A mum of two plus one

Two plus one equals three. My five-year-old could tell you that. It’s a simple sum, two plus one. But when you’re a mum to “two plus one” somehow that sum doesn’t always seem to add up right.


Two plus one equals three, right? I am a mum of three. It is a title that sometimes I have to fight to own. Because to the outside world, particularly those who don’t really know me, I appear to be a mum of two. My eldest daughter, my “plus one” is invisible and unknown.


Sometimes, even to those who have met all three of my children, I have to fight to own the “mum of three” title. I am not a “proper” mum of three in their eyes. Two plus one to them equals “two really”. The plus one – well, it doesn’t really count.


I am a mum of two plus one. Two children earth-side, one forever in my heart.


Sophie and Thomas sitting either side of Jessica's photo blanket - "A mum of two plus one"


For the briefest of times, I was physically connected with all three of my children. Two in my arms, one in my womb. Full of dreams for the future and, yes, a little apprehension too. What would life be like with three children? How would we juggle being outnumbered? How would we manage it all?


And now I see others asking those questions to parents of three. How do you manage it? I wish I could answer them.


But I am not part of the “parent of three” club. I have no idea what it is like to parent three children earth-side. I have no idea what it is like to live life with more children than hands; to be outnumbered.


But I am not a mum of two either. I have fallen in the cracks. More than two yet never quite three. And every time I see those questions on social media, my heart silently screams. “But I am a mum of three!” And yet I am not.


Sometimes I have to hide those posts on my feed. Those excited announcements of having a third baby, those questions to those of us that have three children. They hurt my heart too much. Reminding me that I am forever on the outside looking in. Filled with envy and longing for the life I once dreamed would be mine, that will never be mine.


I am happy for them, I hope that their dreams will come true. I would never, ever wish this life on someone else. But I do envy them their joy, their hope, their promise.


I wish I could have known what life would have been like as a “proper” mum of three – getting to experience daily life with three children earth-side. Working out how to juggle it all, dealing with the overwhelm, the demands, the everyday chaos.


My third child is invisible to the outside world. For me though, she is a constant presence. Always there in my heart, always there in my thoughts. I juggle my life with three children when I have to balance my grief and devastation at her loss with the needs of my two living children. When I have to remind people that my eldest daughter existed too.


I am a mum of three. I have as much right to that title as any other mum with three children. I will always fight for my right to claim it.


And yet I cannot be part of the “mum of three” club. I do not know what daily life with three children is like.


More than two, yet never quite three. Falling in the cracks. On the outside looking in.


I am a mum of “two plus one”.

Sophie cuddling baby Thomas with Jessica's photo cushion in the background


My Random Musings
A Blogging Good Time

15 thoughts on “A mum of two plus one

  1. I have no words of wisdom but you should definitely do what is right and say you are a parent. Just keep talking about Jessica because she will always be with you X #anythinggoes

  2. I’m so sorry you have to justify why you’re a mum of three, you will always be Jessica’s mummy and a mum of three. I bet Jessica would have been such a help to you with Thomas and such a loving big sister to both Thomas and Sophie.

  3. It’s lovely that your eldest child has such a special place in your heart. I think a baby is real to their mum from very early in the piece and to lose a baby at any stage is always a heartache and all the thoughts of what she would have been like and how the family would have been like. I’m sorry for your loss, but happy that you still have your other two to help fill the hole in your heart x

    1. Thank you Leanne. She was part of our lives for six and a half years and brought us so much joy. The hole in my heart is Jessica-shaped – Sophie and Thomas don’t fill it and can never fill it, but they do fill my life around the hole that Jessica’s passing has left and bring their own sunshine to my life x

    1. Thank you Jeremy. Sadly there have been a couple of times where someone has said that I have “two children really” and I’ve had to tell them otherwise.

  4. I can’t believe you have even been put in a position where you have to feel this way. It is truly shocking and very sad. As far as I can see all three of your children’s lives are equally relevant and there should never be a question mark put over it. Terrible. You do not have to justify yourself to a single person. Your ‘mum of three’ status is fully yours to own x #ablogginggoodtime

  5. You are a mum of three, no need to ever say otherwise, or explain. I understand what you are saying about not getting to experience all three hearthside, but Jessica is your child, she will forever be your first born, I don’t see you as a mum of two, I don’t see how anyone who knows of Jessica or who knew her ever could. She was so radiant, and such a beautiful child, she made you a mum. Sending love xoxo Thank you for sharing with #ABloggingGoodTime

    1. Thank you so much Mackenzie. Thankfully I think most people still see me that way, but there have been times when I’ve had to defend my right to be a mum of three x

  6. You’re a mum of three in my eyes & can be part of my club! I will always think of you as a mum of three – or four or five if you go for it again! #ablogginggoodtime

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