While at the BlogHer conference this past weekend, I met an interesting woman, Norine Dworkin-McDaniel.
She’s a blogger whom I admire and was thrilled to get a chance to talk with her personally. We became fast friends. We talked about life and parenting but one conversation in particular stuck in my head – her decision to have just one child and the backlash she received from that.
I was a bit stunned when she told me stories of some of the awful things folks have said to her. From assuming she has secondary infertility to hounding her about having an only child, she was tested to stand firm in her decision.
She even wrote a list on her blog, Science of Parenthood, called “One Is The Loveliest Number” of all the great things about having one child. It’s a hilarious list but also has elements of truth and understanding to it.
So why do people care how many children someone has?
Before you say you don’t and it must be other people doing that, take a moment. I know I did. I stopped and thought about how many times I asked people if they were planning to have a second after their first was born. Is that really any of my business?
When people asked me that question, I didn’t mind because I had thought about having a second, but what about the folks who don’t? Or can’t? It seems almost cruel to ask that question without knowing any of the background information.
So I’m going to try to be more aware with people. I’m going to try to skip asking about further children and realize that everyone is doing what’s right for them. It’ll be hard for a nosy girl like me but I think it’s important to not make someone feel uncomfortable or talk about something they might not want to discuss.
At the end of the day, I think any number is the loveliest number as long as you have parents who will love them completely – whether it be one or more. For me it is two, but for others it will be different. And we have to learn that’s OK.
We are all doing what’s right for us.
If someone dares to make a nasty comment to someone I love about only having one child – well, watch out.
I won’t be keeping my mouth shut then for long.
Danielle Herzog is a freelance writer and stay-at-home mom to two children.
Read her every Wednesday on momaha.
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