Need Witty Comebacks to Rude "Only Child" Questions

Wendy - posted on 01/02/2010 ( 183 moms have responded )

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Hi, everyone,

I'm new to this group and am so happy to have found it. I have one child, a boy who turns eight tomorrow. I've always wanted more children, but for some reason, that hasn't been in the cards. I have had a hard time accepting this and am trying to make peace with it. I feel guilty, because I feel like I should feel full with one child. I love my son SO MUCH, and I am not dismissing how happy I am that he's in my life. He doesn't know how much I struggle with this; I'm getting much better with it and I feel so lucky to be a mom.

But dealing with the rude comments from others is what is so hard to deal with sometimes. I find some witty comebacks, but I was wondering if any of you have any that you can suggest, ones that have worked really well.

Someone once suggested that when someone asks a rude question, to ask her/him a rude question right back, like, "How is your marriage going?" or "What kids of issues are you having with your kids? You must not have time to really see what's going on with them, huh?" I wanted to know if any of you have more good comebacks you can share. :-)

I'm all ears if you want to share!

Thanks,

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Tanya - posted on 01/06/2010

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I always state: An only child doesn't mean a lonely child!!!

I had people say that my child would be lonely without a sibling. She needs a playmate!

Since birth, she has been involved with playgroups, playdates and other social opportunities where she can have several playmates. I've heard: You will spoil her to much! You need another child to prevent it. I state: If spending time with my child is considered spoiling then I shall spoil her forever!

Everyone has an opinion but it's up to you whether to feel guilty about your choice and reasons for one child. You have the power to stand up for yourself and your family. Be like a duck and allow the water (comments) to roll off your feathers. Just another thought: A friend of mine has three boys (1yr, 2yrs, 4yrs) and her inlaws are pressuring for a granddaughter. Actually...yelling at her for not wanting another child!! Can you imagine being in her situation? Blah!

You are no less of a parent because you have one child!!! I wish you and your family happiness throughout the years!! :)

Tammy - posted on 01/06/2010

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Well... I deal with the same question, but for different reasons. We lost our youngest son at 10 months old back in 98. We have one son that is 14. If we ever get caught holding another baby we always get asked "why don't you have another baby"... .. Well we decided to have my tubes tied after our youngest baby was just born. My husband had 2 children from another marriage so 4 was plenty. But his kids live in texas and us in nc... so basically we only had 2 until our baby died. I too felt quilty because I wanted my older son to have a brother/ sibling. But God has his hand in our lives and I say don't rush it or feel quilty. God has a plan for us and our children and we should live the life we have been blessed with. To the other people you don't owe them an explanation.. this is your life not theirs..... If God wants you to have another child you will... other people probably know that you want another child or assume it. Just tell people you are happy and blessed to have the life you have and thank them for asking......

Kellie - posted on 01/06/2010

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I am also a mom to an only child, My daughter is 7 years old now, I was also told that I would not be able to have children but the Lord blessed me with her!!! I have had so many female problems that I finally had to have a complete hystorectomy 2 years ago. I would have liked to have had one more but it just wasn't possible. I have had the same problem with people telling me that I can't have just one and its not fair to her not to have a sibling, but when I tell them about my surgery it usually shuts them up!!! Its not a great feeling but I have learned to just be thankful for what the Lord has blessed me with!!!

Doreen - posted on 01/06/2010

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I don't have a comeback of my own either because I don't know how to handle it sometimes myself. I think because I had my child at 38 people expect her to have older siblings. I tried for years to have children and was finally told that it was highly improbable that I would have children so I gave up on that dream. Then one day it happened and I'm very happy to have just the one! When people ask "Is she your only child?", I immediately say "My one & only - she's enough for me!" and they usually laugh & that's all that's said. I don't want to get into my story with them either. I waited for her my whole life and I'm going to enjoy her even when she drives me crazy!

Doreen - posted on 01/06/2010

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I agree with not answering and just giving them a look, I think that might actually make them think about the fact that they may have asked a question that was crossing the line. The people that had easy pregnancy's just don't get it some times and don't think how upsetting that question can be.

[deleted account]

I was only able to have one child & I totally know the pain hurtful comments from family, friends & relative strangers can be. Wit is not what is needed, nor do you need to go to their level of social grace. Simply reply ... "That is not something I care to discuss" and change the subject.

