8 smackdown responses from one-child parents: When are you having another baby?

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The ‘micro-family’ is the fastest growing household in Australia. With more parents having only one child, you’d think the judgement about one-child families would ease off.

But according to the Mamabake community and a US expert, one-child families keep on getting judged, and are still navigating that age-old loaded question: ‘When are you going to give your child a sibling? You don’t want them to be spoilt, do you?”

Between the lines of that question is often a judgement or hidden accusation of selfishness.

Single-child families may voluntarily tell you why they decided on a ‘limited edition’ run. But if they don’t. Just. Don’t. Ask.

Before you ever ask a one-child family if they are having more kids, here are some smackdown answers to ponder.

Because I can’t have another baby. It’s something that saddens me and I like to keep private, actually.

It could be a hysterectomy or an infertility issue. Either partner could have undergone cancer treatment which led to infertility. She could be in the midst of a grueling and expensive IVF cycle —  injecting herself daily with hormones, which make her even more sensitive to these sort of dumb invasive questions. Don’t make them have to tell their story just because you think your decision to have a large family is superior. For others, it’s not a decision.

Because your big disconnected family are all just glued to their phones, anyway.

Ouch. But they may have a point. You might have fond memories of you and your siblings riding BMX bikes down safe surburban streets like a tight gang of depression-era scallywags.  But in truth, that’s not how all big families roll these days. Unless you can honestly say that your kids are more connected to their siblings than their screens, the ‘lonely’ argument is a bit of a moot point. Single-child families are more than capable of organising playdates for face-to-face time.

Who are you, anyway? The Waltons?

Are all big families like The Waltons, set in depression-era America?

Because I used to have another child but he/she died.

One Mamabaker revealed that when asked the question she replies with the truth: “‘My other beautiful little boy died, and now I can’t have more, so thanks for asking’. That usually shuts them up. I really don’t want to have to go into the story of seven years of IVF and still-born baby caused by medical misadventure with a person self-centered enough to make comments on the amount of living children I have.”

Yep, I’d shut up too, after apologising.

Because it’s the best thing I can do for the planet

If a one-child family states that their decision to keep their numbers down is for environmental reasons, you may well scoff and get defensive. But they have an airtight argument and the right to uphhold their values on this one.

The greatest impact individuals can have in fighting climate change is to have one fewer child, according to a new study that identifies the most effective ways people can cut their carbon emissions.

Of course it can be argued that having kids — especially those who grow up with strong environmental values — makes us fight for a better future. We get that. But don’t let your own discomfort over the harsh facts about carbon emissions make you double-down on your argument for big families. It just makes you look like a climate-change-denying jerk.

Because it’s the only way I can juggle work and family.

For those who are schlepping multiple children to multiple sporting fixtures and school drop-offs, life can be tough, and fitting in a career with the demands of a big family is a hard gig. For those of you who manage it, congratulations, but don’t pretend your lifestyle is for everyone. People may want to live their life in a different gear to yours, and that’s okay.

Because we like things just how they are.

You can’t argue that. I mean, just don’t argue. Contentment is a rare and beautiful thing.

I had post-natal depression with my first and I can’t do it again.

This decision is selfless, not selfish. It is one based on a serious health concern and like any other heath concern, is completely valid.

Because it’s none of your business.

‘Nuf said.

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