I am mum to one happy-go-lucky, funny little five-year-old boy and while my husband and I always planned to have another baby we haven’t as yet for a few reasons. I have had three miscarriages in as many years and we have also taken time-out from what became an emotional and frustrating baby-making journey.
As I approach 40 we are coming to terms with the fact that we may only ever have one son, but after our grief and our losses and so many conversations about what makes a family, we are okay with being a family of three.
— Laura Jackel (@LauraJackel) March 22, 2015
While we might be okay with our small family status, having only one child invites a lot of questions and comments from friends and strangers along the lines of ‘when are you having another one?’ or ‘wouldn’t he like a sibling?’.
Today’s remark from a mother of four who I had just met might be my favourite yet, ‘well I guess you only have what you can cope with’. Yee-ouch.
In spite of their insensitivity, these comments aren’t generally meant unkindly but I am tired of explaining why I have only one child. It’s awkward and seriously, do people really want to know my personal fertility details?
Here are a few thoughts I (and maybe many other parents of single children) have that I wish I could say but don’t always feel I can…
1. We are not the ‘average family’ but we are still a family and I am still a mum
Some days I literally dread the small talk that regular school pick-ups and drop-offs brings about family life. I stand mute for what seems like hours as the mums with at least one other little person on their hips converse about how the second kid does this differently or how it so much harder when number two comes along.