The decision to have children, and how many children to have, is deeply personal and prone to all kinds of extenuating factors most people are not privy to. This, however, doesn't seem to stop many of those people from offensively talking to others about their reproductive choices. Chief among those who must suffer through other people's issues are the "one and done" moms. I asked some of those intrepid souls to share the worst thing people have said to them about being "one and done." Spoilers: they're awful and so are the people who said them.
OK, I don't actually know that the people who said these things are awful or bad or some variation. In fact, it's very likely that they're not bad people at all. At the very least, however, these statements are coming from a places of presumption and ignorance. Having children (plural) is not a "one size fits all" kind of decision. Personally? I'm a two and through kinda gal. My parents had five children. My grandparents had four. We're all reasonable, thoughtful people who made the right decisions for our families.
You know what I think when someone tells me they only want one child? "Good for you!" You know what makes you happy, you know what you want, and you have the courage to admit to other people that you want a single child despite all of the crap you're going to hear from those who don't know what they're talking about, including (sadly) any of the following:
"People just butt in and ask if [my daughter] wants a sibling wouldn't I feel like I should give her one...I say 'If she wants to eat cake for dinner does she get to? No.'"
"I have a child with special needs. He takes every bit of my time and energy. So any time someone tries to give me a guilt trip about it being 'so unfair' that I don't 'give him a sibling,' I have to fight the urge to laugh at them and punch them out. For us, it would be more selfish to have another baby because I wouldn't be able to give either of them all the time and attention they would need and deserve."
I have been told that we are robbing our daughter of the bond of siblinghood and she will resent us her loneliness. It's also been implied that our care in old age will be a huge burden for just one child, and it isn't fair to saddle her with that.
"I once had a random acquaintance try to make me debate him on why I should only have one. Like it was something I was categorically wrong on and needed to be corrected."
"I don't really hear bad things but constant questions why we didn't have more. Sometimes people do question whether or not she wanted a sibling, but [my daughter] has great cousins and friends (many who are also only children) and has never felt like she has lost out on something in her life. As a matter of fact, I believe we have been able to offer her so many wonderful and unique opportunities that we could never have done with more than one child."
My mother-in-law actually told me that my husband and I are lazy and that's why we just have one.
"I'm one and done and once had an acquaintance tell me that I had to have another because my daughter would grow up sad and lonely if I didn't. She obviously didn't know I am also an only child."
"My husband and I are very involved in our synagogue and the other members there are like family. So it was incredibly hurtful when one woman came up to me a week or so after I'd told her we weren't having any more kids with this obviously prepared lecture about how it's a religious and spiritual obligation to have children."
I've been asked if I felt my career was more important than growing my family.
"We're actually 'one and done' by necessity, not choice. Secondary infertility, folks. Look it up. Whenever someone tells me all the reasons I should have another baby I want to cry because I would love nothing more than to be pregnant."
"Someone once implied I was selfish for not giving my daughter a sibling. People are so weird."