Friday, 16 March 2018

Society expects women to have children

I know, as women we are all expected to have children. This is what makes things even more difficult for us emotionally when we either cannot or choose not to have children.

An excerpt from my book: Holding the Baby Dream...

When I was about twelve years old, I remember Mother and I were at a market together. We looked at the stalls together on the weekends when Father was not working and could take us in the car. It was on one of those days when Mother came across a stall of hand-crocheted baby clothes. The clothes were all delicately crafted in shades on lemon, white, light blue and pale pink. The stall holder was an older woman. Mother pulled me aside to inquire, ‘Wouldn’t these be beautiful for your babies, Nell.’

            ‘I am only twelve and am not even considering having children for a long time,’ I argued.

            ‘Old ladies like this, with these masterful skills, will not be around when you are ready to have babies Nell,’ my mother persuaded. 'Why don’t we get her to make some in other lovely colours, not in these pastel colours?’

            As Mother described the beautiful colours she wanted, I found myself getting more and more interested. I too liked to be different to everyone else, and it was hard not to get caught up in my mother’s child-like enthusiasm. I could see how adamant my mother was and her enthusiasm was too strong to argue with. I gave in. Mother immediately contracted with the stall holder to have baby clothes crocheted for me in certain colours.

            Mother's taste was different compared to everyone else, and she had instilled this in me too, to think outside the box. We did not want to be like everyone else and have pastel-coloured clothes. Mother had discussed with me about having navy blue, bottle green and burgundy. The lady was as shocked by this colour scheme as I was at first and protested about making baby clothes in these colours. I guess she was too overwhelmed by my mother’s energy and drive to deny her what she wanted.

            When the baby clothes were finished, and we went to collect them, the lady who made them was quite impressed with her work. She had surprised herself with how beautiful they looked, and Mother tried to convince her she should continue to crotchet the outfits in these striking colours for other women. With all this preparation was it any wonder I believed having children was my destiny?

When you were growing up what experiences did you have that made you feel like having a baby was your moral obligation? I know we all had them. Please share in the comments if you feel guided to.


Narelle Hudson

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