Mother of One.

The question 'When are you going to have another?' is one I've been asked and continue to be asked. My family and close friends, however, have stopped asking. They know that question is wearing thin and that I'm set on my answer.

What you don't know is that I could have had another by now, it would be 6 weeks old. But don't feel sad or sorry because you don't know the story, all you need to know is that it wasn't meant to be. I don't dwell on it, I'm happy. My life right now is how I want it to be.

I have a friend who has only one child too, hers is the same age as Lilian. She doesn't want anymore either, having one child works for her. We had a conversation about more babies yesterday and funnily enough when I sat down to catch up on yesterdays supplements, what was on the front? This.

It made me smile. So I wasn't the only one who was certain I wouldn't be having another. The woman on the cover is Lauren Sandler and she has written a book about having only one child, 'One and Only'. In the article published yesterday in The Weekend supplement of The Times, Sandler writes 'To have a happy kid I need to be a happy mother and to be a happy mother I need to be a happy person.' This struck a chord.

When I was pregnant, for the majority of it, I was miserable. If you rewind back to the beginning of this blog, as I was nearing the end of my pregnancy, you can see just how pissed off I was. I'd suffered from HG, over 15 water infections, SPD... it was awful. If I had another child, I'd probably spend that pregnancy in the same way. My second pregnancy, although very short, started off the same way as my first. I turned back into a monster. I couldn't put Lilian through that and I'm positive my marriage wouldn't survive.

Being a mother is so hard, some days I wonder what the fuck I was thinking. But I love my daughter so much that it's turned me a bit mental. I've been suffering from anxiety attacks for a few months now and an attack is always brought on by hearing of someone getting cancer or a child dying. It sounds silly doesn't it, panicking about something you can't control? But it's suffocating and crushing and it's paralysis can last for days. I avoid reading the news and if someone starts talking about a person they know getting very ill or being diagnosed with cancer, I try and change the subject or leave the room. It's embarrassing but it's also very painful. I just couldn't have another, I'm not mentally strong enough.

Am I selfish for not wanting any more children? You're welcome to your own opinion. I do look at her and think how much of a wonderful big sister she would be but she's happy now. Another child would possibly send me over the edge and be an end to my marriage. I don't want to jeopardise this amazing relationship I have with my daughter. It's a relationship I never thought I could have with anyone. I mourn the loss of Lil's babyhood and go through phases of wanting another baby, but I often think that's only to fill the baby void Lil has left. I can't cradle her or sniff her hair anymore, I'm always met with 'get off me mummy'. 

As a woman, as a mother... you shouldn't have to explain your choices but it's a funny old world we live in. People demand to know why or how or what if. It's annoying. And if you don't answer their questions with something they want to hear, they judge you. But not having another baby is my decision. Just like you may have decided to have more than one or even none at all. Our situation, the fact it's just the three of us, means we can afford to do the things we love and don't have to compromise (please don't think I'm boasting). My husband travels a lot with his job and because we only have one child, we can afford for it to be three of us travelling together. I've chosen this lifestyle, to have the things I like, because we can afford it. If we had another, that wouldn't be the case. My husband says he's satisfied (only satisfied?!) with our lot, he doesn't want any more children either. So there we have it. Three (for me, for us) is the magic number.

If you can get hold of a copy of The Weekend supplement from The Times, do read it. It's very interesting and argues both sides. 


  1. Your choices are entirely your own and if you're happy then you're right! Nobody else's opinion matters! I actually think you're very brave for writing this as people can be very opinionated on this subject. What is it with old ladies asking "Are you having any more dear?" It's just so rude and so personal! I always wanted to say "Well we've been at it like rabbits, but no joy yet" or something equally shocking! Grrrrrr. Glad you're happy, that's nice to read :)

    Kate x
    Just Pirouette and Carry On...

  2. I am learning that people judge every decision you make when you become a parent! It is a massive pain and I totally know where you are coming from. Obviously we know what is best for our own families and your decision is clearly the best for your family. Sounds like you have a very happy little girl and a good relationship. Stick to your guns!

  3. I'm hoping the article is online, it sounds interesting. But you're absolutely right, it has to be your decision and should be something other people are polite enough to not ask about.

  4. After the shock of having my first daughter wore off one of the first things my husband and I did was to promise not to comment on anyone else's decisions about raising their children.
    With new eyes I realised just how bloody judgemental I had been before without even realising it.
    What I now find more surprising is how people who have walked through the horror and joy of having children can still cast their judgements about willy-nilly.
    Ultimately we are all just people, trying desperately to do our best when we really haven't got a bloody clue.
    Isn't the important bit 'doing our best'? Especially the 'our' bit, because everyone is different.
    Well done you - It's bloody difficult and you are bloody awesome for being proud of the decision to do the best thing for you and your family :)

  5. The thing I still get from people when I tell them that we're only having the one is the reply "oh you'll change your mind".

    That seriously pisses me off. Especially as this comment always comes from people who hardly know me. Why will I change my mind? Because you said so? Because I'm simply a slave to my ovaries and can't think for myself? It's so condescending.

    If anyone actually had the nerve to suggest I was being selfish for not wanting a second or that Pip would suffer in some way because of it, I think I would have to tear them off a new one. The very suggestion is sheer bollocks.

    I know, I know. I really need to learn to form an opinion.

  6. Last year I lost a baby at 21 weeks and to be honest, I don't know how I got through it. But I was determined to get pregnant again as soon as possible, which has now resulted in me being pregnant pretty much consistently for a WHOLE YEAR & I've got another 3 months to go.

    I feel so miserable, and then I feel guilty for feeling miserable. This was all my choice and I am so happy that, so far, everything in this pregnancy is fine, but I really hate being pregnant. I don't blame you for not wanting to go through it again!

  7. I can't really see how I'm going to have more than one, being a thirty-eight year old singleton & I do worry about bringing up some spolit brat without even being aware of it, but it is what it is, so I guess the only thing that can be done is to enjoy everyday and what will be will be- an only child is not necessarily a lonely child..

  8. I think do whats best for you and your family!
    We have one child, we are only going to have one child - due to how I feel and the fact its not safe health-wise to have more. There fore its easier for me when asked such question.
    We have such preconceived ideas of what an 'only' child will be that it has become boring. As long as we have fun, raise the child with communication, experiences, love, attention, allowing them later in life to make educated choices then its a good a start as any - whether they are 'only' children or not!

  9. firstly, thank you for sharing this. i get this all the time, we have one. i was one. it's not all that strange for me. like the article says 'To have a happy kid I need to be a happy mother and to be a happy mother I need to be a happy person.' is so spot on, i know for sure i wouldn't be the person i am now if i had two. weirdly i don't ever feel the need to say to someone, why have you got two, three, four, five children? why didn't you stop at one? strange they feel they can say it to us? my parents and my husband and his parents too all have siblings, a good chunk of them don't even talk to each other! like you, we have opportunities now that we wouldn't if we were more than three, so we too are the magic number x

  10. I read that article. I think having one child is great. I have two and every other day I think how much easier life would be if I had one. My kids are awesome separately, but together they are mayhem and chaos! :) I hope they'll like each other though when they grow up and then this all would have been worth it.