One of the most irritating topic of all time. This is typical of people. Usually such questions are from people who ain’t so close to you, they don’t know what better to say, so they ask bout your future! When you are single, they ask when you will be getting attached? When you are attached, the next day they ask when are you getting married. The day you are married, they would asked when yaou are giving birth. And even before giving birth to the 1st kid?!?!? They say,’HAVE MORE!’
This topic has proven to be most debatable and I really want to talk about it. To my friends, I love you guys. I know all you care. Haha...
I had countless conversations even up till today; I definitely find it more reasonable for people to ask me if I am planning for a 2nd kid now.
When such question was being posed to me before my 3rd Trimester, I cannot help but to feel that the other party had a lacked of conversation with me. It was like ‘how the hell i know?!?’ I have not even gone through the process?!?
But since the day I knew I was pregnant, my answer to this more children or siblings question has always been the Only Child Policy.
And you know right.... the kind of things people says to counter my honest answer and desire of only wanting one child is hilarious. And the following goes:
1. It is not for yourself. It’s for him.
Ok wait. So now I need to give birth to another child and tell my son, ‘hey! Yours! I gave birth for you! This baby is yours?!’ I think my son will think I am crazy please.
Hey guys, we cannot, or at least I CANT give birth thinking that I GIVE a sibling to him, for him. He might not even desire for it. It is a heavy responsibility to love and give to a child. Whatever we give to the first, we must give also to the next child. Parents should plan for their 2nd child only if they feel they themselves enjoy the process and have capacity for the 2nd child or basically the next child. Because sorry to burst your bubble, you and your spouse will be the one cleaning the shit and also, siblings quarrel!? So you guys have to deal with that too!
2. You must have at least two. Only child? Not good.
I honestly became fearful and doubtful that it is perhaps being the one and only child is not healthy for my son after hearing many of such comments. But after much pondering and widening of my perspectives, I feel that this is a stereotype unfair to the single child.
I understand that my son will not have a consistent playmate at home or some very good pointers like; when a child has at least a sibling, they don’t need to face decisions alone etc... and these are very legitimate. But it is unfair to imply that a child will have some form of deficiencies because they are the ONLY kid around. In fact, I do see people with siblings having childhood deficiencies too? And our childhood deficiencies are really all about our upbringing.
I feel that as the responsible parent, since I knew from the beginning that my son will be the only child as of now, I ought to make practical plans for him so that he does not need to make hard decisions. And hard decisions are like ie. how to settle my funeral etc... not what to eat for breakfast.
What about learning values like eg; Caring and sharing? These are values which a child can learn in school. Because I am educating my son on how to treat people, not how to treat siblings. So as long as he is always playing with someone, there will always be chances for him to learn and be sharpen as a person.
And I believe that even if you have siblings, you might not have them going through thick and thin with you. And in fact, our friends could be proven more loyal then our blood siblings.
My son will also not be spoilt. People often say, the only child will be spoilt. Excuse me?!? Your child is spoilt because you or the grandparents spoilt him/her. If you give discipline, your child will be discipline. My son has a bedtime discipline from since 2 months old.
So parents, stop shifting responsibility!
3. He needs someone to play with.
I agree we all need someone to play with and be with. But personally, there are alot of us who do not play with our siblings? In fact, some of us hated playing with our siblings! Haha!
I ensure that I faithfully arrange playdates for my son for him to have someone to play with. And I really appreciate my friends' generosity to welcome my son or invite him to go over for play dates. And anyway, my son is like only 4 months, his playdate activity is him lying down there giggling or snoozing. He doesn't know how to play play per se.
I believe in the strength of childhood friends. Honestly, lets face it, even if you have a sibling, depending on the age gap, they may play together, they may not play together.
4. You never know one!!! Accidents happen!
This is very personal. My husband and I are so determine not to have one more child, we really considered more long term options to prevent accidents.
5. What if your son says he wants a sibling?
My son can tell me he wants to have a sibling. But I will also explain to my son why he does not have a sibling. Even if my son desires a sibling, this is not his decision and definitely not a decision on buying toys. My son do not have the final say nor right to if he has one more sibling to fight over his things nor the choice to whether he is the only child. Because as I mentioned, it takes alot of mental and emotional, time, financial capacity to care for a child. For one, my husband and I would love to not go through sleepless nights all over again.
So if you are not ready to give, then don't try having another child and give them to others to care for. This is absolutely dumb. And this is a story for another day.
Anyway anyways... what is my point? I feel that we need to be respected for our decision if we only want one child, many children or to some, no child at all.
It is important to recognise that the relationship of a husband and wife comes first. And their first priority is to make their marriage flourish then have a child. If a child is manageable then another one makes sense. My husband and I came about pretty independent from our family and our siblings. As such, we definitely will not have another child for the sake of giving our son a sibling. And I know that if my son makes enough friends from young, he will also make childhood friends whom will be more loyal than anyone in his life. I am looking for someone whom will stand with him during adversities in his life, and this person could be anyone but his sibling. I do not find so in the case if a couple has no children, that it is because they are weird. Neither do I think Only Child Policy is not plausible. Neither do I think having a lot of children is bad. I think the important question is "What do you and your husband want?"
I feel that my son is very blessed and will continue to be very blessed. Because whether sibling or not, my husband and I are very ready to groom him and nurture him to be the best person he can be. He does not need to feel lesser neither is he spoilt.
So, to all you people out there, especially those of you whom are thinking about having one more child, don't be pressurised. Think it through and have strong conversations with your spouse!
To all of us out there, whether single child or a family full of annoying siblings, CHEERS!