Mind your own business…
Why do I feel as though I constantly have to defend my life choices to others?
Four years ago, shortly after my son’s autism diagnosis, my husband and I made a difficult decision, we wouldn’t have a second child.
I come from a large family, I’m the eldest of five children. My husband is the eldest of five as well. I always imagined I would have a large brood of my own, three kids – not five – seemed like a nice and doable number.
Yes, I was sad and disappointed I wouldn’t have another child. However, those feelings quickly disappeared and I was quite content with the knowledge that my son would be my one and only. I was happy to pour all of my time and attention into my boy, I felt, and still feel, quite fulfilled.
Having said that, I wasn’t prepared for the incessant questions and comments from friends, family and even strangers about my decision not to bear another child; coming off as though they were the judge and jury of my life, deciding whether or not I’m fit to enter heaven at the entrance of the pearly gates.
These people looked down at me because I’ve chosen not to be barefoot and pregnant a second time around. Am I less of a mother because I only have one? Am I depriving my child of a meaningful sibling relationship? These thoughts endlessly swim around my head and I really don’t need constant reminders.
“Come on, get cracking!” I hear this one a lot. I just smile or roll my eyes and try to change the subject.
“You’re not getting any younger” I heard this one from a physician recently. She knew nothing about my life or my situation. Why do people feel the need to offer their unwanted and unsolicited opinions?
“Your son needs a sibling, it’s not fair to him!” This was written to me in the comments section of a recent Instagram post…by my own aunt. Not only was it uncalled for, but she put it out there for all of my followers to see. No discretion. No filter. Just plain rude.
When do I get a pass? Does my son have to be in his 30’s for these questions to cease and desist? Or is this something I’m going to have over my head for the rest of my existence?
Some may feel I’m being selfish. Others may think I’m making a huge, long-term mistake. To be honest, what others think is irrelevant. My family’s needs are on the top of my list, everything else is white noise.
My son is a very happy child. He wants for nothing and he is wildly and unconditionally loved by his parents. Many children are unwanted, neglected or even worse, and I shudder to think about the latter. I’m a good mom, my husband is a great dad and we do our very best. Isn’t that enough? Isn’t all of that more important than worrying about my procreating, or lack thereof?
My reasons for not bearing more children are mine and mine alone. It’s a personal choice and I will not explain myself to anyone, ever.
And hey, there are many pros to having an only child, but that’s for another blog.