As you know from reading my blog, I have one wonderful, charming, funny, sarcastic, intelligent, exhausting and simply delightful child. However, as absolutely fantastic as he is, people seem to think there should be more of him. Or more of my husband and me, since we made him. Wow, people really like us that much that they want MORE of us!
Monkey Man turned 6 in March and for the past 6 years, I have been asked by many people:
“When are you having #2?” – Hmmm, none of your damn business unless you’re my husband and I need your sperm.
“So, when are you going to GIVE Monkey Man a brother or sister? - Shall I just run out to Target, grab a child off the shelf and hand over my Target credit card which gives me 5% off said child? Then I’ll wrap him or her up in some pretty tissue paper and give baby to Monkey Man?
“Do you think you’re JUST going to have ONE?” – JUST ONE drips out of their mouths like, “I really should have considered that option. She’s a freakin’ genius – gets to be a mom, love her child unconditionally, but only has to worry about one little rugrat instead of 3!”
“He should have a sibling.” Really? And I should smack you. Then you should give me money to raise the village and send them off to college. What Monkey Man SHOULD have is two loving parents who will give him their world and make sure he feels safe, happy and like he is our number one priority always. He should have food, shelter and an education. A sibling will not add or detract from his life. Monkey Man is a friendly, socially adept kid and has friends, and many people know, sometimes friends are better friends than a sibling. I know lots of people who do not get along with their brothers or sisters. I also know lots of people who are best friends with their brothers or sisters. You just never know what you’re going to get.
“C’mon, have another!” - Yes, because having another child is like taking a shot at the bar. Oh, but wait! We all know what that ONE MORE shot at the bar can do to a person! One time (in college, I was young and stupid. And totally of age) it had me sitting under a sink in the bathroom, with my head between my knees. And, hell, sometimes it produces Baby #2 or #3!
If I am out with one of my closest friends, or my mom, or my sister, and one of them says to me, “So, do you think you would like to have another child?” I would be open and candid with them if they didn’t already know the answer and reasons behind the answer. But when Nosy Nancy from the gym asks me, it’s a little annoying. Take a moment and really think about these questions and statements – there are many reasons that a woman or couple might not have another child:
1. They WANT one child. (Oh, the horror! Just one? How could they?)
2. They have been trying to having another child for years and it’s just not happening.
3. Medical reasons would put the woman or child at risk.
4. The woman has actually been pregnant once, twice, several times and miscarried.
5. The couple has adopted (and I’m talking opposite sex and same sex couples) and are either quite happy with one child or cannot afford the cost of multiple adoptions.
Maybe there are more reasons, but I think the ones I listed are enough to get someone to stop and think before opening their insensitive, rude mouth. This post has been swirling around in my head for a few years now, but a comment the other day by a woman really lit the fire under me. So that night, I wrote as my status on Facebook: “Would it be rude for me to ask people why they had more than one child? Maybe look at them with shock like, "WHY did you decide to have TWO? or THREE?" Because it's pretty rude when people ask me when I'm having another or why I don't have another child.”
Everyone who commented on Facebook was very supportive and seemed aghast that people would actually ask these kinds of questions. People had different things to say:
“It’s very rude and none of anyone’s business. I did not have another until my son was 8 and people would say that to me all of the time. Of course my circumstances were a little different but I really enjoyed the one-on-one time with my son and if I didn't have another so be it. Sometimes people are just jealous because they have 2, 3, maybe even 4 kids and they can't give the attention and time that they would like to.” Amen, sista.
"I used to hear this ALL the time! I finally did decide that another hard pregnancy would be worth it, but that was my decision to make. I've even had people say since, "see, we knew you'd come around." and things like that. I just don't get it - having only one isn't some crazy idea! And to be honest, I love daughter #2, but I do miss it just being daughter #1 sometimes. It was much easier to work when I could devote my free time to her. Now my time is so split that I feel like I'm torn in too many directions at once." Love the honesty, and I'll give it another, Amen!
“The second child is the son or daughter of the social pressure. For almost 6 years I was annoyed with the same bs and I'll just tell them if you'll support him/her and off course babysit whenever I want to go out, I'll go for it.” And again, let me add, if you would like to foot the bill for college, then in the words of Marvin Gaye, Let’s Get It On!
“I just tell it like it is: I'd love to have had another, but she's my miracle baby and I'm just glad she's healthy and happy!” Let’s get another Hallelujah! “Another good comeback- no need, I got it right the first time!” yes. Yes. YES.
Monkey Man was in our plans to be a part of our life. I am thankful everyday that my plans played out and that whatever forces that needed to work with us, did. He gives me (us!) as much joy, laughter, anxiety, delight, sleeplessness, and sheer love as 10 children could. I might be a mom to only one child, but I couldn’t be happier with or prouder of my one-of-a-kind, one and only Monkey Man.