KELLY MCCARREN: 'People keep asking me if I want a second baby. The answer is beyond complicated.'

“When are you having another baby?”

“Will Lenny be getting a sibling any time soon?”

“Are you just having the one?”

These are questions I’m often asked. And it’s always by people who don’t know me very well because my family and friends know that another baby is unfathomable to me.

Watch: Things Pregnant People Never Say. Story continues below.

Video via Mamamia

You’re probably reading this and either; 

a.) OUTRAGED on my behalf because it’s 2023, don’t people realise it’s rude to ask!? That you never know what someone’s circumstance is!? That they might be desperately trying to fall pregnant!? 

b.) Rolling your eyes because you think this is another article about the above and I'm just complaining about people asking me. 

As a nosy person, although I understand why it’s such a problematic question to ask someone, I also completely understand why people want to know. The question itself doesn’t personally bother me at all, I understand human curiosity and it’s lovely that people are interested in my humdrum life.


So it’s the answer to this question that makes it more complex, because – to be honest – I haven’t heard anyone talk about it before. What if someone does want another baby and physically there is no reason they can’t, but mentally, it would be a horrible idea?

I truly believe that it would be reckless and irresponsible to have another baby at this point in time.

I have ‘managed’ with my shitty mental health my entire adult life. And I’ve often thought I’m doing ok with it. I’m heavily medicated and generally know how to ride the wave of different moods, meaning those around me may have copped it over the years but it’s something everyone who loves me (whether fairly or unfairly) sort of expects and makes room for. 

But then Lenny came along. 

Lenny doesn’t have space for my moods. And he shouldn’t have to, he’s a baby, and he’s my responsibility. He can’t fend for himself on the days I can’t get out of bed and he’s the one who is affected when I lose my temper and start shouting unnecessarily at my partner or screaming in frustration about who knows what.

Sometimes I feel so overwhelmed with love for my son that I start crying. My heart is fuller than I ever could have anticipated, so while I was once very pro ‘one and done’, I would adore another baby. In fact, sometimes I look at Lenny and think I want all the babies. Because who wouldn't want to feel that level of love again and again and again?


I also (very unreasonably, I know), want ‘another turn’. I want to have another go at pregnancy and birth and newborn life and I want to lean into it and enjoy it and do a better bloody job. 

I want to feel a baby inside my belly and know what the love will feel like as I gaze at my clever little boy. I want to birth a baby into the world, knowing that it will all be worth it and marvelling at my strength. And I want to be in a newborn bubble and understand what a newborn bubble is.

But at this point in time, when my moods are so erratic, and I struggle with the smallest of situations, it just wouldn’t be fair. And despite me being out of ‘The Fog’ (this is what I called my severe PPD), I still struggle most days and don’t cope with many aspects of motherhood in healthy and ‘normal’ ways.

I do think that I’m a good mother, but mentally, I'm not okay and how unfair would it be for me to ask for every single person around me to pull me through that all again, when I know that I barely survived the last time. How cruel to take more of my limited sanity away from my son and how could I, in good conscience, bring another baby into the world, knowing that it would most likely be exactly like last time.

This is an incredibly self-involved and indulgent response to a simple question. But given I hadn’t seen people discussing it, I thought it might hit home for someone else. 


Having a baby isn’t easy and it’s a huge responsibility so I think it’s really important to consider these things before your loins accept that baby batter.

Listen to This Glorious Mess, On this episode, Kelly McCarren joins Leigh and Tegan to explain her birth story that you'll have to hear to believe, and how she's making so many women feel seen with her realistic parenting content. Post continues after audio.

Until I get my mental health under control, until I have my medication managed, it would be irresponsible to have another baby. And that makes me very sad but I’m hopeful that one day it’s not the case. Treatment for mental health in Australia is difficult, even when you can afford private health, and it makes me sick to think of someone trying to access assistance in the public system because I know now how long that takes. 

There needs to be more support available in general but I’m particularly keen on seeing new mums' mental health be considered and accounted for. The hormonal changes we go through are paramount and when you’re struggling with a teeny human, the simplicity of tasks can seem downright impossible. 

Feature Image: Instagram

 Calling all coffee drinkers, caffeine addicts, and home baristas! Take our short survey to go in the running to win a $50 gift voucher!