Mummy stuff, Pregnancy

The end of broodiness

The one and only child?

The one and only child?

Already as a child I was sure about wanting to become a mother one day. I always had a very distinct wish to become pregnant, give birth, care and love for the fruit of my loins. Even if that would have meant sleeping with my gay best friend or buying some Papa Frost sperm.

Aged 32, I became pregnant with little L in June 2008 – surprisingly and against all odds. Despite my almost lifelong and very sincere wish to become a mother, I was scared, overjoyed and shocked in equal measures. My life was going to be turned upside down and round and round.

The most shocking bit: the sudden end to a lifelong longing for babies. Almost as sure about wanting to have a baby, I used to be sure about wanting to have at least two children. However, my urge to add to the world population has completely evaporated since little L was born.

Don’t get me wrong – by no means has little L’s entrance into our life put me off. She is 100 percent perfect. She is kind and funny, absolutely gorgeous and very well tempered. I could not wish for a more beautiful child.

It is just that my hunger for having a baby is… satisfied. I have absolutely no clue where this feeling headed off to, but I am not the least bit broody anymore. Do you think it will ever come back?

Sometimes I feel like I should become pregnant again to provide a sibling for little L. But I don’t think this argument would be enough. Enough to get me through feeling sick and tired during pregnancy, enough to let me endeavour sleepless nights and tearful days, enough to make me offer my breasts to a newborn for another six months or more.

Whenever I felt exhausted and slightly depressed in the first few months after giving birth to little L, I had one very uplifting and comforting thought that made it easy to carry on: I wanted this baby so so much and so so very dearly. I absolutely cannot imagine how I would have coped without this thought to fall back on.

On a more superficial note, I just love having my body back. After battling with an eating disorder for most of my life and finally making peace with my body about five years ago, I finally like the skin I am in. Feeling at home in my own body is a fairly new thing to me. And I think I am going to enjoy this feeling a little bit longer, before everything goes down south naturally anyway.

So, here I am: Metropolitan Mum, mother of one. And for now, I am perfectly happy.

45 Comments

  1. Oh MM, this is a very touching post. I want a child/ren but I don’t think I have felt that yearn, not yet anyhow. Perhaps when I do I can better understand.

    I also think happiness is an oft forgotten goal and if for now you have acheived it then I raise my glass to you and wish you many more years of it!

  2. MM – I loved this post – very honest and sincere. And also because it’s wonderful to hear someone echo the same sentiments as us! You wouldn’t believe how often we are berated for having just the one child by choice. I am with you every step of the way on this and in no way is it selfish. The number of children you choose to have is you and your husbands decision to make. And no one elses! xxx

  3. It’s very refreshing to read and hear such an honest story. I am an only child and my Mother was also although she was adopted so perhaps that is different, I have a fantastic relationship with my parents and she did with hers (and I adored my Grandparents).

    I think you have to do what feels right for you as a family but I loved being an only- Mum just always made sure I had friends over and was out and about and doing things and then it was fine. I still love my own company when so many people can’t seem to bear it.

    To be totally honest there are other things to consider- when my grandparents were older it was a lot of work for Mum although they tried for it not to be and I’m afraid you will get some comments from people about only children but they are just stupid people and stupid people will always comment.

    For the most part I think it creates happy, self- confident, independent, considerate and giving people.

    The only person I know who doesn’t like being an only is someone whose parents always wanted more and I fear they’ve given her a bit of a complex about one not being enough.

  4. I think FortyNotOut said it perfectly – only you can know what is right for you and your family, and it sounds like you have found that happy place. For me it was always two children, other friends have three and some even want more.

    Everyone is different, and there is no point in doing something because it is what is expected of you.

  5. I wouldn’t worry about it either. It’s up to you. It took me a while to get the feeling back after I had my first. (An awful c-section didn’t help), and I probably would have been happy with just the one. I went on to have my 2nd when she was almost three and then the “bonus” baby when she was ten anyway!

  6. Lovely post, MM. I felt exactly the same after having Child One – until suddenly I didn’t! Having been sure that one was enough, I completely changed my mind and within a month I was pregnant again. You have been warned! I’ve never regretted it either xx

  7. A lovely post hun and we all know how many children we want to have and what feeld right. When freddie was born i knew i had finished having children, i feel my family is complete just like you xxx

  8. Totally trust your feelings on this one. If you are at a content place in your life and feel that everything is coming together as it should, then you’ve achieved what you set out to do. At times I’ve thought about adding a third to our brood, but then I think about what my body went through during pregnancy, the early days of infancy (no sleep, breast feeding, etc.) and that urge quickly goes away. Good for you!

