It’s Mother’s Day on Sunday. As a woman without children, I always end up feeling slightly queasy. It’s a reminder that I’ll never be a mother, and it confirms my perception that society values me less because of that.
For my part:
- I'm happy to pay tax to fund education.
- I'd like to pay more tax in order to subsidise affordable childcare.
- I stand back and let work colleagues with children have 'first dibs' at booking holiday time (although that's not such an issue in my current job).
- I'll listen, and be a shoulder to cry on when you have problems with your children.
- I understand that your children are at the centre of your life, and it's difficult to talk about anything else.
- I'll babysit.
- Don't tell me that being a Mother is the hardest job in the world.(I don't know what is, but my money is on rag picking in India, or silver mining somewhere in the third world).
- Don't tell me that my opinion is worthless because I'm not a Mother (it may well be worthless but it'll for another reason).
- Don't ask me why I don't have children (as it happens it's not by choice, but what business is that of yours [oh, and yes we did try to adopt, but given my time again, I wouldn't try, because it nearly destroyed me]).
- Don't exclude me. I may not have a child, but that doesn't mean that I wouldn't enjoy coming to your child's birthday party along with your other friends who have kids (I might not, but please ask).
- Try and understand that conversations that are just about children makes me feel that you're part of a cosy, smug 'Mum's Club' that I can never be part of.
- Being a Mother isn't the best, or most important thing a woman can be. Women's lives are made up of many different facets, the most important or best will vary from person to person.