Thursday, 2 December 2010

It's easier, you only have one

It's not uncommon for me to be told that I have it easy as I have only one child. Most of the time, I don't disagree:

  • I have an easygoing, intelligent child. Yes, there are days when the little angel tests my patience, but it's also rewarded
  • Financially, it's cheaper. One child = only one set of things to buy, childcare cost, holiday prices, blah, blah, blah.
  • I have only one child to entertain on snowy, rainy days.
  • I can devote all my attention to raising just the one
BUT, there are times, teeny times when I have to grind my teeth. There are so many reasons:
  • It's bloody insensitive. I may have wanted more and have not yet, or cannot ever.
  • I may not have an easy child. My one child might be a sodding nightmare compared to your multiple children. I could for e.g. have an autistic child and then one is not easy (If I had more than one autistic child, then yes, one would be, relatively speaking, easier).
  • You CHOSE to have multiple kids and whoopee your fertility, luck, cosmic configuration, genes, jeans etc made it possible for you to have more so don't complain when it's hard to manage the multiple.
  • I have to entertain my one child as she has no siblings and on snowy days, it's hard to get to friends.
  • She has to learn to play on her own. Sometimes seeing her do so is just too sad to bear. Our child doesn't have any siblings to share birthdays with, holidays, Xmas, TV shows and lots of other stuff. Yes, your tots might not share now but I'm assuming at some point in the future the bond will build and they will be best buddies.
  • You don't have insensitive bods asking when you are going to have another.
Luckily, I know that having one is better than not having any. Or much better than having one and then losing that one. It's all relative see?


Raven said...

Good post, well said. It must be infuriating at times. We are all so socialised into picturing the so-called 'ideal family'.

It's perhaps also similar (in different ways!) to the stick given to those who choose (or otherwise, who knows until they say) not to have children at all. I have a friend who is very happily coupled, in her late-30s, but who is also very happily without children. She's always getting asked when she's going to get on with it. She simply doesn't want the responsibility, nor to give up their 3 hols a year, I might add, the fiend.

You're right, it's all relative.

Plummy Mummy said...

I think those who decide to remain childless get it much worse ... as if it's a crime against humanity not to have kids or that they are the most selfish bods around. Given the population of the Earth, we should be thanking those that decide not to.
Must admit in my darker moments I do regret the loss of my social life, the freedom to go along to the Curzon Soho to catch a film and spend hours in the bar afterwards, or across the road to De Hems, or a curry in peace, or a film without any interruption at home. Sigh.

mangocheeks said...

Interesting post.

Your right it is all relative.

Anonymous said...

It is people who when they have two go on about it like everyone should do it without any regard for the fact you may or may not want/be able to have more. I note those with three or more don't bang on about it to people with two...
Besides you should tell them that as your first one was perfect you thought you would stop there, but you see that as they dont yet have the perfect child they are clearly carrying on trying till they do!