If you thought Sophie Monk was going to be a closed book after finishing filming on The Bachelorette (you didn’t really think that, did you?), you’d be wrong.
“I told him I want a baby and to get married,” she told Kyle and Jackie O’s KISS FM radio show about the man she’s ended up with on the reality show. “He’s on the same page. I told him within five minutes of meeting him. Things got deep very quickly.”
Aw, bless. These words caused The Daily Mail to run with the headline The Bachelorette’s Monk Confirms A Child Is On The Way and many breathless digital column inches spent speculating on the contents of Monk’s uterus.
Australia is delighted to hear – even as we start on the ‘journey’ of her multiple dating adventure – that Monk is happy, in love and thinking about babies. Because she’s funny and cool and likeable.
And because she’s 37.
And at 37, a woman is meant to have made her ‘choice’ – babies, or career? PICK ONE, women.
Listen to me, Mia and Jessie talk about Sophie Monk on Mamamia Out Loud today:
A woman like Monk, who’s been publicly carrying on a career for almost 20 years, was perceived to have made her choice. It’s part of her schtick on The Bachelorette – “I’m so lucky to do what I do…but the one thing you do sacrifice is a really healthy, good relationship,” she says in the trailer, just as it was for the 10-years-younger Georgia Love last year. These were the career women. And, the narrative goes, they’d missed the boat.
Back in 2014, Sophie Monk told Channel Nine’s The Fix that she wasn’t that bothered about babies. “I don’t know if I’d have it on my own because I don’t want a baby just for the sake of it,” she said. “I’d rather do it for the right reasons. So if it happens, it happens, if it doesn’t it doesn’t either — because I’ve got all my nieces and nephews and I love them.”
But a person changes her mind. Sophie Monk has, clearly.
So did I. 37 is exactly the age at which I, and plenty of other women of my acquaintance, suddenly went from “Huh, maybe, if it happens” to OH MY GOD WHERE IS MY BABY? It can feel as if you go to bed one night a sane individual with a firm grasp on the choices and circumstances that have brought you to the place you sit in your life, and you wake up the next day and every cell in your body is acutely aware of your empty arms.
You go from patting your friends’ babies from a distance to grabbing them and inhaling with an animalistic enthusiasm.
It’s the infuriating reality that’s behind that knowing ‘You’ll change your mind’ that you’ve had from every well-meaning relative for 10 years now.
Of course, not everyone changes their mind, but many do. And that's just fine.
For the next two months, every move that Sophie Monk makes will be watched through the invasive lens of a paparazzi's camera.
Every gossip mag will be on high-alert for the frame that shows that gorgeous Sophie has a bun in the oven. There will be no quarter given for large lunches or unforgiving angles. The fingers will be poised to breathlessly tap out a baby announcement on the eve she and her new man sit down with Carrie and Waleed on The Project in six week's time.
This kind of scrutiny - from the press in Monk's case, from aunties and cousins in our mere mortals' - is one of the reasons why women are cautious about admitting their truths at a "certain age". Sure, we wouldn't mind meeting someone. Oh, maybe a baby would be nice. But, you know, there's always travel.
But Sophie Monk has never been known for hiding her feelings, which is why we're so excited to see her on TV dating lots of guys at once. It's going to be a blast. And we wish her well.
And from one woman who changed her mind at 37 to another - all the luck. Don't listen to your own script, you don't have to choose between a career and kids when you get past 30. You can have it all, Sophie. It will just be a big old glorious mess when you do.
Listen to the full episode of Mamamia Out Loud, here.
You can follow Holly on Facebook, here.