Mom of One Wants to Know the Best Responses for People Pressuring Her to Have Another Baby
When you're single, people ask when you're going to meet someone. When you're married, they ask when you're going to have a baby. And when you have a baby, of course the question is, "When are you going to have another one?" But for many parents, one and done is the best way to go, and they certainly do not owe anyone an explanation. But one mom recently turned to Reddit to find out how to respond to all those pushy people, including absolute strangers.
The original poster (OP) explained that she had her daughter in the summer of 2019. Labor was traumatic, and she delivered her now 2-year-old via emergency C-section, which ended up saving her girl's life. "After that experience, I told my husband I didn't want any more kids," wrote the OP. "He agrees with me, because that evening was a traumatic one for the both of us. Not to mention our daughter is now a handful. Imagine two handfuls."
But of course, "everyone from friends to strangers" won't stop asking the couple when they're going to give their toddler a sibling. "We give them the honest truth and tell them it isn't in the books for us—it really isn't," wrote the OP. "Everyone tells us she needs a sibling otherwise she will be lonely."
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The OP then explained that she grew up an only child. "My dad was a U.S. Army officer and was rarely home from the time I was one to the time I was five," she recalled. "I feel like despite not having any siblings, I still got all the social interaction I needed from school and church, and I know for a fact my daughter will have the same thing from the same environments."
She then posed the question to her fellow Redditors: "How do I politely tell people that my daughter doesn't need a sibling? It isn't really anybody's business, but hearing the same stuff over and over again is getting really old."
A few of the best quips:
r/momma_bear_3 offered, "Why don't YOU have a baby, then they can play together all the time. Assuming you want to foot the bill, arrange the playdates, do transportation, change all the diapers, and feed them when they are together."
r/mama_duck17 said she replied, "You got $15K you're willing to part with?" because she needed IVF to have a family and costs were all out-of-pocket.
Not all responses revolved around money. r/batteriesnotrequired shared, "My wife eventually stopped giving responses and will say 'F*** off!' She's usually a really nice person and super polite, but she's tired of people butting into our lives. I think it's funny as s*** when she does it."
r/Okay_Pineapple sets down some good, old-fashioned boundaries by offering either a polite version ("Thanks for your opinion!") or what she says is "the less polite" version: "We get to make the choices for our family, thanks."
r/kejaro offered a more individualized approach for the OP, writing, "For people who know that you're an only child, a well-placed raised eyebrow and 'what's wrong with being an only child?' could be useful. Other options: 'I think I did just fine as an only child,' 'Thanks for your concern, it's been noted,' 'I'm sorry, I didn't realize that was your business,' 'Thank you so much for your commentary on my husband's and my reproductive choices,' 'Yeah, no. I think we're good, thanks,' '[Daughter's name] was pretty traumatic for all three of us and isn't an experience we want to repeat.'"
And r/wigglebuttbiscuits offered, "You must be so embarrassed to have said that."
Ultimately, while having language like any of these responses at the ready can prove useful in particular interactions, the fact is that families come in all shapes and sizes. And if a so-called friend or stranger can't wrap their head around that, the best response might very well be no response at all.