No, I’m Not Childless Because I Want to Be, But Thanks for Assuming
There are many reasons why being a woman in her forties is awesome. I can’t really recall them now, but maybe I’m just stumped at the moment.
What I can share is that even though I’m much better in bed now than I was then — the opportunity to demonstrate it isn’t as plenty.
Perhaps that’s because I judge more and trust less. I can’t help it. I’m around people who excel at highlighting my inadequacies in a charmingly disarming way.
I sorta hoped I would avoid this period in life when people systematically calculate your worth. They’re obliged to do so. because you’re the perfect target.
Over forty. Single. And even worse, you’re a woman.
A pathetic has-been who wasted the best years of her life. You embarrassingly failed to do what it takes to manifest the basic necessities.
You fucked up.
It’s your fault you couldn’t find a man. You’re to blame for not being special enough to have diamonds hijackingbyour fingers.
You weren’t ambitious enough to guarantee that your career trajectory wouldn’t surrender you to taking orders from a manager almost a decade younger than you.
I’m famously thick-skinned, thanks to all the knockouts I’ve endured over the past few years.
Subtle comments that sound harmless at first — until they sink in. Forcing me to defend myself against “inconsistencies” — based on personalized life meters.
Watching mothers play with their kids or making eye contact with a toddler who is about to have a meltdown is endearing.
It also feels like having my guts extracted and then simultaneously fed back to me.
I’m witnessing someone else living my life. She’s holding the child we created and I’m tightly gripping my handbag so the tears stay away from my face
I seem to be falling apart a lot more frequently than I would like. I suspect it has everything to do with the realization that I am aging a lot faster than I would like.
Or it’s those damn hormones.
Speaking of raging freak outs — the other day I was told by newish friend that she spotted a girl who reminded her of me.
Fair enough, I’ve been told that plenty of times. She goes on to joyfully explain that this girl was a younger, thinner version of me — and even better — she had the thick gorgeous black hair I used to have.
Okay, she didn’t deliver it quite like that. But how do you decently tell a forty-two year old woman who is prematurely graying, and managing a vengeful menstrual cycle, that there is a twenty-five year old ingenue who isn’t you but is.
You just don’t. Do it.
But what I do end up doing, is hanging with women who have children or are in the prime position to do so. It’s an excruciating encounter once it’s confirmed that I’m the odd one out.
Yes, of course! I don’t have a child and the likelihood of having one at this stage of my life is daunting. But necessary.
I guess it would help if I was actually trying. But I’m not.
I would like to try. In fact I would love to be worn out from trying!
But I know what I am up against if the time does come for me to exercise my options — and I’m scared beyond belief of what will not happen.
I do everything I can to summon enough positive vibes to keep my belief system from running into the ground.
I’m so good at being my own therapist — I would give most of these self-professed life gurus a run for their money.
But, I’m human, and when people I’ve just met for the first time or even trusted staples — boldly tell me what they assume to be my truth — I suddenly wish I had mastered the technique of speaking in tongues when I had the chance.
But I didn’t. So, I have to grin and bear this:
No husband or children? Good for you! You dodged a bullet there! It’s hard being a wife and a mother and balancing a fruitful career. But I do it! I don’t know, but I guess it’s all I’ve ever known.
Well, at least you have your niece, you can pour all that love on her.
Some things just aren’t meant to be. Just because you want to be a mom doesn’t mean it’s going to happen.
You should think about doing it alone. You’re getting up there and honestly guys your age want women in their twenties or early thirties because they want kids.
Oh, so you didn’t want kids. Makes sense. You have your career and it’s hard to do both. Wait, what do you do again?
Yeah, so you didn’t want to be a mom? Why? You would’ve made a really good mother. And your kids would’ve been so cute!
Yes, I would’ve made a very good mother. My name literally means “good mother” which I suppose is one of life’s purest ironies. That being said, I am not psyched about the fact that as a woman in her forties, I am automatically regulated to the pity pile.
Suddenly all the possibilities evaporate and I have no choice but to wave goodbye to the ship that sailed a long ass time ago.
I can’t dare to harbor delusions of grandeur that maybe by some divine intervention I could meet a nice bloke and get knocked up before my forty-fifth birthday.
The truth is that I am struggling with my reality. I am pretty certain that this disposition can be echoed by plenty of women who are currently walking in my “worn out” shoes.
I don’t share my pain with many people. Actually I don’t share my pain with anyone. I used to try to minimize the symptoms with reckless behavior and damaging habits but those only work so good for so long.
Now, I want to absorb what I consider as life’s gorgeous betrayal in a manner that befits someone like me, who like you, imagined what life would be like when “I grow up” — and never prepared for what would happen in case the fundamentals didn’t pan out.
It’s not an easy process easing into middle-age — scared shitless while constantly pretending you’re not.
So please don’t make it any harder than it already is — for me or any woman who is “over the hill” but still yearns to believe in the truth/lie.
Age is just a number.
And for future inquirers and curious mothers: I’m Not Childless Because I Want to Be, But Thanks for Asking.