I’ve had a thought spinning in and out of my head for months now. With no rhyme or reason, this thought drops into my head: I have one child… and she will probably be my first and only
I was never one of those people that dreamed of a big family, or any family, really. I never thought much about being a mom, until I became pregnant. But I did know, that IF I ever decided to have kids, I would want two, at least two. I see absolutely no problem with families that choose to raise an only child, I just knew I would prefer that to not be the case for my hypothetical, one day, maybe family. Well, here I am… I’m 27 years old, a single mother, not in any sort of serious relationship, and I have one child. And I’m okay with all of that, mostly. When I got pregnant again, I wasn’t scared really, because I had done it once before and because I was content knowing Marlowe would have another sibling (close in age, like I always wanted my maybe, one day, hypothetical kids to be) to move forward with. When I miscarried, I was relieved, because I knew life would be easier to be able to continue raising one child, and not two, by myself. 
I half jokingly/half seriously told myself a long time ago that if I ever wanted another child, I would just ask Alex to get me pregnant again. Sounds a little crazy, but I figured if I wanted to bring a second child in this world, I would want to do it with the same man, whether I was with him, or not. (This of course being if I was single). But as time goes by, I know, I won’t be asking anyone to get me pregnant, because even with no resentment, I wouldn’t want to go through a pregnancy feeling that alone again. I don’t want to go to sleep every night wishing for the father of my newborn baby to be there, to help me and our little one through the night. I don’t want to be exhausted at the end of the day, waiting for the relief of a partner, that isn’t going to be there. Yeah, I mean, I’m doing it now, because no one comes home and helps me at the end of a hard day, but now? At least it’s easier. It’s the norm now. Those things and the harder times? I could push through them again, if I had to, but I definitely do not want to. No one should have to go through those things alone. 
When I started looking into dating again, questions of children and babies always pop into my mind. How would whichever man feel about my child? About me being a mother? Do they have kids? Do they want kids? How would a whole blended family work? When asked if I want more kids, I say: probably not. While it works for many families, I don’t like the idea of bringing another child into the picture and having Marlowe in one back and forth situation, while her new sibling stays here, and always here. And then to think, she might have a completely other situation in another home? It’s even harder, slightly heartbreaking, and it’s definitely complicating and confusing. If she wasn’t alone, maybe… but she is alone and that’s not something I can change… even on the rare days that I want to. 
Either way, I’m not in any position to even think about future kids, with anyone. I never wanted kids after 30. If I had kids, I wanted them young. Time goes by and I’m only getting older, and as each day passes, I’m not really getting any closer to any sort of point where I feel like I could talk kids with anyone… because I would only ever want more, if I was completely secure and certain with who I was with. And something like that… well, it takes time. While I have plenty of time for things to happen in life, I don’t see myself getting to that point with anyone, in the time window I’ve given myself to raise a newborn. Sure, I know to never say never, but meeting someone, falling in love, and choosing to bring a new life into this world, doesn’t seem like something I’m going to allow myself do. 
It is what it is. It’s single mom life. It’s uncertainty and insecurity about a family situation for my daughter and I. There are still times where I’m still a bit saddened by not having a proper family for Marlowe and disheartened by my miscarriage. Feelings of inadequacy when I’m exhausted and Marlowe is begging me to play, and then turns to jerry to tug at his collar “come play jerry, come play” but of course he can’t. I want more for her. I want everything for her. I am aware, that what we have is good, and we will both grow and adapt organically, to whatever happens. But I do know, that she will most likely never have a sibling and I will never have another child… and that has to be okay too. And it is. And maybe even, sometimes: it’s a good thing too. I don’t have to split the little time I have. We can travel, with much more ease, with just her being the one little one in tote. Not to mention, I’m only one person, with two arms. And two arms is just right to hold one little girl.

She’ll always be all I need and just (perfect) enough. 

27 Comments

  1. I could sum your beautiful post in your own words: never say never as life goes on and we all at some point in our lives find out that circumstances can change our minds. I find a great pleasure in discovering little pieces about you as a human, woman, mother – you live for the moment, take life as it comes and make the most of it. As long as you are okay to write about one child I'm happy to read about one. Happy Thanksgiving 🙂

    http://www.todaymyway.com

  2. What is a proper family anyway these days, really? It sure looks as though you and your daughter ARE a proper, loving family…don't be so hard on yourself.
    I thought for certain that I was one & done as a single, young, divorced mom.
    Years later, I remarried and am now 34 weeks (!) pregnant with my second child. My son is going to be 8 in a few weeks and I think it'a amazing that I get to do this all over again.
    I had reconciled the fact that my son was an only child, we had a great dynamic going and I was fine fine fine with having an "only."
    I never expected to wholeheartedly fall in love again, let alone get married…the fact that I am pregnant at such an older age now feels like a ridiculous blessing…You're right about never say never, but you are a wonderful mom no matter what path your life takes.
    xo

