Thursday, 3 September 2009

One or two with that?

There is an internal debate that has raged within me for the past year. One day I am on one side of the fence, the next day the other. Some days I just sit on this metaphorical fence and procrastinate my ass off, worrying about all the scary magazine articles that tell me my ovaries are shrivelling up as I read.

I am 36. That upsets me on many levels, but this post isn't about the loss of youth... I will be 37 in April. Oh yes, the month that I lose my job. Sproglet turned 3 two months ago. Friends tell me constantly that he is an 'easy child.' Having spent time with around other kids now that Sproglet is getting a busier social diary than Posh, I know this to be true. He wolfs down his grub, does as he is told, gets two stories post bath and is asleep in five minutes. He is sweet, shares his toys, entertains himself, loves movies and two Mothers told me last week that he is the 'least aggressive' child their kids had ever played with.

Yet I still have meltdowns. So the maths is: take one stressed out full time working Mother, add a Husband who wants to change job, (meaning big salary cut) and currently works nights, divide by me losing my job next year and very few script editor jobs flying around, multiply by the fact I find many aspects of parenting hard and tedious and we have no grandparents nearby to help us, add in the fact I don't get enough time to do anything for myself any more and child care costs an arm and a leg and an ear and what do you get?

You get a woman who has no idea whether or not to have another baby.

Heart says yes. Head says no. Body says get me up the duff tonight as I need to procreate NOW! Hormones spinning and whizzing across the place like a pinball machine on acid.

I was an only child. Explains a lot yes? My parents split up while my Mum was pregnant with me. I yearned for a sibling as I grew - someone I could say 'aren't our folk freakin' nuts?' to on manys an occasion. I yearned not to play alone knocking a tennis ball against the wall daydreaming I was winning Wimbledon. Making up problems and answering them like an Agony Aunt (what was all that about?). Yes, I was talking (quietly) to myself. I swore I would never have an only child. I always planned on 2.

And here I am. We go for dinner and it feels wrong with that empty fourth chair. I watch Sproglet tenderly kiss little babies and I want to give him some family of his own. Then I look at him and can't imagine loving something as much as him.

What to do? Because if it wasn't hard enough - I've got that ole biological clock tick tocking it's fucking head off in my ear. Researching for my book, I've been speaking to IVF clinics and they scare the bejesus out of you with all their graphs of 'stiff decline in the potential to conceive' and '13% chance of conceiving in the first month at optimum age and with no fertility issues' statistics. I know there is never a good time. Am I ready to give my life over to Motherhood completely? What do I still want? I worked fucking hard for my degree, my career, my life. I still want to be me.

Can I go through all those sleepless nights and weaning and rotten nappies again? What if I decide no - then leave it - too late? My son has made me happier than anything, but am I thankful when the sandman arrives and I get to slump with a glass of red on my (most expensive regret) of a sofa? You betcha.

Part of me thinks it is just this pressure to conform - to have your 2.4 - and that alone makes me want to have only one. I do and I don't. I feel sad at the thought of only having had the one and am not quite sure I am done. Sproglet just needs to have a meltdown in Waitrose when I won't buy him a second cookie and I will swear off ever sprogging again.

Then we go for pizza and I stare at the empty fourth chair....and the biological alarm goes off. I press the snooze button - again.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I sooooo feel the same... Same age, same situation, same husband who wants to try different things and jobs...
I was so surprised reading your entry, 'cause it tells exactly how I feel.
Don't have any advice though... I'm struggling with the same feeling, but deep inside I know that someday (and somehow) that chair won't be empty anymore...

Serena from Italy

brittany mum said...

I cant really advice you either coz its a very personal choice, but I also asked myself the question about loving another as much..the answer is definately YES! We have more than enough love to go around 10 if needs be! Kylian and I have a different bond coz well, he was alone with me for 2yrs before Enzo popped along, but I still love that wee mucker Soooo much! Its just different, like you love your hubby differently! Sometimes I wonder (but never admit to this!!) 'would life be better without them?'..different? -YES, cheaper -defiantely!, better? ... No i really cant say so! Sometimes I wanna string 'em up they drive me mad! But then they look at me with those big eyes and I'm butter everytime! I'd say "go 4 it!" .. but as I said..totally personnal choice! Px

Monica said...

It's definitely a personal choice but here's my two cents. Will you regret NOT having another? It sounds like the answer would be yes.

Other hand, would you regret having another? No way. Despite dirty diapers, sleepless nights and the worst that mothering can toss at you, there is no way you will ever look at that little baby and wish she didn't exist. My advice? Get busy.

Monica said...

Or he. Didn't mean to imply you'd be having a girl. But you never know...

EDW said...

I've met people who know the last child changed things in a way they didn't plan. But that's mostly been the third, not the second. So, yeah, you can - if not regret - question it.

I have one. My husband only wants one. I'd have another. But as I struggled with this, it was decided by him that he was done, so we are. It makes me sad that she won't have a sibling, and all my fellow onlies have two. But I liked being an only, and I hope she will...

She gets a saner mom, but yes, I am sad that she's my only one. Sometimes. And sometimes my life is so easy with one, it boggles the mind to add another.

Tegan said...

From someone having heir 3rd that only ever wanted 1....... They are bloody hard hard work but what other things in life bring you such moments of joy? I always say if the answer to having more is not a flat out no...it mans your not done yet. When work and youth is gone, you have your family. My sisters are people you can go out with, complain to, yell at etc etc and they continue t be there - year after ageing year.