About The Moo Exchange
In a nutshell The MOO Exchange was born out of the initial guilt I felt about my decision to have ‘just’ one child. Despite the fact it took my husband and I four years to have a baby and may never have been able to have a second child even if we had wanted one, we made a decision that we (I) didn’t, drew a line underneath it and have now never felt happier.
But, it took a little while to really become happy with our decision. Not because I wasn’t happy with it, I really, really was. But there was this latent guilt that I was somehow robbing my son of something that I (potentially, perhaps not) had the power to give him. But in honesty, the guilt or confusion I felt even more than that was that I simply didn’t want another child. The one I had was the one I wanted. I didn’t feel the need for another child to complete our family.
On the contrary, I was confident that another child would turn it upside down and we were very happy as we were. I didn’t think a more stressed and stretched me would make our family any happier and I struggled to understand why I felt like this when the vast majority of mothers go on to extend their families, some many times over.
This initial guilt meant that my husband and I talked about the decision we had made, a lot. And then we went on a childfree holiday for four nights and I managed to read a book and it was Lauren Sandler’s ‘One and Only’ and it felt like an epiphany! There were other women out there like me! There were other women who adored their child but could see so many benefits to having one and it didn’t make them bad people! What is really BAD however, are the many negative stereotypes that still exist today about only children (and their parents, particularly their selfish mothers). And these affect all mothers of only children, from those who have chosen not to have another child to those who have had that decision made for them, perhaps due to secondary infertility, divorce, disability, illness or even bereavement.
So The MOO Exchange is for all women who either happily or sadly have one child, or for women who are considering stopping at one and want to talk to other MOOs about this incredibly important and emotive topic. It would also be wonderful if, as a group of loving Mothers-Of One, we could collectively try to start to change the negative perceptions that are still widespread today about our cherished and adored, not so lonely Onlies!
Mother-Of-One, Sam XOX