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'I'm single and child-free. I resent my female co-workers who have kids.'

I'm single and in my early 30s

I don't have children, but one day I would like to become a mum. If I'd met the right guy at a younger age, I'd probably have three or four by now.

I'd drive my Kia Sorrento around on the weekends, pack the kids in and out at weekend sports, happily providing the oranges of course, and try to 'stay hip' and down with the kids when it came to clothes. I have an innate fear of becoming 'mumsy' if I ever have kids.

Alas, that's not what the world has had in store for me so far. Instead I've had a few heartbreaks, and watched my friends and family get married and have kids.

I've settled into the role of 'fun Auntie'.

I'm the one who still has the energy to play Mario Kart with my nephew when all the adults are talking or challenge my niece to beat my record at Just Dance on the Wii.

I'm kewl. Or at least I like to think so.

When I'm with family and friends, I don't really feel like I'm the only single or childless one. They make me feel included, and although they would LOVE for me to meet someone and pop out a bunch of babies (as would I) they know not to make a fuss of it. If I want to tell them something about my dating life, I will. 

At work however, I must admit, over the past couple of years, I've noticed I'm growing resentful towards my colleagues with children.

Watch: These women share why they decided not to have kids. Post continues after video.

Video via YouTube/The Guardian.

My department is mostly female. We are a small media department and one of the busiest in the company. It's a role that requires consistency for the quality of the product to be maintained at a decent level. 

I was told when I first started working within the department almost six years ago now; that it wasn't the kind of job you could do part-time, and it wasn't fair to others within the department to do so. This was by my head of department, a woman with kids. 

Currently, within our small department, all our staff, except me, are part-time. Their hours have been adapted to suit them and their family life. 

They are all mothers with multiple children.

I understand workplaces need to adapt to the needs of their employees. But at what point is the need for practicality and quality undermined by the hours and days people want to work? Are there just some industries that aren't fit for part-time mums with young infants?

So many times, it has felt like my needs have come second to my colleagues who have children. The time off I request is never as important as the days they request off to take care of their kids.

They have more days off work because when their child is sick; they go home. In our job, it's impossible to work from home. The equipment and tools needed to do the job in full are way too expensive. It wouldn't be practical or reasonable.

So, when someone is working part-time, say three days a week, usually if their kid is sick, they miss those three days, so those of us who are full-time, pick up the slack. I wouldn't mind if it wasn't a regular occurrence, but as most of the other staff are part-timers, I pick up the slack every week.

A couple of years ago my dog was sick, and I asked to go home to take him to the vet. I was living by myself at the time, with family living two hours away. I was told I couldn't, because the only other person working had to go home to look after their child. My dog passed away that evening. It feels like the important things in my life will never be as important as the events in my colleagues' lives. I feel like I'm always at a disadvantage.

Sometimes I think I need to have a baby for my needs to be recognised in my workplace. Which concerns me… what if I never have kids? Will my needs never be a priority?

We have already lost one other full-time member of staff this year. She was also single and childless and became resentful of the culture that the mums were looked after, sometimes to the detriment of everyone else. They can choose what hours they work, and what days they work, and those few of us who don't have kids are asked to work around them.

I have a constant inner battle feeling guilty about my resentment, but also angry that it often feels like the mums who work in our department play off the fact they have kids. I do more hours and work but get paid the same as they do. They don't get docked for a day's work if they leave halfway through to pick up their kid, but I still complete a full shift. 

I've worked hard to get to where I am, and, like a lot of jobs in creative industries, I've had to do a lot of unpaid overtime to get there. And now I'm doing more, it seems, because I am childless.

Am I the a**hole for having these feelings?

I can't help but feel it's also a part of our culture to prioritise women who have children in any situation, so if I never have kids, my wants and needs will always take second place.

The author of this story is known to Mamamia but has chosen to remain anonymous for privacy reasons.

Image: Getty. 

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