Is the Only Lonely?
I shout from the rooftop...."NO! NO! NO!" I am so tired of my child (who doesn't have any siblings) being referred to as an "only". If you have 4 boys, are they called "sisterless"?
Seriously people, wake up. Not having a sibling is not some kind of disease. I swear, there is a prejudice among parents of what I am now going to call "multis". "Oh, so you have multiples. Was that a choice?"
Furthermore, I cannot believe the prejudices there are out there among my fellow WOMEN. If you work, you're neglecting your kids. If you don't work, you "gave up" your life to have kids. If a you have a brood of kids you must be Mormon (or seriously Catholic) and your kids suffer from your lack of attention. Not having kids? Forget it, according to some, you'll regret that forever.... Why is it that we are one another's biggest critics?
When someone I don't know asks me, "So, when are you having another?" I give a polite explanation of my pregnancy. 6 weeks in the hospital, another 10 on an IV at home, vomiting 15 to 20 times a day, paralyzing nausea. Fine. It's when someone who KNOWS what I went through, knows I vomited up tissue from my esophagus, knows I had blood taken from my feet when the docs couldn't find a vein, knows I suffered for months and months with no relief. When they ask when I'm having another, that's when I lose my FREAKING MIND. Why, Lord, Why, do these people feel its their job to comment on the quality of life (or lack there of) I am providing for my child by not giving him a sibling?
Should I have missed a year of his growth and development? Should I have damaged my body further? Should I have asked my family to watch me suffer like that? For me, the answer is no.
And guess what? My husband, who might very well be one of the best fathers I have ever seen, has no interest in having another. He loves our life the way it is. Does the fact that we only have one child make us less of a parent than those who have 2 or 4 or 6 or 8? How could it?
Are you "more" of a mother now than your were with just your first?
Once, a woman said to me, "You have to have another child. You can't do this to your son." I also remember another woman saying to me, "It was good enough for God." (I love how things always seem to balance out.)
Now that I have ranted, I'd like to rave. Rave about 2 friends who have NEVER made me feel like I was "missing" something. My friend Heather (who has 4 fantastic girls) and my oldest friend, Kim (who has two amazing girls). Both these women who love being mothers have celebrated my decision/reality. When needed, they remind me of the benefits of my life with one child. They both acknowledge the difficulty of my pregnancy and they totally understand my decision not to do it again.
Does this mean they don't love their lives and their children? Of course not. What it does mean, is that they can be thoughtful and open to all situations...it means that:
Celebrating my choice does not diminish their choice.
These are the kind of friends I want to have, the kind of people I want to surround myself with.
And, when their girls are giving them tons of grandbabies or going to manicures with their mamma, I will celebrate their choice, as I already do.