Saturday, 26 May 2012

So after having an intense discussion with someone last night ,next to a fire, in a room full of polished looking yuppie types drinking pretentious beer, I have decided to start blogging. You can draw your own conclusions from that.

Anyway... my friend and I were discussing babies and thirty-something friends with babies. To clarify my friend and I are both thirty-something friends without babies who have (obviously) other similar aged friends who have in unison popped out a whole bunch of babies. Aforementioned friend had baby-free date night with friends who were babied up. The baby mommas spent the whole night bitching about how hard it is to be a mother and how they hated it and how aforementioned friend was so lucky to be single and free and able to do anything she wanted.

Which made me wonder - why are we trawling the interweb for likely looking men and then finally meeting "the one", settling down and producing much-longed-for offspring and then bitching about both the man and the offspring to our friends (some of whom are trawling through the interweb and so on)?

Of course this isn't a blanket occurrence but it is pretty prevalent. I've heard it in various workplaces, on buses, at coffee shops etc. So, being the curious monkey that I am, I want to know why. Why? Why? Why?

I for one have been thinking about the fact that I might never have babies - late thirties... no likely prospect in sight and I don't know whether it's heartening or depressing to hear women's stories about the "joy of motherhood". Is it one-upmanship? (some of the discussions do remind me of the famous Monty Python skit... "your whole family lived in a shoe-box.... we dreamed of living in a shoe-box" = "you're baby doesn't sleep through the night... my baby has never slept ever ever" "Well my boobs are never going to be the same - aren't you lucky to be single and free and with your original boobs"  "But what about your child" "I'd rather have the boobs" REALLY WTF?????)

Is it fashionable to dislike your child? Is it uncool to be into motherhood? Are mom's trying to make non-mom's feel better about their non-mom status by making babying seem horrific e.g.Single non-mom: "You have a loving relationship and a beautiful child (insert slight tinge of envy)" new mom: "Oh it's horrible the baby never sleeps, I can't remember when I last had sex and I really want my original boobs back"

Is it a case of "the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence"? If we refer back to the previous example, we can see that new mom is thinking non-mom is going out all the time and hooking up with hot Brazilian surfers at cool parties. Non-mom is thinking of the last time she had sex, which was six months ago with a balding, middle-aged  accountant who, kept on calling her mommy during sex. This means that neither new-mom nor non-mom are getting any and the only real advantage that non-mom has is being able to watch an entire episode of Dexter/ Grey's Anatomy/ Project runway etc in peace. (At this point I hear a chorus of new-mom's saying - YES all we want is to watch a TV program in peace.... and possibly our original boobs back!!!!!.)

It could also be that the media has created a golden ideal of motherhood which involves glowing laughing women and cute, cuddly babies and  lavender-scented bath times and never-ending supplies of four-ply toilet paper and puppies and a catchy theme tune and, possibly, unicorns. So after pushing out the mini-me women are stumbling around tired, disillusioned and bitter, trying to find the coffee and yelling " who used all the toilet paper and where are my fucking unicorns!"

And then there's the judgement on women who decide they don't want to have children. There must be something wrong with her - she must be cold or dysfunctional or devoid of human compassion or some such crap. (I have to admit that I have actually thought these thoughts once apon a time and seen it going through people's minds when they ask about my childless, man-less status - OMG you should see their faces when I mention that I also have a cat!)

It seems to me that all women are being set up for a weird lose-lose mentality. We do it to ourselves and we do it to each other. No babies by accident.... sad, lonely loser, crazy cat lady or wanton strumpet... no babies by choice... selfish cold fish (also see: crazy cat lady or wanton strumpet).... happy mom.... unambitious throwback... miserable mom.... ungrateful whinger.

The only way I can cope with all of this is to try to adopt a win-win attitude - i.e. if I do have kids then I get the wonderful/terrifying experience of raising a another human being. If I don't then I get to very, very occasionally sleep with hot Brazilian surfers, watch entire marathon runs of my favourite TV programs and I also get to keep my original boobs.

I would be really interested to hear the opinions and experiences of moms, new-moms and non-moms... please post in the comments.