Jen - posted on 01/05/2010

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My circumstances are a little bit different in that my first child was born still. So, when my aunt (and she's the only one that really asks) asks me when I'm going to have another baby, I use the "If God wanted me to have more than one child, I would have more than my daughter."

But, I like the comeback of "God must have known that I was a good parent so He didn't see any sense in making me practice until I got it right."

Amanda - posted on 01/05/2010

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I am an only child with an only 4 year old boy. People at my church have been asking us when we are going to give him a brother or sister. I just laugh and say we are thinking of adopting one day. I love our small family and I had a very tough pregnancy so if people dont like it tough. Its not there life and its not there body.

Cortney - posted on 01/05/2010

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I like the standard I am not Planning on it, my child is 9 and I am at a good place in my life. If they persist, then I use the besides it is not your concern or something along those lines.

Robyn - posted on 01/05/2010

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The best comeback that i have used is 'i had a c section not a frontal labotomy!!' when some of those meddling people say why dont you have more kids. I wanted more but my body wouldnt tolerate it.

Susan - posted on 01/04/2010

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I find that my just looking at them and not saying anything gives them something to think about. They usually become uncomfortable and change the subject. I have found that silence has become the best answer.

[deleted account]

Wendy..

I can't believe that anyone would have the audacity to say anything rude to you like that. What's wrong with people?? I know it's a touchy subject because I was exactly where you are. My son Alex was just 15 on December 15th and I have been trying for 11 years to have more children after him. Like you, not that he wasn't enough, I love my son more than life itself, but I come from a small family and I wanted to have children for Alex to play with. because I had such a wonderful pregnancy with Alex, I didn't understand why I wasn't having any more, yet I never went to my doctor with my concern, either. It wasn't until I got married for the 2nd time at 35 years old that I decided I wanted to see what was wrong. I wanted to have a baby with my husband who has never been married before, nor has any children. I had to go to a fertility specialist because I'm at the magical age of 35, but last january I started getting blood work done, had some tests done, by March I found out that I had scar tissue blocking my fallopian tubes from the c-section I had with my son! SO SIMPLE!! So at the end of Mach I had a procedure called a hysterosalpingogram (dye test) that revealed the blockage, they basically blew out all the scar tissue from my tubes, and by June I was pregnant!! I am 36 now and will be 37 when I deliver my baby girl April 3rd of this year. I am as happy as a clam, and if you are really wanting more children, please see someone about it. Something as simple as scar tissue, or fibroids or anything like that are easily removed and you could be giving your son a sibling. I hope this helped as far as you needing to cope with not having any more children, and I hope that your problem is as simple as mine was. Please keep me updated! ♥

Cindy - posted on 01/04/2010

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My son is going to make a difference....... and that takes FOCUS, but the training is a BLAST!!!!! SO, How do you spend time with your children?

CM

Wendy - posted on 01/03/2010

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I loved all your comments. Mikel, your words brought tears to my eyes, because you really captured the essence of how I'm feeling when you said:

"I know just how you feel! I always thought I'd have more than one child and for the longest time my heart ached so bad that it wasn't to be for me that I couldn't even be happy for my best friends and family when they were expecting."

I've actually shied away from certain family members who have multiple kids, because I feel that they are judging me or feel sorry for me. So I won't do family visits with them. That's horrible, I know. My brother and my brothers-in-law each have at least three kids in their families. I always assumed I'd have more children, never a question about it. I got preggo with my son on the first try and there is nothing reproductively wrong with me now. (I'm 41 now, but still, the doc says that I'm just fine for all of that). It must be my husband; but he won't get tested. He says, "If it is meant to be, it'll happen."). And he won't adopt, so here we are. I need to change my expectations about this and "rewire" my brain, so to speak, so that it is no longer a want. Like Mikel used to be, I find myself jealous whenever I hear of someone expecting her second baby.I'm not proud of this, but I feel like I can share this with you guys...

But then I look at my friends who don't have ANY kids and realize how truly blessed I am to have a HEALTHY, fantastic child! I don't want him to ever feel like he wasn't ENOUGH child for me. That feeling and saying it out loud just landed with a thud in my heart and this may be the thing to get me out of this self-pitying fog.

I owe this all to this forum!

You guys rock!

