I never post my opinion about bigger things on here, mainly because I am scared people will disagree and I am a coward. It’s a lot easier just to let people laugh at me. I’m going to try it though. Not exactly an opinion. More a suggestion, because I’ll always be a coward :o)
So….Let’s get one thing straight: Anyone who is a Mummy has my utter respect. I have trouble controlling Norman cat; I could never manage a little person. I definitely couldn’t manage the little person growing into a teenager. Just the idea gives me palpitations.
That said, I never imagined getting to this age without children. It is how it is though, and I love the fact that I can stay up late without knowing I’m be woken at silly o’clock at the weekend, that I can do classes on a whim without taking anyone else into consideration and I can have dairylea on toast for my dinner without worrying about getting 5 a day into the tummy of anyone else.
So the while the Motherhood challenge ‘thing’ doing the rounds at the moment (posting 3-5 photos that make you happy to be a mother) is lovely to see – just as every photo of my friend’s children is – it does make a teeny bit of me sad too, because, for whatever reason, not everyone is part of that club.
Sister 1 posted on Facebook about it today in a slightly shouty, sweary way, but she hit the nail on the head:
‘…why throw it in the faces of people who maybe are unable to have children, those who have suffered a loss that we know nothing about, those who have been trying for years and we know nothing about their struggles, those people begging to have a baby but can’t…’
(I took the shouty, sweary bits out. Sister 1 doesn’t tend to sit on the fence on the things she feels strongly about….)
Mummies make the world go round and I am not disputing that. It’s just… maybe we should all be a bit sensitive on a subject that impacts people way more than we might be aware of.
People make judgments that those of you who are mums might not be aware of and they do add up. My highlights were when I was informed that ‘As you’re not a Mum, you can’t possibly understand what love is’. Really? It might be different, but does not having a child invalidate any kind of love I have ever felt? And from someone who had met me minutes before and started the conversation with the usual ‘Do you have children?’ When I said no, she followed up with ‘How old are you? Oh, it’s ok. If you’re quick you might just have time to have one’.
For some people it’s a choice, for some the right time and the right person never got coordinated, but for some it’s a lot more complicated than that. I’m not making some declaration that nobody should join this particular challenge. Just maybe be a bit gentle with friends – you don’t know what you don’t know.
And to finish on a smile, I’m going to suggest that we start a new Facebook thingy, Pog style. Post three things to your profile that make you smile. Everyone can join in this one and maybe it will make everyone a bit more smiley….what do you think? Here are mine:
I agree with you 100%. People can be so quick to judge, and also to assume they know best.
We’re all guilty of it on different subjects. I guess this one is just a little more sensitive for some…
I hate the fact that some people judge women on their ability to have kids. As you say it doesn’t happen for everyone, I’m cool with not having my own, I deal with about 200 a week. What really upsets me is when people tell me you didn’t want kids, how do they know what I wanted. Just because I have a degree in physics, doesn’t mean I put my career first.
This may be a bit controversial, but what really gets me are the ones who have kids & farm them out as soon as they have them. Then complain school holidays are too long or how much child care cost. I spend lots of time with teenagers, they are fantastic & funny.
These people who complain about school holidays are often the same ones guilty of so why don’t you have kids. I once answered that to nosey parent because I choose to spend time with other people’s.
They walked away very quickly.
Where we have children or not, we should all respect each others wishes ( even if they are forced upon us)
I agree. I didn’t make a choice not to have children, but I don’t and that is that. I think what you do sounds even harder than being a Mum! I was more concerned for people who want, but have not had children for whatever reason seeing their Facebook feed being taken over by smiling little people. I think that must have been especially hard.
Good on you for standing up to the busy bodies – your choices are nothing to do with them!