being a mom

If I Give You All The Reasons I’m Not Having More Kids, Will You Stop Asking?

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  1. My kid is a terrible person.

Obviously, I don’t really think my kid is terrible. I think that she is perfectly happy to grow up solo, and won’t sugarcoat that fact. I have another friend who drops off her kid from time to time. He is on the cusp of toddlerhood, and needs a lot of undivided attention as he doesn’t yet know that he can choke on/electrocute himself on/garrote himself on everything I own. This usually leads to my little one heading up to her room for the duration to write the kind of “I’m all alone and no one loves me” poetry that would make Sylvia Plath proud. People ask her all the time if she wants a little sister or brother. She side eyes those people. Hard. Do I let my kid dictate my life choices? No. Do I understand what a living hell it would be if I had a little thing that couldn’t even hold its head up and vomited on everything my existing child holds dear? Yes.

  1. I don’t need an heir, but thanks for your unsolicited concern.

The first time that someone asked me if I was disappointed that I didn’t have a son to carry the family name, I stared at them for a long time, unsure if I could control my throat-punching reflex. My daughter carries my genes; it isn’t something only boys can do, like pee their name into the snow. If my daughter takes a new last name later, I’m pretty sure that “Edwards” isn’t in danger of going extinct.

  1. Because I don’t feel like it.

I don’t want to, okay?

In conclusion, I love big families. I do. I don’t pretend to think I know better than other people or their families. I understand how the chaos of a big family can morph into a kind of noisy comfort. Hell, I grew up with 11 other kids. I do, in fact, get it. Still, this is what works for me and mine. Maybe I’m traumatizing my own daughter—plenty of people seem to think so—but I prefer to imagine that a family in 2014 can look like anything: a mom and dad, two moms, two dads, two kids, a Duggar’s worth of kids, or yeah, just one kid.

Besides, if I had another kid now, they wouldn’t even be out of training pants before someone wanted to know when I was adding a third.

(Image: getty images)

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  1. Bethany Ramos

    January 23, 2014 at 11:08 am

    You are soooo funny. I hated pregnancy too, but nickleback vs pregnancy?? I am at a crossroads.

    • Theresa Edwards

      January 23, 2014 at 11:37 am

      IHTM: I Listened To The Entire Nickelback Discography and Now I’m Sterile

    • Bethany Ramos

      January 23, 2014 at 11:40 am


    • CMJ

      January 23, 2014 at 11:54 am

      WEIRD! IHTM: I Listened to the Entire Nickleback Discography and Now I am So Fertile I Can’t Stop Popping Out Kids.

    • Theresa Edwards

      January 23, 2014 at 11:56 am

      Fun Fact: In ancient Roman times, the fruit of the Nickelback plant was so effective as an abortifacient that it was harvested to extinction.

    • jsing014

      January 23, 2014 at 7:59 pm

      You are my favorite. Forever

  2. Eve Vawter

    January 23, 2014 at 11:14 am

    man I had fun editing this, I was srsly lolcrying

    • Larry Drew SG

      January 23, 2014 at 11:50 am

      Thanks a lot Evebama!

  3. Karin

    January 23, 2014 at 11:16 am

    “Besides, if I had another kid now, they wouldn’t even be out of training pants before someone wanted to know when I was adding a third.”

    Especially if the second one was a girl, too.

    • keelhaulrose

      January 23, 2014 at 11:20 am

      It’s horribly true. My grandma still asks when I’m going to try for a boy, no matter how many times I’ve told her I had the baby factory surgically shut.

    • LadyClodia

      January 23, 2014 at 11:29 am

      A bunch of people asked us right after our second son was born when we would start trying for a girl; they generally didn’t like it that we told them we were done.

    • JLH1986

      January 23, 2014 at 11:41 am

      If we do have kids we’ve already decided 2 is it (when able to plan, I can see God saying ha ha TRIPLETS!). 2 boys, 2 girls, one of each, 2 out of the gate whatever. My mom was not happy with this.

    • keelhaulrose

      January 23, 2014 at 1:38 pm

      My grandmothers were both big advocates of having at least one child of each sex (I’ll pause here to point out one of them only had my mother). I told them I have the worst luck, and I’d have a softball team before I had a boy, so I wasn’t going to try.

    • gothicgaelicgirl

      January 24, 2014 at 6:53 am

      lol we get this.
      we’re not planning it at the moment but we’ve agreed on one.
      Knowing our luck, and seeing as twins run on his side of the family, i’ll be the next Octo-Mom lol

  4. keelhaulrose

    January 23, 2014 at 11:18 am

    They never stop asking. Never. There’s always a reason you need more kids; baby needs a sibling, you need a boy/girl, you should have pairs so one’s not left out, someone must top the Duggars… it never ends.

    • Kay_Sue

      January 23, 2014 at 11:26 am

      You are so completely right.

      We have four, total, and PEOPLE STILL ASK. WTF?! We are already going to have to mortgage our souls and then some to pay for college.

