Monday, 4 March 2013

To baby or not to baby? That is the question

I read an interesting article in the paper on the weekend bout how women are their own worse enemies when it comes to those with children, and those without. Oh, how we love to judge and criticise the other, depending which side of the fence we stand on.

A recent online poll showed Australian mothers’ greatest annoyance was a childless female who resented the other’s desire for flexible work hours. It also showed that childless women believed working mothers had lost their own identity. Judging much ladies?

Don’t get me wrong, in the past, I’ve been one of those judgemental, childless women. I resented the working mothers who had to leave at 3:30pm to collect their children because it meant I was expected to pick up their slack. I resented them because they got first pick for holidays. I resented there was an implied “you don’t have children so you can fit around us” mentality. I resented the fact I was discriminated against because I didn’t have children.

Hindsight, maturity and just getting on with life are beautiful things! I know that when I become a mother, I will need more flexibility. Because of all the times I sacrificed for the mothers, I’ll be asking for what I need. That will be my good karma coming back to me. And if anyone wants to have a go at me because of that, I’m happy to take a note out of Helen Mirren’s book and simply tell them to “fuck off.”  (This is what she use to say to people who had a go at her for never having children).

Not once, and let me be clear when I say that, not one single time, have I ever criticised anyone’s decision to have children or not. I have friends who don't want children and I get that. There are times when I question it myself because a childless life does have a certain appeal to it. So I’m always dumbfounded when some of these women outwardly and at times cruelly criticise women who do choose children. One even went so far as to post “2 egos-imagination=people with children” on her Facebook page. She then blamed parents for over-population and killing polar bears. Or was it panda bears? I can’t remember but apparently parents are killing some kind of bears. Probably them all!

In the end, the beauty of life is we all have the power and ability to make our own decisions. These decisions will be driven by a million different influences but we should never have to justify them to other people. Who is anyone to say the choice you have made for your life is right or wrong? Who is anyone to ask you to justify or qualify it? In the end, the only person who has to be happy with your decision is you!

I think it’s enormously sad that women are constantly in competition with each other. Who’s got the better house. Who’s got the better husband. Who’s got the better lifestyle. Why can’t we just sit back and support a woman who says this is what I want and this is what I’ve achieved? Why can’t we be happy for our friends that they’ve achieved their dream? Why can’t we show respect to each other, just as women, and get on with our lives?

I’m very glad where I am in my life. I am happy with my house, my husband, and my lifestyle. The things I’m not happy about, I’m working on. I’ve got friends around me who are enormously supportive and are holding my hand as I strive to reach my goals. I’ve got others who are happy to criticise me and be road blocks – I’ve started distancing myself from them. In the end, the beauty of being my age, and going through some serious crap in life, is you realise who your true friends are. You’re also not afraid to ditch those friends when you realise they’ve turned sour, bitter and unsupportive. Or as Helen Mirren says, you just tell them to “fuck off”!

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