Friday, September 13, 2013

JUST One

I just read an article on the Huffington Post about things you shouldn't say to someone who doesn't have/want a child. There are a whole bunch of things that you shouldn't say to someone who has one child either.

I have an 8 year old child and I don't plan on having any more kids. That's the plan anyway.

Gasps of horror abound when I pronounce this statement. I have yet to meet one supportive or uninterested person if this comes up. (Considering it's always someone else bringing up the fact that I have 'just' one child, I suppose no one is uninterested.)

I am constantly surprised why the possible product of my uterus is of such intense scrutiny for people. While I am still (somewhat) tolerant of statements uttered by close family members (apparently they are looking out for your and your offspring's future good), when acquaintances and random strangers want you to hear their advice, I want to tell them to STFU. Since unfortunately civilized (totally questionable) society demands we use polite words, I can't actually formulate that sentence and have to either smile politely or explain how I feel this works for us.

In school everything is a competition, especially among the matriarchs. If there are exams going on and you make the mistake of saying how tough it is getting your kid to study, someone is sure to attack you saying "But you only have one! Think of me! I have 2/3/4 (as the case may be)!" Yes okay, you win. You are more miserable than I am.

The other day two harassed mothers were waiting for their second and third child respectively to get off from school. They were complaining about the fee bill and how there was yet another increase in the school fee. One then directed an attack at me saying how easy it was for me with just one, which then turned into you can spend as much as you want on one, and how you get to travel in the summer with just one and so on. I was not entirely sure how the school fee going up and them having multiple children to feed/clothe/educate was my fault.

One 'lady' once asked me if there was a problem with either me or my husband and that was why we weren't having any more children. I told her if we did have a problem she would definitely be the first one I'd inform.

So coming to the things you shouldn't say to people who have "JUST"/"ONLY?!" one kid:

1. JUST one? But why?! (Shock. Horror....and then they wait for an explanation)

2. But doesn't he want a brother or sister? (Asked with pitying looks directed at child)

3. Don't you want a brother or sister? (Said to child)

4. Why don't you pray for a brother or sister? (Also said to child)

5. Is there something wrong? (Usually said with eyes signally your private regions)

6. This is really unfair on him. (A free dose of guilt tripping available here)

7. You will regret this. (I'm not right now and I hope I won't later either, and unless you have some Nostradamus like powers you shouldn't make these kind of unhelpful predictions either)

8. You enjoy your siblings don't you? (Luckily I do, but I know plenty of people who don't)

9. Just give birth, we'll do the rest! (Said by grandparents who are in no position to actually do the 'rest' considering their age and commitments.)

10. Abb kar bhi lo doosra. (Sir! Yessir!)

11. Abhi takk eik hi hai? Jaldi jaldi nikalo aur. (Images of baby after baby popping out of the production line)

12. Bus eik aur tu kar lo (Okay, but only because you asked so nicely)

13. You are being very selfish. (Actually yes I am, but not just for myself. It's for all three of us. You know the three people actually involved in this, unlike your unnecessary self)

Strange as it may be, I do only want to have one kid. As long as my child, my husband and I are happy with this decision, it really is no one else's business. I do not owe anybody explanations for WHY am I doing this? (WHY WHY WHYYYY??)

I do not want to have another just for the hell of it.

I do not want to have another to provide a companion for my child.

I do not want to have another as an insurance policy for when I'm 60/70/80 or 90.

If I do decide to have another, it will be because I WANT to have another. And random people's input/opinions/unwanted advice will have nothing to do with formulating that decision.

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