Please note: I absolutely do not intend to offend anyone with this post - just like I know nobody who made or posted the photo in this blog intended to offend anyone.
Please read this post in the spirit it was intended.
This image came up in my timeline. Just read it over.
How did that make you feel? Did you feel all warm & fuzzy, nodding your head enthusiastically? You either have a child or want children rather badly. Am I right? I don't know... Well for me, it makes me rather angry. I don't have children. I have no real desire to have children. And because I don't meet the criteria marked out by this Facebook picture then I haven't known love. I'm not exaggerating. That's what it says. Right there, "You haven't known love." Direct quote.
Well I don't know who originally wrote this (and for that matter, why they even felt the need) but I beg to differ!
I have counted the perfect little fingers and toes of my friend's baby - a baby I watched enter the world and who I shared in the grief with his parents as we held him as he died two days later. That's love.
I held the hand of my high school boyfriend and felt my heart beat so fast it nearly exploded out of my chest. That's love.
I kissed the nose of my puppy and felt her lick my cheek back. That's love.
I soothed the tummy of my uni boyfriend as he was very ill and I wished I could do something to take away his pain. That's love.
I have read my blog posts out to my dad while he sits quietly and we talk about all sorts of things - things that one day, I may never get to talk to him about anymore. That's love.
I have wiped the tears of my best friend as she dealt with pain, heartache and sorrow. That's love.
And I'm sorry but "powdering a little booty" is not high on my list of things to do.
So how dare the creator of this photo insinuate that I have not "known love" because I haven't spawned my own offspring? I have not experienced the love a parent feels for their child, it's true. But I have known love. I have loved deeply and I have loved passionately. But I don't feel the need to jam this down everybody's throat. Why do some parents?
Most of the girls on my Facebook have children. I get that. We're mostly around 26 so yeah, child bearing age. But I don't. And it's by choice. (Imagine how I would feel looking at this photo if it was not by choice? What if I desperately longed for a child but could not conceive?) I could have had a child if I wanted to. Once upon a time I had a long term boyfriend or a "partner" as you start calling your boyfriend when you want to be taken more seriously but aren't engaged or married. I even owned a house and bought Better Homes and Gardens magazines. We discussed it but I have never really felt the need to procreate.
Anyway, now I love my life. For me, it is damn near perfect just the way it is. In fact, to be totally honest, I am wary of talking too much about how much I love my life and about all the wonderful things that happen for fear of upsetting people who have lives that are different to mine (if that makes sense?) It's not that I think my life is the ultimate in perfection, but for me, it really is. And I am concious that I may have things others covet and I am not about to start gloating about that. I have a job that I love and am about to become a published author. I have the time to chill out and write my blog, play video games and was easily able to make the commitment to join an amazing football team. I sleep in every weekend. Sometimes I don't get out of bed until midday because I'm just laying around all cozy-like playing around on my iPad. And it's not a treat. It's just a Saturday. I drive a brand new car and yes, I am about to pack up and move to England for around four months because I have nothing tying me down. Now I didn't pick and choose what I mentioned then, I just listed the things in my life that make me happiest. But in all actuality, I couldn't really do any of them if I had a child. I just couldn't. And one of my favourite things about my life is I have no idea where I will be in a year's time. My future could bring anything and I have so much to look forward to! But does that mean I have not known love? Maternal love, no. I have not known that. But love is different to every person and every situation.
You know, I tried to find a photo to counter the one in this post. I actually tried really hard. I couldn't find one. (Unless you count Breeder Bingo!) Nobody has bothered to make an "I love my life as a single, childless woman" picture thing. I hope that's because they're too busy actually living the life they love and not because there aren't any happy, single, childless women. So I really have to wonder, why do these "I love being a mummy" pictures even exist? And in all different shapes and forms! Who is making them and why? And really, when people announce time and time again how much they love their life and their children it gets old and I'm sorry if this seems rude but I start to wonder, who are they trying to convince? Me? Or themselves?
I get that people love their children and in their words, they love them more than anything else in the world. And that's great. I am honestly happy for them. I truly hope they feel the same satisfaction and happiness with their lives as I do with mine. But how dare someone tell me I do not "know love" and insinuate that my life is anything less than perfect because I don't have children?
Miss SAMawdsley xx
- Do you have children or not? Are you happy with this decision?
- What would your ideal life be?
- Have I missed the point with these kinds of images?
"I believe anything less than mad, passionate, extraordinary love is a waste of time. There are too many mediocre things in life. Love shouldn't be one of them."