Since the dawn of time women will be asked, at various stages of their lives, about when/where/how and with whom they will be having a baby. My life is no different. It feels as though I’ve been asked this question more often than any other in my life. The answer has always, and will always be the same.
I don’t want children. I have nothing against children. In fact I live other people’s kids. They love me. My nieces are awesome, amazing, funny little human beings. I’m honorary aunty to at least 8 different children. I’ve attended two separate child births. I even offered to be a surrogate for a close friend that was struggling to conceive. So it isn’t the classic answer, but I have always always known that I didn’t want to be a mother.
My father raised me to concentrate on education and work. The first thing he asks me when we see each other is ‘How’s work?’. My mother will ask me how my love life is. She is desperate for me to have a baby, despite already having 2 granddaughters. She’s offered to look after said baby while I go to work. Asks me what my maternity package is like from work. Will not accept that my biological body clock hasn’t started to tick furiously and demand a baby now I’m 38 years old. It hasn’t. It won’t. My mind has been made up since I was 16.
I do appreciate that many women do change their minds. A very close friend of mine was firmly in the no baby camp, but then she met the man of her dreams and is now one baby down with another on the way. My cousin always said no babies, and she has a 4 year old she adores, as do I. However it’s frustrating when people think you will change your mind despite you being very clear on your answer. I’m not sure this would be the case for any other questions? I say I don’t believe in marriage, and this is never pushed. People don’t ask me to clarify my standing on it every year in case I’ve change my mind.
I say I don’t vote Tory, I’m a member of the Liberal Democrat’s. Apart from being asked to vote every 4 years, people don’t consistently ask me if I’ve had a change of heart. If something in my biology has made my decision any different. So why is it the case with the baby question? Why are women of any age asked this question? Why is this the societal norm?
Things had calmed down in recent years, I haven’t been asked for a while. Not since breaking up with an ex boyfriend who had thought I would ‘change my mind’ and was ‘just saying’ I didn’t want kids (he’s now happily married with a child), has it been raised. Even my mum seems to have given up, instead preferring me to date men with kids already so she can have some honorary grandchildren.
This has brought the questions and speculation back with a vengeance. I must be serious with this guy if I’m committing to a dog with him. A dog is just practice for a baby. Get used to those sleepless nights. Friends, relatives, people that know I’m the most anti baby person on the planet, all now think that because I have a dog, I’m broody and therefore want a baby. Why can’t I just want a fucking dog!? They’re better than babies. Cuter, don’t grow up to answer you back and you can train them. My puppy is instead of my baby. Not the prequel to it.
Stop asking women if and when they will have kids. It isn’t my sole purpose for being here. Times have changed, and that’s without the wild assumption being made that I can even have kids. I don’t even know if I can, but it could be exceptionally triggering to be constantly asked something so personal.
Let’s normalise women being asked about their work, their life, their hobbies and their habits before being asked about their wombs and vaginas.