My Biological Clock Stopped Ticking After One Baby (And I’m Glad)

Last weekend my husband and I spent hours moving clothes, furniture, dishes, cleaning supplies, toys (oh, the toys!), and everything a family of three could possibly need into our new home.

This new abode was a long time coming. It’s not fancy, but it’s perfect for us. It has three bedrooms and two of the bedrooms are conveniently located at the end of the hall across from each other – one for my ever-growing three-year-old and the larger one for his Dad and me. This leaves one bedroom to be used at our discretion, which is great.

Except the room reminds me that my biological clock has stopped ticking. Or at least I’ve stopped listening.

When we first looked at the house, my husband and I decided the spare bedroom would make a great toy room. When showing the house to family and friends, most of them have decided that this room is perfect for a possible ‘Baby Number Two’.

They follow quickly with a joke and I smile. And, in true mom fashion, I explain that my son doesn’t want a brother or sister right now. He is dead set against it. In his words, “I don’t like babies.”

Of course, they insist he’ll get used to it and love it when a new baby arrives. Some point out he doesn’t really get a choice in the matter. I know both statements are likely true, so I nod in agreement and laugh a little before admitting we’re waiting to add to our family.

Early in my marriage, I saw myself as a mother to a houseful. I longed for a child almost from the moment we said our vows. But the timing wasn’t right. My husband was knee-deep in pre-pharmacy classes and we were living off student loans. Still my desire grew stronger. I cried every month I got my period, even though I was religiously taking my birth control. My reaction was completely illogical. My head knew our family wasn’t ready to support a child and I acted on that knowledge. But my heart reacted to this logic with longing as it listened to the ticking biological clock ticking growing louder day after day.

Since giving birth to my son, however, the ticking has stopped, or at least decreased in volume to near silence.

I realized a few months after becoming a mother that it takes a special type of person to have more than one child in diapers at the same time. I realized just as quickly that I am not that type of person, though I was certain I would be.

But I’m not. My son not wanting a brother or sister is just a socially acceptable excuse. He really doesn’t want one, but that’s not why we’re waiting.

The truth is, I don’t want another baby either. At least not yet. I am perfectly content with having only one child. My son is four this month and it has taken me that long to finally feel like me again. The first few years of motherhood was not only overwhelming and exhausting, but depressing for me. I walked around in a fog wondering if my life would ever be normal again, praying I could be me again. I was short tempered, hateful, and anxious with everyone around me, my son and husband included.

I started having breakdowns at work. On my lunch hour, I retreated my car to sob, hoping a good cry would make me feel better. Some days it did. Other days, it made it worse. My emotions stayed at heightened level leaving me feeling exposed and lonely like I’d never been before. I thought I was losing my mind.

After a particularly rough week, I made an appointment with my family doctor and I started a medication regimen to reign my emotions back in. It’s done wonders for me. My anxiety is manageable now and when I look at myself in the mirror I don’t see a woman out of control. I see me, as a mother and as a person, finally happy with everyday life.

So for now, I’m waiting. I’m waiting until my clock starts ticking again.

My body carried my son for nine months. It comforted him, nourished him, and when the time came, it brought him into this world red faced and screaming. It has been a pillow for him to sleep on and a shoulder to cry into. It has been there for me, too. It stopped the ticking when I became overwhelmed. It protected me from reaching the breaking point of no return. I trust when I’ve healed enough to try again, the ticking will rise from my heart into my brain’s ears. I will be ready to take the plunge into the tumultuous waters of motherhood, once again strong enough to swim.

When that day comes, baby number two will have a bedroom waiting for them. For now, we are forging ahead with our toy room by assembling and arranging various toy organizers. Cardboard boxes packed to the brim with Paw Patrol puppies, Peppa Pig animals, and pieces of the not-quite-put-together shelf lie scattered on the floor. The four walls will soon be lined with blocks, books and Hot Wheels cars.

All belonging to one child.



  1. Brad Levantis on August 1, 2017 at 8:45 pm

    We have one son. He is about to start highschool and a few years ago I thought Gee, would a second child be a good idea.

    For some people yes. For us, it’s a resounding no.

    We have been really lucky that we never felt any outside pressure to have a second child. Bit I do know some people would. (I suspect that our synchronized response to the question ‘are you thinking about another child?’ — “not a chance” had something to do with our friends dropping the subject)

    My point is, I love having one child. We have been able to take him to Europe, Walt Disney world several times over, and one of our favourite things is the mom and son or dad and son solo trips. That is certainly doable with more than one child but it seems far more manageable with one.

    The decision has to be yours. Don’t let someone abstract social pressure make you feel one child is a bad thing

    • Heather Dixon on August 2, 2017 at 6:26 am

      Thanks for this, Brad! I agree 100% that the decision has to be yours. And one child is absolutely not a bad thing – as you’ve seen first-hand! 🙂

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