On the eve of my 26th Birthday I pitch to you this, why is it that parents are so obsessed with that innocuous of things-The Biological Clock?
Firstly, I hate that phrase. Like it symbolises some kind of expiry date in the ‘reduced price’ aisle at Tesco. Secondly, why should my life be defined by my supposed Biological Clock? And thirdly, quite frankly your lack of respect for anything else I have ever or will ever achieve is insulting, degrading, demeaning and thoroughly disappointing. You would think by now, that the modern world being the world that it is, that the advances in modern science and healthcare being what they are, that the norm of women’s rights and choices would lead you to believe that the definition of a woman is not by how many babies she has shoved out of her body by a certain age, but is in fact the living of life in a way that she has dreamed and created for herself.
I remember, at a very young age, I want to say 3 but it was maybe more like 5, I made a decision. I remember making this decision because I felt so strongly in my bones that I never, ever, EVER want to be in a position that if I had a husband and he died, cheated, left me at the alter, had a secret second life or was generally useless that I wouldn’t be able to support myself and my kids. I don’t know why I had this compulsion, but it is the only way I can describe it. A moment of clarity in my innocent youth, a determination which I hope will never leave me. Thou shalt be self sufficient so thou can face all that life throws at you, no matter what. No man will define you, you will define yourself.
And that’s not to say I’m some crazy bra burning feminist (but kudos to them by the way), because it’s not that I don’t want any of that blah (blah stands for a relationship, a man, a family, babies, another life), because somewhere in there is a person who does, but I have serious doubts and concerns about the whole thing, really I do. And as someone whose job involves working with children, another decision made because I find adults wildly complicated, I promise you I do not detest children and what they represent. In fact, the exact opposite.
But just because I want those blah things, doesn’t mean it’s going to be handed to me on a plate. And just because I want those blah things doesn’t mean I’m going to sacrifice my own desires of being a human being, a person, a women, a friend, a sister, a daughter, an adventurer (granted new found), a lover of all things new and exciting, an explorer, a carer, a crazy person with itchy feet and an inquisitive mind. Because, all of these things are what define ME. And I just don’t see the point in sacrificing any of those things just because of some god damn Biological fricking Clock.
If you want me to have babies that badly so you can be a grandparent before you die then I will gladly have a baby out of wedlock, happy? Or how about I adopt one for you as I traipse up Everest and galavant the globe, better? You can change their dirty nappies 24 hours a day, feed them when they get cranky, burp them when they make a funny face and generally be the single most important thing for them whilst I’m off continuing to live my life before I have to be put in jail. And speaking of jail, marriage? Sure, we can stage a fake wedding with a mail order groom, invite 3000 of our ‘closest family’ to attend, spend a bunch of money to please everyone but ourselves and not eat all day. Are you happy now? Is this really what you want because that is exactly what it sounds like?
Thank you for giving me this wonderful present on my 26th birthday, apparent Dooms Day.
I have one month until Everest. If sheer mental determination can get you up a mountain, then that mountain is mine.
Everything else can wait.