Strangers in my Business*

4 Dec

I’ve been thinking about writing this blog post for a while now, probably at least a year or so. But every time I start imagining the post in my head, I decide not to open the can of worms and move on to something else.

And then, inevitably, the issue comes up again.
And again.
And again.

So, let’s do this. Are you ready? Because I’m totally about to drop a bomb on you…

My husband and I are only planning to have one child.

BOOM! Did the world just explode?

Are you freaking the frack out, trying to scroll down to the comments so that you can tell me what a horrible person I am?

It may sound like I’m over exaggerating, but you would not BELIEVE the reactions I’ve gotten from people.

It always starts the same way, a well-meaning stranger or acquaintance smiles at my little boy, turns to me and asks, “Is he your first?” If I were smart, I would just say yes and shut the poop up. But no, I just cannot help myself from proudly blurting out, “Yes, my first and ONLY.”

The conversation NEVER ends at this point with a smile and nod. No, apparently my response is code for GAME ON for people to tell me how wrong and stupid I am for making this decision.

Here are some of my favorite responses I’ve had to politely listen to:

  • You don’t know what you want.
  • You’re just scared because the pain of pregnancy and labor are still fresh in your mind.
  • OH NO. No. No.
  • You’ll change your mind.
  • You owe it to your son to give him a sibling.
  • Your kid will be a spoiled brat.
  • Only children are odd with no social skills.
  • You will have nobody to take care of you when you’re old.
  • But he’s so cute!
  • When you die, your son won’t have anyone to share the experience with.
  • (laughs) That’s what you think; you’ll probably have an accident.
  • That’s terrible! Don’t you want to try for a little girl?
  • You’d better change your mind before you’re too old to make that choice.

YES, these are actual things that STRANGERS have said to me. I usually just smile and laugh their comments off, but frankly I’m sick of hearing it.

This is Jack, my amazing and wonderful ONLY child

This is Jack, my amazing, wonderful and adorable ONLY child

What’s funny is that I was actually starting to type up a list of reasons that we have for only wanting one child, but then decided to just delete the whole thing. You know why?

Because it’s nobody’s damn business.

What it comes down to is the fact that we are happy with our one child. We love him more than we could have ever imagined and truly revel in the way that he fits into our lives.

I don’t have anything against big families – both my husband and I come from 4 kid families. If you have a larger family I fully admire and respect you for that decision, but that doesn’t mean it’s the right decision for me.

Much like I wouldn’t be presumptuous and ask if ALL those kids are YOURS, I would hope you’d give me the same respect in the choices I make in MY life.

When it comes down to it, my uterus is none of your concern. Unless you’re my doctor, of course. But I really doubt my GYN is one of my blog followers. But if she is, “Hey girl, can you call in a refill of my prescription?  I kind of feel like I’m going to accidently get pregnant now that I’ve said how much I love having my only child…”

*I almost named this blog post, “Talking about my Hooha with Strangers” but then thought I might get a bunch of random blog hits from pervs.

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23 Responses to “Strangers in my Business*”

  1. Words for Worms December 4, 2012 at 12:06 pm #

    I don’t have any kids yet. To be honest? The only child scenario appeals to me. Even saying this in hypothetical terms has gotten me crap. It’s your effing uterus! Everyone needs to get OUT OF IT! Grrr. I shall fight them for you if you like. My specialty move is to break down and cry. Disarms the most fervent of foes.

    • JoulesDellinger December 4, 2012 at 3:51 pm #

      That move sounds pretty lethal! It’s amazing what people will say to a stranger and depending on my mood is how well I take it. Karate chop to the NECK!

  2. Quirky Chrissy December 4, 2012 at 12:12 pm #

    And some people choose to have no babies. And some people choose to have dogs. And some people accidentally have 12 babies with 5 different daddies. That’s their business. I say, the next time someone makes a stupid comment, you kick them in the shins. Twice.

    • JoulesDellinger December 4, 2012 at 12:15 pm #

      And some people CAN’T have babies and don’t need to be reminded of it over and over again. Which is thankfully not my situation. I would totally try the shin kicking — but would cry if kicked back.

  3. Jenn @ Something Clever 2.0 December 4, 2012 at 12:30 pm #

    People started asking me when I was going to have another WHILE I WAS STILL PREGNANT with “number one.” We’re undecided on whether to have one more. Now, when people ask about “number two,” I ask them, “Why mess with perfection?”

    • JoulesDellinger December 4, 2012 at 3:50 pm #

      I totally use that line too!

  4. kebum1 December 4, 2012 at 12:45 pm #

    We have two kids but they are six yrs apart so our son was like an only child for a long time, & now that he’s gone off to college it’s like my daughter is an only child. Which is cool bc she’s 14 & so neat to be with. But you’re right. Your choices are your choices. People gave us crap for spacing ours out but in our situation I wasn’t sure I wanted/could/should have another. Ours were both preemies but wound up beautifully healthy kids.
    Sweetie, it’s your hooha, your life. Manage it as you see fit. Screw everyone else!!

    • JoulesDellinger December 4, 2012 at 3:50 pm #

      Now I want to embroider “My hooha, my life” on a pillow…

      • libraryandgarden April 3, 2013 at 7:37 pm #

        I just discovered your blog via the bloggie award post on Word Press. I was meandering through yours posts and read this one and got to the part about your Hooha and peed in my panties. Not a perv. Just another mama who like irreverent humor. Who knew your hooha would earn you a new follower!

