parent opinion

'My whole life I wanted kids. Now I'm 35, my unhappy Mum friends have completely put me off.'

I’m a single 35-year-old woman and have always had a strong desire to be a mother. At 32 I froze my eggs so I continue to cover my bases as I age. But with each year that goes by, the yearning for a picture perfect, white picket fence life with a husband and two kids lessens. 

And here’s why...

Watch Things people who don't want kids always hear. Post continues after video.


Video via Mamamia.

1. Do I even want to bring new people into this world? 

COVID sucks, terrorism is beyond scary, and climate change lingers. Is it fair to put more people through this stress and uncertainty that only seems to grow and expand? Will fulfilling my maternal cravings simply result in my offspring living a life of pain and hardships?

2. The majority (yes, majority) of my friends are with very average blokes. 

Settling (or batting below) is a thing you do as your age and desperation increases. It’s also super common when you’re from a small town like I am. I escaped to a bigger city at 23, but back home divorce rates continue to skyrocket among school buddies of mine who married young. At a lunch with five mum friends recently, the common theme seemed to be that their men contribute little to fatherly or household responsibilities. 

Despite this catchup falling on a weekend, every single child had been dropped to a grandparent’s house. “Oh god, Michael would never babysit solo while I’m at something like this,” one of the ladies freely exclaimed.

I'm sorry, WHAT? Am I living in an alternate universe right now?

I thought the old 'Stepford Wife' stereotype was dead and buried? Since when is sperm donor the only partner prerequisite? I want a loving, supportive equal who doesn’t refer to looking after his own kids as “babysitting.” 

Listen to The Quicky, hosted by Claire Murphy. Post continues after podcast.


3. I live a life of complete freedom and independence. 

I decide what I want, when I want it. I answer to nobody and every dollar I make is mine (and the tax man’s). 

Am I free for brunch tomorrow? Sure am! 

Should I book an afternoon massage? Why not! 

Can I have a big night tonight and a guilt free hangover tomorrow? You bet! 

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Life is damn good because I’ve created that for myself. I don’t need anyone, nor do I have a hole I’m looking to fill. Anything additional is icing on an already pretty sweet cake!

Since starting daycare TWO months ago, my bestie’s son has been sent home with a cold, ear infection, hand, foot and mouth disease, conjunctivitis, and gastro (TWICE!!). Whilst providing much needed respite, these places are also big fat incubators of messy and highly contagious illnesses that sweep through entire families. Or so I’m told. Cute!

That same little guy, just screamed non-stop on a 90-minute Sydney to Melbourne flight. The poor thing was so worked up from crying, he vomited. Exorcist style. On a plane. Filled with people like me who are keen on a refreshing, undisrupted little catnap between cities.

Speaking of sleep, I really like it. 

My friend who has twins doesn’t get any. At a dinner last week, she fell asleep at the table. She was too tired to eat and could barely string a sentence together. When asked what I had planned for the next day, I didn’t have the heart to tell her I was booked in for a PT session followed by a mani, pedi and spray tan.

“I can’t wait to get my life back” is a phrase I hear all too often amongst new parents I know. Does procreating mean you have to accept losing yourself for a few years…. but then eventually it’s all worth it in the end? 

I don’t know if I’m willing to risk my current existence of selfish, unadulterated joy to find that out anymore.

Don’t get me wrong, I know there’s much happiness to be had from starting a family. I actually think I’d be a great mum. I love kids and I’m constantly given feedback that I’m a natural with them. But each horror story slowly extinguishes my maternal flame. 

In fact, sometimes I genuinely forget why I wanted to reproduce in the first place.

Am I lonely sometimes? Yes. Will I wake up in 10 years and wish I’d done things differently? Potentially. Are my standards too high? Probably. Maybe if I meet the man of my dreams, I will want to make 200 babies immediately! 

All I know is, getting married and breeding used to be the ultimate life goal. It’s just what you were supposed to do, and anything less equalled failure and embarrassment (where I’m from anyway). Now I look around at my many seemingly unhappy, trapped, sleep deprived, financially restricted mates and wonder if we’ve got it backwards….. because that reality doesn’t look overly appealing to me. Maybe the alternative isn’t so bloody bad after all!

So next time we’re at a wedding or reunion together, don’t give me your pitying eyes and your patronising…. “Don’t worry, I’m sure Mr Right is around the corner” comments. Come at me with a big bottle of bubbles, cos I’m baggage free, and I’ve got a sleep-in with my name on it!

Feature Image: Getty.

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