Sometimes I find myself choosing the name I would give to DD's little sister - because it would be another girl. That's the great thing about fantasies, you can control every detail. And if I'm honest, I have actually spent (read: wasted) a lot of time on this. Then I jolt myself back into the real world and fantasize about something that has more chance of happening - like winning millions in the lottery for which I never buy a ticket.
Why are these little sister thoughts intruding on my usually fulfilled, satisfied, content and extremely grateful mummy-psyche? My theory is that DD is two-years old. Two years is when families start bringing home the next child. Among DD's friends at nursery, two have just had new additions to their families and another is due in a couple of weeks (all girls coincidentally - but not helpfully).
They say that when God wants to punish you he answers your prayers. It's true that I always loved children and wanted to have a big family. But that was then, when I was also going to be an executive wife and possibly a famous actress. In real life I grew up into a different person. What does the person I am now, in my current life, really want?
Around the time of DD's birthday I had a dream that someone handed me the next baby - as if they automatically arrive at two-year intervals. In my dream I panicked: Oh no! I can't go through all that again. It was wonderful the first time, but now I'm ready to move on to the next stage. I'm looking forward to spending time with my little girl. I don't want another baby now!
It's not just my age (late 40s). As a single mother I feel I can create a good life for two of us. I would cope with three - because I am a coper, but who wants to cope? I want DD and I to have a good life that we can enjoy rather than it passing by in a whirl of logistics, piles of ironing and unmade beds. If I were independently wealthy it might be another story, but I'm not. Therefore, through necessity, I am a totally hands-on mother. This includes hands-on cleaning, shopping, laundry, childcare, bringing home the bacon [except no bacon], and looking after myself. I only have two hands.
Then there is the issue of my health. Thank God, my health is good (pht, pht, pht). However, pregnancy at my age was a strain even two years ago. It would not be fair on DD to risk my health going through another pregnancy. As much as I would love to give her a sister, a healthy mother is more important for her at this stage in her life.
There is a saying in Hebrew: lo haser li klum. Literally it means: I'm not missing anything. However, the connotation is: There is nothing missing in my life. When I look at DD and play with her, talk with her and do her hair, cuddle with her and share a private joke, I honestly think to myself lo haser li klum.
I hope that DD will continue to build deep relationships with her cousins and our close friends. I promise her a home that will always be open to her friends for play-dates, sleep-overs, weekends, holidays. And I will try to give her an exciting and fun-filled life with a relaxed mummy who has all the time in the world for her (and the housework, earning a salary, etc...).
P.S. For those of you who are wondering, a pregnancy at my age would entail donated eggs. This would not be an issue for me if I were set on having another child. And if he were a boy I would not send him back ;).