I’m stopping at one child – but sometimes it hurts….

stopping at one child

I can’t help feel a bit funny today. I know that having one child is the right decision for us…for so many reasons. I know inside the whys and wherefores of our decision which ultimately comes down to  a complex combination of health, a convoluted family situation, the finances of it all, and whether we would make it through as a couple a second time round. I know deep down this is the best choice for me and my little family, for our sanity  and wellness, and happiness.

But over the last week  three of my friends have announced they are pregnant with their second child…and if you’re reading this I am utterly over the moon for you all, truly I am – but I can’t deny the fact that each time I read those words, saw that scan… I felt a jolt, a bit like someone had slapped me inside.

It’s the most bizarre feeling –  like I have been betrayed somehow by who? only God knows…myself, possibly by my own uterus flicking itself upside down in utter disgust at our decision not to meet its demands of another and the notion of what might have been.

The truth is…I thought I’d got my thoughts and feelings about our decision to only have one child locked down. I thought I had arrived at a point where I had accepted my blessing of one and all the incredible moments of being a parent that have come with it.

So I have to admit to being totally perplexed as I write this, as I try to work through what exactly is going on inside right now, as I try to decipher why the probing questions or thoughtless pleas to have another child are hitting me right where it hurts when usually, I’ve got this. .

I should  know the drill by now. I should know that everyone is different and the grass is not greener on the other side, but where you water it. I should know that I should be grateful to even have one child when so many people struggle to have children at all. And I show know to cherish what I have right now, in this moment, more than ever; because as I write these words another friend is currently battling to stay alive as long as she can to be a mother to her daughter of similar age to mine in the face of the dreaded C.

I know that instead of wishing for more roses, I need to get back to watering the beautiful one I already have. That’s the way your garden grows, after all.

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37 comments

  1. My daughter is 7 months old and I have pondered lately whether to even have another child. My pregnancy was high-risk, and outside sources and finances have made having my daughter challenging. My husband says to “wait and see”, but I still like to consider the pros and cons of having another child. Thank you for sharing your story.

  2. Oh lovely, this made me cry for you. I know that you have made the best decision for you and your family but it’s perfectly natural to feel the way you do. I think we all do the very British thing of trying to put on a smile and tell ourselves that it could always be worse, that we are very lucky in so many ways and there are others far less fortunate than us…but that doesn’t mean that it hurts any less. You have such a beautiful family and you are such a wonderful person, I hugely admire you for that, and for this. Love to you Talya. xxx
    five little doves recently posted…How many children do you have?My Profile

  3. I can really resonate with where you are coming from. I keep going back and forth on whether we should have another but there are many reasons for us too that make sense for us to have one. I love the quote at the end. makes me think I need to be happy with what I have and enjoy life – not sit around whatiffing and maybeing.

  4. This sums up how I feel exactly, it’s especially hard right now because my son keeps asking for a sibling and says he’ll even share his room. It breaks my heart every time he asks.

  5. I feel your pain. We tried through various means to have another, but failed. It has caused me enormous heartache. BUT, what we DO have is a lovely, sweet, caring 7 year old daughter (who can also be a monster!!!) and I try to count my blessings every day because it makes me realise what I DO have. I say I, I am married and my husband has never wanted another…which is SO hard.

    What I would really like for her though & she doesn’t have, is another only. Partly for my benefit…but also partly for hers, as she grows. We only know 3 other onlies….2 of them I don’t think would really work & the other lives in London. We in Manchester…..anyone fancy clubbing together?

  6. I can’t quite commit to stopping at 2, I must change my mind 30 times a day. I know it would be terribly impractical. You’re then entering the realms of needing a bigger house, or shared bedrooms. Bigger cars. No money. Me trying to work from home with 3 kids running around. When hunky husbands 2 kids from his previous marriage were here we’d have 5 kids!!

