An open letter to my non mother friends….

Dear Friend who has not yet had babies,

As you know I recently went travelling.  I voyaged into the world of Motherdom.  My life as I knew it was simultaneously destroyed and completed by this adventure.  I have willingly submitted to the cultures and ways of the land and will be staying here.  I wanted to write and tell you about it.

I am the same person.  But I am also a completely different person.  It’s like when I got here someone put me in a jar and shook it… my passions and interests are still the same, but  in Motherdom, my responsibility’s and priorities have more hold.  This is probably frustrating for you, it is for me too.

I still want to talk to you about my passions.  Say the gym.  They have gyms here too!

But I will have to rain check if a child has chicken pox.  I will want to talk to you about the likelihood of wetting myself.  I want you appreciate the fact that I am here with you despite the weeks of 2hrs sleep a night.  My passions are harder fought for but they are still there.

Please don’t cut me out because I am slow to keep up or late to turn up.  Likewise if I go without you it’s not personal… it’s just that I had time!

I am in love.  The natives are akin to drunken schizophrenic despots who are genetically designed to reduce me to a quivering mess should that be there desire.  They are physically inept, they don’t speak my language, and they steal sleep as a form of torture. They test me to my limits.  They are at times violent, merciless and relentlessly deafening.

I have fallen in love with them.  I have dedicated my life in there service.  I do not expect you to also lose your mind and fall in love with them but I do expect you respect it.

I am sorry…but also not sorry for the baby chat.   Imagine for a single moment that after a night of great sex and laughter your body got up and unasked and without conscious effort –and built two humans inside of you.  David Attenbourgh’s Blue Planet is one thing but watching a world of your own creation… well it’s fucking interesting.

This is Motherdom.

The natives here, their behaviours, sleep patterns, the way they feed, the way they interact.  It’s amazing.  I know it looks mundane to you but it is not just clearing up sick, getting up in the middle of the nights and sadly glancing at flabby tummy in changing room mirrors. I have laughed the most honest of laughs at dancing toddlers, wept with relief in the arms of my husband.  I have exploded with pride at legs I built being used to walk and literally shook with fear at the prospect of them not walking any more.   You see a mundane monotony but this is a roller coaster when you see it from the hills of Motherdom.  I want to talk about your world too but I also want to talk about mine.

I envy you and pity you simultaneously.  Your figure, your ease of travel, your career, you cleanliness, your independence, your ability to do what you want, when you want, in a way you want to do it. I envy all of it but I pity you the lack of awareness of these things.  Through all the pity you probably feel for me as I trudge through the tantrums and ‘can’t find a babysitter’ dramas I reflect it right back at you… even if you don’t want or need it in your adventures you are missing out, for not knowing the joy of having tiny hands hold yours or seeing your partner in a light that wants to make you weep in the face of our human capacity for compassion.  No these are not the daily experience of Motherdom and if you are think of joining me don’t be sold on them… but they do make it worth the trip!

I want to be open about your travels.   I don’t mind if you don’t want to join me here – the climate is pretty changeable, I’ve already mentioned the natives and there isn’t much of a culture of going out, but I do want to talk to you about it.  Don’t worry, we are different I don’t expect you to want the same things as me- it’s literally ok if your travel plans are not the same as mine.

You are my lifeline.   I genuinely mean everything I have said.  Motherdom is no different from anywhere you love.  You commit to living there, to its ways, its people and its pace but not at the expense of hankering for some of the familiarity you left behind.  You in your Non-mom-dom keep me real. You anchor me.  You provide perspective and contrast, balance and sanity.  I literally need you.  The other here get me in a way you can’t, but too much looking inwards never got any one anywhere.

Please write from Non-mom-dom!

From different sides of the same Ocean let’s keep talking, I miss you.

Love Me. x

0101 This is Mental Road/Motherdom

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4 thoughts on “An open letter to my non mother friends….

  1. Umm, ok..
    Just one thing.. don’t pity women who do not have or do not want children. Ever. That’s rude, condescending and totally problematic.

    I understand that you can feel judged as a mother in society, and it sounds like you actually think some women, who make different choices than you, are out to get you by suggesting that they probably pity you.. why in the wold would they? A person who is happy in their own life does not need to pity or envy other people for living differently..
    Some people want children, some don’t. I am very happy that you are happy, and I am sure that it’s right for you if you say so.. but by no means do I pity you. Because I know the way I live is not for everyone, just like I know how you live is not for me.

    You write this post to ask your friends to respect your choice in life because it makes you happy, but at the same time you are telling them that you don’t respect their choices as being as good as yours?
    ” you are missing out, for not knowing the joy of having tiny hands hold yours or seeing your partner in a light that wants to make you weep in the face of our human capacity for compassion.”

    Anyone can have lives filled with compassion, love and children (just not ours) that are just as valid as yours. When you start bringing down other people’s life choices, you sure don’t sound like you think it’s fine that your friends keep traveling and living child-free lives.. Let me just repeat; A person who is happy in their own life does not need to pity or envy other people for living differently..

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    1. Not above taking advice and il take it on the pity point. I genuinely did not want to offend and I obviously have so I would like to apologise. Any ‘letter to a woman who didn’t want, or could not have children’ would be very different. When I wrote this i wrote it with a very specific friend in mind – one battling with the ‘should i/shouldnt i’ conundrum not a person who had the backing of their convictions. Perhaps short sighted. I hope this goes a little way in not assuming I am the big-I-am…. I may not have sounded like i think child free choices are fine… I absolutely do.

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    1. Hey, I have obviously pissed you off with my tone spelling mistakes and apology. Sorry. It was indeed a well intentioned effort to lay down what i wanted to say to my friends who are yet to have children, I am actually gutted it obviously didn’t come across as such.
      But a few bits in my defence: you make a good enough argument against what i think without having to tear apart my spelling and use of words… my tag line or whatever it is called does nod towards this not being a strong point.
      You want to make me feel bad about that. I already do.
      But to the content…it is titled what it is, because the letter to my ‘friends who can’t have children’ and my ‘friends who don’t want children’ would be entirely different.
      I do pity you because aspects are amazing and it would be great if you, the notional friend got to experience them, not because I don’t think you have your own amazing experiences… i also expect you to pity me because aspects of it are shit. Situational pity along with situational envy… sorry i just don’t think that is something we can’t talk about.

      I didn’t write this to tear you down, be passive aggressive, offend, belittle you or give the impression I am better than you. Minus the passive bit, your comeback aims all of those things at me. As women we need to stop tearing each down assuming one view is at the expense of another. My tone irritated you, my spelling made you think I am not worth having an opinion, the fact I like my children obviously pissed you off… fine. I literally don’t go through life wanting to offend and I think you chose to see offence where it wasn’t meant but that said I have and that is ultimately not a great state of affairs.

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