On the other hand, when someone suggests it would be nice to have more kids, there is no need to get offended. I get that pushing and judgement is annoying, and it is a personal choice, but I feel there is some underlying insecurity that gets people offended at even talking about this. They mostly don't mean you're a bad parent if you don't. Take it as a complement. If you where a lousy parent no one would suggest you having more kids.

sparkytheop

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Re: Having only one child - news story
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2017, 04:55:23 AM »
"It could be nice to have more children" and "Have you thought of having more children?" is completely different than "You can't have just one child", "You have to have another child", "You're depriving your child of siblings!", etc.

My son was 7 weeks early, one day old, had been transported to an NICU, and we still didn't know if he would survive. While at the hospital, my MIL starts pushing me to have another child, crying to my sister that we were her "only chance at grandchildren", even though then-husband had two siblings.

It's hard to offend me, I just don't have an issue shutting people down anymore, especially when they are being stupid and inconsiderate.

2Cent

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Re: Having only one child - news story
« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2017, 05:17:38 AM »
"It could be nice to have more children" and "Have you thought of having more children?" is completely different than "You can't have just one child", "You have to have another child", "You're depriving your child of siblings!", etc.

My son was 7 weeks early, one day old, had been transported to an NICU, and we still didn't know if he would survive. While at the hospital, my MIL starts pushing me to have another child, crying to my sister that we were her "only chance at grandchildren", even though then-husband had two siblings.

It's hard to offend me, I just don't have an issue shutting people down anymore, especially when they are being stupid and inconsiderate.
That is indeed quite rude. Same goes for people who don't have any kids and you can expect that they would want them. I know some people who had trouble conceiving and the best thing is just not to talk about it to them unless they initiate. It is too painful.