W

Mikel - posted on 01/03/2010

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I know just how you feel! I always thought I'd have more than one child and for the longest time my heart ached so bad that it wasn't to be for me that I couldn't even be happy for my best friends and family when they were expecting. Eventually it did fade, I was blessed enough to be able to baby sit for my best friend's son when he was born and she had to go back to work. I've had him every day since he was 3 weeks old. He's spoiled rotten and loved by my entire family. Being able to be with him has lessened the ache in my heart and I'm thankful every day for that. Now all my nieces & niece in laws are starting to have babies and they all want me to throw their showers! (I throw a pretty mean baby shower now that I can really be happy without the heartache first) I know you will get there too. You sound like a mother in love with mothering her son, never feel bad about wanting to do that for another child=) Like me, you get to save it all up for YEARS down the road when we are GrandMaMa's =)

I also encounter rude comments about having only one child. Like I'm not a real mother because I only was blessed with one daughter. After years and years of comments like these from strangers, friends & family alike, I have but one thing to say: When you are blessed with the perfect child right off the bat, why have any more? I know, it's mean. But so are their comments.

[deleted account]

Quoting Jessica :

For the most part I think people aren't trying to be rude or hurtful, just trying to make conversation.



Yes, I have to agree this is true.  In the grocery store line, when you make small talk the topic of "Is he your only child" might come up.  I'll politely respond "Yes, and he's all I can handle!"  Which is the truth!  Small talk I can handle.  I have an almost 5 year old, and a history of 3 miscarriages w/fertility treatments.   Perfect strangers won't know that and I don't need to go into a song & dance.  I actually have no desire for any more children-happy with 1.  For those idiots who question about having another baby AND who know our history, I have actually used this line to 2 separate friends, "May I borrow your uterus?"   It sure as hell shocked one friend and the other friend just hemmed and hawed and I was ticked off at her becasue SHE has an only child too!  I hope this line is useful to someone else!

Kate - posted on 01/03/2010

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This is exactly the issue I'm facing now, although not many people ask me if I'm having another one because they know my situation, ie, single mum not seeing anyone. I'm so very blessed to have my gorgeous son who just turned 6. He's the light of my life and I do realise how lucky I am to have him. I'd love, love, love to have another child, but I'm 36 so though I do have a few more years (maybe!) to have another child, I just don't see myself meeting someone fantastic and getting pregnant in the near future (if it happens, though, great!).

I suppose the older my son gets, the more questions I'll get about, "why didn't you have another one?" If I do get asked now, I usually joke and say, "One is enough!" which I don't mean, but it seems to shut them up. Or I say, "I'd love to have another one, but that's kind of hard to do without a man!" Which is true! lol

Joey - posted on 01/03/2010

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Okay, That was FUNNY!! I wish you would have thought of it years ago, It would have come in SO handy during my marriage, LOL!!!

Wendy - posted on 01/03/2010

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Wow, you guys are the BEST! You gave me some great material! But mostly, I feel even more empowered. A friend of mine who has one child uses the phrase, "One and Done!" I really like that!

Tennille - posted on 01/03/2010

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Well for me I tell them the straight up truth. I have as many children as I want to have but feel free to have as many as you want.Or I tell them it only took 1 to fill my heart w/ joy.

Amber - posted on 01/03/2010

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Hi! I get a lot of those questions too, like "how come you only have one?", "aren't you going to have more?" and (yes, someone actually asked) "are you sterile or something?" as if having one kid means there's something wrong. Losers.

Anyway, I have found that the best way to deal with people's ignorance is to just kill them with the truth about how spending so much time with one child benefits them. I'll say, "My husband and I wanted to wait to have another child in order to ensure our daughter got as much attention during her formative years as possible. Because of our dedication solely to her, my daughter was able to be potty trained by 9 months, speak in complete sentences by one, read by age three, do addition and subtraction by five, and is now learning Spanish and Japanese. She also gets all As and has been given several community awards."

That usually makes there jaws unhinge and they will blink a few times.

Or, if you are having fertility issues, I say throw them right back in there face. I have a friend who says, "Oh, we only have one because I've had five miscarriages and a surgery over the last three years." That'll get 'em!

All and all, the end result is you don't need to associate with people that give you grief about your choices and life. If they prefer to ask personal, snotty questions, than maybe talking to them should be optional. Hang in there, sweetie.!