  9. Enjoy what you have for now, your baby number one, your body and your piece of mind. It is amazing though, how an eating disorder can take second place when everything else slips into first. And even after two children, the body comes back if you want it to. I know from experience about the ED and the two babies. Just enjoy.

  10. Hey you!
    Lovely to see you back, hope you had a wonderful break in France, I’m sure you did!!

    Thanks for popping over to see me and ask where I was! I have been laptop-less for about a month now….nightmare!! Still trying to sort things out but am nearly back to normal 🙂

    I LOVED reading this piece, you have written it VERY WELL. I didn’t get married until I was 32 and had both my children in my 30s. My husband and I are both one of 3 children and I always assumed I would have 3 myself.

    Two suits me just fine, particularly as I have both a boy and a girl, but I do think that had I started my family younger then I would have had 3. I always knew I would have more than one – but after the second child (and I have a gap of 4.5yrs between mine), I knew pretty much that I was done. I have only literally had one moment of feeling wistful since then when a particular friend told me she was expecting (her 5th!!!) but apart from that I just knew….funny isn’t it, how you do just know.

    Mind you, after that 2nd labour I did make my husband promise that he would not let me go through that again….and I really meant it!!! LOL!!

    My little family of four feels just right – for me….and I think that’s what it’s all about isn’t it. You DO sound perfectly happy….good for you.

    Very well done to you on your writing – and for being paid for it….how nice!

    Any moving news, anything happening?

    Nice to have you back 🙂 xo

  11. I agree with everyone else. Trust your instincts. Well done for recognising that you’re happy and fulfilled with Little L. And if you change your mind in years to come, then that’s fine too. Only you know what’s right for you and don’t let anyone tell you different.

  12. Only you and your family can know what is right for you guys. If one kid is the right number for you, so there is no right wrong.

  13. Good for you for being brave and honest with yourself about how you feel, and not being afraid of what that means. It is hard living in our own skin, and I imagine it can be even tougher after giving birth.

    It sounds as though you have a wonderful, healthy child! Everyone is different and if one is the perfect amount of children for you… then it’s right for you. 🙂

  14. Olivia says

    I hear a vvery contented mother!

    xoxoxox

  15. Words that could have only been written by a wise and loving mother. You and Miss L are both perfect Angels.

  16. great post.

    i wish i could be happy with one. in many ways i think it would be the perfect solution. we wouldn’t be so broke; we wouldn’t have to move somewhere bigger; we wouldn’t have to referee squabbling siblings; we’d never – joy – need an estate car.

    but i can’t bear to think that i’d never have a baby again; never be pregnant; never breastfeed. which i know makes me greedy, but there you go. i just wish someone would tell mother nature.

  17. Lovely post, MM. I’m in the same boat really. I’m happy with one and have no desire to have any more. I found gaining weight in pregancy tough and, like you, I became a mother against all odds. I’m more confortable in my own skin now and suddenly my weight a lot less important because I have a daughter who means so much more. It’s been the making of me and the two of us are really happy. She’s seven next week. That still amazes me.

  18. Just because you have seen me being run ragged! (only joking). I think you know in your heart of hearts when you reach an equilibrium for the moment. Never say never, but enjoy feeling contented and secure.
    I really enjoyed this post, it has captured the essence of you running through it somehow. Written and expressed perfectly x

  19. What a lovely, clear and honest post. In my case, I got pregnant with the second one way before I was expecting to, and it has made life quite stressful sometimes – although I love having two. Enjoy Little L and you have plenty of time to decide whether or not to have more.

  20. Don’t even start me on being berated for having one child (I read that in a comment here earlier). I am an only, and I have a son. I would like more, but I have only one at the moment. But if I ever hear anyone else say “But it’s not fair…” then I will slap them. Sorry this is not the place for this. A lovely post, enjoy this time, they always say when the first goes to school you want another. Guess what, Elf goes to school this year… -HMx

  21. I feel the same as you, I have my perfect little one and I have no need for another. No yearning. I’m content. Good for you 🙂

  22. As someone who has yet to have a child, I don’t feel qualified to give an opinion or advice, but, I will say that I love your honesty. Especially about being happy to have your body back. Good for your for being honest and open and putting it out there.

    On another note, my one puppy is definitely enough!

  23. I’m an only child and had such a wonderful, happy childhood that I have no guilt about my decision to have just one child. I was never broody and still am not. So be it. Little Planet and Mr Planet are the loves of my life. I couldn’t ask for better.

