Maybe I'm blind to this because I fit into the neat box of women that did the career, marriage, baby thing so unthinkingly. I admit I'm one of those annoying mummies: I feel a surge of love when I hold a baby - even if it's not mine. And I'll be the one smiling like a maniac and making gooey sounds at the baby in front of me in the line up. And honestly, yes I am a little smug that I have kids.
I think I knew when I was fourteen, that I wanted to be a mother. A naive and unknowing prediction, but correct all the same. As I entered my twenties, the desire deepened. It was a very natural thing. As if internally a pact had been made that one day, one way or another, there would be children.
But while my "calling" absorbed a part of my being, I certainly didn't expect it to absorb every woman around me. I mean why would it? Practically every woman I know is a model of the strength, independence and individuality we encourage and celebrate in today's society. So why would we expect every person to want the same thing? In a time where we are filled with choice - from the politician we vote for, to the birth control we use, why wouldn't the choice of having children be equally valid?
I suppose some people believe the maternal instinct is wired into the female composition. If I'm completely truthful a part of me does suspect - based purely on the biological truth that female bodies are designed with highly efficient baby making apparatus and breasts that produce milk - that most women must at some point have felt some motherly inclination.
Maybe I'm wrong.
I've asked couples the dreaded question - "do you want kids?". Recently too. Not because I wanted to shake my condemning finger at them for saying the wrong answer. Actually because I'm incredibly nosy and have a tendency to blurt things I shouldn't. But did they think my question was judgemental? Frig I hope not.
Anyway my point is I don't mind. Honestly I don't. Because
Kidding!* (You'll probably be living it up with your still-perky breasts and bags of money.)
*Warning: taking yourself too seriously may cause constipation.