By WENDY LOVE
I’m 29, married and financially stable. My work is flexible. I love my in-laws. And I have a husband who would have been happy if I were pregnant the day we said our vows. On top of that, the vast majority of my friends have one or more children, which means I almost feel like the odd one out not being a parent.
So why, then, with all these favourable conditions, am I starting to back away from my prenatal supplements and reconsider our decision to start “trying”?
I am being sabotaged.
By my friends who are now parents. And they aren’t even aware of their work.
Unbeknownst to so many of them, I am being constantly derided (albeit it unconsciously) for being an inexperienced, non-parent via innumerable warnings and—dare I say—patronising about how my life will change when I have kids.
That date I went on with my husband? Perfect opportunity to remind me how rare that will be once I have children. See that bikini-clad woman on the beach? “She won’t have a stomach like that after she’s popped one out,” I’m told with a huff. If I happen to mention my early 4am rising I know it’s a mistake: “You better get used to it,” I’m cautioned, “no more sleeping in when you’re up through the night with an infant”. “Need a rest from playing with my children? Ha, just you wait; there’s no resting when you’re a parent.”
I’ll never be alone but will feel alone. I’ll forever and ever have this little person to worry about and my husband and I will no longer be each other’s favourite thing.
And apparently I’m going to immediately turn into a fatter version of myself with bags under my eyes, hideous crow’s feet and deflated breasts that sag to the ground.
Of course these statements are always followed up with how they wouldn’t change being a parent for the world. They love their children. They love being a parent.
And the thing is, I know. I believe them.
I get that I’m not going to have the time I’m used to. That I’m going to be exhausted. That my husband and I can’t spontaneously decide to go out for a three-hour degustation with matching wines. And I understand that my body will alter and I will get older and more wrinkled—though I’d like to point out that this happens kids or not.