Thank you for not asking me the question, “Are you thinking about kids?” This includes me.
Thank you for sharing your children with me, and understanding that I can enjoy time with your children without needing my own.
Thank you for not saying “My life started when I had children”.
Thank you for never saying “You’re a natural,” perpetuating the idea that womenkind’s single highest purpose is to succeed at caregiving.
Thank you for making the effort to discuss topics other than your relationship or your children.
Thank you for not resorting to the alternative which is to ask me how my search for ‘the one’ is going.
Thank you for inviting me over to dinner, for pouring some wine, or supplying it even though you might not be drinking for whatever reason.
Thank you for asking me about my day.
Thank you for not humble bragging about the state of your finances/home/children.
Thank you for not telling me that I won’t really know what being tired is like until I’ve had kids.
Thank you for not making assumptions about the trajectory of my life.
Thank you for not prying when I am not volunteering the information freely.
On No Filter, Mia Freedman chats to Bridie O’Donnell about her decision to become an elite cyclist at 32 – with no previous history in the sport. Post continues after audio.
Thank you for not dropping hints, discussing my age and using the answer as a segway to fertility, or asking invasive questions about if my spouse wants kids. If you really want to know, invite he or she over and ask them.
Thank you for all the times you arranged a sitter. For the times you included me in discussions about your own experiences with honesty, without qualifying with statements like, “only a parent can” or “I didn’t realise until I was a parent that…”.
To the childless woman, thank you for not making jokes about readiness for motherhood, or implying that motherhood is exclusive to the feminine experience.
Or treating time that is spent single or childless, as time that is suffered through and endured prior to the end goal or main event – the part where life ‘starts’.
These assumptions are caught up in an age-old cultural ritual which is the source of so much joy and pride.