    • JLH1986

      January 23, 2014 at 11:31 am

      We have been married 6 months…engaged for 19 months (thanks grad school or is it Obama?) and from the moment he put a ring on it “when ya’ll having babies?” It’s hard because we’ve actually BEEN trying…and no luck. I’m still in school so I’m not sweating it too much yet. I’m always tempted when someone asks to just say “last night, 1130 pm.” and when they get all confused, “well since you’re so interested in the contents of my womb I thought I’d share the last time I took a shit too.” Sorry that was vulgar but…yea I hate that question.

    • Kay_Sue

      January 23, 2014 at 11:33 am

      Vulgar can be hilarious, and it was. It’s a shitty question (pun intended and it made me chuckle, no regrets! :P) regardless. Not only that, but folks get married for reasons other than making babies. Like tax breaks and things…

    • JLH1986

      January 23, 2014 at 11:40 am

      For a long time we didn’t know if we wanted kids, we didn’t want to have them because that’s what you do, but we didn’t want to say hell no either. It was only after we were engaged over a year that we were like, hey yea I’d like a kid, but only with you because you’re you. That REALLY messed with people. It was all “y u get marriedz if no babiez?” again. Blah people.

    • Kay_Sue

      January 23, 2014 at 11:44 am

      People are insensitive, and marriage is often reduced to (in my little southern and conservative corner of the woods especially it seems sometimes) babies, babies, babies. It’s so much more than that, especially today. I really wish you luck. You’ll make a fantastic parent!

    • JLH1986

      January 23, 2014 at 11:46 am

      Aww thanks…and I live *just* far enough South to say “ya’ll” and for “babies, babies, babies.” blah.

    • LadyClodia

      January 23, 2014 at 11:46 am

      My husband and I were married for 9 years before we had our first son. That drove people nuts.

    • JLH1986

      January 23, 2014 at 12:18 pm

      ha ha ha I cannot imagine the meltdown people had! they act like 6 months is forever.

    • EX

      January 23, 2014 at 11:35 am

      I’m sorry. That’s the WORST. People just don’t think about what they are really saying when they ask that.

    • JLH1986

      January 23, 2014 at 11:38 am

      They really don’t. We haven’t been telling people, except you my internet friends because I think it would be worse if people knew we were trying and not getting pregnant so I just ignore it or say “grad school, gotta get a job” etc. etc. But man it’s like if you only knew how much I’d love to say “In about 6 months actually!”. Blah, people!

    • EX

      January 23, 2014 at 11:55 am

      We didn’t tell people we were trying for our first and I played off any questions like maybe we would stay child-free (which kind of threw people off). I was less secretive the second time around but it totally sucked when I miscarried (before announcing the pregnancy) and people were asking about our “progress.” People are the worst I tell you. And best of luck to you!

    • CV

      January 23, 2014 at 12:28 pm

      Good luck to you! We’ve got one already and after lots of waffling, we decided to go for another. It’s been almost a full year now and no-joy. We are always getting the “when is the next one gonna get here” questions and we’ve always played it off so hard saying we were just fine with one that if I ever do get pregnant again, people are gonna think it’s an unwanted baby!

    • JLH1986

      January 23, 2014 at 12:43 pm

      Good luck to you too! I’m considering just going the direct route with “when you can articulate how that’s any of your business, I’ll tell you” or just ask them how much money they make.

    • Bunny Lucia

      January 23, 2014 at 12:38 pm

      This is why I’m going to elope without telling much of my family.

      I want to put off the “BABIEZ?” Question for as long as possible.

    • JLH1986

      January 23, 2014 at 12:43 pm

      Oh I wish had eloped…

    • Aldonza

      January 23, 2014 at 7:12 pm

      Since my husband and I got married in October, people have not stopped asking. I work with kids, and I love them, and I will continue to love them because I don’t have to deal with any of my own at home. I’ve started just laughing hysterically at people who ask like it’s the funniest thing I’ve ever heard.

    • gothicgaelicgirl

      January 23, 2014 at 12:57 pm

      I get the whole “When are you going to have YOUR OWN KIDS, it’s not like HIS are YOUR OWN KIDS”
      Erm…i consider them my kids….
      I bathe em, feed em, love em, do everything a parent would do.
      Obviously I know my place, I AM the step-parent, but that does not automatically mean I dismiss them!
      as far as I am concerned, they ARE MY OWN KIDS

    • Momma425

      January 23, 2014 at 3:20 pm

      Apparantly it doesn’t count if it didn’t come out of your vag?
      “Your Husband has 8 kids that you have to care for…but you need at least ONE of YOUR OWN. Because you’re probably bored as a step-parent to 8 kids with nothing better to do.”
      *rolls eyes*

    • gothicgaelicgirl

      January 24, 2014 at 6:45 am

      lol yup, that seems to be the basic argument…which leads into the whole- o what about a c-section? THAT kid didn’t stroll out of the holy vagina!

      also would love to know why someone downvoted the comment i made lol, possible angry mommy who has step-mom issues?

