Don't Want An Only Child?
If you are preparing for motherhood or already have a baby, you may be thinking that you don't want an only child.
Even if the research doesn't support it, the general perception about life as a only child is not very positive. But because of our current understanding about egg reserves running out, this concern is yet another that woman over 40, especially, grapple with. Which is why, perhaps, so many women of this age have told me they want to have twins.
This audio and article below were inspired by the following question I received from Amber which goes like this:
Deirdre, when life seems to be putting bigger and bigger hurdles in your way preventing you to reach your goal, should this strengthen your resolve to keep going?
Or is this a sign that you should just give up?
Afraid My Child Will Be Alone
So how does this relate to the feeling that you don't want an only child? Allow me to share some more of Amber's story as then it will make more sense.
"I'm 45. I didn't marry my husband until I was 39 and fertility has unfortunately been a battle. I had three naturally conceived miscarriages and failed IVF...
Eventually ....after natural conception, a miracle occurred and we had a beautiful happy healthy baby (2 years old now).
I desperately want to give her a sibling but that is proving challenging. I feel that particularly as we are old it is vital for her to have some support. Everyone I know who is a single child says how ghastly it is.
Having recently watched an 'only child' friend try and cope with the sudden death of her mother and her dad with dementia, strengthened my resolve further. I want my daughter to have a bond similar to the one I have with my sister....
But it feels as if more and more obstacles are being put in the way all the time. I have had two miscarriages since her birth... Life currently is stressful working full time... being mum to a toddler...and being the main breadwinner".
The first piece of feminine wisdom that I see wanting to burst through your 'don't want an only child' story, is to acknowledge that you have been through so much Amber.
In the last six years. You have had five miscarriages, a failed IVF and a baby. You are working full time and the main breadwinner.
What comes up for me here is that what is most important for you now (tip 1) is to take some time out time from this whole debate. Because it feels like you have been on the fertility production line. Nonstop.
You shared elsewhere that your beautiful, feminine body is under stress. And, in my view, your feminine wisdom is inviting you to slow down, give yourself time to process and really reflect on what you need now Amber. So the first step here is to give yourself that space.
Your Deepest Desires
You don't want an only child Amber, but with regard to your share, I don't actually hear a desire for another baby. What I do hear, instead, is that your top priority is for your daughter to have lovely relationships and feel supported through her life. So I'm just going to invite you to play with me here and imagine for a moment the following:
It's 50 years down the line. Your confident daughter is a flourishing, empowered young woman (of 52 🙂 ) with gorgeous friendships and a support system that nourishes her deeply. It's filled with meaningful relationships - people who are there when she needs them. She is very content and deeply appreciates her rich, happy life.
How does that feel Amber? Is that what you truly seek for her? And if you knew that this was the future, would you be wondering any more when to give up trying to have a baby? Would the pressure be off you to produce a sibling?
Because if the scenario above would tick the most important emotional boxes for you, then your feminine wisdom is inviting you to explore this more. So tip 2 is to connect back in with your true desire here before going further.
Don't Want An Only Child?
You don't want an only child Amber, but what really matters here, in my view, has nothing to do with coping with secondary infertility or even if you should try IVF once more. (Although this is what appears to be important on the patriarchal surface - which is afraid to delve further in case it hears something that might upset the patriarchal apple cart and take women off the production line).
It's about going deeper into your feminine wisdom (see also this post on feminine sensuality). So lets do that! Whether it's your number one priority or not, that your daughter will have lovely, supportive relationships is super important for you.
So why not (tip 3) make it a family goal to cultivate positive relationships and community around you now? Intend to deliberately nourish positive connections so that, over the next 20 years, you are developing gorgeous community.
Don't Want An Only Child?
It sounds like you could do with more of this yourself anyway Amber, independent of your daughter. So intend to create it.
Explore what skills enhance relationships. Learn the 5 love languages for starters and use them. (This was a game changer in my experience of motherhood and relationship and we started around age 3.)
Devour positive psychology books. Tune into a frequency that is very aware of the support that is in her life already and appreciating that - wildly 🙂 . Make this the centerpiece of family life - around which all of you can thrive. So that you feel supported and this becomes the default state for your daughter.
Before you make any decisions - that may be informed by patriarchal ideas about what your duty is - attend to these 3 tips first. Because they will help you to show up as the happy, healthy, fulfilled woman and mother that you were born to be!
Don't Want An Only Child - Audio
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