“I was absolutely convinced I wasn’t going to be a mum and it was really really difficult for me because my first husband didn’t want to have children,” the author, columnist and former magazine editor told Mia Freedman in the latest episode of No Filter.
“But I kept thinking he’d grow up and realise he did want children. When I finally accepted that no, he didn’t, that’s when I finally found the courage to leave him and end the relationship.”
By the time she met her current husband, Alderson, now 57, thought she’d left it too late.
“Just before I left Australia [in 2001] part of my reasons for leaving actually, was I was about to start IVF and I couldn’t go through with it because a friend of mine in New York was having it and she was emailing me every day and telling me about what she was going through and the effects and the hormones,” the 57 year old says.
“I thought ‘I’ve just got to accept it, I’m having an amazing life, I will continue to have an amazing life and children aren’t in my path’.
“So when Peggy came along [when I was 42 years old], it was just the most wonderful, wonderful surprise.”
Alderson says the fact that Peggy, 15, is and will be an only child does make her “sad”.
“I’m from a family of four and I know how much fun we had and I’m really close to my siblings and all my nieces and nephews so it does make me sad that she’ll never have a true niece or nephew,” she says.
“I think it’s probably been much better and easier for her, you know when I was young I only knew one only child, whereas now it’s so common and we’ve got so many friends who only have one child and we have other friends who have similar so for her generation it’s really different.
Listen: Maggie Alderson on all things fashion and fiction. Post continues after audio.
“She would love to have siblings though and she would fantasise about it when she was little and tell people that she had little brothers and sisters and 25 horses that lived in the country.”
The teenager has inherited a love of fashion from her mum, who is the former editor of the Evening Standard magazine, British Elle, Mode (Australia), acting editor Cleo (Australia) and had a popular weekly fashion column in the Good Weekend for over a decade.
However Alderson says Instagram has completely taken over from magazines as inspiration.
“It’s extraordinary. She turned up in a look the other day, she’d found an old pair of my fishnet tights and she’d put them on underneath her jeans then pulled them up really high and then worn a crop top with her jeans with the slashes at the knees and it looked incredible,” she said.
“It wasn’t until a couple of days later that I saw that look of the fishnets and jeans on Instagram and realised she’d copied it off there.”
She says her days working as a fashion writer in the age of the original supermodels was “wonderful”.
“They were really glory days. It was a very exciting to be there and I was at the Versace show when the four walked out to George Michael’s Freedom after they’d appeared in the film clip and you really felt like you were at the centre of the fashion universe,” she says.
“One time I was behind Anna Wintour in the queue for the loo in Milan. And I remember thinking ‘I really want to say something’ but I didn’t!”