Can there be four?

February 3, 2012 in Life


A Mum's Internal Monologue

Guest poster, “Mum Monologue” wonders how many children is enough for her?

My baby is hurtling his toddle truck towards his first birthday. Before he came along I wanted 6 children, a huge brood, some biting at my ankles while others did sticking and colouring on the table, and others were messing up their bedrooms, perhaps 1 would enjoy helping mum and would do the hoovering and ironing with me (all totally ridiculous – I don’t even do any hoovering or ironing). Having my first at 35 made it doubtful I’d reach the 6, and after having 1 I’m doubtful I want 2.

My husband wants more children but would also like me in my right mind, so I’ve managed to put off the thought and thorough discussion about whether 3 can become 4.

I’m finding it a deeply complex and surprising conservation with myself. For me now, right at this moment, I don’t want anymore children. Before having my son I was bursting with broodiness, there was no question whether I wanted a baby, no doubt what so ever that my son was the best thing ever to happen. I don’t have any broodiness now, nor can I imagine ever feeling that way again.

Since he was born I have struggled to find any pleasure in my day to day life, and despite now finding day to day life OK and even having moments of shear joy, I’m scared, really scared of feeling that way again. Can I take the risk and start that misery all over again.

What would be the right reason to have another baby, or more to the point, the wrong reason?

Should I pay any attention to my feelings now, maybe it should be a pragmatic decision. I have no way of knowing how I will feel in a year, if I wait a year to find out and decide I do, then I try and get pregnant, then I have the pregnancy, how old will I be by the time I’m giving birth? What if I still don’t want another after that year, do I wait another?

And then of course its not all about what I want, my husband would love to have more kids, he’s a brilliant dad. Can I deny him a family? I feel like Ive cheated him, we talked (theoretically) about our family before our son came along, I talked about my 6, and he reveled in the idea of his family (maybe 2 though, not 6) now I’m saying 1′s my limit. We decided we wouldn’t wait for “the right time” to do things, we wanted to get married so 3 months later we got married. We wanted a family so 3 months later I was pregnant. We didn’t and don’t have the money, the family home or the secure income but it was what we wanted so we did it! Now that I’m missing that desire to have another, all those other things seem so much more important, or are they excuses?

Then I think of my son, we are his world, he is the most important thing in the world to us, how can I decide to change that, to stop devoting myself to him and to share everything between 2. I sometimes feel I have nothing left in me, to give my husband and nothing left for me. How can I give more.

Then again, thinking of my son, should I force only childom on him (especially with me as his mother). We live miles away from family and I’m not the most social creature so friends and company are going to be all down to him (poor thing). My childhood was spent with my sister, up until I was about 16 we were best friends (we still are, its just geography that distances us). Can I deny him the potential of a close sibling relationship, being a big brother.

There is also the nitty gritty of procreating, basically I have no desire for sex, nill, none, not happening. Pregnancy would be a miracle and it would take a hell of a lot of gentle whispers, soft touches and champagne cocktails to get round me, yeah and at least a week of incredible nights sleep, a long bath, a new haircut and the loss of about a stone in weight.

I want to want another, what does that tell me? And its the babies you don’t have that you regret, not ones you do – right?