My family will tell you that I never have been the kind of woman who possesses the urge to push a human out of my uterus. In fact, I’m 99% positive that I ovulate sand.
Don’t get me wrong, I like children, I find them an endless source of entertainment and more often than not they’re on a far similar wave length to me than some (ok, most) adults. But babies on the other hand, scare the living daylights out of me.
I clearly missed the gene which is responsible for the broody behaviour my friends tell me about, and ever since my uni days I knew I’d sooner have a menagerie of animals than children. I’ve never had a “tingly uterus” when grimly clinging onto a baby for dear life whilst it desperately tries to wriggle free from my grasp, like some sort of living slinky. I tend to be more focused on surreptitiously trying to disguise the fear and cluelessness on my face in front of their parent than wondering if the look of motherhood suits me.
I’m not alone in this knowledge either, babies can sense it too because as soon as I hold one – related to me or not, and regardless of age – you can’t count to three before it’s started screaming in my arms and making a desperate bid for freedom. It’s as guaranteed as night follows day, I’d bet my house on it every time.
So, as you can imagine, I’ve been the subject of my fair share of judgement over the years but, surprisingly to me, I’ve experienced it in both my city and my country lives.
Now, of everything I’ve ever written about, this is, for sure, the trickiest subject. I can’t avoid the stigma around not wanting to use a functioning uterus or the feeling of guilt when discussing my life choices, because there are some women (who I really do truly feel for) that would swap a limb for the ability to procreate, and I certainly can’t avoid the labels.
Oh the labels! I’ve been called everything under the sun – selfish, lazy, inconsiderate, unfit for marriage. I’ve been accused of going against nature’s plan or God’s will. but let me ask you something, just because I have a uterus, does that mean I must use it to it’s maximum cababilities?
I have a perfectly functioning left arm but if I used it to it’s full potential, I’d sure as sh*t be in prison right now or at the very least have a number of GBH charges against me, as the desire to punch insufferable people in the throat just comes so easily to me…“But it’s nature’s plan!!” 🤷🏼♀️
Alas, over the years I’ve refrained from causing bodily harm and instead resorted to dry wit and sarcasm. Not that this approach went down particularly well with the country set…not sure they ever fully understood my humour as a barrier to avoid unwelcome conversations regarding my own reproductive organs being foisted upon me against my will.
But to be fair, it was pretty much expected from a bunch of people who have, quite frankly, struggled to keep up with societal changes that have been widely accepted elsewhere in the country (and the rest of the modern world) over the last 5 decades. There are people I met in Wiltshire who would honestly still perceive sheep shagging as more acceptable than homosexuality or being transgender. Truly baffling.
What surprised me most though was the second degree judgement from city people that I’ve experienced lately now that I’m in another serious relationship. Apparently it’s acceptable to not want a baby whilst you’re single, but if you don’t suddenly become a walking uterus that’s desperate to get knocked up the minute you’re happy and comfortable, then clearly something’s wrong with you!
I don’t know which form of judgement I dislike more to be honest with you, at least the bloody bumpkins are consistent in their judgemental approach to modern women. Whereas with certain city folk, they lull you into the false sense of security that you’re apparently accepted…but only in certain circumstances!
So I’ve found myself wondering on more than one occasion – and more often than I care to admit – with the wonderful (long overdue), huge leaps forward in finally normalising so many of society’s stigmatised outliers…is the happily settled woman who doesn’t want to procreate the last species left to be truly accepted?
Until next time…