Thursday, 2 February 2012

So, when are you having the next one?

It’s not a contest people.  Just because you have one doesn’t mean you have to keep going.

Let’s see how many people I can offend here… I will try not to judge (despite being an opinionated bitch) as I hope people try not to judge me. Ah who are we kidding, we all think we’re the best one.

Anyway, this post is inspired by those people who ask
“When are you having the next baby?”, “Oh you can’t have just one!”, “Oh you’ll be popping another one out soon”, “Are you pregnant again?”

And this is just people on the street, or in the supermarket queue! People who don’t know me at all, and, if I’m honest, they’re giving a really stooopid appearance, a narrow view.  Because people who DO know me, know that having a baby was quite a fucking big deal, and “popping another one out” without a great deal of consideration just ain’t gonna happen.  I like to think people give it a bit more thought than that, that it’s not just “completing the family” or “so he has someone to play with”.  My family will be complete whatever it looks like, just like if we had never had kids, my husband and I are still family. Family is much bigger than kids.

Don’t get me wrong, I love children, I work with shitloads of them for god’s sake, BUT I believe they NEED a lot. They need all you can give. They are HARD WORK. And if you meet someone who thinks having kids is easy, can you send me their address please so I can shoot them in the face.

SORRY I’M A LITTLE BIT TETCHY AS I FEEL LIKE SHIT AND HAVE NOT SLEPT PROPERLY FOR APPROXIMATELY 4 DAYS. (disclaimer:this means nothing if you have a kid under 6mths)

Ahem. Anyway, I would actually love more, but I’m a realist. Unless it is acceptable to keep a baby in a wardrobe we actually have no room.  “What are bunk beds for?” people say… But I don’t want my kids to be squashed into a teeny house and not have room to be able to have friends to play! And people say you can move house, but not without a lot of debt, and I don’t want to be so stressed about money that I can’t get my kid a Peppa Pig magazine when she’s sick. I like those little extras. If she had an annoying little brother he’d be whining “what about meeeeeee?” and I’d have to cough up for a “Chuggington” comic as well and there’s nearly a tenner gone just with a few sniffles….

It’s not really about money.  But it is a bit.  I know you just cope when you have to.  But we’re a bit different, my bloke and I, and the thought of inter-railing through Europe with the Duck, showing her the randomness of life, is much more exciting to us than the thought of another sleepless year with a cute wee yoda. (this will never happen by the way, but we can dream)

Someone once said “Having two kids isn’t twice as hard, it’s three times as hard.”

I agree that siblings are good for kids, I wouldn’t change my childhood (or adulthood) with two sisters for the world, fucking hell we had so much fun!  But two very close friends of mine who were “only” also had AWESOME childhoods, they were/are not at all spoilt, in fact they are the most generous people I’ve ever met, and I think the view that only children are worse off is really outdated. 

I didn’t mean for this to be a rant, I’m just constantly surprised at how narrow-minded or assuming people are. And the continual assumption that I will soon be up the duff again, is nuts!  I ain’t sayin’ we’re not going to have any more, I just think it’s clearly a personal choice, everyone feels differently, and a LOT of thought should go into it. What have you got to offer another child? Who are you doing it for? Why? (e.g. I may be broody sometimes, or miss my bump, but that would be for me, what is the baby gaining in this situation?)
But you could say that about any baby.  And there’s a lotta babies born without much planning involved (I’m trying not to be hypocritical).

It’s the same when people get married, you shouldn’t talk about how now they can start a family, blah blah blah… how old-fashioned and narrow-minded is that? God I really hate tradition sometimes! And whenever I go to a wedding and it’s all about the future with kids, I cringe and can’t help but think you’re setting yourself up for a big old fall in the real world buddy.  Does no one realise anymore that kids don’t just “happen”?  I have never used the phrase “when I have children” (apart from maybe when I was 6) because I realise that it’s not a given.  It’s really bloody not.  It’s not something you can work at, or buy your way into, or pray for.  So many things can happen before a child is out there. It’s scary, but true.  And I’m talking even way back to your own childhood, to that first date, to your own health, who the hell knows.  You can’t take it for granted that you will have children. I am so grateful for my one, I didn’t dare believe it until she was born and marked out of ten and firmly in my arms.  I sure as hell ain’t counting on being lucky enough to have another one.

If we don’t have any more kids, and the Duck grows up to be spoilt, lonely and self-centred, I will consider myself to have done a bad parenting job.  It could happen.  But it could, and has, happened to kids with one or more siblings too.  At the various schools/ homes I have worked at, I must admit I have sometimes thought “why on earth do these people keep having kids?” but they must have their reasons, and it’s really not my business.

This article
 is American and a bit old really, but discusses the myth of the “only child”, and raises the religious aspect of reproducing… Also outdated in my mind… but then I’m not religious.  And I find it MENTAL that people  in this day and age insist on a traditional wedding in a church and only have children after marriage (but sex before marriage is fine I notice) EVEN THOUGH they aren’t religious, and don’t uphold (stupid) religious values. It’s really quite weird, and so old fashioned.  You do also realise you don’t have to wear a white dress or wear a ring, right?  By the way I’ve been called a hippy before. Can you hear yourself?!

I think I’m mostly a bit of a plonker, but I’m quite an open-minded plonker, I want to learn more so I’m not so ignorant.  I wish other people did.

Anyway, I ain’t judging (too much), and perhaps this involves a smidge of jealousy, as we can’t do anymore reproducing, because having another baby would make our lives very difficult, whereas lots of people can just go and do it.
But to make myself feel better, and back up a less-common view, here are some pros to one child-ness, even if it’s only for a few years!

1)      Holidays should be easier
2)      A small car is plausible
3)      Lots of attention
4)      Their own room
5)      More leeway with pets because of parental guilt
6)      Same as above with gifts, food, love…
7)      Less arguments
8)      Less childcare costs/ hassles
9)      Easier to get babysitter
10   Peppa Pig magazines
11   Single buggy
12   More sleep
13   If you think about it, your partner could be viewed as another child?
14   No favourites
15   No hair pulling
16   Less presents to buy at Christmas

OK I’m losing the plot now, and realise I have contradicted myself, and made silly points, and am generally probably as narrow-minded as everyone else, but hey
We’re all a widdle bit lacist. (Avenue Q?)

I also blame the (prescribed) drugs.

And also it’s my blog and I’m queen of the WORLD.

1 comment:

  1. I loved your post, made me laugh. Good to see a blogger who writes it how it is.......

    I do have 2 kids now aged 6 and 13 months. We didn't pop out our second - took a lot of heartache and decisions (IVF, both of them) but it used to irritate me beyond belief being asked are you having another one? I could have cheerfully punched a few people on many occasions. Anyway of course I love my 2 but having more than one child is damned hard work. Why do you think most people on average don't have a 3rd?????? And yes it's been more than a year since I had more than 7 hours sleep.......

    Love h x ( a very well balanced only child btw!)