Friday, 22 June 2012

I "haven't known love". Or so I'm told...

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."


  1. Im sorry Sam, but I couldnt finish this one.

    In fact, your rant was kind of insulting to me, and not because I myself am one of those breeders, but because it was completely and utterly inane, and I have come to expect better from you.

    I saw you complaining about it on FB and I thought "Well, its a little silly to get bent out of shape by it, but who am I to judge" and I moved on. But now an in-depth rant... I just feel its too much,and I expected more from you.

    Why get so offended that you need to pull out your soapbox and rave? Up until this point, you have used this power to denounce the evils of (Truth and love, to extend your reach to the stars above...!) casually using the term OCD, told us amusing anecdotes about Tarp-raptors and invited drunken men named Otto to create awesome reader content.

    You say you are enjoying life right now, that you are living it exactly how you want it, that you wouldnt change it in any way... So why the hell let something like this hurt you? Its a fucking picture on facebook, and it offends you? :-/ Dammit Player, grow a thicker skin girl.

    I cant really believe you when you say "Anyway, now I love my life. For me, it is damn near perfect just the way it is." (thats where I stopped reading), because if it were true, you should have the ability to laugh at these photos. These sort of things are meant to invoke the microwave feeling (warm and fuzzy on the inside) to those who share that bond, and perhaps it is indeed compensation for those who entered into that bond unwillingly. I didnt plan my children, and having them has messed me up in uncountable ways, but I wouldnt change them for the world. Best mistake I ever made. And this picture, if it meant anything at all to me, would just re-inforce that feeling in me. As it stands, it means nothing, cause its nothing more than a chain letter, and it shouldnt upset anyone...

    Of course, this place is YOUR place, and I have no right to tell you what you can and can't talk about... I just had a higher expectation of you :-( Sorry if I offended you, but your anger made me surprisingly angry >.>

    1. *sigh*. I don't even know where to begin on this one because it's not an opinion on my blog. It's not an opinion on love. It's not even an opinion me. Its... an opinion on what I chose to write an opinion on? So here I stand justifying my choice to write a blog post about women telling me I have not (and will never) know love because I don't have children.

      I'm sorry, but being told my life will always be empty, meaningless and loveless is something I would like get on my soapbox and defend. For childless people everywhere! I am sick of this "Superior mummy culture" (which I managed to not address and simply stick to the insinuation that my life and loves are sub par) while I keep relatively quiet about my 'Superior single with no dependants" life. It's not a me vs them thing! I don't tell them they haven't known life until they've dropped everything to tour Europe for months. It's not my place and it's just my opinion. So why am I being told that I do not know love just because I don't have children? My whole point is that something like this shouldn't exist, so in a way, you're right! But it does exist, so in a way, I'm right!

      I tried to make it a fair, well thought out piece on a touchy subject. Other people have agreed with me. Some, have probably disagreed. But stick to that. And if you do feel the need to have a rant about me, please stick to a different forum. Call, email, Facebook. I'd appreciate not being belittled in front of my readers (all 100 of them) for something irrelevant to the topic. xx

    2. You missed my point entirely, but considering I didnt know what my point was when I wrote this, I can understand that.

      It wasnt your choice of topic, I made that clear in my last paragraph "This is place is YOUR place..." but that it got to you (I explained myself far more clearly in the second post, so I wont rehash any of it).

      As for the medium in which I express my opinion, is that not the point of the Blog, to promote discussion? Is that not why you add discussion points at the end of each topic? Am I only allowed to express positive happy princess thoughts, and no negative ones?

      Not sarcasm, serious question.

    3. The entire point seemed to be "I expect better content from you on the blog that I have no right to actually expect anything from you on". It seemed like an attack on me for even having thoughts on this subject. And as the other comments have indicated, people do have opinions on this topic. Why aren't I allowed to share mine again? On my blog, nonetheless?
      And you're right. You did more clearly express why this has upset you in your second comment. You reiterated that it is my content - exactly what you're telling me it's not now. Sorry, but I'm confused. And you've not addressed any of the questions which relate to love & whether parents have the monopoly on that feeling. Which I think, and still maintain, is a post worthy of my time because I've rolled my eyes at them but I take great offence to the insinuation that I do not know love. Address that. Like you said, I can blog about whatever the hell I want to blog about. And today, I choose this. Deal with it! :) xx

    4. Never once have I said "This topic isnt worthy of your blog". You may be insinuating it, but it isnt my comment.

      My comment is "Why does this hurt you so much?"

      I addressed how it affects me, in that it doesnt, and if it does it makes me feel inadequate because I entered parenthood completely unprepared. It doesnt pertain to you in the slightest. Why do you let it get your panties in a knot?

      Lets say a certain hairy nippled classmate of ours came up to you tomorrow, and told you your life was meaningless because you hadnt had children. How would you react to her? If I may be so bold as to answer for you, you would laugh in her face. She has no power over you, she has no control over your life, she has nothing on you at all. You are happy, you dont need her approval anymore. She is but dust beneath your shoe.

