A few weeks back, my brother commented “You’re so good with kids.” It came a bit out of nowhere, but I said thank you and genuinely accepted the compliment. Something I’m not normally that good at doing. I went back to playing ‘tea party’ with my nieces and felt satisfied. HE GOT IT.
I’m tearing up right now, writing this.
You see, normally when people give you such a compliment, they have to go and ruin it by adding “You’d be such a good mother…” or “When *are* you having kids?” or my personal favourite: “You’ll feel ready / change your mind one day…”
I can’t tell you how frustrating it is.
If you’re good at cooking, no one bangs on about how you MUST be a chef. (Unless you’re like reaaaaaaally good, Masterchef standard, and then they’ll just send the application off for you! Bastards!) Anyway, just because you’re good at cooking doesn’t mean you want to dedicate your life to it, to spending your evenings and weekends in a hot, sweaty kitchen. The long hours, the pressure.
Maybe you just want to cook in your own kitchen on a Sunday afternoon, at your own pace, with a glass of wine.
I’ve got plenty of other metaphors and I could bang on for another few paragraphs, but I’m sure you get my point.
I’m 35 now. Almost 36. Most people have stopped asking me if/when I’m going to have kids… thank god! I think about 90% of my close friends and family now understand and accept the fact that it’s not going to happen.
But maybe you’re not so lucky – and I feel for you. Really I do.
I’ll just wrap up by saying another thank you to my brother. You are a legend in many ways, and this is just one of them.
Are you child free? What have your experiences been? Please do share – if you feel able. It’s good to talk! 😀