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Life with Lavendar in London town

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Of Woman Born

When I was just a wee young girl, far from the clutches of puberty, my mother and I had a conversation about marriage and children. When I declared that I wanted neither, she replied:

If you must get married at all, put it off for as long as you can

and

You won't know what it's like to be a woman unless you have children*

I was just ten at the time but even then I retorted:

That's rubbish. Are you saying that women who choose not to have babies or can't have them are not women? If becoming a woman means having views like that, I'll give it a miss thanks.

As I digested the fact that my mother's dream for me was to become a single mother, I felt my anger at her statement grow.

Twenty seven years later, I still get mad when I hear this nonsense spouted at me. Unfortunately it has been said to me far too often. And always by women.


Does this make you a woman?

In the period after I got married (sorry mum), I got the baby question a lot. It drove me crazy. Some people felt it was their right to assess my womanly status in direct correlation to my breeding status. However when I asked these people if they were planning to go back to work or what else they were planning to do apart from childrearing, it was as if I was launching a nuclear attack. Defenses went up. Tangible bristles appeared. How dare I question the sacred fount of Motherhood!

Well don't dish it out if you can't take it I say.

I'm going to become a mother sometime next year. So far my pregnancy has not made me feel any more womanly. It has made me feel pretty gross in fact. I know there are big changes ahead and I know nothing I can do will ever prepare me for them.

But I do know one thing. And that is I will not suddenly become a Woman when the baby is pushed, pulled, yanked, cut, tugged out of me.

It will be another stage of becoming me.


*To be fair, she did tell people to shut up about the kid question after I was married and told me that having kids was definitely not the be all and end all of life and sometimes it was better not to have them. I was somewhat reassured and offended at the same time.

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