“Never have kids.”
Those words were uttered to me today at a family gathering, in hushed tones, by an adult. A grown-up. A parent.
Never have kids? What??
But that’s all I’ve ever wanted. That’s what my life has been leading up to, right?
I mean, if asked, I would say that my dream is to be a writer; to have a book, if not many, published. But in reality that’s only second –and quite a distant second– to having a family. It’s one of the only things I’m good at!
People only look at me and say “Wow. You’re good at this. This suits you,” when I’m directing something, showing off a weird makeup look or playing with kids. I don’t know why. I wish I knew. And I wish I could picture any number of possible and fabulous futures for myself –so I’m not quite so limited!– but I can’t.
All I can see is the totally unfabulous and unglamourous life of motherhood. Feels somewhat cliché, maybe even anti-feminist (even though I know it’s not), but I don’t care. It’s what I want. It’s what I’ve always wanted, ever since I was an eight-year-old with a dolly stuck up my shirt pretending to be pregnant and give birth, always, miraculously, to a little plastic girl. I never grew out of it, which feels distressingly naïve.
I don’t understand why that’s what calls to me but I know I’d never write again if it meant I could be a parent.
And be good at it. That bit is important.