Jessica - posted on 01/03/2010

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For the most part I think people aren't trying to be rude or hurtful, just trying to make conversation. Generally speaking our children are safe topics for discussion. I know that I rarely pass on an opportunity to brag on my kiddo. I think if they ask if you are going to have more say not at this time. If they pursue talk about how great the one you have is. If they won't let it go gently but firmly remind them that it is really none of their business. Keep in mind, for the most part, that they probably aren't trying to be mean or pushy. Hopefully that will take the sting out. I am sad that you get asked that and that it hurts.

Susan - posted on 01/03/2010

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Good grief people are rude! Don't be rude back that's got the potential to just turn ugly. I'd respond to questions like you're getting with a simple "wow are you always this insensitive?"



I'm a single mum to an 8yo boy too, I'd love another but realistically at 38...I've a lot of ground to cover before I'd be comfortable enough with someone to get pregnant and at my age...I think I'm out of time, which is hard to accept some days but on other days makes me appreciate the blessing of my son even more.

Paula - posted on 01/03/2010

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Quoting Paula:

We have one child, a boy who is 10 now. I tell people that we had one child, because you can do Way more for one child than you for two. Or I may say, shoot, I don't have the nerves for another child when my One son acts like twins sometimes! And we laugh it off and go in another direction. People are sooo nosy sometimes with no regard to someone's situation, or pain such questions may cause. For instance problems with previous pregnancies/stillbirths/miscarriages, etc. Good luck with your dilema sweetie.



I neglected to say that I was never supposed to be able to have a child.  But, I do, and it was a difficult pregnancy.  A threatened miscarriage, followed by an emergency C-Section due to cord prolapse which cut off his lifeline to me.  Upon taking his first breath, his lung collapsed.......Soo, needless to say, that was the scariest time of my life!!  So, we were blessed with a wonderful child and we left it @ that!  And I wouldn't trade any of it for the world!

Paula - posted on 01/03/2010

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We have one child, a boy who is 10 now. I tell people that we had one child, because you can do Way more for one child than you for two. Or I may say, shoot, I don't have the nerves for another child when my One son acts like twins sometimes! And we laugh it off and go in another direction. People are sooo nosy sometimes with no regard to someone's situation, or pain such questions may cause. For instance problems with previous pregnancies/stillbirths/miscarriages, etc. Good luck with your dilema sweetie.

Priscilla - posted on 01/03/2010

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Well with me my family does the same I just tell them, "If they are going to be there 24/7 with me to be helping out." or Are they going to help babysit whenever I need them or help with $$$ because I'm a single mom. Usually that shuts up everyone and they leave me alone. =) Well good luck....

Ann - posted on 01/02/2010

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I have one child, a 14 year old daughter. I always say "when you got it perfect the first time, why bother messing it up by trying again?"

Wendy - posted on 01/02/2010

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Wow, thanks you guys! Those are all very good answers! And Susan, lol, that is classic. I need to do that, too (I'm also not shy).

I get so angry at these jerks... why do people have to be so rude? You guys rock; I'm so glad I found this site! :)

Julie - posted on 01/02/2010

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You could try 'well that's a very good question. Can we talk about something else?' If they continue, try 'wow, I'm really surprised you're pursuing this when I so clearly don't want to talk about it.' I get that question all the time too. I have one neighbor's husband who's been particularly bad. Every time we're together he'd say that my son needs a brother. Finally I told him that even if I got pregnant tomorrow my kids would be over six years apart and therefore would never be play buddies. That seems to have shut him up. That and I quit hanging out with them as much.

Susan - posted on 01/02/2010

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Ask them if they are going to pay for the next one (no ones business what the reason you aren't having another) because there are al sorts of costs (in your case maybe in conceiving) with diapers and formula...college tuition, etc. I was asked that once and (I am not shy) I asked if they could give me some pointers on postions to help me get pregnant (that shut them up because they were embarassed). And once I relplied with "Are you always so nosy, or are you wanting to know how much child support my husband will have to pay when you sleep with him and i divorce him?" That really shut the one woman up!

Patricia - posted on 01/02/2010

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I understand. Once you are at peace with wanting but not having another child all will be well. I always say we only planned for one. My husband is the last of seven children. I have tons of stress but in this day and age it is not such a question on everyone's mind. Keep strong.

Rebecca - posted on 01/02/2010

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I like to say some of us a blessed with one chold and others are blest with more than one...i too would love to have another child but we've had no luck and really it is no one's business...i am ok with this and am very blest with my daughter who will be 11 this month

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