So much has changed since I last wrote a post for this site, all on the back of a decision I made to commit to commitment.
Eighteen months ago, I committed to finishing a book I’d been writing, on and off, for a few years. And I committed to a relationship with a man I’d been dating, on and off, for about the same time.
Since making those decisions, I’ve rented out my London flat, moved to the Dorset seaside, bought a three-bedroom home with my partner (yes, the same man I’d been dating on and off) and moved in. Oh yes, and I’m halfway through my book and determined not to give up.
So much has changed – the entire landscape of my life has altered.
After 13 years living in a one-bedroom attic flat in the happening borough of Islington, getting around London on my Vespa and swimming in the Ladies’ Pond on Hampstead Heath, I now hang my laundry out in a garden, drive around in a cream-coloured mini with black stripes on the bonnet and swim in the sea in a wetsuit.
This change hasn’t always been easy. Transitions of this magnitude are hard. But it feels really good to have created so much change in my life.
I think I was stuck before, longing to live on the coast, yearning for more of the Great Outdoors in my daily life but too scared to take the plunge. What if I didn’t like it? What if my relationship broke down? What if I missed my friends too much?
But I pushed through all my doubts and fears, realising that if the worst-case scenario happened (and I imagined some pretty awful things), I could always change my mind and move back. As it turns out, I feel more settled than I thought I would and I haven’t been here a year yet.
I’m now living a very different life. I’m in a partnership that I trust will last a very long time and I’m experiencing all the joys and challenges that come with that. After what feels like many years of singleness, I’m more ‘We’ and less ‘I’.
But, you may be wondering, what of the ‘maybe no baby’ dilemma, which is the title of this blog and one of the topics of my book.
On that topic, very little has changed. And then so much has changed.
Now, at 45, it’s likely the motherhood ship has sailed. The man I committed to has never wanted children so I knew when I made the decision to be with him that I could be sealing my fate. Part of me, of course, thought I’d change his mind, bring him round to my way of thinking, but I’m discovering that perhaps my mind wasn’t as made up as I thought it was.
I’m ambivalent about having children, and probably always have been. There are reasons for this – deep-rooted reasons dating back to my childhood, reasons I plan to explore in future posts.
Part of me longs to share the experiences so many of my friends post on Facebook – the ‘my life is complete; I’ve never known love like this; my children are my world’ kind of experiences. Part of me hates the thought of missing out on one of life’s great miracles (FOMO strikes again). And then part of me wonders if this life I have now, this life of love and partnership with my man, could be enough.
Could it be enough? Perhaps it will have to be enough. Perhaps this is the life that’s mapped out for me now. But the ambivalence is still there, as it always has been in so many areas of my life – like a thread running through my core like a red swirl runs through a stick of Blackpool Rock.
If you’re ambivalent about children, if you don’t know if you want to be a mum or not or if you’re dating someone who doesn’t want kids, I hope you’ll keep coming back to this blog as I explore my feelings about missing out on motherhood, decide whether that ship has definitively sailed and wonder whether to get myself a dog.