Trigger Warning - This post mentions fertility and motherhood
I’m going through this thing right now. An internal debate if you will. Not a particularly fun or fluffy one, so If you’re reading this post in the hope of clarity or a deeper understanding of a woman who has her life together READ NO FURTHER.
I saw a quote recently that really stuck with me - it said something about there being two kinds of childless women; A loving and caring Auntie type and the other a drunken old floozy. Luckily I can’t find the exact quote again because I’m in exactly the kind of mood where I’d find the Earth mother who wrote it and kick their face off... Child loss broke my heart, there’s no doubt about it. MPW and I went from knowing exactly who we were as a couple, to getting our heads around the fact that there would be new element to life as we knew it, to actually looking forward to having another little dude to knock about with and take to McDonalds. Despite this, as a couple who had never formally written the “Along came a baby” chapter into our book, it’s since been very difficult to work out what exactly it is we grieved for.
|I'm sorry but has there ever been a more apt jumper for a blog post?!|
Maybe Baby Jumper - Joanie Clothing
Polka Dot Skirt - Joanie Clothing
Not long ago, I watched a programme about millionaires going on holiday, built around what I know to be the standard reality TV format of “Good vs Bad”. One couple had a fairly typically UK family setup and were shown as hard, dedicated parents; working to provide for their family and, therefore, fulfilled in their lives. The other couple, had chosen earlier in life not to have children and as such were depicted as selfish and lonely; classing the cruise staff as their family and living an soulless existence. It left me feeling utterly empty. Don’t get me wrong, I have a great deal more self-belief than to base my life decisions around trash TV, this said, it does get you to thinking. The past two years have really mellowed me, I feel much more able to handle whatever is thrown at me and I'm sad that I'll never be in the position where I can prove this to the rest of the world.
I see my parents spending time with friends whose lives now revolve round their grandchildren. I hear friend’s mums talk about what wonderful mothers they have, in turn, become and as beautiful as this sentiment is, it also physically hurts me - Will I miss out on not only a wonderful bond with my own children but also a magical new bond with my own mother, wherein she can finally look at me and think “Yes, I’ve done a good job”? Will I never have that? And more to the point, is it just FOMO that makes me want it?
Then there's fertility itself; The pain, expense and distress that I have seen so many of my wonderful friends go through.
Herein lies the issue with having children: It is not a decision you make lightly, you can’t just “have a go” at motherhood in the way that I’ve “had a go” at pilates, pole dancing and being a functioning adult. When you buy into this particular lifestyle, you buy into it HARD. Yes, I have choices, but I could be making the choice to lose my relationship, my career, my independence. I could be making the choice to raise the next prime minister, the love of my life, a lifetime of wonder and joy. Seriously, how do people make this look so easy?!?
I know I’m not alone in these thoughts, I’m also very, very, VERY fortunate to have some incredible women in my life who have made a firm decision to not have children and, beyond the pretty much constant irritation of people saying “OH YOU’LL CHANGE YOUR MIND”, they are secure, confident and most importantly; happy in their decision.
I just want to finish this post by, as per, recognising my privilege. I’m incredibly fortunate to be in a safe and loving relationship, yes I work very hard to have my own home and relative financial independence but I’m also very lucky to be a position where I have the emotional support of a lot of good people who I know will love me with or without children.