It sucks. Not because I am being stand-offish or rude, but because I don't know how to honestly answer the question without bursting into tears. It's a tough question to ask and a tougher one to answer. Having my son is the greatest and best thing that has ever happened to me, for me, or that I will ever be part of. No career or higher education, no relationship or marriage, no accomplishment however big or small makes me feel like being a mother does. All of that being said, people often feel the need to ask me if he is enough, and I am expected to come up with an answer to that isn't,"well, that's none of your damn business" because when they ask I think they genuinely want to know how I feel. I will try to answer to the best of my ability to all of you, and maybe you can relate...or at least maybe you'll think before you ask the loaded question at hand.
My road to motherhood wasn't paved with gold, that's for sure. Little known fact about me: I was previously married and tried to have children for years. During that time everything on the outside looked good. We looked happy. We had a great lake house, went on vacations, enjoyed the good life to the fullest and with all of that decided to try to start a family. People thought we had it all...but I was miserable. I was eating my feelings of sadness and loneliness, my husband drank his fears of never giving me a child or being a good partner, and eventually that marriage disintegrated into oblivion. I thought at that time that I would just never be the mother I envisioned myself being. Freeing myself from the heart-break of a failed marriage and failed attempts to have a family was enough drive me into a new relationship very quickly, and with that I found myself pursuing a higher education and reaching for goals that I never imagined before. I moved to Brooklyn and thought to myself," this is where you're meant to be, in a new life" and then...boom! Four months after moving I found myself pregnant, in a rocky relationship, and very, very overwhelmed. I have been a single mother since my son was four months old, and everyday has been a tough but joyous journey into my own personal ever-evolving story of parenting. Almost four years later I am in a good place with being a single mom, co-parenting, and living my own life. It took all of those struggles to find myself standing where I am today.
Understandably, friends and family ask if I want more children, if I ever want to be married again, and if I am planning on living the single-mom life forever. The short answer is, I just don't know. There are so many factors to answering, that sometimes I find myself welling up with tears and just avoiding the interrogation all together. I can't escape myself, though. I look in the mirror often and ask myself about this very topic.
I am single. I am not dating. This is a choice. Doesn't mean I couldn't have more children, but will I? It's not all about me. I have my son to consider. There isn't anything I enjoyed more about my childhood than having a big brother. He's my lifelong best friend and ally. I'm positive my son would be a fantastic big brother, but how would I explain that they have different fathers? Would an adopted child feel the void of a daddy? Would a new partner create drama between my son's father and I after all the years of struggling to get to positive place as it is? I have the greatest support system ever. My family is behind any decisions I make and have held my hand and wiped my tears countless times, and I imagine they would do that again in the future. So, I have that going for me.
I truly LOVED pregnancy. I was at my best. I felt strong and healthy...like a warrior! I could do that again, no problem! I can also see myself wanting to help a woman who is faced with the choice of taking on the world as a single mother or putting their child up for adoption. It's a difficult decision that I know many women face everyday. My heart is open and willing. I think I have enough love for a dozen children, if need be. But will I ever become a mother again?
See what I mean? It's such a hard question to answer. The infinite dreamer in me says "Yes! More babies...I want all the babies!" The hyper realist says "No, I have been given enough and this is all I can handle." I would like to say I am a blend of both of those things most of the time. Maybe one day whatever will be, will be and that will be good. I have learned to try to give all that up to a higher power and just pray that I can be content and happy with the life that I am working hard to create today, and that whatever tomorrow brings is welcome with open arms. With each passing birthday I know my chances are slimmer and slimmer that giving birth to another baby may not be my reality. And with each day my son grows older and more independent and I delve deeper into a career path the idea of having a new baby in the house seems like a distant memory, I face the mirror and ask, "Will this be enough?" In this moment my answer is "yes." This makes me whole. I have been given what I once never thought I would have, and I am completely OK with that. But tomorrow...well I just don't know.