“This archaic idea – that a woman who is unmarried and childless at 30 is somehow unnatural – will probably always exist, and, like most social standards, it is ridiculous.” ~ Beth Ditto
This world is as incredible as it can be harsh. It can be as care free as it can be filled with pressures and opinions. I have touched on the subject of stereotypes and expectations many times on this blog, yet I have also shied away from posting on one that is deeply personal until now. It is actually ironic because I rarely shy away from anything. Yet, every time I sit down to make sense my words are scrambled, and my emotions are on high alert.
A woman’s reproductive life even beyond politics has always been open to gossip fodder. Is she going to have kids? Is she not? Why they heck isn’t she? I know people who literally from the day they were born knew all they wanted to be was a mother. They went to school to get a “MRS” Degree, and then had children soon after.
If that is your dream. Do it. It is admirable to raise the next generation.
Just as it is admirable for the women who want to cure cancer. Or go into politics. Make their mark a different way. Their is no shame in not wanting to be a mother.
And for those who choose to do both. I admire you, because I want to know when you sleep.
But for many women, they aren’t given that choice. Yet without anyone knowing they are still judged harshly. They are still asked invasive personal questions.
“WHY are you not a mom?”
“Are you going to have kids?”
“Your clock is ticking you know!”
My response albeit snarky is “Why is it your business?” in my head at least. Usually I just shrug my shoulders and attempt to change the subject. Of course those busy bodies tend not to let it go very easily.
Their is the “natural order” which despite archaic societal preconception still lives on in this supposed modern world we grace. Graduate college, get married, have kids. It may not always happen in that order, but it is suppose too. No one is happy until you have children. And many times one, won’t appease the gossipers. Many of my married friends get inundated with those questions like it is the cover of People Magazine.
/ Photo courtesy of Shutter Stock /
While I might not be married, I have been asked as well. I have been told over and over again my clock is ticking. I need to find a man. If I want kids I need to do it soon.
Yes ma’am there is a lot of things I need to do, but A rushing the process and B giving you the latest on when I am reproducing is not it. Nor is it your’s or ANYONES business..
Many of the people who ask those questions don’t know me, nor do they know the struggles I go through every month.
Oh it might be a taboo subject. Hell J-Law talking about her uterus, stirred up the ire of people everywhere on social media. Yet the issues countless women face daily are completely negated when someone tells me I need to get a move on if I want children. Like it is my soul purpose in life.
I know that. I know my clock is ticking. My clock ticks every time of the month and even twice a month. It is a time bombed waiting to explode and it does whenever I have a cyst burst and am in excruciating pain. I hear it when I can’t decide on going to a city emergency room, or to suffer in my apartment in silence. It is constant noise when I am fighting the pain and debating on whether I should take the painkillers I am deathly afraid of becoming addicted too or crawl into the fetal position and pray it passes quickly. It ticks every time I am hemorrhaging and need iron because I am so badly anemic.
It is a badly tuned grandfather clock ticking away reminding me their is a huge chance I will not be able to conceive naturally and I might as well be hiking Everest backwards.
It ticks every time I start dating someone new and THAT conversation comes up.
The gong sounds when I see my friends struggle with infertility and miscarriages and my heart goes out to them, because I know despite being “single.” And I dread it, because in a few years I will be in their boat.
I hear it when I look into the eyes of my beautiful nieces and handsome nephews and realize that battle might be a long shot, but that at least I am blessed to be an aunt.
Even if, as people, even family members tell me, “It isn’t the same.”
Oh yes I know all about the clock. The clock and I are in a constant battle even without the reminder from society daily. We don’t get to dictate life. We don’t get to dictate what God and science has decided for us no matter how many prayers or medical procedures we may have.
Yes it ticks. Yes I may never have children. It doesn’t mean I, or any other woman is less then. It doesn’t mean we don’t want them. That we don’t shed tears when our bodies continue monthly to remind us despite not working correctly.
Life is not a simple laid out plan. It is messily complicated, full of highs and lows making time lines obsolete. No one. NO ONE knows what goes on in another person’s life. It might seem like innocuous gossip, but words can hurt making that person feel like they lost the shoulder they so desperately needed.
I always say “You do you.” Because no one else can. Our struggles are our own. But it doesn’t mean we have to go through them alone. We all have the responsibility to be a positive respectful force, both for ourselves and for others. That clock is unique for all of us, so do you and know no matter what your journey in this life is you are loved and supported.