    But, the idea of not being pregnant again, even of not giving birth again, makes me horribly sad. IT’s always a tough choice to stop, harder after just one, but i’d imagine part of me would still want to do it again after number 5! #coolmumclub
    donna recently posted…Loaded Potato SkinsMy Profile

  7. I saved this post to read when you published it on Facebook. I must admit I hadn’t been brave enough to open it yet, as although it’s not a definite for us, I think we will be in a similar situation. At 17 months into motherhood, I have two friends who are pregnant again already. And I wonder if I’ll ever get to experience all of those things again, or even if I want to?! Thanks for your honesty xxx #coolmumclub
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  8. I think for a woman, a mom is always hard to accept that she won’t have any more kids. Even if it’s her decision, even she knows she cannot, should not, would not… It’s our nature, it’s who we are, it’s in our blood. I’ve noticed that after 32 the biological clock really starts ticking and plays tricks with your mind and your wishing for another baby…I hope that by the time we reach menopause, our mind will be at ease…;)
    #coolmumclub

  9. Tears are building up as I’m typing this. I love your honesty. How many children we have, decide to have or are able to have its always going to generate all kinds of feelings. Love what you say about looking after your beautiful rose. What others have to go through does give us perspective on how lucky we are. It’s all about celebrating the small things in life although we forget at times. Lots of love and thanks again for being you Talya. Respect xx #coolmumclub
    Sunita – Lucky Things recently posted…Will my daughters love how they look?My Profile

  10. I think whatever your decision as a parent, you can never be totally sure what else might have been . I really feel for you going through this period of uncertainty. For what it’s worth, we’ve stopped at two, and I still feel the same things you’re going through from time to time, so I’m not sure it ever really goes. Lovely heartfelt post, thanks
    #coolmumclub

  11. Wow this has really touched a nerve and brought tears to my eyes. Just because you’ve made the decision it doesn’t mean that the emotions go away. Whilst you know people who have struggled to even have 1 child or are fighting to just be there for their child, it doesn’t make your situation any easier to deal with. It doesn’t mean you’re not grateful just because you’re feeling some doubt and sadness. We’re still undecided (and by ‘we’ I mean my husband) and I know that it will break my heart if we don’t at least try for a second. But you’re so wise in reminding us all to also focus on what we have. I know people who have said their family won’t be complete until they have 2 or 3. I have never thought our family is incomplete and if we remain as 3 then, like you, I still have my wonderful little girl. I hope writing about this has been a bit cathartic for you and you know there are plenty of people feeling the same way out there so you aren’t alone! xx #CoolMumClub
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  12. Such a lovely heartfelt post. I think that your feelings are totally natural, it’s especially hard when those around you are pregnant again, it just intensifies the feelings. The important thing is to have peace with the decision you make. No one can tell you what you should do, you know what’s right for you. You need to be honest with yourself too. I have 2 children, and we always said that was our lot. After having LP I felt like I wanted another, after my hormones settled down, I knew I didn’t want anymore. I didn’t want to be approaching 40 with a young baby, but that feeling of never doing some things again, of not having time with a newborn was strange for me, it made me wonder about what I will be doing when both my boys are slightly older, where will I fit. Will I go back to work etc. It just opens up a lot of questions, and they are sometimes hard for us to answer. Thanks for sharing xx #coolmumclub
    Let your light shine Mummy recently posted…Don’t sweat the small thingsMy Profile

  13. Talya, I can totally relate to what you’re saying here and I think it’s only natural as mothers to consider extending our brood, even if we know deep down it isn’t really what we want or what’s right for us. Love the conclusion you’ve reached in this post – a reminder to us all that we are so lucky to have what we do. I hope writing this helped you to feel better. Big hugs xx #coolmumclub
    Mum in Brum recently posted…7 things I totally took for granted before having a kidMy Profile

  14. Such a beautifully honest post. I sometimes have similar feelings when I hear pregnancy announcement – I’m happy and grateful for the children I have but there are times when I find myself wondering what if..? I love the way you’ve ended the post and your reflection to focus on the beautiful rose you have rather than wishing for more x #coolmumclub
    Louise (Little Hearts, Big Love) recently posted…Parenting Pep Talk #39 – This Is Me NowMy Profile

  15. We have three and I sometimes feel sad that we decided to stop. It’s that last first word, last first day at school thing. Did we stop because our kids have additional needs – undoubtedly yes. Do I regret that decision – no. Does it sometimes still make me sad – yes.