      • JoulesDellinger April 3, 2013 at 9:59 pm #

        Well libraryandgarden, thank you so much for stopping by and poking around. My blog, I mean… not my hooha. That would be weird and inappropriate.

    • Marla Baird December 7, 2012 at 11:05 am #

      Mine are six years apart too (both boys), but it took so long to get pregnant the first time my husband and I talked about what we were willing to do to have another one? Answer? Not very damn much. We felt lucky to have such a perfect child (isn’t it amazing how many cool people have perfect children?) and had no desire to put him or ourselves through a bunch of stress and “trying” and crap. We were very “que sera, que sera.” In fact, my husband had his procedure scheduled when we found out about boy2 because I was rapidly approaching the personally chosen cut-off age for my uterus. And as lovely as our life is, I have no doubt we would have been just as happy as a family of three. So good for you for knowing what is best for YOUR family … next time someone bugs you, feel free to start lecturing them on all the reasons why you think it’s wrong to have more than one child! (A dick move, yes, but effective.)

      * By the way, got here via Lauren’s blog and I’m so glad I did!

  5. Jen @ Life on the SONny Side December 4, 2012 at 3:46 pm #

    Sugarbuns, I totally wrote a similar post a few months back (I won’t link to it here because I’m totally not a bloghole), but just know that I FEEL you on this! We will very probably be a single-child household too because of fertility struggles AND choice. Our singular munchkin is a perfect little handful. There’s nothing “Only” about him! It’s so ridiculous that people expect us to answer to their expectations. Whatever. Welcome officially to the One-And-Done Club…it’s actually not as horrible as everyone makes it sound 😉

    • JoulesDellinger December 4, 2012 at 3:49 pm #

      I knew I liked you…

  6. Forever 51 December 4, 2012 at 4:56 pm #

    There is a reason God gave me only 1…It was our decision but we are one happy family unit – I have friends that don’t even talk to their siblings-overrated. When people would ask I always replied with this, “God gave me one for a reason. Because I would be a really crappy mother to two…” Shuts them right up!

  7. Teri December 4, 2012 at 11:11 pm #

    Your hoohaa, your uterus, your choice. Screw ’em!

    • Words for Worms December 5, 2012 at 4:25 pm #

      Or, uh, don’t “screw em”… Because it’s your hooha after all. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist!)

      • JoulesDellinger December 6, 2012 at 8:52 am #

        lol

  8. Tammi V.V. December 5, 2012 at 5:04 pm #

    Good for you, knowing what is right for your family. I sincerely doubt any of those strangers who are so appalled would be around to donate to the cost or time committment of a second child. People’s gall is amazing! And believe me, it doesn’t stop there. I am an only child and I constantly would get grief from people when they found out. It was incredibly annoying. And when I would tell them that I LOVED being an only child, they looked at me as though I had no idea what I was saying. Add onto that the fact that my husband and I happily chose not to have any children ourselves, and you’ve got a lifetime of annoying stranger comments. You have my empathy!

    • JoulesDellinger December 6, 2012 at 8:54 am #

      What’s funny is that I was also an only child — for 12 years before my brother and twin sisters came along. So I really feel like I’ve seen both sides of it. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the crap out of my siblings… I just realize that being an only child isn’t necessarily a terrible thing! I’m so pleasantly surprised at how supportive all you guys are with your comments! =)

  9. Stacy @ Life on Three Sides May 30, 2013 at 4:34 pm #

    So far, we have an only child by choice, too. =) I totally relate to all you’ve said, and I get a lot of “but you’re such a good mom!” “It’s not fair to your daughter!” “But what about the holidays and stuff, when she’s the only one?” What about the other 360 days of the year when there isn’t a holiday?? I find it harder myself, because I don’t have a reason why (such as fertility struggles or age (yet– I’m 35)) that others find as “more acceptable” reasons for you to say “just one”. I know it’s none of their business, but why should I have to defend it? Thanks for the positive spin on this touchy topic. =)

  10. Ginger Kay May 30, 2013 at 6:10 pm #

    People are just rude. No matter what your family is like, the critics cannot keep their thoughts to themselves. After I had my second son (and by after I mean as soon as I was out of the hospital) I had so many people ask, “So are you going to try for a girl?” As if I was disappointed with my beautiful baby and wanted to get pregnant ASAP to remedy the sad outcome! (I came from the Hump Day Hook Up.)

  11. lifestooshorttoplaypossum June 2, 2013 at 8:57 am #

    I kind of think you opened yourself up to that one.
    Just say One and leave it.
    I know someone who says her One will be her only.
    I just said “that’s cool…you always hear about the big families…nothing wrong with having a small one either”.
    These people don’t know you. They don’t know your life, your choices and how you believe.
    Why bother….you don’t owe anyone an explanation.
    Just love your Only and leave them wondering.

  12. Cara June 17, 2013 at 12:26 pm #

    We too were a one and only for a while – we had thought before kids that we would have three. It took two years to get pregnant with out daughter and before she turned one we had already decided that one was perfect for us. Then when she was almost four “Surprise!” I was pregnant. So many people have asked “I’m so curious – when did you guys change your minds about having another?” and we say “We didn’t!”. This little bundle I’m snuggling as I type is an absolute delight – seriously amazing, and we say “We didn’t know we needed you, but we did!”
    And all that being said, having one would have been an awesome delight as well! There is nothing wrong with having only one – we loved our years with one and were content and were totally freaked out when our surprise happened. So I get it! Rock on, mom of one and only:)

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