Monday 19 March 2018

'I decided long ago to close the Amanda Brunker baby-making factory'

Amanda Brunker with her sons L to R: Setanta (8) and Edward (9) McLaughlin
Amanda Brunker with her sons L to R: Setanta (8) and Edward (9) McLaughlin

Amanda Brunker

How many babies is enough? Are you happy with one, feel sorted with two? Maybe you prefer an uneven three? Or are you addicted to making babies? Do you need four or more?

On a regular basis, people ask me, "Would you not try for the girl?"

I know there's some unwritten PC rule that you should never ask any woman about their reproductive state or intentions, but it doesn't bother me. My answer has always been the same: two boys are enough for me. I wouldn't chance my sanity with any more children. But knowing my luck, if I did, I'd have 40 boys - which would result in 40 children never bothering to check on me when I'm old.

I always look on in wonder and bemusement when I see couples having multiple children. I once met a woman with 13 bright redhead children in Buncrana. They all looked so happy. I couldn't get my head around it. Maybe I was just having a blonde moment?

Last week, I received an email from TV3's press office to say Lucy Kennedy was having another baby. Later that evening, she beamed with pride as she made the announcement on The Seven O'Clock Show. She looked so happy to say: "We're due at Christmas, please God."

I watched, hoping that her words would trigger some emotion, some long-lost broody feelings before it was too late for me to try again, but no. I had decided long ago that the Brunker baby-making factory was closed and, strangely, my view has never changed.

At 42, I'm excited to watch my sons grow up, but as Lorraine Keane once told me in an interview: "The juggle is a struggle." And she's right.

Parents warn you about the sleepless nights etc when you're planning your family, but no one ever mentions the endless hours, evenings and weekends you'll spend ferrying your child about to their social events. DO THEY? No they don't.

Everyone forgets to fill you in on how you'll lose your free time so you can occupy theirs.

Maybe if it was a case of humping all your children in the same field to play GAA it might be logistically easier. But my two are chalk and cheese. And both chalk and cheese like to exercise in separate parts of Dublin which is not always eco-friendly on the mammy taxi. How parents of three, four and more handle that I have no clue.

I look at women like Jools Oliver about to have her fifth child with hubby Jamie next month and reason it must be a money thing. They can afford great help, don't you agree?

Donald Trump Jr *coughs and spits on floor* and his wife Vanessa just had their fifth child, Chloe, last month and the rumour mill is rife about Victoria and David Beckham trying for their fifth. But after good friends Gordon and Tana Ramsay miscarried their fifth child recently, they might think twice about a late pregnancy.

But when do us mere mortals decide on how many children we should have? Should nature decide or should it be financially assessed?

Whatever amount of children you do or don't have, make sure you're comfortable with it. There is no right or wrong amount of babies. Enjoy what you have.

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