Just the other day I felt completely judged by some totally thoughtless comments, made by an older woman that I know.
Unfortunately, this kind of judgement is often a regular occurrence in my life these days…. And it centres around the public’s perceived view of us having an “only-child”.
The woman told me very matter-of-factly that she believed it was unfair of me to make my daughter be an only child, and that I most certainly should have had another one by now….
Wait a minute….? What….? I thought to myself (aghast). Am I seriously being judged here on how many little humans may, or may not have occupied my uterus???
Has this woman actually deemed my family of not being worthy, just because we don’t fit societies “mould”? Has she not even given a thought that conception, pregnancy and childbirth is quite often a little easier said… than it is done?
What people don’t seem to take into consideration before making these kind of well intended comments, is that people and families are all different. We all have different ideals.
We all have different hopes, dreams and aspirations. Some of us are completely maternal, and have dreamed of having big families since we were old enough to play with dolls. Others may not be as so. But also, we all have deeper (and sometimes darker) reasons behind our family make up. The public do not know (and nor should they know) the in’s and out’s of our life, our thoughts, our dreams, our financial situations, nor have they considered our own medical histories.
We, as a couple feel completely blessed that the gods and the universe decided to let us be the parents to one happy, healthy, and pretty together little person – and we totally accept that. My husband and I wouldn’t change any of that for the world.
The guilt that I have in my heart is hard enough for me to bare, that I have not been able to provide my daughter with a sibling. I have my reasons why, and it is very hard to explain these to her when she asks me to. She is only 4, and explaining these kind of things to a 4 year old is not an easy feat.
But what the public don’t realise is that when they feel the need to point it out, they just continue to stir up these feelings in me. What simply might be a matter of curiosity for you, is actually very upsetting to me. And having to explain this time and time again makes the whole thing even worse.
Each time I experience comments and questions such as this, I spare a thought for the handful of other mothers-of-one that I know… Women who have tried their absolute hardest to conceive, and finally do have their such wanted miracle. And just like me, but for their own individual reasons – these gorgeous ladies have had to accept that a single child family is probably what is meant to be for them also.
When the universe blesses you with what you really do want in life, it is our duty to be totally grateful for what we have. And most certainly not to be dwelling on what we don’t have.
So, to the people of society that believe it is their right to comment on the fact that we have an only child, we would instead prefer you to refer to her as our child…. Simple as that. And furthermore, we do not need people like you asking us when, or telling us that we should be having another one – just because society deems it so.
Your comments might be well intended by you, but they are actually quite hurtful to us with your judgement of our situation, the choices we have made, and what we have come to accept.
Our little family is perfect just the way it is, thanks!
In the future, please keep your opinions to yourself, and don’t ever again judge any family on the number of offspring that they have in it; instead judge them on the quality of life that is had by all of them when they spend time together – because at the end of the day, that really is the most important thing.
A very proud and loving, mother-of-one.
And as a side note, this post is also dedicated to mothers of multiple children, who get judged but the public for having too many.
And to the fabulous mother’s of boys, who get continually asked if they are going to “try for a girl” (and vice versa).
To all of the mother’s of twins out there, who always have to encounter the same barrage of questions about them – over, and over, and over again.
To the woman who has recently miscarried, and is silently grieving inside to herself.
And finally, this post goes out to the women out there that do not have any children, yet still get asked by members of the public “when” do they intend to have them? Not knowing at all what this woman’s choices, thoughts, or circumstances might be.
In the end, it’s nobody else’s business, these are our bodies, and our lives. It’s time to change the record, and talk about something else.
Words by Dani Tinkler.