    • AlbinoWino

      January 23, 2014 at 7:25 pm

      I am about to become a step parent to a kid and I do not look forward to this.

    • AlbinoWino

      January 23, 2014 at 7:25 pm

      I am about to become a step parent to a kid and I do not look forward to this.

    • gothicgaelicgirl

      January 24, 2014 at 6:43 am

      it gets easier.
      when people ask me now if I have kids, I say yes, 5.
      when they question how (I’m 23 but sadly look about 18 still) I say well there are 5 children in my family.

      People usually get the hint then.

    • Momma425

      January 23, 2014 at 12:58 pm

      They really don’t.
      Even if you say you are planning to try for another child next year- why? They expect you to share financial information, personal health information, how often you and your husband are having sex. “Why not this year?” “Why not today?” “Are you sure you want to wait a whole year- your daughter will be so far apart in age from the new baby.”
      Omg, just stay out of my uterus please.

    • keelhaulrose

      January 23, 2014 at 1:34 pm

      Then there’s the flip side,, when people think you have too many kids, and start asking if you’re trying for some kind of sports team.
      Of course they feel justified talking about it; if the government can’t stay out of our uteruses (uteri?) why would the average Joe stay out?

    • gothicgaelicgirl

      January 24, 2014 at 6:47 am

      I’m so using the “stay out of my uterus” argument next time I’m not in the mood lol

    • Aimee Beff

      January 23, 2014 at 3:30 pm

      If I had a dollar for every time I got told I could “stop now, how nice!” or that my family is “complete” because of my boy/girl twins, I would have enough to pay my bail for punching the next person to say that to me.

    • Jen

      January 23, 2014 at 7:55 pm

      My friend with two keeps getting asked when they’re having #3. My friend with 3 gets asked if she knows what causes that and told she has enough. Win? Not possible.

    • Theresa Edwards

      January 23, 2014 at 7:57 pm

      I would blank stare and be like, “french kissing, DUH” and sashay off.

    • Aimee Beff

      January 23, 2014 at 8:50 pm

      Apparently people really do expect us to live up to the stereotypical statistic of living in the suburbs with a dog and 2.2 children?

  5. Jayess

    January 23, 2014 at 11:22 am

    Okay, that bit about between your twenti-somethings and thirty-somethings and everyone being all up in your bidness? I got grilled at the frickin’ bus stop by some old man about when I was going to pop out a dozen mini-mes in the rudest way possible. Here is a transcript:
    Me: *reading a book*
    Old man: whoa, they just pop ’em out and put ’em right back in! *loudly, re: a preggo girl walking by pushing a baby stroller*
    Me: *shocked, continues reading*
    Me: mm. mmhmm.
    Old man: YOU GOT KIDS?
    Me: mm. nope.
    Me: mm. maybe.
    Old man: WHY, CAN’T YOU?
    Me: holy fuck.

    • Kay_Sue

      January 23, 2014 at 11:34 am

      That is SO much wrong packed into such a short conversation…

    • Tinyfaeri

      January 23, 2014 at 11:34 am

      Oddly enough, this makes me miss taking the bus.

    • LadyClodia

      January 23, 2014 at 11:38 am

      Before we had our sons, some new neighbors moved in next door to us. They were our age and already had 3 kids. His parents were helping them move in, and we didn’t even know their names yet, but we were saying hi, and his parents starting grilling us about having kids. It was so awkward.

    • EX

      January 23, 2014 at 11:49 am

      This reminds me of a cringeworthy conversation I witnessed between a stranger and my child-free by choice AND uterus-less friend where the stranger kept insisting she would change her mind and want to make babies and we were all like “uuuuuhhhhmm. Nope.”

    • Eve Vawter

      January 23, 2014 at 12:21 pm

      Is it OK if I turn this into a movie?

    • Jayess

      January 23, 2014 at 7:08 pm

      Go ahead! My theme song is “Reading a Book” by Julian Smith.

    • Larry Drew SG

      January 23, 2014 at 12:27 pm

      Just get to the part when you pepper sprayed his nose

    • Alexandra

      January 23, 2014 at 1:56 pm

      Love bus convos – I had a guy attempt to “save” me on a bus ride from east village to downtown Manhattan. I actually stayed on past my stop because I was enjoying fucking with him so much!! 🙂
      Man: have you let jesus into your heart?
      Me: I’m jewish, would jesus be cool with that? (*note, i’m actually catholic)
      Man: Jesus loves everyone, etc etc
      Me: well, not sure, don’t you have to believe he’s the savior/son of god?
      Man: [opens bible] let me read you one part of this….
      Me: I’m also gay (note: I am not gay) I’ve heard he may have a problem with that
      Man: [settling in for a long session, refers to bible] well there are actually some helpful points in here about that…..
      I miss NYC…

    • gothicgaelicgirl

      January 24, 2014 at 6:52 am

      we had some bible bashers call to our front door every day for about a week straight.
      i politely inform them i am an atheist and don’t wish to convert.
      one day my little one was sick, bad vomiting bug. she had JUST been convinced to go for a snooze when- BING BONG- HELLOOOOOOO
      my fella went down and the following conversation ensued

      Her- Hello sir, how are you today?
      Him- Covered in puke….
      Her- O the joys of parenting! (imagine this is a snow white breathy tra-la-la)
      Him- Yup, what can I do for you?
      Her- Have you found Jesus Christ?
      *closes door*

      Hairy man- 1
      Bible basher- 0

    • NotTakenNotAvailable

      January 23, 2014 at 8:07 pm

      Ooooh, this reminded me of two memorable incidents in my life!

