Saturday, 21 May 2011

Childfree and smiling at squirrels.

I was in Golden Acre Park during the week. In the last few months, I have been getting back into photography, and was taking some pictures of various wild life. It was lovely and peaceful and the birds were singing and there were about four or five grey squirrels scurrying about, enjoying the spring.
The peace was interrupted by a child screaming at the top of it's voice. I turned around to see a woman, with three children who were all creating in some different way. I recognised her as she came over for a chat, joined by her friend who also had three creating kids with her. We had a chat for a short while whilst one brat kept wandering off (despite going missing five minutes earlier), another continued to scream, whilst the other four competed with each other trying to vie for attention, whilst their mothers had the audacity to not be paying them attention 100% of the time, by constantly pulling on their Mum's arms and shouting "Mum, mum, mum!" (to which when I was a kid would have resulted in a stern word not to interrupt whilst adults were talking).

After only a couple of minutes, I could feel my tension rise, and my brain was hurting from the screaming. Mum's & children and myself then departed in opposite directions.
They went walking off trying to control six children between them, and I went off to regain some composure and peace.

As the screaming got quieter as the distance got further, I was alone with my thoughts as I smiled at the lovely colour and scent of the flowers and the playing squirrels. I had been confronted by my idea of hell. Now I have to be careful how I put this without sounding smug or without sounding like I'm looking down my nose at people, after all, if you want children, it's your life. But it reaffirmed with a bang how I could never live like that and how this would be a nightmare life for me. I have never wanted children, and luckily, neither does my husband, but imagine if I had somehow been pressurised into having children. I would face my hell, 24/7. A life where I couldn't just walk away from the screaming child. A life which didn't revolve around dependent beings.
A life where I couldn't drop everything and spend a day to myself, smelling the flowers, appreciating colour and smiling at squirrels.

1 comment:

  1. i can't stand spending time with my friends and their kids. since the kids trend began, i've noticed that there's no time at all for real conversations. everything has to be censored, and even if we're talking on the phone there are inevitable interruptions or emergency hangups.

    i find it frustrating but also sad that at a point in their lives when women often feel they need the most support/understanding it is virtually impossible to offer it to them.

    we can't have the deep conversations that we used to. i don't know anything about their desires, needs, fears, motivations, etc... that kind of sharing contributes to strong emotional bonds in a friendship. needless to say i've been on the hunt for new, childfree friends lately.