Monday, July 24, 2006

Reproducing advice

After i had Em, one of the first things that my mother said to me was, "You can't just have one you know."

"HA! Watch me", i thought.

But this comment was repeated over and over by people who should have just shut up (and who typically had more than one child). "It's not fair to the child to be the only one." "She will grow up to be selfish." "Your family won't be complete with only one baby."

Now i love Em completely and utterly. And i might have had another child. But the timing just didn't work. My husband and i were separated for a almost a year about the time i might have been thinking about reproducing again. And i didn't want to have another baby when we weren't as solid as all that. And getting solid took about 5 years of hard work and wondering if it was all worth it. (A subject for another post.) That was 12 years ago.

Now i am too old, at least mentally, and my husband has been snipped. So it ain't happening. OK?

Representing the other side, i have a friend who sometimes says stupid things. She once told me that she only had one child because she was an only child and she knew that being an only child was best. Normally i let the stupid things pass, but not this one. I turned to her at the next elliptical machine and said, "Do you really believe there is no value in having siblings? And how would you know?"

I have two brothers, and one of them is a friend as well, and the other would always be there for me if i needed him. That's a pretty nice thing.

So, as in all of life, there are advantages and disadvantages to both being an only child and having siblings. I do wonder why do people try so hard to convince us that what they did is the right way.


urban-urchin said...

Just found you!

This post really resonated with me.

I heard all the same reasons for having another child but they never rang true for me. My brother and I are not very close for a variety of reasons that are quite painful.
We were fine with things the way they were but I couldn't say for certain that I did NOT want another. So we decided to remove the goalie and see what happened, and sure enough we scored one. My kids are 5.5 years apart which shows just how long we hemmed and hahhed about this. Now my husband is snipped and we're good with two.

You're right- it's our choice to decide to have kids or not and no one can say for certain what is right for everyone.

Dick said...

My youngest son's wife is child number 14 in a family with 16 children. She said when they were married they were going to have one and only one. That is a personal decision made by each couple and no one else should think they can or should influence it.

I clicked over to your blog from Lisa's Bored Housewife blog. You have an interesting way of writing about a variety of subjects, making it a fun read.

Antonia Cornwell said...

16 kids, Dick!! I suppose they all start bringing each other up after it gets to a certain critical mass. I hope so, anyway. How incredible to grow up in such a huge clan.

People will always try to convince you that theirs is the right way about everything from religion to dietary fads. It's their way of reassuring themselves they're doing things properly. It can be ever so boring.

At my old university there was a small group of avid Christians who would take the Bible round the bars and say "This is our book, and we believe..." to anyone who would listen. So my friend George got out a book on gardening. "This is my book," he said. "Listen, it's really good."

Great writing!

meno said...


Great story about "The good Book"!

Thanks for the compliment too.