A stigma is out there regarding people who choose to only have one child. I was not really aware of it growing up as I was the youngest of three and always that that only children had it so made because they got all of their parents’ attention and got anything they want. Of course, that misconception has quickly been erased now that I am the mother of an only child. Home girl does NOT get whatever she wants, let me tell you that. Anyway, now that I am the mother of an only child, I now get the stigma. There’s a stigma for everything, though – oh you didn’t breastfeed? Oh you had your child via c-section? Oh you are sending your child to private school? (Judge, judge, judge)
Anyway, where I’m going with this….
Since I have had Aubrey, I have heard the phrase or statement of “Oh, trust me I understand…you only have ONE child. I have (insert number larger than one).” Or I even heard the statement of “you’re not really a parent until you have more than one child.” Oh really? I seem to have stretch marks that would beg to differ.
I am not sure why people think it is acceptable to make these statements, and I am not sure on what basis they stem. I have come to realize that people say some really stupid things without thinking over the course of my 33 years on this planet. It does not mean it does not sting just a bit when someone says it. One of those most recent statements had to do with me having a hard time leaving my child. “Oh trust me, I would know. I had more than one child.” Okay, so does the difficulty in leaving one’s child increase with the number of children you have? I have one child so surely I could not miss my child as much as someone who has three, right? Or, I have a hard time leaving my child, and I have only one child whereas if someone has more than one child and is perfectly fine leaving his/her children, then there is something innately wrong with me or that makes me weaker? Oh. I didn’t realize. Noted for future reference.
I have gotten the statements of “oh, well, you have that heart condition so it’s okay that you only have one. It’s for your health and safety.” Um, yeah, even if I didn’t have a health condition, if I chose to have one child, that’s my and T’s business alone. I don’t need a justification. Nor do I need judgment.
A parent is a parent is a parent. Having Aubrey changed me forever. Yes, if I were to have another child, I would be changed even more, I am sure. But I do not believe for a second that if I were to have a second child, that would make me more of a parent. I am a parent.
I’ll put that right next to the statements of “well, when you become a real attorney” when referring to my working at DCS or as a pro bono attorney.
I’ll get off my bitch box now.