As you know I’m single and don’t have any kids of my own. At this point in my life I’m 80% sure I will never be a mum. I don’t feel frustrated about that, because considering my terrible love life, I’ve never had the urge to have a baby. It’s not that I didn’t want to, but never been obsessed about looking for life fulfillment through raising one. Never felt this biological call I think. Probably if the chain of events would have been different, I’d be a proud mum nowadays. Who knows… Truth is this has never bothered me at all. I’ve been able to carry out lots of things that, with such huge responsibility, I would have never had the chance, so I don’t regret my current situation at all.
However I’m at this age that many people are new parents. Decades ago, it was at your 20s when you were having babies, and reaching 30 you were considered some sort of outcast or freak if you weren’t living in a couple raising kids. Society has changed, comfort and leisure have won consideration, with people feeling like enjoying travelling, going out or living free without additional burdens, and on the other hand the current expensive way of life, have delayed parenthood to the 30s, the decade I’m about to finish.
Thus let’s say until 2-4 years, I was working with single people, or at least with no kids. Barcelona is said to decrease the birth rate, however I see lots of couples assuming the step in their commitment adding new members to their new and small family. Many of them because they are well settled at work, feeling comfortable enough to assume this new episode. It’s quite reasonable and I feel very proud of my friends in that situation, moreover, I love my friends’ kids.
I work at an office where most of my colleagues have kids. Well, together with another girl I’m the exception. That wouldn’t be anything extraordinary if I wasn’t starting feeling marginalized.
Long time ago I wrote a piece for Norma Jean Magazine talking about the silent privileges of the parents at work, which made some noise among readers, causing extreme reactions. I was supported by many people and criticized and even insulted by others. The reason was that I affirmed that due to their obligations with kids, parents had some sort of advantage and an off the record law protecting their interest over single or non parent coworkers, especially related to holiday periods, illnesses and leaves. Of course you cannot speak in general, and that wasn’t my target (I didn’t want to offend anyone) at all, but everybody can read what anyone writes from a different point of view, but I hate those people abusing of their status for their benefit.
Leaving all the holidays subject, because at the end of the day I prefer taking days off for attending festivals, or whatever I want, out of the typical hot season, for the first time in my life, like I’ve advanced, I feel marginalized.
Does parenthood provide you of the ultimate truth and wisdom? Should I be interested in the different textures of poo? Is my life more frivolous because I don’t sacrifice it on behalf of a kid? Let me answer for you: NO, NO and NO.
Everything is based on choices. I chose not to have children because I reckon it’s more serious than we think. I’ve seen women getting pregnant to chase a guy, and live in permanent frustration, with constant problems and difficulties because that love story was a failure, and at the end of the day a kid wasn’t a fixed and unbreakable contract which granted happiness in couple. I don’t want that in my life, and I don’t want to be a bad mother, projecting my shit on my son. My work pals decided the other way. Some were lucky because their relationships are serious, well based on, deep and constant. Some weren’t because everything was just an illusion in the heat of the moment. Everybody has to carry their emotional bags the way they can, but since I don’t judge, I don’t wanna be judged or just categorized as insensitive or selfish.
Sometimes these mums at work make me feel as if I don’t give a shit about kids sick, or learning to walk and talk. As if they thought I don’t belong because I don’t have anything in common with them, or at least as important. I cannot talk about poo, vaccines, kindergarten teachers or meals from my personal experience, obviously, but I listen and learn from what others share with me, so I can give my input, but that is not valid for them because “you don’t really know what this is like”. On the other hand, since their kids have become the center of their lives, the rest doesn’t matter, so at the end of the day they’re basically talking about the same. I’m sorry but it’s boring. If being a mother means I have to give up everything I love, passions and hobbies, and just being focused on a human being, I’m afraid that’s not my war.
I know close friends who are mothers and they are able to converge motherhood, friendship, couple, their personal life, and work, and many other things, and they’re good at everything. They can care for friends and even though there’s a lot of sacrifice and hard work, they don’t feel overwhelmed by their new situation and keep up with their previous life. I feel part of their experience, I fit in without feeling like forcing them to take me in their lives, and they respect and care about me and my stuff.
What the difference between case A and case B mothers? I might sound very harsh right now, but I honestly think the first ones never had a plenty life and raising a kid is some sort of relief for their frustration, with lots of dependence involved, and probably the result will be a disaster when those children grow up, become individuals in possession of their own will, and start feeling detached from their protective wings, because they won’t know what to do with their empty lives.
So dear supermoms at my office, I’m glad you’re leaving me aside because now I know I don’t want, nor won’t be like you, and it’s a huge relief.