  24. Little L. gives you plenty of love it seems. And the 3 of you make a beautiful little family. See you on Sunday! x LZ

  25. If you are happy that is what matters. I am terrified of getting pregnant…I don’t want all of the body changes, etc…You give me hope that I can get over it 🙂

  26. Hi MM, I loved reading your post. It confirmed for me that I am right to continue trying no matter how long it takes and what bumps I come across. At least for now. Thank you for writing this.

  27. Amazingly honest. and very brave to be able to admit when you’re happy – and why. Lovely post.

  28. Great post. And I completely agree with you that wanting a sibling for your child is not enough of a reason to produce another.

    My sister went through very similar feelings – absolutely wanting to get pregnant and then.. no more. She is very happy with her seven year old boy with absolutely no plans to ever have another. And why should she?

  29. yeah I hear you, there is no point having another kid just as an obligation. The problem with it is that the most boring part of having a child is when they are babies, they may be cute but they are draining and not that interesting. That’s why many people grit their teeth and have two close together and then when they are five and seven say it is really the best time I can assure you …they play together and it is less hassle for mum. But obviously you should go with your gut first and foremost.

  30. wowzers mama. That was honest. I’m not there yet but, hope to be. Contentment with just twins and also feeling good in skin. I’m a definate work in progress.

    Thank you for sharing this.

  31. lovely post MM. after betty i did not have that broody feeling either and it worried me because everyone around were saying ‘so when are you having your next?’ assuming that i would, but like you said, iwas perfectly happy with just my betty. BUT THEN out of the blue, when betty was 20 months old, suddenly i was consumed with broodiness, and the rest is history. the key (i think) is not to put any pressure on yourself and just enjoy and what will be will be. xxxx

  32. Lovely post and nice to read. I’m expecting number two at the moment, but for quite a few months after our daughter’s birth I was convinced I wouldn’t have another. Then the broodiness did hit me and after a year or so it was only getting stronger. However, the pregnancy has been gruelling so far and I do sometimes wonder from a practical pov if I’m doing the right thing by having another baby. People always feel they can make comments and judge no matter what you do, but you know what feels right for your family.

  33. 1st you are gorgeous and should not be concerned with your body. I would give a couple of body organs to be skinny again. While You might have lost the longing to have another baby it might come back. I am so glad that I had another child. My children while they fight and at times it can be exhausting love each other and I am glad that when my husband and I die they will have each other to navigate this world with. Having cousins or best friends are not the same. I was an only child and at times it was so extremely lonely. Now as an adult, I wish that I had someone to bear the burden of my ageing parents, but it is all me. Can’t call the brother or sister when my parents need my help. What ever you decide though will be best for your family. Your daughter is so young though and is at the stage where it is just a little more complicated. I would give it some time before making a final decision.

  34. A beautiful post (and photo). Just to echo the other comments on here, sounds like you have a lovely family of 3. My two are very close together (unintentionally!) so we didn’t really have the dilemma of whether to go for another or not! Wouldn’t change them for the world though of course!

  35. Having a baby and then raising that child is such a personal decision that society unfairly makes a lot of judgment calls about. Good for you for going with your gut and sharing with this healthy perspective. I say it’s the sign of a good mum!

  36. You’re so lovely and I think one is enough if you’re satisfied. I’m sure little L wouldn’t mind being spoiled.
    I hope she keeps on dancing 🙂

  37. movingonmum. says

    It’s natural. I remember feeling that my first born was everything, then suddenly one day, a bit like stepping on to platform 9 and three quarters, I found myself wanting another one and 37 weeks later she appeared. Listening to my instincts and not other people meant it was the right decision for us. Funnily enough I never felt broody again and I have no regrets.

  38. Brilliant, honest post MM.
    I too was in no rush to have a second – although I did always feel like I would have another. I enjoyed having two and a half years with my eldest. I wasn’t ready to give up my body again either. I felt I’d just got myself back. But then, the broodiness appeared and hey presto. Number 2. I didn’t want anymore, then number 2 hit 2 and boom. The broodiness was back. This time I ignored it (well, my husband did), and ayear later, it’s fading. Looks like we’ll be stopping at two. I remember feeling so lucky to just have one, that anything else was a bonus. I have a friend who has just one and people just don’t get it. But what’s to get? So rude that people think they can judge/bully know best about what’s right about having children. It’s SUCH a personal thing. xx

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  40. How great that you recorded these feelings at the time you had them. Now you can look back on them, and see if you still feel the same, or if things have moved on. That’s a great thing about blogging isn’t it? The way it allows us to record feelings at the time.

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