What the hell's wrong with me?
I've got two children - a perfectly respectable family size - whom I love to bits. I feel more or less fulfilled in life, and even if I didn't, I realistically couldn't afford any more kids or fit them into my busy existence. So why do I have these terrible pangs of cluckiness? Pangs that make me forget two hideous, sickly pregnancies, followed by two dreadfully traumatic births? And the stress, the mess, the never having a moment's time to myself?
Most of the time I'm reasonably sensible about such things, but I have phases where the sight or sound of babies make me melt. I want to pick up other people's infants and subject them to extensive bouts of senseless smooching. I wonder if, in my case, coming from a Catholic family of five kids is a factor. Being from a big family is, for me at least, a blessing, and something I would have liked my own children to share. Is my cluckiness just my subconscious telling me I've chickened out - failed to complete my breeding mission? Will I eventually turn into one of those parents who nags their kids to provide me with grandchildren?
Sometimes, I have vague, compensatory ideas that I'll offer my home to foster kids when I'm more financially settled, older, wiser, and generally have my shit together. But I believe it takes a very special kind of person to care for these kids, and much as I'd like to believe otherwise, I'm not sure I'm up to the task.
Of course, I'm hardly alone in my bouts of cluckiness. For some women, it can actually be quite upsetting - I know women who've realised that the reproductive part of their lives is coming to an end, and have felt quite distressed that more kids is no longer an option. But I don't for a moment think cluckiness is an inevitable part of being female. Plenty of women I know don't experience it at all. And I know the odd bloke who's even more hopelessly clucky than I am.
How many THM readers share this strange affliction? Can anyone recommend an effective treatment? (And don't suggest having more babies!)