By Winnie Gaturu
Since my son started walking, I’ve received a lot of unsolicited advice from acquaintances to complete strangers: “You should have another kid to keep your son company,” “You should have a girl,” (as if I can determine the child’s gender), or the one that bothers me the most…”You should have more kids in case one dies.” That’s downright disturbing!
Sometimes I want to yell, “STOP telling me to have more kids!
Some of my friends share the same sentiments. For instance, Emily, a mother of one feels offended since most of the people telling her to have more kids are the same ones who told her she was too young to be a mother in the first place. She doesn’t understand how the dynamic changed from her being too young to her being old enough. On the other hand, Valentine, a mother of four, feels that spacing kids out is wrong and the maximum age difference between siblings should be two years. That way, you get them all out in one go and get done with it. She’s also very vocal in telling other mothers, me included, to have more kids. Sigh!
That said, I have a couple of reasons why I’m not considering having another child now or in the near future. For starters, raising a child is not cheap. I want to offer my children the best I can and at the moment, I only have room for the one I have. Secondly, I have my hands full at the moment. I know you’ll say I’m selfish but that’s just how it is. Unless you’ll pay the child’s bills, help me carry the pregnancy to term, and raise the child for me, you have no business suggesting when or how many children I should have.
But I won’t lie and say that these comments don’t get to me. At some point, I even turned to Google to find out whether raising one child would make them spoiled, entitled or lonely like most people keep saying. To my relief, all these concerns are just myths. As a matter of fact, only children are as lonely as any other child with siblings, and being an only child doesn’t make them more antisocial than their counterparts with siblings. They also get to enjoy more perks since their parents can afford to provide more for them. Only children even end up developing a higher IQ. However, there are some disadvantages too, like only children feeling an immense amount of pressure to succeed by their parents, or feeling suffocated from too much attention.
Considering everything, I’ve made a decision to be content with my one child, at least for now. So to the people telling me to have more kids, STOP!