Every inch of me is non-maternal. Although I always imagined that by the age of 25, I’d magically transform into a Marge Simpson/Kirstie Allsopp hybrid creation of motherly awesomeness, that sadly didn’t happen. Even when I fell pregnant, I found myself weighing up the few pros of parenthood versus the numerous huge inconveniences.
Selfish as that sounds, that doesn’t mean that I am incompetent and unloving as a parent. Not having the skill to bake individual fruit pies and handcraft mantelpiece ornaments does not mean that I don’t absolutely derangedly adore my son.
I’ve been utterly besotted and obsessed with him since the second he was born – despite him initially being a bit weird-looking and me being distinctly pissed off about my blindingly painful nether regions (26 stitches, in case you were wondering).
My son is now four and has just started school. I have a full-time job that I love and in which I want to progress as far as I possibly can. Because of my career aspirations, my son spends the equivalent of a whole day per week with child minders. He eats more chicken nuggets and biscuits than a lot of parents would deem to be appropriate and in fact because of his fussiness, he rarely has the same evening meal as us.
He has a tablet as well as books and toys, and sometimes he’s allowed to stay up way past his bedtime so we can watch a film or build a train set. Our Christmas decorations were bought from the supermarket, not crafted at home as a family activity while we all wear festive knitwear.
But why does that matter, when he is happy, healthy and has a Mummy and Daddy who love him?
Women like me are so lucky to live in a time when it’s not socially compulsory to give up your aspirations and change your character to fit a stereotype just because you also want to bear children. No longer does a woman need to spend her days in a floral pinny, gliding around the family home with a duster while a homemade loaf of bread bakes in the oven.
It’s OK to have dreams that are only for you. It’s OK to not comment on every photo on Facebook of strange-looking kids on their first day of school. It’s OK to not attend every crap event hosted by the Parent Association. Because none of that is really important.
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What is important is to ensure that you are happy being you. A happy parent is a happy child. So if, like me, you are a Non-Maternal Mother, play The Parenting Game your way and take advantage of the new normal.
Non-Maternal Mums unite and be proud!
Kirsty was selected as a BISS guest blogger after entering our October linky. For your chance to write for GoodtoKnow, check out our Because I Said So platform.