      Number 1, a.k.a. Where the Fuck Do People Who Never Take Public Transit Get Their Entertainment from? :

      (Woman behind me on Denver’s busiest bus line is stewing about something. Her phone rings.)

      Woman: Oh hell no Bobby. Oh HELL no. You stuck your pee-pee in another woman! (Slams phone down as hard as one can slam a cell phone)
      Me: (Holding my breath and trying not to cry/piss myself/shit myself from intensifying need to laugh)
      Woman’s cell phone: RIIIIIIIIINNNNNNG!
      Woman: (Picking up against my silent advice to the contrary) Oh hell no Bobby. You stuck your penis in another woman.
      (Loudly enough to shake the windows)
      Me: (Internal organs now combusting from attempt not to laugh)

      Number 2, a.k.a. Getting Back to the Topic of People Staying out of My Uterus:

      (Late night in a grocery store in the town I attended college. Some dude who has the look and attitude of an extra in Deliverance looks up from stocking shelves to eyeball me up and down)

      Creepy Dude: (In his most what-I-assume-is-supposed-to-be-seductive voice) So…I bet you got twelve kids running around at home, huh?
      Me: WTF?!? (Decides the Diet Coke and Picante Beef ramen aren’t worth it after all and bolts out of the store)

      Ah, people. Reaffirming my misanthropy every day.

    • OhHeyDelilah

      January 23, 2014 at 9:20 pm

      Number 3: I went to pick up a car at a rental place near my work. Had filled out the paper work and was waiting for my partner to come meet me. The guy behind the counter (let me preface this by saying I HAD NEVER MET HIM BEFORE) starts telling me his story about how the ‘bloody government’ is corrupt and full of thieves and that nobody can get access to health care because it’s too expensive (note: we live in Australia, where free health care is in abundance).

      Me: Mmm. I’m sorry to hear that.
      Him: Me wife’s sick, she’s basically bed bound – you think the guvmint’s doin anything for us?
      Me: Um …
      Him: I don’t even want to get started with what’s wrong with me.
      Me: Okay.
      Him: I’m bleedin’. Every time I go to the toilet, blood. Out the back passage.
      Me: *not sure whether to run away, vomit, cry*: Um, I think you probably need to get that looked at pretty soon. That could be something serious.
      Him: Yeah. Can’t get in to see a doctor. Bleedin’ out me bloody arse and can’t get no help.


      Anyway, just realised this story has nothing to do with not having more kids, although in a roundabout way, the whole experience really put me off bonking for a good few days, so I guess it was a form of birth control.

      People. Grossing me out every day.

    • NotTakenNotAvailable

      January 23, 2014 at 10:56 pm

      Did Bobby put a pee-pee in his anus as he shouted out “OH HELL NO”?!?

      That is TOTAL birth control because I would never want to come in ANY contact with another human being EVER AGAIN after hearing that one! AND YES, THE CAPS WERE WARRANTED!!!

  6. Kay_Sue

    January 23, 2014 at 11:24 am

    “I would rather watch Rush Limbaugh and Governor Perry do a variation of vaginal knitting for 8 hours against the entire Nickelback discography than ever be pregnant again.”

    This. I laughed so hard at this that I cried, and my kid is now looking at me like he wonders if he needs to call Daddy.

  7. Tinyfaeri

    January 23, 2014 at 11:41 am

    I hate this question, but it’s just one of those things people seem to ask not realizing that it isn’t really just polite conversation for a lot of people. I usually go with “one’s enough for all of us right now, but when that changes we’ll re-evaluate” or something like that.

    • Jen

      January 23, 2014 at 7:50 pm

      On another corner of the internet I joined a discussion over polite vs intrusive questions and some people were ready to go to the stake over their right to ask about kids because OMG it’s just polite chatter and how sensitive must you snowflakes be to EVER get offended and OMG my life will END if I cannot inquire about your womb because no other questions possibly exist!!!!

      Some people … sigh.

  8. Larry Drew SG

    January 23, 2014 at 11:50 am

    I totally agree with No. 1

    • Kay_Sue

      January 23, 2014 at 12:26 pm

      I’m going to fess up and say it took me far longer than it should have to realize that was a literary device and not a mix up. I’m going to blame this on the fact that I have signficantly reduced my caffeine intake. #YayHealthierLiving

    • Larry Drew SG

      January 23, 2014 at 12:28 pm

      LOL considering you gave me your upvote about 35 mins ago… I think you need to go back to your regular caffeine levels

    • Kay_Sue

      January 23, 2014 at 12:30 pm

      I think I have come to that conclusion too.