  3. dear drea, thanks for this beautiful and honest post. as you know, i was a single mom, too.
    i met my husband when my son was 19 months and the thought of bringing another child into this world was far, far away for many years…my husband loved me and my kid from the moment he met us, and i knew that he was the one for us but it still took a very long time for me to be ready to even talk about heaving another child.
    i, too never wanted to have kids when i was older than 30, but life is never like you plan it, i guess. and i had my daughter when i was 34 🙂
    i am sure, your life and marlows will be beautiful no matter if you have more kids or not and your bond is so special.
    much love, M x

  4. Thank you SO MUCH for sharing that your precious Marlowe is all the baby you need. My husband and I think the same way, we are happy with our baby boy and do not want the extra baggage (for lack of a better word) with additional children. We are often made to feel guilty by our son being the only child, however it's comforting to hear that it IS OKAY to have one child. I know we aren't in the same situation, but I think you're doing a great job, and you continue to love that baby girl with all your heart and she will turn out perfect 🙂

  5. Drea, I know exactly how you feel.
    It's so scary to think about having to open yourself up to another person-have to imagine a completely different life, when you already know the outcome of a situation with one person.
    I talk to the father of my son sometimes, and part of me plays the exact same joke, but I know how everything played out-why, and sometimes you wonder if it's going to be any different the second time.
    But to keep yourself from wondering, you have to remind yourself of what happened the first time around.

    Anyways, I completely understand what you're going through. I wish you the best, and know that Marlowe is a beautiful child.

  6. I am sorry you have to go through all of this in your head…all this thinking sounds really tiring and painful.
    Marlowe is amazing. Unexpected things can be amazing. I am not sure how religious you are…I, myself, give control to God..because what is being drawn in my path was not what I had in mind…and I still keep fighting to get where I want, but as you bring it out…some things can not change (and it's even ok that they don't)
    lots of love drea
    If you find it painful that Marlowe comes and goes, she will think it's painful. If you manage to somehow think it's a very good thing, she will feel that way. She will not long what she does not have if her mamma is secure about it. If you can, try building your confidence over it. (easier said than done)

  7. i love all of this. lucky litte gals you two are to have each other 🙂

  8. what a beautiful post. i just wanted you to know how wonderful i think you are. i don't know you personally, but i consider you to be such a great role-modle for all mamas out there. keep on being you, you rock.

    xo, amanda

  9. oh drea. thank you so much for being such a wonderfully honest mama. i love reading your blog. you're such an inspiration. my mama was a single mama to two (my dad died when i was 6 and drew was 2) and at times it wasn't easy. i remember when we were 14/10, we made my mom start dating, haha. she then met my stepdad and remarried when i was 16? i too believe there's a road laid out for you and your sweet girl. have a great weekend.

  10. I couldn't agree more. I'd always imagined myself having two, maybe even three. We now have a little girl and she's all I want and need. I like your words about two arms being perfect to hold a little girl. You're damn right!

    And that video made me fall into a cute coma. I can't wait until Pip is old enough to spin!

    Thanks for posting.

    Kim

  11. Darling Drea – thanks for sharing – I get lost in your words, and admire your strength, courage & honesty. I believe the road is already laid out in front of you, and your heart will tell you which way to go.
    Come what may and stay true to yourself – I wish only happy days for you both. You are doing such an AMAZING job with your marlowe. All our love xx

  12. Thanks for sharing this with everyone. It must have been hard on you to type this. My mother is also a single mum as my parents were divorced and my dad eventually passed away a few years later. Being a child of a single mum, it makes me love my mum so much more as she worked so hard to provide us a "normal" life. Marlowe will know tt u're a great mum :)) stay strong and know tt there are people out there who cares for u too (like ur own family) :))

  13. Loving the honest and raw-feeling of this post.
    It really stirred up some emotions in me because I felt like I was reading what could've been an old journal entry of my Mom's. I think so many of us share your little Marlowe's story.
    I grew up with a single Mom. My Dad was in and out of my life (he couldn't keep his promises of seeing me every other weekend) until he finally decided to exit my life at the age of twelve. I grew up with my Mom, and my spanish grandparents and my Aunts. I was constantly surrounded by love and nurturing, but I never had that traditional family. I think somewhere along the way my Mom learned to accept it and embrace it. When I was 10 I started to ask for a brother or sister (mind you my Mom had stopped dating), and I think that bummed out her a bit (who comes from a family of 5 children). But again she learned to accept that I was her only and embrace it.

    And honestly? Being an only child to a single Mother? I wouldn't trade it for the world. At 26 her and I are still the closest of close. It's always been her and I. We have a special bond and so many of my friends comment on how envious they are of it. I think it's because for my entire life, we only had each other. To this day we hang out and talk just as much as we did when I was a little girl. I think that'll be you and Marlowe too. 🙂

  14. Thanks for sharing Drea. You inspire me to share my life stories as well, amongst many other things. And I couldn't agree with you more when you say that no one should have to go through this alone, but at the same time we are strong and we are able.
    Virginia

  15. I can relate to this in a lot of ways. Not because I'm a single mother – because I'm neither, but because I can see it from Marlowe's perspective. It was just me and my mom my entire childhood. I saw my dad every other weekend and holidays. I liked being an only child. And since I never really knew what a "real" family was like I never missed it. Then when I was 12, my brother was born (dad and stepmom) and I also enjoyed having a sibling. It was weird when I left on Sunday night back to my every day life and he stayed but it's all I ever knew. Even now, I am an only child AND i have a brother. Both are awesome.

