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When’s the Next One?

by Our Little Pickle on February 19, 2010 · 4 comments

You are sitting in the rocking chair, your brand new baby is in your arms and your friends and family take turns coming to your house to ohh and ahh over your perfect little peanut. You get asked questions like, how does she eat, how is she sleeping, is she gaining weight… and then “when’s the next one?” Every time someone asked me this question during the first 6 weeks of my daughter’s life I wanted to beat them with a brick, or telephone, or twig; basically whatever was in my line of sight at the time they asked the question. Now, I may be alone on this one, but right after I gave (natural) birth to my daughter the last thing I wanted to do was squeeze out another one! Birth is traumatic for some people, especially if there are complications (as there were in our case). Birth is not always the way parents wanted it to be and sometimes it takes a few weeks (or months) for them to be at peace with how things went. How about some time to recover?

So why is it that once we have one child people automatically think version 2.0 is pending release? It’s kind of like once you get married, people start asking you when you are having a baby… What if you don’t want children or what if you only want one child? Shouldn’t these situations be “opt in” not “opt out?” Once I began to understand the way the world worked, I have only wanted to have one child, so this question really raised my back. 

When I habitually answered back, sometimes to perfect strangers, that we are not having another child people would be up in arms; as in HOW DARE I. Oh you have to she will get lonely, or what if you died, she would be all alone- seriously? These are not reasons to have another baby! Eventually I got tired of arguing. I don’t think I should have had to argue in the first place, people should have respected my choices, because really- why compete with perfection!? (lol) So I started to say who knows, anything could happen, which is a roundabout way of saying it’s as likely as the philosophers stone and I worked on not letting it bother me.

But no luck, because everyone has an opinion on this topic and not a week goes by without it popping up. Some say that it is criminal to have a child grow up without siblings, others say that only children are the way of the future with increased living, and life, costs. The advocate in me wants to keep arguing, the mother in me, who is pretty darn tired sometimes, just wants to smile and nod like a stepford wife until people stop talking.

Recently I came across some research that said second (and subsequent) children have better chances of survival and thriving if they come about 36 months after their older sibling, so now I quote this research which will hold them off for oh, 3 years and then hopefully they have all forgotten!

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

OnceHarmony February 19, 2010 at 10:57 pm

They won’t forget. 🙂

Christina February 20, 2010 at 9:11 am

I love that question, especially since we have just lost our fourth of five pregnancies. People do not get it. There is a lot of romanticism about the natural-ness of conception, birth, etc., especially on this island, which is lovely if it happens for you. You are no less of a woman if you have a medicated Csection and no less of a family if you cannot conceive or carry or choose not to have children or have a singleton or adopt or live any other option or combination. More people need to understand that we don`t all choose and or succeed in the 2.2 children. And can be and are happy not doing so!

It gets my back up a little as well if that is not obvious. . .

Jessica February 20, 2010 at 9:57 pm

I agree that your family is what YOU want it to be, not what society says that it should be! Keep your chin up Christina 🙂

Shannon February 26, 2010 at 10:12 am

I love the question I get, “so are you going to have a 4th?”

Seriously people, I had 3 kids in 3.5 year & I’m pushing 40! I’m not sure why people ask these questions, but I just try to roll with it with a sense of humor.

I guess whether you have 1 or 7 or anything in between people will always feel entitled, for some strange reason, to ask when the next one is coming.

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