    • Larry Drew SG

      January 23, 2014 at 12:31 pm


  9. LiteBrite

    January 23, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    Yep. When I was single, it was “When are you going to get married?” Then
    I got married, and it was “When are you going to have a baby?” Then, when THAT actually happened, it was “When are you going to have another?”

    It does eventually stop though when you hit 40 (or a little over). Then everyone is afraid your pre-menopausal self is going to go batshit crazy on their ass if they ask one more time.

    • Larry Drew SG

      January 23, 2014 at 12:32 pm

      If an old person asks you those questions, you should retort “Well, when are you going to die?”

    • Bunny Lucia

      January 23, 2014 at 12:42 pm

      My family actually knows that I’m a bit of a bitch so they don’t ask me things.

      I’ve already decided that if my father ever asks when my wedding is I’m going to retort “I don’t know, when’s your eighth divorce going to be?”

    • Larry Drew SG

      January 23, 2014 at 12:43 pm


    • gothicgaelicgirl

      January 24, 2014 at 6:55 am

      you win the internet

  10. Meeg

    January 23, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    Mine isn’t even a year old and people have been asking me for a few months when i am having the next one. how about NEVER. i should print this off and just have stacks of them with me to hand out to people who ask, or look like they’re going to ask, or just look at me.

  11. MerlePerle

    January 23, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    I got knocked up with the first while still going to school…nobody ever asked me if we’re planning for another. Now after the second people know we obviously suck at not getting pregnant, so they’re just waiting for us to announce we’re expecting again. I’d rather cut off my arm then get pregnant again!

  12. Fondue

    January 23, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    Oh, for the love of God, why do some people think they need eleventy-thousand GIFs in an article? It makes it difficult for those of us who are easily distracted to focus on what you’re trying to say. Please, please, please try to find another way to convey your…SQUIRREL!…point.

  13. Momma425

    January 23, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    Thanksgiving 2 years ago:
    Dad: “Okay, I just need to say something. I had 3 kids, so I expect six grandkids at a minimum.”
    *Every single person at the table turns their head and looks at me and my (at the time) fiance- my brother is a pothead and gay, and my sister is 19 and still in college, and I have one child*
    Fiance: “Um…are you wanting us to clear the table and start right now…or…”
    *Everyone starts laughing*
    Me: “Well, this is a fun holiday. My kid is covered in turkey, and dad is trying to turn my vag into a tennis ball cannon.”
    Awww, wakward family moments.

  14. CW

    January 23, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    And every mom of more than 2 gets all sorts of judgmental questions about whether they’re going to stop having kids. I’d take the “so when are you having another?” a million times over “you’re not having another, right?”

  15. Suzanne Lee

    January 23, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    I really liked this article

  16. Alexandra

    January 23, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    Good for you – every single parent I know treats their kids differently (as in, favors one or another, lets one get away with more, spoils one, etc.) and NONE of them can see it!!
    I’m having twins, so I’m sure I’ll be the same type of asshole at some point and someone can tell me I let the girl get away with murder and come down hard on the boy, or some variation thereof, but yea, they are Never treated exactly equal, ever.
    Also, I love that you have the consideration for your daughter, smaller kids want whatever your bigger kid has, and often parents make them share which is not fair, because everyone deserves their own nice things. Alas, I am not judging every parent, just those I know, and am sure I’ll be the exact same shitty way with mine 🙁

  17. Laura

    January 23, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    Why do you have two number ones?

  18. ted3553

    January 23, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    I am of the one and done club. I used to think about having another but my only was such a good baby that I’m sure the second would be devil spawn. To mothers who have more than one, I bow down. With the first, I slept when he did. With a second, you couldn’t do that because the first is still awake. I absolutely need my sleep.

  19. thisshortenough

    January 23, 2014 at 2:25 pm

    That thing about kids needing siblings implies the asker thinks only children are somehow screwed up or that they have never interacted with kids their own age. Which is bullsiht

    • MellyG

      January 23, 2014 at 6:44 pm

      I want to know who keeps downvoting the comments about only children NOT being asshats! I agree with this entirely – my mother even sent me to school early, worried that I might be anti social. I think she soon found out the opposite was true……

  20. Kelly

    January 23, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    I admit that I ask my friends if they’re going to have another one. But I accept if they say no and don’t push the issue.

    We were one and done so I totally get it. I’m just genuinely curious and I really love it when other people have babies. Because it’s happening to other people, not me. I love toddlers and I love sending them home at the end of the day too. LOL

  21. Alanna Jorgensen

    January 23, 2014 at 3:15 pm

    I unequivocally agree with every word of this article. My grandmother bugged me for more and told me I was selfish for having an only child even after my stepson came to live with me full time. I finally sat down and explained all my reasons and she got it, but I shouldn’t have had to.

  22. Aimee Beff

    January 23, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    What is it that makes people think babies are like Lay’s potato chips? “Betcha can’t have just one!” Uh.