  16. I could have written this post myself. I am much older than you and a single mama. I had my daughter when I was 38 with a much younger boyfriend. I wanted the whole nine…marriage, kids. I loved him very much. But it was not meant to be. So, it is me and my girl. She longs for a sibling and talks about it often. Granted, we have a very full life and have been richly blessed with friends and a wonderful, creative, happy life together. Sometimes, I think…I know rather…this was how it was meant to be. I look at her and know, "I was meant to have you all to myself." I came from a very small disconnected family and I guess I still long for another child. I feel there is still someone else meant to be here with us…and so, I am almost certified to foster a child…a child from age infancy to five. To be continued….This was a great post…and a much needed one. Thank you for acknowledging the thoughts and feelings that accompany a single-mama journey.

  17. I'm in an opposite situation, but I really enjoyed this post. All I can say is, a lot can change in a matter of 12 months. Your whole world can change in 12 months. You sound like you can find contentment either way though <3

  18. Hi, I am also a single mother to a boy similar age to Marlowe. Im now in a great place with my little boy and we have a great life it would be really hard for someone to come between us. But on the other hand (Im slightly older than you,im 30) I constantly think about him having a brother or sister one day.
    Although Im completely content with one child but would love another….! tough decisions for single parents I think.
    Love your Blog
    x

  19. oh drea. I understand this so, so much. I want to cry as i read this because I get it, and it's good and it's hard and it's not how I wanted things to be, but it is my life, and I love my little girl more than words. You're definitely not alone in your feelings, in your single motherhood, and the confusion/uncertainty that comes with it. But our little girls will be just fine!

  20. Drea….Good lord girl. Your in my head…always. Our stories always seem to meet…This thought is in my head CONSTANTLY and I've been wanting to post about it. I just haven;t been in the mind set of expressing it in words and deeper thought because I'm unable to accept it either way…more kids or no more kids. Like you, it saddens me of the "only child" bc I, like you, wanted two kids, two girls to be exact. And when Makena begs me to play or read a book for the millionth time I wish so badly she had someone to play with. Just last night…like you, Makena was chasing our dog and playing with him, until he took her toy and she started crying. Thanks for sharing…love you!

    xo,

    Dani

  21. What a great post your so honest. I have been reading your blog for a while now and my son is the same age as Marlowe and I totally get you but I am in a completely different situation. I am a full time working pregnant with our second mama. I am married and have a great family but when I first gave birth to my son I was so alone and so depressed but now I have got this mother things down. But now with the second one on the way I can't help feel the same will i be able to handle it two kids working full time and keeping my sanity. I love my son from the moon and back and love everthing about being a mom but we are human right. I am tried when I get home all I want to do is sleep rest and I have terrible all day morning sickness to top. I have my husband paly with the baby for about 30-45 min so I just sit and relax and then I get up play with him and think this to shall pass, the age he is at and I don't want to miss a moment so I have to make myself get up and be a better mama. Drea you impress me with your strenght to be a single mama and still have fun in your life. I know you will find the right guy to make a family with and maybe jsut maybe you will have another just to remind you where you came from and where you are going. You have an amazing life and doing an amazing job. I am sorry this is seems like I am a close friend of your but that is what happens when you follow a blog for sometime. I hope you understand

  22. I love this. Happily married as I may be, when my husband mentions another child, I become slightly neurotic and withdrawn. I just don't "feel it." There is comfort for me in knowing she's the only one, I can give her so much more, and I know that each moment, each milestone, has to be cherished because this is it. I'm not ruling out another baby, but I'm certainly not into trying. And if I'm not pregnant by 35, I've instructed my husband to get "fixed." I even asked if I could go ahead and schedule that appointment. 🙂

  23. Thanks for your honesty. You are a great mama and have to do what is best for you and Marlowe; whatever that may be. I think you are doing pretty great thus far 🙂

  24. What an honest, beautifully written post! When I got pregnant this year I freaked out (even though it was entirely by accident… the pregnancy I mean). I spent the first 3 months wishing I could have my body back and swearing that I would only be doing this once! But now that I'm 6 months into this pregnancy I'm thinking, hmmm maybe I COULD do this just one more time. There are 5 kids in my family and having so many siblings to hang out with was and still is so great, but I also know plenty of only children who had an equally good childhood (just different. I'm sure that what ever happens for you an Marlowe in the end will be the right thing. xx

  25. Oh Drea. This is beautiful. Thank you for sharing your feelings with us. I have missed these posts. I can only imagine how you must feel sometimes, but I am glad you DO know you are doing a good job. Marlowe is going to be a wonderful lady — she already is.

    I have to say the thing I always say when I read posts akin to this: I am an only child, and I think being an only child is awesome. And for the record, my mom has always been my best friend. Forever.