      So why is it that some stranger you dont know can get a rise out of you? You say it doesnt affect you, but it CLEARLY does. You are blogging about it. You are justifying yourself in defense of it. Fuck the topic. Fuck the blog. Im interested in YOU. Why does it do to you what it does to you. I am not attacking your content or your blog. I am seeking to find out why the girl who I have told about 4 times in the last month is amazing and strong and awesome is suddenly getting challenged by some crappy chain-letter.

  2. Ok, so I have analysed my anger. I had to figure out why this, of all things, made me angry.

    I dont watch the news. I dont read the newspaper. Journalism these days is little more than fearmongering (and if you dont believe me, try and watch ACA for actual news, and not one-sided exposes on community predators!). So, I turn to opinion pieces to get the latest goings-on, because at least then I know I am turning to people I trust, as opposed to a giant media corporation who has an agenda.

    Your blog is one of four that I frequent regularly, and it is also my favourite. I know you have striven for this goal your entire life, and although I may not be one of your bestest friends, I really feel that I am your biggest cheerleader. I have an interest in seeing you do well, because I know you, I have a personal interest in seeing you do well because Ive been there to pull you up when you were down and no-one else was there.

    There was a period last year when you went a few months without blogging, and I harassed you weekly on FB "BLOG MORE!". I knew you had talent, I knew you had goals, and I wanted you to achieve AND I honestly really enjoy your posts.

    Putting it simply, in a way I am sure you will understand... You are my Frances Whiting. The (now, much more) frequent trips I get to view inside your head are a joy, because they have never been petty. Ive said some lovely things about you in the past that have brought you to tears, and you ask me why I think I know you so well when we dont see each other ever. I read into things, I read into everything. Especially this blog. This blog exposes you, and it impresses me even more because I know how much you got bullied in school. I KNOW how scary it is to be exposed. And you still shine on, ever so bright. Ive said it so many times, Player, but I feel you always just shrug it off, but dammit, Im PROUD of you.

    And then... this. When I see you get upset with this, get mad over a chain letter, you belittle every achievement you have made. You take the sum of all things and say out loud, to the world "I am angry at this. This piece of crap is worthy of my energy and my time, and it challenges me". And you ARE better than that. Its like opening the Courier Mail and reading about Frances Whiting bashing on the virtues of Squirtle. Sure, you love squirtle, and you disagree with her, but thats not why you are upset. You are upset because why the hell is Frances Whiting talking about bloody pokemon? Surely there is better things to talk about (like, perhaps, things she may have promised to talk about for charity...?)

    Again, I really want to apologise if anything I have said hurt you. It wasnt my intent, I just... I want to see you rise sky high, and that wont happen if you let everything pull you down.


    1. Thank you for your kind words. It is humbling to know how highly someone thinks of me and respects me. But at a rate of one blog post every two-three days, I have come to learn that they can't all be ground-breaking. This started out as the Facebook post you saw. But did you see the comments? That is why I blogged about it. Because of the comments. I realised it was a divided opinion and I wanted to elaborate on my side of the story. I didn't see it as a blog post until people started commenting on it. And texting me about it. So for some people, this post was kind of ground-breaking.
      And this photo doesn't "bring me down". I find it's insinuation insulting but I wish you'd finished reading before leaping down my throat about my choice of topic. xx

    2. Again, not at all attacking your choice of topic, just your reaction to it. And again, attacking is such a harsh word. <3 I prefer to think of it as constructively critising in an aggressive manner. And for the record, I did go back and finish it before posting this second post.

      I still feel that it touches on a sore point for you though, for it to upset you as much as it does. As one reader posted below "Methink thou doth protest too much".

  3. I have 3 kids and I'd walk into the fires of hell for any one of them. But I would never, ever say anything like that to anyone! Love is relative, your best love is the most immense love at that time. Like grief, no-one can give it a formula or say it should be like one thing or another. It just is. And that little note is just patronising bullshit.....

    1. Thank you! My point exactly. All emotions are relative to experience and they are felt differently by different people. That last sentence made me giggle. Thank you! xx

  4. I hate these type of posts too. I think often you are either insecure or too bloody arrogant about yourself if you feel the need to post these. "I think he doeth protest too much"

    1. That was my thought too, yes. Why is the incessant need to remind everybody you are a parent & damn well love it more than anything else in the world. It makes you happy, that's great. But don't imply I can't get happiness out my choices too! xx

  5. There are three kinds of people:
    People who are not comfortable with their life choices but will defend them to the death, even at the risk of appearing judgemental;
    People who believe their lifestyle is just so right that to them, everyone else is 'wrong' or a perceived threat;
    People who don't make these kind of images or care about them.

    1. True, Zach. I hope that by reacting to the image I don't discount myself from being the third type of person. My point was to explain we all choose different things and these things make us happy and, like Barbara said, love is relative! xx

  6. I’m with you. Replace “Until you’ve … you haven't known love” with “Until I … I didn’t know love” and it'd have been great.

    1. That is true. That is very, very true. I would have rolled my eyes and moved on if this is what it had said. But instead, it struck a chord with me on that "Superior Mummy Culture" level I mentioned in an earlier comment as it attacked my choice to not have children. xx

  7. I am a mum and I love my girls but I knew love before them and people that choose not to have children know love. I don't like any cutesy posts anyway. They always bring out my inner grumpy old man. Rachel x