parent opinion

'I'm an only child. The comments about being spoilt and lonely irritate me.'

Hi, my name is Sara and I’m a parent to a cheeky boddler (baby that thinks he is a toddler). 

Recently, I have been feeling the urge, which I never thought I would feel. It’s the second baby urge... now that my son is getting older, I miss him being a baby. 

Oh, how times have changed. How did I go from the 20-year-old that was never having children to considering my second child?

Side note: Here are all the things people who don't want kids always hear. Post continues below.

Video via Mamamia.

I was chatting away to my mum on the phone the other night, telling her the potential baby names for our second child. 

She was quieter than usual, but I brushed that aside, thinking that she was probably just tired. I was thinking about the conversation, later the next day. Oh... that’s right. She was only able to have one child.

Helen Vnuk recently wrote an article for Mamamia about mothers who are one and done.

The article was an eye-opening insight into the multitude of reasons why parents have just one child. 

While some parents stated that they only wanted one to begin with, others said that money, environment and lifestyle were key factors in their decision making. 

Another reason mentioned was mental health and the dread of doing 'the baby phase' again. And the final reason was due to circumstance and not choice.

That was my mum. 

After several miscarriages, it was time to call it a day. For the sake of her mental health, physical health, and her marriage. 

I remember dad saying to me once, 'We just couldn’t keep losing babies, we had to be grateful for the one we had'.

They decided to stop the heartbreak and put all their focus on me.

I’ve had the most amazing life. I went to a great school; I went on school trips, spent school holidays with friends and cousins, I played sport, and most of all, I received the unconditional love of devoted parents. I went to university, got married, and purchased a home with their unwavering support.

Angela Eves discusses the conversations that mums of one get bombarded with in her recent article "When are you having another one?" The 4 things people always say to mums of one child. After reading this article, I thought about my lovely mum being hounded by such questions. 

And then I thought about the reactions I get when I tell people that I’m an only child and they are much the same. 

'Oh, you don’t seem spoilt.' 

'Wow, that must have been lonely.' 


'So, your parents only have you?' 

I remember one conversation that mum told me she had with a co-worker. The discussion went something along the lines of, 'So, when you die, your daughter will be left alone with no one to care for her'. 

My poor mother. 

How on earth does one extra child mean that I’m not going to be alone? I really wonder what goes through people’s minds when they respond in such a way. 

No, I’m not alone. I have never been and will never be alone.

Listen to This Glorious Mess, a weekly look at parenting as it truly is: confusing, exhausting, inspiring, funny, and full of surprises. Post continues below.

The comments about being spoilt irritate me.

The automatic assumption is if you’re an only child, you receive everything you demand.

I had a conversation with a good friend of mine whose husband used to say, 'We have to have two kids so that they aren’t spoilt'. 

She went along with this, and they had two beautiful children. But my friend said to me, 'I don’t think that having two children makes them less spoilt, it just makes you poorer because you end up buying everything for two children instead of one.'

I couldn’t agree more. Being spoilt isn’t about what you receive or the opportunities you get. It’s an attitude problem. 

You are spoilt because of the way you have been brought up – not the number of siblings you do or don't have.

So, to those mothers out there that are questioning whether they should have another child, because of the weird guilt mongering that seems to come with having only one child, let me tell you something - I’m an only child and I would never change it.

I was surrounded with amazing family and friends. 

I was never spoilt because my parents had rules and boundaries. 

I was taught the skills of communication, respect, negotiation and fairness. 

If I ever thought a ruling in my household was unjust, I had to have a great resounding argument as to why the ruling should be overturned. (I’m pleased to say that sometimes I would have a victory.) 

I am loved, cherished and supported – that’s all I’ve ever needed. Having a sibling doesn’t change those factors.

Don’t listen to all the people that make silly comments because of their preconditioned assumptions. 

I am a well-adjusted, severely crowded (by incredible family, friends and my own son) individual that has not been hurt by my lack of siblings. 

I have connections with other people that I consider to be my brothers and sisters, who act like aunties and uncles to my son and annoying in-laws to my husband. 

So, please don’t stress, if you’re one and done – your child is going to be just fine.

Sara-Jayne Rogers is a British-born mum of one and high school teacher with a passion for writing and continual learning.

Feature Image: Getty.

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