  16. Such a beautifully written, genuine and heart-felt post.

    The decision on how many children to have is such a personal one with so many things to consider. I was adamant I wasn’t having any more after my first and then I went on to have two more fifteen years later, but I had my first baby at fifteen so my circumstances had changed an awful lot and time was on my side. Now that I have my youngest two I definately don’t want any more They both have a chromosomal deletion and both have developmental delays which can be quite challenging. That doesn’t mean I don’t feel a small pang of jealousy every time someone announces a pregnancy or birth though. It’s perfectly reasonable to feel bereft when you know you are never going to experience some thing so wonderful again even though you know it is absolutely the right decision not to, for whatever reason. I totally get your post and my heart goes out to you.

    #coolmumclub

  17. I really love your posts which reflect your more serious side Talya (as well as all your crazy ones too!). If it helps, you can go on and have two, or I imagine three kids, and still feel a pang of envy towards others expecting more. I dunno, I think we are just wired that way. I also plan to enjoy my family as it is, but sometimes that takes a bit of effort and self reminding of why. You can always borrow my second kiddo for the night, she’ll soon put you off any thoughts of more kids!! (Just kidding, love her).
    Xxx Thanks for being the best co-host! #coolmumclub
    MMT recently posted…#coolmumclub Linky week 45My Profile

  18. We’re going through this at the moment…we have 1 daughter (age 2), and my partner has pretty much made it clear that he doesn’t want anymore because of his age (45). I really want another one though, I have always seen myself as having 2 children. Well, time will tell…lovely post xxx #coolmumclub

  19. What a beautiful poignant post. You’re absolutely right, the grass can often seem greener, so much so that we forget about what’s in front of us sometimes. When I doubt myself, I often find it helpful just to think about the little things that make me happy about what I have right now. And that helps to tend the garden you do have now xx
    Jodie, Matched Betting Mum recently posted…Monthly Matched Betting Diary…5 months onMy Profile

  20. Beautifully written and I love the last paragraph. I think there’s a lesson here for us all. Don’t we all ponder and think about another life – one that seems to be greener and rosier? I know I do on occasion! Don’t be hard on yourself, we all have these tendencies, but you’re right – we need to focus on what we do have. #CoolMumClub xx
    Cheryl @ Tea or Wine recently posted…5 Things that No Longer Embarrass Me and 5 Things that doMy Profile

  21. Some days things just play on our minds more than usual for no apparent reason. Obviously your friends pregnancies have made you revisit the feelings you thought you’d ‘locked down’ . Please don’t be annoyed with yourself for feeling a little thrown by this because you made a very real, big life decision and you shouldn’t feel bad for having an emotional response in relation to that – you’re human! I hope you feel a bit better today and writing has helped a little. Go easy on yourself x
    Mess and Merlot recently posted…Blogfest, an honest review.My Profile

  22. What a great post. I am adamant that i only want 1 child too, so have said i wont have anymore. But ultimately you have to do what is right for you and your family…emotions change too and i may feel differently in a few years or i may have been right all along #coolmumclub

  23. I totally relate. We just don’t know whether we will. I’m almost frightened to have another but scared that if I don’t I’m missing out and my little boy misses out on a sibling! It’s such a difficult decision to make. Time is ticking too, I know I’m not getting any younger. I envy the women who just know they want loads of kids and aren’t afraid to go with it. I thought I’d know by now but I don’t. And that bothers me. #coolmumclub
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