    We were planning to stop at one too before the twins bombshell fell and the amount of shit I got from my family about it was insane. “How will the baby learn to share without a sibling?” By me teaching him or her not to be an asshole, that’s how.

    • MellyG

      January 23, 2014 at 6:43 pm

      Thank you. BTW – who could down vote this? I am an only child, and most of my friends would tell you that i’m the MOST likely to share my crap with them, or be the generous one when they are in need. I didn’t need a sibling to teach me to be a decent human, it’s called having decent parents. Also, to be honest, i think having a lot of my “own” stuff including my “own” parents growing up makes me MORE likely to share now, in an odd way. Like i didn’t have it forced upon me my entire life, so I’m more willing to go out of my way to share things with others, or lend a helping hand. Not saying kids with siblings don’t do that – i honestly think the mark of a decent person is their parents, not the amount of siblings they have 😛

  23. SusannahJoy

    January 23, 2014 at 3:54 pm

    I love the fact that all these reasons were listed as number 1.

    • Eve Vawter

      January 23, 2014 at 3:54 pm

      I also love the fact that some readers are complaining about it 😀

  24. jendra_berri

    January 23, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    I relate to everything you just wrote. SLEEP! MONEY! I DON”T WANNA!11!

    Seriously, they never ever stop bugging you. The answer is no! The uterus is closed! I don’t want to go through another surgery but a hysterectomy would be worth it just to close the case file everyone seems to be keeping on my reproductive obligations.

  25. TwentiSomething Mom

    January 23, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    I’m going to start telling people to set up a college fund if they want me to have more kids.

    • OhHeyDelilah

      January 23, 2014 at 10:09 pm

      I tell people that I’ve already made my partner promise to pay for me to get my boobs done after breastfeeding is over – and that I don’t want to waste his money by having to go back and do it all again if I have more than one kid. 🙂

  26. Jennifer

    January 23, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    You know what shuts people down? Telling them that we both almost died. Which is totally true (me more than my daughter, even–Lady Sybil in Downton Abbey? I was about five minutes from that). It definitely stops that person from asking, but maybe I’m being too nice, because it hasn’t seemed to curtail it for everyone else… 😉

    • Leash

      January 23, 2014 at 9:36 pm

      Hey me too! Except I really want to have more and am terrified of it happening again.

  27. Angela Brown

    January 23, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    Can we be best friends? Because you pretty much went inside my brain and wrote a post about everything in it.

  28. Courtney Lynn

    January 23, 2014 at 6:21 pm

    You’re damned if you don’t and damned if you do. If you have more, they ask if you understand what “causes that”. If you only have one, you’re selfish. It’s ridiculous and nobody’s business. I don’t mind being asked IF we plan to have more (we don’t) but I do mind being told we should.

  29. MellyG

    January 23, 2014 at 6:39 pm

    I’m an only child. I resent the whole ‘kids need siblings’ vibe. I did just fine. And guess what – i’m both 1) aware that my parents adore me, and don’t worry about a sibling they might love more and 2) managed to get to adulthood without being a spoiled little brat.

    I also assume I got the best of all worlds – I grew up with a ton of friends AND got my alone time (anyone that knows me would laugh hard at the idea that i’m antisocial or somehow socially awkward), and again, my parents STILL managed to teach me things like selflessness and sharing, so i’m not sure why everyone assumes only children are devoid of those virtues. There are plenty of adults with siblings that are insufferable jerk faces.

    There are only two times I wish i had siblings 1) so my kids have aunts and uncles (especially since the man i will 90% procreate with is also an only child) and 2) someone to comfort me when my parents die (Which is kind of a morbid thought if you think about it). But, i have enough close friends that i’m already “aunt” to their kids, and two cousins that treat me like their big sister, so I think i’ll do fine

    Honestly – i’ve never understood anyone else butting into anyone else’s business when it comes to how many kids to have. That’s a very personal decision, there is no “right” number – there are pros and cons to all things and at the end of the day you have to do what is right for you. I’m assuming my mother got asked the question as well, and since she wasn’t supposed to be able to have me, and almost died attempting to have a second child, I hope she side eyed those people HARD

    • NotTakenNotAvailable

      January 23, 2014 at 8:17 pm

      I’m kind of antisocial and socially awkward, but I think that’s the Asperger’s more than the only childhood…my dad’s the same way, and he’s the middle of three!

      And as an only who had a parent die, it does suck, but the rest of your family and friends will be there to support you. If there’s any advantage to be had at all in a situation like that, it’s that you can focus strictly on grieving and moving forward with your life rather than squabbling bitterly over who gets to keep the Hummel collection.

      Can’t really speak to the issue of having aunts and uncles for future kids since I have no intention of having any, but surely your friends and extended family can fill those roles? While I’m childfree and siblingfree, I know there are a few people for whose children I’d be considered Auntie.

    • Jen

      January 23, 2014 at 8:31 pm

      I’ve never seen more bitter battles than siblings at the end of their parents’ lives. Who’s doing most of the work, who should chip in more for mom’s care, who gets the stupidly ugly painting, who’s been quietly and methodically skimming from the bank accounts … yeah, really sells the joys of having only children.

