Roxanne is a single mother to a 6-year-old superhero, living in the biggest little city and blogging all about her journey at Unintentionally Brilliant. She is an assistant editor at Write on Edge, and is a freelance editor for several bloggers and novelists.
I find myself impressed by other parents who can make the firm decision to be “one and done” or “definitely two” or “fourteen is the perfect number for us.” These people know what they want when it comes to number of kids, and they can draw that line in the sand.
My line moves.
In my younger days, I wanted two children. Then, I went through my first pregnancy and decided that it was a miserable experience. I didn’t have many problems; I just didn’t enjoy it. I never glowed. I glowered.
My son was born 7 weeks early, so bonding took a lot longer than I thought it should have. He stayed at the hospital for 78 days with feeding issues, and I suffered from postpartum depression. It was a messy and emotional time.
I was almost certain I was “one and done”.
I had my beautiful son, and that would be enough for me. Why would I put myself through pregnancy again for something I wasn’t certain of?
Then I got divorced, and I “knew” that T would be my only child. I was okay with that.
I started dating again a couple years after the divorce, and I started to consider the prospect of growing our family. I thought about maybe getting married again some day, of having just one more baby. Maybe I could go through pregnancy again, knowing how awesome my son turned out to be.
I dated a man with a child of his own and thought that would be a good way to have two children. I wouldn’t have to go through pregnancy again! But…what is that? Is that…a small ticking noise? Could that be the mysterious biological clock telling me I want another baby of my own? One I get to grow myself? Maybe the second pregnancy would be different.
So then I thought about it. Could I be the mother of two children, and stepmother to one? Even if that relationship didn’t last, there could be other single fathers I might date in the future. If I wanted just two children, two of my own, then should I make it a rule not to date single fathers?
Maybe I could be a stepparent, and still have a second of my own.
My mind reels. I go back and forth between how many children I want. Even though I am still a single mother to one, often struggling to make ends meet, and only casually dating for the moment, it’s still on my mind.
I guess that’s what is kind of nice about my life. Nothing has to be set in stone. I can still daydream about the different paths my life can take.
And I am comfortable in knowing that I would be perfectly happy if T is my only child. I mean, he is pretty awesome.