The Second Child Question

When I had been with my then boyfriend for a couple of years, people started to ask when we were going to get engaged.  Once we were engaged people asked “when’s the date?” “you’ve been engaged for a while, are you setting a date?”.  Once married; “so when are you two going to have children?” “it’s your one year anniversary, are you trying for a baby now?”.

It first started with the midwife, don’t get me wrong I knew that one was coming, I trained as a midwife myself.  “Don’t forget you are so fertile now, best be careful, anyway I’m sure I’ll see you in a couple of years”.  I can honestly report at that time I had no intention of having sex never mind having another baby.  Eventually I braved having the coil fitted and the Gynaecologist assured me “anytime you want it out, just call, anytime you’re ready” – so “I’ll call in five years when I want it renewed then”, “Oh I’m sure you’ll change your mind, don’t forget anytime!”

After a change in circumstances and a return to a job with a good maternity pay package; “Oh you can have another baby now!”.  “I mean I could but I don’t want to.” “Oh, well if you change your mind”. “But don’t you think another one would be nice”. “He’ll be an only child then.” “It would be a shame if he didn’t have a brother or a sister.” “He’s so lovely with babies, he’d love a brother or a sister, A wouldn’t you love a baby? A do you want to be a big brother?”

I am left wondering why people think it is acceptable to ask when we are going to have another child? Why is it acceptable to ask any questions about our personal choices and lives? Who’s business is it? And especially please do not involve my child in your need for me to continue procreating.  Besides to those who suggest there is a problem with only children, I am an only child so thanks for your negative opinions on us singletons – I swear people have explained why having one is a bad idea!

What if we had found out we couldn’t have anymore, what if we were trying and it wasn’t working? Why is it normal for everyone to need to know when, when, WHEN? And then as if “no we don’t want another child” is not a good enough question, more often than not I am asked why we are not having another child.

“Why?” Dependant on my current mood there is the polite version of “we are happy as we are”.  If I’m feeling less polite; “well after a third degree tear I worry about future complications with my body… and postnatal depression was pretty crappy so don’t really fancy that again… and well we like money and don’t really have any with one child so that’s only really going to get worse with two isn’t it… and well he’s not really a great sleeper, so whilst having another one would probably mean even less sleep anyway we just can’t be bothered because the little sleep we have now is a better option than the sleeping pattern of a newborn”.

So frankly, we are happy as a family of three.

 

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