Yes, I have only one child. It might be by choice or it might not be. Regardless of why, it’s definitely none of your business but mine and only mine.
Since the day I got pregnant I have been asked how many children I want. Ha? I don’t know. I am just pregnant. I might want five children or just say no more after giving birth. Don’t ask me this. You crazy?
The pregnancy months went by and there I was a new mum trying to figure out how to parent, how to deal with sleepless nights, how to go on without washing my hair for two weeks straight, how to guess what my newborn needs by listening to her cries. I was at the beginning of motherhood and guess what. I got the question again: “When will you have another one?” “Oh, you know, little one needs a brother or a sister. Time is ticking” – FOR GOD SAKE! SHUT UP!!!! – I wanted to scream. What is with these people? Can you just mind your own business?
My daughter turned two in April and since then I feel like I am getting more and more frustrated with everyone around me. “Are you actively trying?” “When is baby number two coming?” And the worst of them all I got yesterday. I was at work wearing my uniform that is basically a bodycon type of dress that shows every single inch of belly, not to mention the lunch you just had. I went inside Boots and there it is this woman trying to sell me whatever vitamins. She asked how my daughter is and how old is she now as we haven’t seen each other in a while (I only know her because she works there not because we are some sort of friends). I told her proudly that my little one turned two and there it was the look. Measuring me and asing: “When is number two coming?” And just to make me feel more angry she stares at my belly and there she goes: “Are you pregnant?” – I politely said no and tried to leave so I can avoid any stupid conversation but she goes on. Instead of apologizing she says to me: “Oh, I just seen you have a small belly and thought you already expecting” WHAT? I think my face just dropped but all I could do is just leave so I won’t punch her in the face with all anger accumulated in myself. I wanted to scream and cry.
I can say I was walking towards the office and I felt like disappearing, becoming somehow invisible to everyone else. But I don’t have superpowers and there I was in front of someone I know staring at me and instead of just saying hello, she chose to ask the worst question she could: “When is baby brother or sister coming? You know, it’s so good to have someone to count on. Time is ticking. You are not getting any younger!”
WHY? Why do people ask these questions?
You never know what is going on in someone’s life so just out of common sense, choose t keep your mouth shut. Maybe I am desperately trying for a baby but it’s not happening and all you do is continually remind me how miserable I am. Maybe I am in mourning as I almost died while suffering a miscarriage and all you do is constantly remind me of my pain and sorrow. Or maybe I just have one child because I want to and it’s definitely none of your business.
Maybe I am struggling with my appearance and you pointing out my belly only makes things worse and determines me to starve myself and go home and cry myself to sleep.
So, go ahead and feel like a proper asshole for asking me these questions every time you see me.
Another thing you shouldn’t say to a mom of a single child: “You don’t know how hard it is. You only have one child” – are you sure I don’t know? Last I checked you are called a mother regardless of the number of children you have. Plus, don’t be an asshole. I know how hard it is. I haven’t slept a full night for at least a year because I had a shitty sleeper. I lost days and nights cuddling my daughter and sleeping on a chair with her in my arms because she was ill. I know how hard it is when you jump in a cab at midnight to go A&E because her fever wouldn’t drop for hours. I know post natal depression although I only have one child. I know frustration, stress, worry but I also know satisfaction, happiness, joy and pride because I am a mother and I don’t complain. I take the good in parenting, I choose to remember the beauty of it instead of getting frustrated cause parenting is hard. Yes, go ahead and feel like and asshole again.
“No wonder you look so good. You only had one pregnancy!” – No. I exercise and I try to keep in shape. For me. I always wanted to be one of those sexy mums who look like they have it all together in spite of all struggle. And trust me, I have my own frustrations. Plus, I seen women who had five pregnancies and look a million times better than I do or you do.
There are so many other things to say but I choose to stop here.
Maybe I have one child by choice or maybe I don’t. You don’t know what a woman feels like. You don’t know her struggle, you don’t know what she’s going through. Maybe she is not showing her pain and sorrow and she is doing a good job masking it. YOU got no idea how much she is suffering. You got no idea how many times she wanted to cry and scream and shout in pain. You have no idea maybe just how much she actually wants another baby but for some reason she can’t have it.