I’m childless. My womb’s current occupancy status seems to be up for discussion and I am tired of reporting on it and tired of politely laughing in response (but not with my eyes).
Over the Christmas period I was asked five times when my unmade, uncooked and as of yet unplanned child might make an appearance.
I’m mid-thirties, I do hear the ticking clock and I do know about the rapidly decreasing quality assurance of my eggs.
While announcing I was attempting (I failed the next week) Dry January, someone said: “Are you pregnant then? I always think people are pregnant when they’re not drinking.”
Already this year I can recall the question being asked at least three times.
I’m assuming my partner will have a hand in creating said baby, so I asked him how many times he’s been asked the same question and the answer was “never”.
Before I continue, I’d like to mention that I do know that people mean well. They just want to know when I’m joining Club Parent and experiencing my own little bundle of joy.
Now, without further ado, I’ll tell you why I’m not.
I’m just not ready yet
I’m fully aware that you’re probably never ready.
I had a puppy in 2017 and while I know that, no, he didn’t exit my lower region in a dramatic and harrowing fashion - he did keep me up all night for several weeks with his crying.
I remember vividly turning up at work exhausted and slightly delirious from lack of sleep.
I also love to drink beer and wine, stuff my face with soft cheeses and all those other things that you’re probably not allowed to do when pregnant.
How will I afford to buy unnecessary items like my Storm Glass, 3D Moon Lamp and Face Roller? The overall cost of a child in 2018 was calculated at £150,753 for a couple and £183,335 for a lone parent. That’s a lot of money and sometimes my monthly spending just on myself can leave me very poor.
Don’t get me wrong, I love all the babies that I know. I really do love all the babies in my life. I really enjoy watching them bumble around like tiny drunk people in awe of flashing lights and bursting into tears for seemingly no reason whatsoever.
And I’m not one of those people that can’t stand looking at baby photos either. In fact, I love to photograph them and they’re often hilariously cute.
I do want to see how they’re growing, I do want to hear about their latest trick and I genuinely do want to see all those tiny clothes with animals on you’re putting them in. I especially want to see them wearing slightly winter hats.
About that ticking clock...
Did you know that a pregnancy that occurs when you are over the age of 35 is labelled a ’geriatric’ pregnancy? Well that’s terrifying isn’t it? As if I didn’t already feel enough societal pressure and guilt.
I won’t go down the rabbit hole of explaining some of the problems that can arise when having a baby later in life but YES I KNOW THERE ARE MANY, and I’m just whining to the internet so let me carry on, ok?
Let’s get honest
During a lazy scroll of my Twitter I saw this tweet from Duncan Jones, director of Moon.
It’s rare that you find parents that will talk about how hard it is.
Underneath the tweet is, as you’d expect - a mixture of responses. There is also a lot of support from fellow parents, and it was insightful to read.
I imagine more of this would help parents to know that they’re not alone, they’re not the only ones struggling and it’s not 24/7 adorableness.
A glimmer of hope
Last year a friend told me about her wonderful birthing experience. This was the first time I’d really heard a positive story.
It involved hypnobirthing and it was the first time I’ve ever not scrunched up my face or put my hands over my ears in horror at a delivery story.
Before this, the best report I had heard was ‘It’s all worth it in the end!’ which might help some people, but for a person that can’t even stand injections, it didn’t do anything to reassure me. I’m a big wuss and I’m terrified of labour. And yes, I know that’s only a tiny fraction of the whole thing, but it scares me! Can more women with beautiful birthing stories please stand up?
So that’s where I stand right now
Apologies for my rant. It’s been building up and the number of times I’ve been asked The Question directly correlates with the age of my rapidly decaying body.
So please, can we all stop asking each other when we are going to have a baby.
Apart from parents. I guess you’re allowed to moan that you haven’t got any grandchildren yet and you’re not getting any younger, because you know what? If junior does come along any time in the future, I’ll probably be doing the same.