    • MellyG

      January 23, 2014 at 9:45 pm

      Exactly, i feel like what i’ll miss out on will be made up for with the lack of squabbles and resentment and “you took care of mom” more or whatever. Plus, my dad always teases me that i have no need to suck up to him, since he has no one else to put in his will. I’m a silver linings kinda gal!

      and yes, us only children CAN make friends, even super close ones we consider family, so i’m assuming they’ll be there to hold my hand when grief strikes, and help be family to my kids. Problems solved, and i never had to share my room – score!

  30. Beth

    January 23, 2014 at 6:39 pm

    I LOVE how honest you are! You do your thing…and punch some throats.

  31. Jen

    January 23, 2014 at 7:45 pm

    I’m SO glad that, when my parents decided to revoke my “only” status in favor of my brother, they didn’t for a moment pretend they were doing it for me. Because honestly? Getting your first sib at 7 kinda sucks. There’s too much of an age difference to really play with them but you’re not quite old enough to enjoy the sudden absence of parental attention. I didn’t even learn the virtues of sharing; instead I learned the virtue of jealously guarding my stuff, my room, and my privacy. I became a little dragon. But at least my parents were honest about it – they didn’t make him to “give me a sibling” or enrich my life or whatever because that would have made the intrusion all the worse. No, they had him because *they* wanted another kid and I could deal.

    And, yes, I was the kid who, when asked if I wanted a baby brother or sister, told them I’d rather have a puppy. I stand by that.

    • gothicgaelicgirl

      January 24, 2014 at 6:55 am

      lol try having a 10 year difference between one brother, a 2 year difference between the other and a 13 YEAR DIFFERENCE between your little sis.
      the one good thing is I am old enough to take em out to dublin/cinema minus my OWN mother/father, which I never had as I am the eldest, so that’s one good thing I guess

    • Momma425

      January 24, 2014 at 12:08 pm

      After my little sister had been home for about a week, my brother (2.5 at the time) told my mom, “Okay, I want to be the baby again. When are we going to give her back to the hospital?”

  32. OhHeyDelilah

    January 23, 2014 at 7:56 pm

    I want to like this post a million times. A MILLION TIMES. I’m pregnant with my first – and last. We’ve always planned on having just one. And even though my spawn hasn’t even emerged yet, the ‘How many are you going to have?’ questions are already starting. And invariably, when I say ‘One’, I get one of the following responses:

    – “Oh. So a weird, selfish, only child?” Yes, Because people with siblings are never weird, selfish or dysfunctional in any way.
    – “No! You have to give them a sibling. My brother is my best friend!” I’m happy for you. My sister is not my best friend. I like her fine, we see each other a couple of times a year, we have nothing in common, and we weren’t good friends growing up. Having siblings is not a cure-all for everything that ails you in childhood.
    – “But when you die, your kid will have to deal with all that stuff alone.” Presumably our kid will have met at least a couple of other people before we pop off. And yes, while it’s not nice to have to deal with your parents dying, having siblings is no guarantee of sharing the load. Both my parents had to do all the shit stuff when their parents died – arrange the funerals, execute the wills etc. Their siblings didn’t help at all.
    – “But who will come and visit you in the nursing home?” Do people really have children so that someone will come and visit them in some imaginary nursing home 50 years in the future? I just can’t even.

    My standard response now is: “Hey, if you want to be pregnant for nine months, squeeze a person out your vagina, buy me a new apartment that will fit the whole family, help me move into it, and give me the odd $400,000 or whatever it costs to raise a kid to adulthood, I’ll have another kid, no problem.. Oh. You don’t want to? I can’t imagine why.”

    • Romylove

      January 23, 2014 at 8:46 pm

      I HATE that nursing home/ take care of you when you’re sick crap. I don’t ever want to be so old/ill that I cannot take care of myself anymore. In my opinion, that’s not living. I would rather die independent at 70 than hang on until 90 and live in one of those places with someone wiping my ass for the last 20 years.

    • brebay

      January 23, 2014 at 9:40 pm

      Totally agree. One kid always gets stuck with the old-folk duty and then the sibs show up to hear the will. At least this way, the kid who did all the work gets all the inheritance too!

    • OhHeyDelilah

      January 23, 2014 at 10:08 pm


  33. Amy

    January 23, 2014 at 7:58 pm

    I don’t want to alarm you, but you might be my soulmate. You took all my thoughts on the subject and put them into a list, and for that, I thank you.

  34. Karen Milton

    January 23, 2014 at 8:41 pm

    My kids are ten years apart in age, almost to the day. I had my son when I was young and stupid and very quickly single, so I didn’t get the “when” question at all. My husband and I got married when my son was seven, so that’s when the questions started – annoying, because we were told early on that we’d never have biological children due to some health concerns on my part. Hard to accept, but we don’t get to choose – although if I could have I would have chosen “STOP TALKING TO ME” when people asked. Very happily, after a period of good health I was given the go-ahead to have a baby. My daughter was born three weeks after my son’s tenth birthday, and dumbass questions have followed in the (almost) four years since.

