Something happened on air this morning that totally threw me off.
We were discussing whether or not a parent should compensate a babysitter, or even a friend, if their child breaks something of theirs. Like a phone, or laptop. My stance is, if my child broke something belonging to someone I had asked to look after them, I would feel compelled to refund them or at least contribute towards the cost of getting a replacement.
Big mistake, so it would seem.
A female listener called the show. Sternly, she asked me if I have any children, to which of course I answered in the negative. She went on to say that the only reason I had that opinion is the fact that I do not have a child, as no mother would ask another mother to pay for something broken by a child.
(Please note, she ignored the fact that I said I would feel compelled to refund if my child had broken something belonging to someone else. I didn’t say that I would demand money from someone if their child broke something belonging to me.)
I am rarely rendered speechless. But I was. And I’ll tell you why.
I understand that there are many things I can’t comment on when it comes to motherhood. Like the pain of childbirth, the love a mother has for a child. The only experience I have of that love is from a child’s perspective. In this instance however, I do not think the fact that I am not a mother had any bearing on me sharing my opinion on this topic.
I am exhausted by the comments I deal with, almost on the daily, as to my childlessness. People seem so concerned that I don’t have a child. Like there is something physically or mentally wrong with me. Like I am too selfish and ‘precious’ to just get on with it and get pregnant.
‘’Siima, what are you waiting for? What is the problem? We want a baby! Give us a child! Ah, you like doing your nails, you can’t handle being a mother. We want twins! Why are you wasting our time? We want to see what you’ll look like pregnant!! Just get a baby!’’
There are many reasons I have not had a child yet, none of which I am willing to share here, and none of which I have to tell anyone. I know I am not the only woman my age that gets such comments regularly.
I shudder to think of the number of women who have had such insensitive utterings thrown their way, and yet they are physically unable to bear children.
So next time you feel like rubbing some chick’s tummy and asking her when she’s going to ‘use it’, next time you tell a woman YOU feel ‘should have had a baby by now’, next time you ask me why I have puppies instead of ‘just getting a baby’- just don’t. Stay out of my womb, stay out of my business and mind yours. I’m not here to have a child for you like you’re going to have anything to do with it, FFS.