i recently saw a photo of five awesome women, all sitting in a loungeroom. all smiling faces.
they were all on the one couch, all in a row. and all of them held a baby that was about 6-months old. all of the children belonged to the women.
it’s quite a sight, seeing five women with five babies of about the same age. in the same way that it’s quite a sight seeing any five people in a row all holding up anything of the same type. you realise that it’s officially a ‘thing’.
i know i will sound unkind about this, but i almost want to say that it’s a trend.
it’s certainly a boom.
i don’t think it’s just because facebook shows me all the baby photos from all women around my age, or because i hang out with some peeps who are having kids, but everyone is having children! it’s quite amazing.
and the older i get, the more i feel decidedly on the outer of that boom. and even more committed to my decision to not have children.
i feel quite strongly about my place in society, the world and my friend’s circles, as the woman who hasn’t had children.
i am quite old fashioned in believing that a woman’s identity is not just as a mother or a whore. i feel like it’s quite important that i remind the world (both men and women) that women are also artists, academics, thinkers, travellers, code-monkeys, writers and a myriad of other things we contribute.
i feel like it’s my role to provide mothers with other things to talk about other than nappy rash, difficulties with teething/sleeping/feeding. they may not want to talk about those things for a while. but when they do, someone needs to have held the fort.
i want to be the one who still goes out dancing until 5am regularly, without it being some kind of nostalgic kick-back to my youth. surely womanhood is an extension of such exhileration?
and, if i’m really honest, i’m quite disappointed at this current boom – largely made up of gen x-ers who, like me, grew up with the riot grrl crew – spouting the importance of fucking with female role models, railing against hair bands, not shaving our legs, swearing, fucking. i know that’s a bit black’n’white thinking of me, but there, i said it.