I wanted to write about something that happened last week, because I’m not entirely sure how I feel about it. There’s this odd mesh of thoughts in my belly about the way it made me feel, but one thing is for sure — the delivery was not ok.
I was stopped in Westfield by a charity marketer. She worked for a charity that supports better health, education and welfare for children in other countries. We had good dialogue and through her spiel, she ascertained that I had a job, so was an eligible candidate for the sign up.
Now, because we were discussing children, I’m assuming they’d been trained how to pull on the emotional heart strings of those they talked to as a sales tactic. The conversation proceeded to go something like this:
“How old are you by the way?”
“Wow! I would have said about 26/27!”
[Insert black girl blush and #BlackDontCrack finger snap here]
“So, out of these things, if you had to choose, which would you remove from a child’s development? Education, healthcare, — by the way, do you have children yourself?”
“Oh! What happened? You look like you’d make a great mum…”
What happened. What happened?
When you thought I looked almost five years younger than I am, life was great, but at the prospect of me being in my 30s and not having a child, “wow” became “what happened?”
You didn’t know if I was in a relationship, if I wanted kids, if I could have them. Knowing nothing more of me than my age and occupation, you judged me and you deemed that there was something wrong with me.
I’m tired of it.
I’m tired of this judgement, this assumption.
From strangers. From family. From friends.
From other women.
The pressure that we put on our own sisterhood, when as women WE KNOW THE STRUGGLE OURSELVES is nothing short of ridiculous.
I’m tired of it.
Of the “finally!” comments when someone gets engaged or pregnant. Or the “you next!” if you deign to make your presence known in the comments.
I’m tired of the never ending cycle of making someone else feel less than, based on where you stand. Or what you did “when I was your age” or because “it’s about time.”
The joke thing is, that even after you get engaged/ get married/ have a child, they are there quick time with the next thing on the checklist: a baby, before you’ve even taken off your veil and gone on honeymoon. Child number two, before you’ve restored enough of your pre-baby brain to remember your own name, get a decent night’s sleep for the first time in a year and resume some semblance of yourself.
I mean really, between the masses and all their opinions and the Clear Blue ads that assault me multiple times a day, when all I’m trying to do is watch brush lettering tutorials on You Tube, I’m done.
I’M TIRED OF IT.
You want me to have a child, but I can’t even get on the property ladder. So, after I have this child you’ve put on me, where exactly am I meant to lay its head at night? Childcare fees can equate to one person’s monthly wage. So, I can expect a bank transfer from you every month, yeah?
I think I was meant to write these thoughts down, as this week there was an article in The Metro about how, inappropriate at best, and downright heartbreaking it is at worst, for you to ask when a couple will have kids.
Don’t ask me what a great mum looks like either. I wasn’t aware you could garner that information based on 120 seconds of chat. I will be a great mum, but that’s based on my character, which you know nothing of; being with the right, wonderful man, whom you know nothing of and at the right time for us.
I want to be a mother, but what I don’t want is your insensitivity, your pressure, your judgement, your timing on mylife, your assumption or your two pence worth. And I certainly don’t want your pity.
If this was TL;DR for you, what had happened was, I took my womb back into my own hands and out of the glare of your expectation. Thank you, and goodnight.
This post first featured on thelifenotes.co.uk.