I'm childfree-by-choice, but as my life fills with young female friends, I find myself thinking about what I want to pass on to them - in a wise-woman way. If I'd had a daughter when I was thirty, she would be eighteen now. So these are the things I'd like to say to her, and weirdly, lots of them are things my mother said to me...
Last night, getting off the tube, I was accused by a group of drunk, loud-mouthed, relatively posh boys of being a 'yummy mummy'. I had heard them shout, "Welcome to middle England!" as the train pulled into the station, followed by, "I bet she's married to an advertising executive!" (wtf?)
Don't feel sorry for me. I'm not infertile. Neither is my Husband for that matter. We just decided a long time ago that we would never have children. Yes, I know I'm only 27 and you might think that I don't know what I want but I can assure you that I, that we, do.
I'm childfree-by-choice, as it happens, and my life is often like that Ping Pong night, complete with a continous rolling sidebar of questions from friends and strangers, although they get less frequent as I get older and out of the baby-making zone.
You can have lunch whenever you want to have lunch. You know, just because you're hungry, and not because one of your children is about to have an Incredible-Hulk style meltdown and you think you might not make it to your next destination alive.
Highly educated women do have a higher chance of not having a family. Childlessness is on the rise and has nearly doubled in the UK since the 90s, but given the extensive press coverage in recent times of high-profile or careerist women choosing to forego the child-rearing experience you could be forgiven for thinking that most of those without children are of the 'child-free by choice' variety.
Stephen Sutton's untimely death puts the matter into perspective. While we remember him publicly, and his family and friends remember him privately, we will all remember one thing for sure: what he stood for.
Who will care for you in your old age? Big question. Particularly for people who don't have children, so I've been reminded lately.
Pregnancy is supposed to be the most wonderful time of a woman's life. I, however, liken the condition to that of being invaded by a parasite. Reading that sentence back to myself makes me feel like a terrible person. And very worried that there is something wrong with me. This is me sharing my dirty secret via my laptop: I don't ever want to be a mother.
I had to reprogramme my thought processes: another step to getting rid of limited thinking. In the end, I adopted the theme 'finding happiness in your own space, with or without children' ... and obsessed over it.