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.
'What Big, Sad, Scary Prospects You Have, Ungrandma!" Non-Grandparents: What to Do About Our Futures?
I'm 59, and have never had children - not my choice. Many of my same-age friends and family are preparing to enjoy the arrival of the next generation beyond, an experience that I'll no doubt take pleasure in by proxy, but still, that I'll miss out on for myself.
With Mothers Day coming up, for various reasons I'm especially aware this year of the concealments of daughters like me, probably all over the world.
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 am finally expecting a baby in February after almost four years of battling infertility and IVF treatments. Despite being so close to my goal of being a mother I have not forgotten for one second the pain that I have endured to get here. I especially cannot forget how much more intense that pain was at Christmastime.
My best mate is turning 30 in November, and has sadly told me, instead of having a full on two day bender of a birthday, she is keeping it "low key", because sadly, she doesn't think any our friends would come. One of the babies is teething, the other isn't sleeping well, one can't afford the trip... etc.
I've called myself many things in public - a binge eater, an addict, a perfectionist, a workaholic, to name but a few - but I've never called myself a feminist. It's only now that I'm starting to wonder why.
According to new research, men suffer deep feelings of depression, loneliness and jealousy if they are unable to have children
For those experiencing feminism's unintended consequences - childless, working women of my generation who, just like Friedan's housewives, are wondering if there's 'something more' - it can feel like the pendulum swung too far the other way.
Why did I choose to miss carols by candlelight, Christmas parties with friends, cosy nights in the pub and a few precious days chilling with my family? Why did I decide to travel so far away from the people I love when everyone else was going home?