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Having Two Kids Doesn't Make You Better!

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Here is one mom's open letter to those self-righteous parents who are condescending because they have multiple children. Seriously, stop. Who gave birth and made you boss?

woman and kids

Momlogic's Maria: When I was pregnant and complained about my symptoms, nothing was more annoying than the women around me who already had given birth. "Just wait!" they would say to me -- implying that my aches and pains didn't mean squat and I was a wimp for expressing my discomfort in the first place. Then I gave birth and had my newborn. Although I sort of get what they meant, I would never say that to a pregnant person. Doing that to someone takes away their perfectly legitimate concerns and complaints.

I thought my exposure to those "I'm a parent so I know everything" parents was over. Then I met people who have more than one child. Last night I was out for a family birthday dinner. My one and a half-year-old was happily eating unhealthy homemade potato chips in her highchair when the eight-year-old at the table behind us pushed his chair back. It clocked her right in the back of the head and her head jerked forward. She was startled and, of course, started crying. At that exact moment at another table near us, the waiters all gathered to sing "Happy Birthday" to someone. She cried even harder.

The father of the son was very apologetic at first and my husband and I were nice as can be, saying, "This happens. Don't worry about it!" I smiled at the boy and picked up my daughter to comfort her.

The father then said to us, "Is this your first?" My husband said yes. The father then nodded his head, gave us a half-cocked smile and said, "I figured. Once you have another one, things like this won't affect you as hard."

How are we overreacting if we pick our kid up to comfort her? I was so nice about his son banging his chair into my daughter's head! I was completely annoyed. After my daughter calmed down, we put her back into her highchair. The waiters started to gather again to sing to the next birthday person. The mother of the eight-year-old chair flinger said, "Uh oh. Watch out. She may cry again." UGH!!!!!


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15 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anonymous January 4, 2009, 11:20 AM

I have three kids and hope I don’t sound like those idiots. Although I will say if we dropped a pacifier with #1, we sterilized it… #2, we had a 5 second rule… and #3, eh, as long as the dog didn’t eat it.

Christina @ Cutest Kid Ever January 4, 2009, 11:24 AM

What I’m sick of is the people who treat you like you’re being selfish and horrible if you decide to have “only” one child.

Having more than one child is not a selfless act that somehow makes you a better parent. Some people have health problems that weren’t apparent before having their first child, and it wouldn’t be fair to anyone to add another child to fight for their attention and energy. Or maybe trusting in God to provide for as many kids as you can pop out isn’t the most financially responsible thing to do.

Just some thoughts.

ash January 4, 2009, 11:24 AM

I have two children, and I would never say anything like those parents! Yeah, you’re much more relaxed with the second and so forth, but it’s just RUDE to be condescending to parents of one.

tjwrter January 4, 2009, 11:24 AM

Ugh, it sounds like those parents didn’t make the connection that their child caused your baby to cry in the first place.

I might have calmly said that I didn’t think it was the singing that caused the crying in the first place. Perhaps it was the whack to the head.

My poor filter between the brain and my mouth has gone missing and I’ve had it with all sorts of stupid parent comments.

Candi January 4, 2009, 11:43 AM

Oh.my.god, I am irritated FOR you! This is disheartening on so many levels…

Sherry January 4, 2009, 12:04 PM

I had a friend who was like that with us when we only had one child. Things like “oh, when you have two, they can throw themselves off the couch and you won’t flinch”.

Um, no. I have two now. I still comfort either one of them when someone gets hurt. Having more than one didn’t change that.

I admire your restraint for not throwing a salt shaker at them. I really hope I never say anything so stupid to someone, it’s very rude and condescending.

lfamous January 4, 2009, 12:07 PM

First, you’re totally justified comforting your daughter after she got bumped. And those parents were jerks & don’t represent all parents of multiple kids.

But, as mom of 3 I do think that your perspective changes after the first one. You handle the bumps and bruises with more calm. You don’t worry over why the baby’s crying or why the baby’s not crying.

Each child is unique, but the general experience is what changes-and you don’t have to be a parent to get it-you could have grown up in a large family with younger kids, have worked in a day care, have nieces and nephews you’ve babysat, etc.

The key is to not be prejudiced-don’t assume a parent of 1 child has a certain attitude or the parent of many children has another.

We all need to help and support each other.

Anonymous January 4, 2009, 12:54 PM

That father probably just felt embarrassed and said that because he didn’t know what else to do in an awkward situation.

mizfit January 4, 2009, 5:16 PM

Thank you Christina! I have one child and several only child friends. My friends tell me it would be mean and unfair to only have one, since my child would have no one to play with. But I do not think it is right to have another simply so that my first child can have a playmate. UGH, how do I stop the guilt trip?

Nikki January 5, 2009, 7:47 AM

I promise, as a whole, parents with 1+ DO NOT think we are better! The family you described sound like they were jerks or just not paying attention. Mostly when I see parents with one child, I remember how good it felt to feel that in control and connected with one child. I wouldn’t trade having 3 kids for the world, but I usually feel like a frazzled mess, especially in the rare times we are all in a restaurant together!

Tonya January 13, 2009, 7:44 PM

After 2 1/2 years of trying we are finally pregnant with #2. As we were going through all the pain of infertility - I had one friend that constantly had to remind me how much harder her life was with 2 instead of 1. I swear every conversation she had with me had to include well I have two children it is so much different and harder to be me. uggghhh…

Ju February 24, 2009, 9:42 PM

I’ve met people like that. The only time I give out ANY advice is if I’m asked for it. I was an only child in a military family so I was very lonely (didn’t help I was shy). Don’t get me wrong, I know plenty of other solitary “military brats” that were perfectly fine. I always wanted a big family and having a sibling might be nice for my daughter. The family at the restaurant were being jerks, even if they spoke the last comment as a joke. I would have moved my child so when the next time they moved the chair, it wouldn’t hit the baby.

nicole October 22, 2009, 4:08 PM

I can’t stand that whole if you have more your more capable to adapt to the situation. Meaning, yes I have one child and yes my response may be different with another but I would still comfort either child if their head was hit. For those parents that can say with ease basically you’ll get over it and it will be fine, thanks captain obvious, but that it doesn’t take away from the child being hit in the back of the head. Some people should realize that their kids who have no respect for others may be doing something wrong. I could be wrong but what do I know I only have one child.

-Keep your child in check and quit being their best friend.

Anonymous October 25, 2009, 12:17 PM

You have to remember that most people are idiots and lack much class. Parents or not. I realize this even moreso since I have had a child. Moving to a secluded area sounds wonferful at times.

Ten Tees January 8, 2011, 5:06 PM

Nice info! Good to read. I have got a small thing to give about funny t-shirts.


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