I was always baby crazy- I was the toddler who tried to pick up any ‘baby’ even slightly smaller than myself. Growing up I had dolls that I dressed every day before I went to school and put them in pyjamas every night before bed.
I babysat from when I was 12 and In year 11 I was kicked out of careers class for saying all I wanted to do is get married and have babies. I’m pretty sure my parents were just happy I made it through high school before I had children!
I got married and had my first baby at 20 and my next at 22. My husband and I were both at uni and we lived in a cottage at the bottom of my parent’s garden. It was HARD! So much harder than I ever thought. I had visions of still hanging out with my friends- just with a baby in tow- but that never happened! My son was difficult and wouldn’t let anyone hold him- and he NEVER slept! All my friends were off at uni and drinking every weekend while I was at home.
Mother’s group was tough- most of them were old enough to be my mum and I never bonded with any of them. I went to young mother’s group too but, apart from a few that I bonded with, they were mostly exactly what you think when someone says “teen mum’. Even when they started school I was only 25, while most of the other mums were 40+. They were never anything but nice but we never ended up forming close friendships.
Skip forward 16 years and I have a new relationship and a 3 year old girl- as well as a now 16 year old and a 14 year old. This time around everything has been different- I’ve made the most amazing friends, I feel like part of a community (and a huge part of this is thanks to groups on Facebook- I didn’t even have the internet the first time around!) and I absolutely love my life as a mum of a little one again (well most of the time anyway). It’s given me a new career with this blog and other fantastic opportunities and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
However- I constantly, on a daily basis, get asked, “Are you going to have another one?” This is fine- ask away, but when I say no I’m sick of people feeling like they need to talk me into it! Why does everyone feel they need to have a say about how many children I have? I hear, “She will be lonely”, “But the gap is so big”, “Don’t you want an even number?”, “Doesn’t your husband want another child?” “Wouldn’t you love a little boy? Then you’ll have 2 of each!” “Oh you’ll change your mind”.
My answer to all of these questions is NO, NO, NO, NO and NO! I have been doing this parenting thing for 16 years now- and it’s time to look forward to other things in my life. I’ve learnt a lot since year 11 careers class and I’m sorry Mrs Hurley, I didn’t know what I was saying- “I want more!” (coincidently she’s now my son’s high school teacher at the same school I went to…)
I want to work, I want to hang out with my teenagers (just FYI I’m telling you the teenager years are the best- don’t listen to the hype), I want to enjoy just having to wrangle one child at the shops, park and every where else. I like that the two of us can hang out together and I don’t need to worry about another child.
I hear other mums talking about what they miss about their life before kids; their income, holidays etc- I was so young that all I miss is my pocket money and being allowed to drive mum’s car!
So… when you see me out and about with my one child (because you know, the teens won’t leave their rooms) PLEASE don’t keep asking if I’m having another baby- because I’m not. EVER, EVER, EVER AGAIN!