This is my one year old daughter, Mila-Rose.
I know it sounds crazy- but sometimes I just watch her. I watch her play, giggle, smile, learn, talk to random objects. I watch her toddle around unsteadily and twiddle her hair when she’s tired. I see her face beam up when daddy walks through the door. I see her enjoyment from taking out the dry, clean clothes from the tumble dryer and chucking it all over the floor and proceeding to clap to herself because she thinks removing it is helping her mummy. I see how much she is mesmerised by the teeniest thing that adults aren’t phased by in the slightest. I see the comfort it brings her when I give her 2am cuddles because she’s woke up and wants to know I’m still there (and despite being exhausted, I love these moments of pure silence and affection). I see everything. And I love it.
What I also see (& absolutely despise) is the age-snobbery others have for people like myself having a child. I see it all the time, mainly on social media; “why is literally everyone my age getting pregnant”. Well love, do you want the scientific answer there or sarcastic one?!
In the eyes of society, I was a newly 21 year old- and therefore ‘supposed’ to go out and enjoy myself and travel and go to university first blah blah blah. Normal thing to do isn’t it?! Well I didn’t want to, it wasn’t the norm for me, thank you very much. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t in a million years think I’d swap all of that for motherhood either- but y’know, stuff happened so Mila happened! I knew I wanted to be a mum one day, I didn’t know when. I just didn’t want that predictable lifestyle in the first place (always been one for living on the edge and, quite frankly, winging it.) Boozing doesn’t appeal to me. I’ve spent my whole life traveling. Career wise, pfffft! I didn’t even know what I wanted to do until I fell pregnant and had the kick up the arse (and in the ribs) from my unborn child to just go for it once I’d had her. She literally made everything so clear, and still does everyday. And as far as my life goes, investing my time into raising and caring for someone else and staying committed to it during the hard times (because that’s the choice I made)-I’m proud of that.
Yet- I’m forever seeing childless people (that I actually know) criticise MY life choices and I see the disgust in people’s eyes for me being a mother before doing all of the things society is used to doing first. I can feel their judgement haunting over me and other mums like me because we have done things earlier than others. I want to put something into perspective for those of you who are like this…Well done for not getting pregnant/becoming a dad yet, and kudos for travelling around four of the seven continents on earth. A round of applause for experiencing your clichè student life of (for the most part) boozing, all nighters and meaningless sex, whilst studying for a subject which may or may not actually count for something in your future career once you graduate.
I’m not slating this at all- and there’s definitely many people I know who aren’t like this whatsoever; who actually work hard and just get on with their life without questioning others. There’s certainly nothing wrong with ambition and focusing on a career to set yourself up. I’m just aiming this at those who are judgemental and small minded towards lifestyles that are the complete opposite to their own- there isn’t a set order in which to do things. I don’t intend for this post to cause any offence, I’m just saying it how I see it- just like those of you who voice how you claim to see it. (If the shoe fits…)
I’m sick and tired of the seeing the same tweet or status update aimed at people like me. What do you want, a fucking medal because whilst there’s been an influx of pregnancy amongst those you know, you’re the unique individual who hasn’t got knocked-up? Or do you just simply want to make people feel like shit for not meeting YOUR expectations?!
Aw, let’s give some recognition to the person whose yet to get pregnant or become a dad because they’ve CLEARLY got their shit together (though we still hear rumours and know different 👀).
Do me a favour and fuck off. Do your thing and let people do theirs. You’re only showing the arrogant personality behind the screen. Do your degree and do it well. Travel and enjoy every moment. Have fun whatever you’re doing. Just please do it with an open mind for those who have chose a different path. Parents- carry on what you’re doing and savour every moment, you’re doing great.
I love being a mum and it’s the one thing I actually pride myself on doing well.
I’m by no means perfect and I’m always learning. But I don’t pity myself for not having done certain things before motherhood because it’s not impossible to do them now that I have a child, in fact I have done plenty since having her! I just get more enjoyment from family days out, evolving a home and getting soaked at bath time! Motherhood is so much more than meets the eye (and fatherhood of course). One day you may see for yourself that it’s the most rewarding type of hard work ever. This life you’ve created is growing right before your very eyes and will show you glimpses of your former self in their personality every single day.
When all is said and done- life is for enjoying, and you should be spending your time doing the things which count towards that. If that’s studying towards your dream career, fab. If it’s sacking the career off for now and seeing the world whilst gaining life experience, that’s ace too. And if it’s becoming a parent, then that’s also great to hear. You do you, I’ll do me. Yes- for lots of people parenthood begins sooner than anticipated. Sometimes people are irresponsible and the inevitable happens as a result of ‘spontaneous canoodling’. Others simply crave parenthood earlier or later than others. But none of that matters- choosing to rise up to the challenge ahead of you and committing your whole life to an unborn baby is what matters, regardless of when it happens for you. You can still do what you want to do, albeit some things are compromised. I saw an article about a mum who went traveling with her 10week old baby whilst on maternity leave!
My point is that regardless of what you pursue after a baby, you’re primarily a parent whose priority is the child for the foreseeable future, and I commend that, no matter what route you’ve gone down or when you’ve done it. You’re making a selfless decision to birth and care for this baby right up until they can look after themselves- and even then, the worry doesn’t stop. Parenthood is full of emotions, laughter and exhaustion. It’s challenging in more ways then you’ll ever prepare for, and relationships with those closest to you can alter as a result of the non-negotiable lifestyle changes that come with it. But it doesn’t make you incapable of continuing to pursue any other goals you have. I hate the stereotype surrounding parents just not doing anything other than parenting. Christ almighty- I can think of hundreds of worse things to do with your time than taking time out of everything else to care for your child(ren). However, many people including myself actually do return to work and carry on life as it was before with a child.
Truth is, she’s taught me more than I’ve taught her. She’s taught me how to be selfless, enjoy things money can’t buy and ultimately love someone completely unconditionally. One day you might be lucky enough to see all the things that I see, and then the penny will drop.