Rude people telling me I would be awful not to provide a sibling

posted 3 weeks ago in TTC
Post # 31
9326 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

i would be telling them to mind their own business unless they will be providing financial support. i have 2 ivf children and after my first was born, i don’t take rudeness or crap from people and tell them what they say is hurtful or none of their business.

my husband is an only child, he is much more social and outgoing than i am, he also has what feels like a million friends from childhood that he is still friends with in his 40’s. 

Post # 32
2251 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

I don’t understand the misconception that only children are spoiled etc. I am an only child, did I want siblings when i was a child? Yes. I think every only child goes through that phase and you know what? I’m glad I don’t have siblings, I’m absolutely okay with being an only child and I think there’s a BIG suggestion in this that says no one wants to be an only child.

I agree with everyone, just be blunt next time and they will stfu.

Post # 33
7884 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2010

People have something to say no matter what your family looks like. I have 3 kids- all girls. Soooooo many people have told me how we really ought to have a boy, and isn’t my husband sad he never got a son. My kids have a bigger age gap than many siblings. People like to comment on that too. What most don’t know is we lost a baby in between the last 2 kids and then it took almost a year after the miscarriage to get pregnant. People are nosy and they suck. 

Post # 34
865 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2020

Since PP have shared their experiences with/as an only child, I’ll chime in with my experience with a sibling. Despite my mother’s best efforts, my brother and I were both asocial, hyper competitive, and mostly hated each other growing up. We get along fine as adults now that we both understand each others’ personalities, but our presence in each others’ lives clearly wasn’t a “cure” for our asociality.

There is so much more to personality and sociality beyond having a sibling. And having a child for the sake of another is never a good idea in my opinion.

I agree with PP about bluntly rebuffing people’s comments. Some will never realize they are being rude, but some will at least have the sense not to bring it up again.

Post # 37
631 posts
Busy bee

candy08 :  the people I know who had the really rough struggles with infertility had great success shutting down comments with concise honesty.  Comment: “Oh, you have one….are you going to try for another soon?”. Most effective answer I’ve seen so far (irl) in shutting this down: “I’m so happy to have my (son/daughter) after all we’ve been through.  But we’ve had a lot of struggles with infertility.  It’s been really emotional and painful and I don’t like to talk about it.”. I’ve never seen it not work.  If they then try to swap stories about so ansd so who struggled and this or that worked for them….  The follow up. “It’s a rough journey with a lot of different paths and different outcomes.  It’s not something I want to talk about right now. I’m just going to try to enjoy my day.  How have you been doing?”

You don’t ever have to answer about more or no more, try or not try.  Not their business.  But, I find the above approach to be the best way to shut down the questions and communicate to them that it is WAY too sensitive an issue to be quizzing you about without getting upset or leaving things rocky as if an argument has happened.

Post # 39
1120 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2019 - City, State

candy08 :  But that is 100% not anyone’s business! I’m so sorry you’re going through this, bee.

Post # 40
9365 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

candy08 :  That’s great!!

Post # 41
450 posts
Helper bee

Good for you! Your family will do great no matter what happens.

I am an only child. My parents were in their 40s when I was conceived. I was the last attempt in a long line of miscarriages and one stillbirth. They felt lucky to have one child and told people so. I had no cousins or extended family, but I did a lot of activities with other kids and had close friendships. I don’t think it socially harmed me at all. I know I got many opportunities that I enjoyed, like music lessons and camp and having a bunch of pets, that wouldn’t have been financially possible with another child in the family. Whatever life your family has will just feel normal to your daughter.

My SO has a brother close in age and they do not speak at all. They are completely estranged for what I consider to be a very good reason. It makes every family event horribly awkward. My SO will have no help from his brother when his parents are elderly and need care. My son doesn’t even know he has an uncle. And you know what? People are horribly rude about their expectations about brotherhood and blood relations and family, and how awful they think it is that they aren’t in touch. So you just can’t win. Let them pour themselves a big glass of haterade and go about your business!

Post # 42
7128 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

candy08 :  Good for you for giving an answer that would cut the conversation off. I’ve come to the point of fighting rudeness with rudeness. I always envisioned I’d have two kids, it’s what my family looked like growing up and just what I assumed I wanted. BUT, I also assumed I’d be having kids in my early-mid 20’s, not my 30’s. After trying for a year (and not preventing for almost 3 years before that) my first pregnancy was ectopic and my second a chemical. Now we have a WILD 2 year old and my husband travels a lot for work, often internationally. The reality is parenting is HARD, and I’m leaning towards not having any more. I don’t want to be in my late 30’s trying to have another baby, and it pisses me off when people use the “but that’s not that old” card. Biologically is it old? No, but that doesn’t mean I need to do it just because science says my body can. 

Having siblings is no promise they will be close. My brother is 3 years older than me and we’re not that close. We’re not estranged or anything, but we just live different lives and live 3.5 hrs from each other. My sister and I are close, but I”m 14 years older than her so our relationship is different than a typical sibling relationship. Likewise, I grew up extreamly close with both sides of cousins and now as adults we literally never see or talk to each other. 

Post # 43
74 posts
Worker bee

Our plan is to only have one. A lot of people do say “ohhh that will change” and “wow, really?” but you just have to tune that stuff out. We’ve always only wanted one and do not feel the need to justify it. This is your life. 

I also agree with PP, that having a sibling doesn’t guarantee they will be close. My brother and I are estranged and we haven’t spoken in years. 

Post # 44
631 posts
Busy bee

candy08 :  Brutal honesty shuts them up every time! And you know, it reveals that, at heart, these people had no ill intent with their questions.  They meant well and had no idea that it was invasive of a sensitive issue.  But then the judgment about siblings v none…. I’m glad you found the solution that works for you to shut that down.  Your answer was golden.  I would have no regrets or second thoughts about saying exactly what you said.  It’s not snappy, keeps things friendly, and yet is ever so effective.

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