I am extremely lucky and blessed to have 4 children. I am almost 35 years old and I have no intentions of having any more children what-so-ever. No babies. Ever again. Nada. I am so dead set on my child rearing days being drawn to a satisfactory close, that I would gladly draw a line under things surgically. Not that I actually will, but I would.
I've really enjoyed my family journey so far, it's been utterly amazing, and filled with enough love to blow even the biggest of hearts wide open. But I would be lying if I said I wasn't feeling super excited by the prospect of the next chapter; of watching the family I have already grow and mature into independent beings. I'm excited by the idea of having an older family now, and of feeling the restrictions bought on by younger ones, being lifted (seeing as I've had little ones for the past 15 years, that's going to be really nice!) Hello more sleep, posher restaurants, and watching films actually over PG rating. (I can't wait to watch Goodfellas with them!)
All that said; even though you couldn't pay me to do it all over again; and even though I'd rather pick my own eyeballs out with a garden trowel than go through childbirth again - lately, I've noticed the odd seemingly broody feeling wash over me from time to time. WHAT?? No seriously, WHAT?
So disturbed am I by my own hormonal intent to betray me, that I've started to dig deep; to introspectively analyse these, quite frankly, nonsensical vibes that my heart and/or endocrine system seems to wish to brain-wash me with. It won't win you know. - not in a million, trillion years, but I still want to understand it ...
So when do theses devilish feelings seem to strike? Mostly, BIZARRELY, it's when I'm enjoying alone time. When I'm shopping on my own - If I so much as hear a tiny "mummy" coming from across the aisle, or a little giggle, or perhaps even a contented looking mummy pushing a pram as she strolls past wearing comfortable JoJo Maman Bebe postnatal boob-flap attire, then bam - its there. A little lump in my throat. It's almost always at this exact point of my super relaxing shopping trip that I start to feel an almost visceral longing.
But why? I mean, I'm the lucky one who is at the shops alone; without the need for a thousand toilet stops and refreshment breaks. I'm the one who now gets to go into the changing room without pushing what seems like an articulated lorry full of sippy cups and carrier bags, I'm not the one leaving behind a trail of rice cake remnants. No, no. I'm the one who she is probably looking at and thinking "lucky cow ... she's actually able to stay on task ... to just buy what she needs, browse, browse some more. swan about in peace, with only a nice handbag to remember" ... My, my. How the tables have turned! I am she now ... with the handbag and the swanning!
But the funny thing is - it is that other mum who makes me feel envious. I know, bonkers.
So is this because I am broody and wanting another? Is it time to pop open the old folic acid again? to dust of the zinc for him?
No. I've realised it is not. Phew! These feelings are simply an emotional indicator that I miss my own children as little pre-schoolers, or babies, or little voices keeping me company all of the time whilst I go about my day - I do genuinely miss having to buy two drinks whilst out and about. And I miss that crumb laden vehicle of milk stained doom. (It was a bugaboo though)
So I still rock my supermarket trolley, even though there is only a pizza in it. And I still take the lift in malls or department stores, even though I can now join the rest of the nippy escalator crew. I still park in Mother and Baby spaces, not on purpose, but because I genuinely forget that all of the car seats and boosters are empty in my car. Yes. I will admit - I miss my little ones deeply. They were really cool when they were tiny, and their company was priceless.
What I feel is nostalgia. Not to be confused with broodiness. NOT to be confused, you hear me?
And I imagine that feeling will only serve to become bigger, and greater, maybe painful even.
Soon I will miss the primary school years.
Then Teenagers. ( will I though?)
Then, I will no doubt miss the hectic house as we find ourselves with not one, but 5 spare bedrooms.
Jeez. Better brace myself :)
But at least I've figured out, with certainty, that I definitely won't be needing the folic acid anymore.