Sunday, September 20, 2009

Tis the season to celebrate birthdays.

Last night was the 60th birthday celebration of a yoga friend, today the 38th of a woman I like and admire very, very much.

I'm struck by how old and how young we are simultaneously.
On thursday at dinner, I came away feeling so old. Somehow we're all nearly thirty, working our butts off and fatigued by ten pm. Pathetic!

Talking last night I had the feeling of being the "littlie" in the room, all these people around me having been here, done that. Wearing the battle scars and looking hopefully into the future.

And then today, with the parents? A bit not quite grownup. It worries me that having children equates to being an adult in some settings. Is there anything wrong per se with living irresponsibly?

Perhaps, if you choose to have children and still make immature choices. But if you consciously say you don't want kids because of your lifestyle? It's much less selfish than having them anyway.

I think I need to realise that I am no less an adult for being childless; it's a considered decision for us at this stage in our life together not to have children right now. Yes, they're in the five-year plan.
I don't see having children and having fun as mutually exclusive. Hence my resentment of "Oh, make the most of it!"

People, if I wanted to "make the most of it" I would have a hysterectomy,(no I wouldn't, hubs could have a vasectomy) because that would certainly maximize the number of hours in the day I could devote to self-adulation.
But don't put your issues on me. I'm sure I will have days of wanting my own space, the time to read a book, and I've never been an early-morning person.

Thanks to all my childful friends, I know the joys and rewards of devoting so much time to the formation of a little person's character.
And yep, allow me to just cut you off mid-head-shake there. I know about the nappies, the nappy rash, the not-sleeping, mastitis, teething, tantrums, intolerances and allergies, vomiting, reflux, throwing food, spilling, ear and nose and throat infections...
And then we celebrate birthday number one.

You're female? Resist the brainwashing and the popular expectations. You don't want children, don't have them. You do? Do it. Damn straight I'm pro-choice.

Somehow this turned into a rant. I'm in a funny position: wife but not a mother, not a child but not a parent, just a teacher and quasi-aunt.

Tomorrow I'll just try to be myself; better make the most of it, after all.


suzukisinger said...

YOu know what I think about the sisterhood. It's a three word statement starting with "women ... ......."

Also, not a quasi aunt. Blood may be thicker than water but I'm not into that level of categorisation. Ever. And not with you.

It's sad. I think it's a lamentation of sorts. For what was, when 'we' were selfish and not required to think of something more vulnerable than ourselves (if that something actually exists!!) and some sort of justification for why everything seems so boring.
For why I don't earn money that contributes to family life, for why I'm obsessed by sleep schedules and education and creative play. For why it's hard to participate in intellectual and acceptable adult conversations about the state of the nation and climate change. Sorry, I'm just trying to survive and while that may be a personal shortcoming, it's happened because I live with a non-sleeping someone small. I have two degrees and still making toast before 9am sometimes seems just a little outside of my competencies.

Making excuses, or reasons for not measuring up to what is expected?? And then covering oneself for not being completely and totally in love with parenting??? It's the biggest contradiction ever.

If women were honest about the crappiest of crappy moments, and being exhausted and feeling fragile and incompetent about 'not working full time' (what the hell!!) and still not being able to clean the house head to toe and have apple pie on the table for desert.... then maybe things would be different.

Just a deleriously delerious thought.
I think we've had this conversation before.

If you don't want kids, congratulations for haing the clarity of mind to do what suits you. For the rest of us, hmmm.. don't give yet-to-be mothers a hard time. Except when they whinge about not beign able to stay late because they're tired. pffft.
I love your blog Miss Chelsea OM.

suzukisinger said...

If you don't want kids: of course not specificall 'you'.. people, I mean.

Linda McIver said...

I am puzzled - did you feel like that at my place, or another time??? Certainly I don't think there was anyone grown up at my place yesterday. :-) Indeed, there was a man throwing his children around, but that's a relief because before he had kids he threw *me* around. His kids are my willing decoys. :-) (I think he had left by the time you got there, but we were giving him a hard time about being 40 and not grown up - this man has the theory that anything labelled "dangerous, do not open" must have something really good inside. And he's right, too - did you know that aerosol cans often contain a marble? A real marble, with colours and everything - don't try this at home!!)

There may have been some grumpiness about sleeping in... but I am a little sensitive on that subject. On the bright side, though - 6:10 wake up today! Score!!! *and* it came after a sleep through. woohoo!

I had the best day yesterday. Thank you for sharing it!

Linda McIver said...

Oh, and Suzukisinger - yes, yes, yes, and YES!!! But the coherent conversations do return (maybe not ever quite as coherent as before, but definitely more than now :-)

My solution to feeling like you don't measure up is to stop hanging out with those people. And I have! And if I want to wear clothes than don't match, because they are both things I love, then I will, and I will not invite anyone who will sneer. Although I think some may have smiled a little, politely, behind their hands. Eh, ommchelsea? ;-)

suzukisinger said...

exactly linda. And yet I'm found with my favourite statement of indignation on the tip of my tongue, "It shouldn't be this way!!!".

Linda I think you're taste in dressing is safe from this blog providing you wear the right knickers and no terrible dancing clothes. Which is funny actually because perhaps that 'lady' was just doing the same thing as other women do verbally.. "really I AM STILL FUN and young and COOL and in touch". Not to say bleach and skimpy aren't also some sort of pathology come a certain age......

Linda McIver said...

It certainly shouldn't be this way! it shouldn't be lots of ways. And I am one of the worst at railing about the inescapable truths that simply SHOULDN'T BE!

But to quote Granny Weatherwax, "There's no should. There's what is, and what we do." I have trouble getting my head around it, but it's very true.