Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Meet the Baroness
That's me: married for ten years, thirty-nine for the second time, and childless by choice. It took me until I was thirty-seven to finally confront my own ambivalence towards motherhood and arrive at the conclusion that it was not a foundation that would sustain me, much less my husband, through sleepless nights and chafed nipples.
Still, I was ill at ease with my choice. I envied those women who have motherhood emblazoned on their brain waves like manifest destiny. I had no tangible reasons to avoid it -- a stable job, a home, a willing if not exactly enthusiastic husband -- and yet I had no urge either. What was even more infuriating was that I didn't feel any particular passion about remaining childless. I was on no high horse about what a crappy world it is to bring a child into or that I was saving the planet by not contributing another carbon-emitting, energy-consuming being into the cosmos. When I held a friend's baby in my arms I would coo, enjoy the baby scent, admire the perfect peachy skin and marvel at the tiny fingernails. And after ten minutes or so I was happy to hand him or her back. That much has not changed.
And so each week on this blog I endeavour to explore the lighter -- and sometimes heavier -- side of choosing not to have children, starting next week with an explanation of how I got my noble title.