    Apparently, having kids that far apart is wrong because they’re not “a matched set” who can play together. Tell that to MarioKart, says I – sometimes I don’t see the kids for ages when they’re playing. It’s also wrong that my kids have different fathers. It’s wrong because it surely will make my son feel “left out” not to be a full biological family member (never mind the fact that he voluntarily changed his last name to my husband’s and they’re currently in the process of official adoption. Yep, so left out). It’s wrong that I went back to work and didn’t give my daughter the attention I wasn’t able to give to my son (I can’t even). I’ve been asked which onewas the “oopsie” baby – by strangers, most often. The answer “neither” confuses people for long enough that I can make a quick getaway. It’s unfair that I only gave my husband one “real” child (see above re adoption). It’s unfair that my husband will never get the chance to have a son (just…ugh). It’s SO MANY REASONS I’m a terrible human being.

    • OhHeyDelilah

      January 23, 2014 at 8:53 pm

      A friend gave me some awesome advice about what to say to people who can’t stop sharing their opinions about how you should approach you pregnancy/birth/childraising/child-having activities. When the person finishes blathering on about how you should do this that and the other, this friend reckons you should laugh and say, ‘You’re hilarious!’ It strikes the balance of friendly (you’re funny, friend!) and bitchy (get out of my business, bitch!). Confusion then ensues as the person tries to work out whether you’ve dissed them or have taken their shitty advice on board.

      I haven’t quite summed up the courage to use it yet myself – I go more for the “I’m really glad that those decisions worked out for your and your family” sort of route – but it kinda works, as a polite way of saying ‘STFU!’

    • Karen Milton

      January 24, 2014 at 4:13 pm

      Love it. In the past I’ve said “hahaha, can you imagine?”. Often though, they can indeed imagine so it wasn’t as effective as I would have hoped.

    • MellyG

      January 23, 2014 at 9:49 pm

      This pisses me off too (not you, the people that would question YOUR choices on when to have kids). I was my mom’s only, and the man that raised me is technically not my bio father (though, he IS my father). They TRIED to have another kid, but it wasn’t in the cards, and i would have been roughly 10 had my mother been successful. I’m sure I would have loved my little sibling despite the age difference, and in fact, given my personality perhaps loved it MORE because of less competition, lol 😛 I also doubt i would have ever doubted my father’s love or felt left out

      people need to grow up and realize that there is no “right” family – every family dynamic is different, every couple (or non couple) makes different choices that are right for THEM. It’s no one else’s business – people are crap

    • Karen Milton

      January 24, 2014 at 4:02 pm

      I just had to keep in mind that the people most loudly criticizing my choices would have been the very same ones yelling about young single mothers on welfare having kids as meal tickets. They’re generally the same folks, I’ve found. Instead of popping out more kids “while I was at it anyway”, I went to college, got a full time job, bought a car and found an awesome townhouse for my son and I. Yep, time that would have been better spent having more kids I couldn’t afford, for sure.

      Really, nobody is free from public opinion. Apparently our lives are a democracy whether we like it or not.

  35. brebay

    January 23, 2014 at 9:43 pm

    Pretty sure these are the same people who coined “Don’t breed ’em if you can’t feed ’em,” then they’re all up on you if you only have as many as you can put through college.

  36. rebeccavm

    January 23, 2014 at 10:50 pm

    When I’m being completely honest with people I know really well I mention the horrid PPD that landed me in the hospital. That stops the questions.

    With everyone else I just say we like our guest room the way it is.

  37. Jayamama

    January 24, 2014 at 12:34 am

    I live in the same city as my in-laws, and they’ve got a close family friend who owns the local Chinese buffet. Every time we’d visit after we got married, she’d ask us when we were going to have a baby. Once we decided we were ready (after being married three years) and got pregnant, I was looking forward to bringing the baby in and getting her off my back. And you know what? The first time she met my daughter, she said, and I quote, “Aww, so cute. When you have more?” At that moment, I decided that I didn’t care what people thought anymore. My reproduction is my (and my husband’s) business alone.

  38. Lindsey

    January 24, 2014 at 9:04 am

    Three weeks after I had my daughter my father in law asked my husband when he was going to have a boy to carry on the name. I mean Christ on a cracker I was still stitched up from here until Wednesday and he wanted to know when my HUSBAND was going to have another. He wasn’t splayed out for 18 hours, so I think most family planning decisions need to swing my way for a while. Also- this turd is my husbands step father- he has nothing invested in the “family name game.” Thank the stars we live on opposite coasts or I’d pop him.

  39. mom21

    January 24, 2014 at 10:24 am

    People just ask to justify their own choices. No one has asked me yet but they give their opinions in other ways. “He is such a great kid, you won’t have another one this easy so why bother?” Or ” You are such a great mom, it would be a shame to stop at one.”

    Me: “oh…okay then, thank you for deciding for me!”

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