Firstly: I don’t understand why we’ve supposedly made leaps and bounds with our stretch for equality, yet women are still expected to have children. Apparently: one day – in my late 20s – a ‘motherly instinct’ will kick in and I will be in a dashing need for a child. I will stop whatever career changes and advancements I have made, and will insist upon popping out a little mini-me. I honestly don’t see this happening…
Babies are lovely, and can often bring lots of joy. On the other hand, they’re gross. They require 24-hour attention and every waking moment of your life has to be dedicated to your child. Your independent life as you know it is over. It’s not the sleepless nights or the nappy changes that bother me; it’s the knowledge that everything I have achieved up to that point will either cease to exist or slow down. I have a niece – she’s just turned one and is the most beautiful creature I’ve ever seen. She makes me laugh and generates a loving, gooey feeling inside me; then again, I can only listen to The Wheels On The Bus so many times before I get an aneurism. At one point while playing with her, I wanted to sit down and relax for a moment, but when you have children those precious moments vanish right out the door. Along with your sanity.
The idea of being pregnant makes me feel slightly queasy. I’ve always compared pregnancy to that famous scene in Alien where the character Kane stands up urgently at the dinner table, hurls himself forward in excruciating pain while a tiny alien bursts from his stomach. Isn’t that really what giving birth is like? You sometimes hear from a handful of smug mothers that giving birth didn’t hurt one bit and it was a blissful experience, but I’m guessing they were either on some very effective painkillers or were simply spouting bull.
Just the sheer thought of having something growing inside me creeps me out. The changes to the body are serious and often drastic – some women bounce back from pregnancy to fit into their size 8 LBD once again, most others don’t. Let’s not forget to mention the stretch marks, the sagging of your breasts, and the fact that in years to come, every time you laugh or cough or sneeze, you piss a little.
Maybe I’m naïve, but all I know is that I don’t want to work long hours achieving my career goals only to decide I want to trade it all in to pop out a kid. The idea seems ridiculous. If I do, by chance, decide to want kids and keep my career – I will be branded a bad mother. It’s a catch-22 situation. I like my flat stomach, my regular periods and that glorious feeling of freedom; I wouldn’t trade that for anything. I’ll pass on the babies – and enjoy the cocktails!