I went to the doctor today, not for any thing serious, mostly just for a general check up. I had to go during work hours because my doctor works short hours, so of course my colleagues knew I was going to see the doctor. That didn’t bother me, I had nothing to hide. What bothered me was the instant conclusion that they all seemed to jump to. “Oh, went to see the Dr hey, not pregnant are you?!” Whilst it was mostly said in fun (my work place like to have inappropriate banter often), it still p!ssed me off. If I was a 28 year old male, this wouldn’t even have been a thought (obvsiously). But because I’m a 28 year old female, in a long term relationship, it’s an instant go to. Whenever I may be feeling a little off, or I innocently say ‘I’m craving chocolate’, everyone has the same thought. Most the time I’m sure it’s kept to just that, a thought, but sometimes you get that idiot who says it out loud.
Now I will admit that I will do this to my friends as well. But mostly I do it to people who I know want children or are at that stage where it is actually very possible they could be with child any day now. Most people who know me, know that I’m not even close to that stage in my life. I love my partner and know it’s real, but I am not yet ready to entertain the idea of bringing another life into this world. So when people know this is how I feel, I find it rude and annoying that they think it’s okay to automatically assume that my slight tiredness is the result of a baby growing in my belly. I feel I’m constantly having to defend my annoyance when people bring it up. I’m clearly at that age where having a baby is the only thing I should be thinking about.. well guess what, it’s not. I love my life, I love my job, I love a little wine between friends. I’m not yet ready to swap all of that for nappies, dummies and 2am feeds.
This may be tabu, but i’m going to say it anyway… I’m too selfish to have a child right now. I don’t think that makes me a bad person, infact I think it makes me a better ‘one day parent’. I have seen what happens when people have children too young or when they aren’t ready and the effect it has on said child. Seeing a parent resent their choice to have children or watching parents constently palm their kids off to the grand parents because they want to keep living like they were childless is awful. I don’t want to do that to my child. I want to give my all when the time comes. I want to want to stop working and stop having nights out because I know I have the most amazing thing that ever happened to me at home. I just don’t feel like I’m there yet but I feel like socitey sees this as a bad thing. The pressure that is placed on females in their 20’s, early 30’s is unbelievable. We don’t live in the 50s anymore where women were born to marry and have babies and that is it. Some women want a career and to travel and to go out in to dinner with just their partner. This doesn’t make them awful people. Neither does wanting children and I am not saying that. Some people are born to be parents and that is what the world needs. And I am also very aware that having children doesn’t make your life stop. I know you can go out and still do things, include travel but you have to admit, you are more limited with your options. I just don’t think it’s fair to judge and question my thoughts on having children just because ‘it’s my god given right’.
This isn’t to say that I don’t LOVE children. I have a newish (4 months old) nephew who I love with all my heart. I genuinely miss him when we don’t see him. I have another friend who is close to making this amazing life decision to have a baby and I couldn’t be happier for her – she is definitely one of my friends who I ‘pester’ about being pregnant often! These people have made that choice and are ready and I take my hat off to them. Because they have a baby (or will soon) doesn’t mean I won’t love them any less or want them in my life any less. It just means our friendship will change and grow. I also feel a huge amount of empathy for people who struggle with having a baby. Wanting something so badly and it not being possible is unimaginable for me. It breaks my heart when I hear these stories. I almost feel guilty because I make the choice (at the moment) not to have a baby, yet they spend every waking hour thinking and wishing for one.
I know having babies is a part of life, just like marriage and bad hair days. I just don’t need every Tom, Dick and Harry assuming that because I’m 28 and female, I should be pushing out babies left, right and centre.
How can I explain this week? I feel like I was on a roller coaster ride at work with so many ups and downs, twists and turns that sitting here on a Saturday feels like a holiday. My job can be very stressful at times (as can most jobs) and sometimes things happen that make you want to crawl into a hole and hide. This week I learnt that by not doing that, and by facing the challenges my job throws at me, I actually become better at it. I learnt that my imagination has a way of turning tiny small problems into HUGE massive problems, resulting in me spending the night stressing about it. I learnt that by thinking logically and facing these problems with with confidence, I can actually turn it around and end the week by having solved said problems.
I also learnt that even though the recession was over 3 years ago, the market still has it’s tough times. No ones jobs is safe, no matter who you work for or what your role is. I learnt that in the space of an afternoon, you can get a phone call saying you have been let go, simply because there is not enough work. This happened to a friend of mine this week and it’s heart breaking. Going from having a secure, well paid job to nothing must be such a terrifying experience. I learnt to appreciate and be thankful for the fact that although I had some challenges this week, at least I still have a job.
This week was full of high’s and lows at work, yet i’m so happy I can sit here and enjoy a little wine between friends knowing that I still have a job to go to on Monday.
Having had my 6 monthly work review the other day (you can read about it here), it got me thinking. Could a 6 monthly review of our personal lives be something to consider?
How often do we sit down and have an open and honest conversation about how our lives are going? Do people look at what they have achieved in the past 6 months and what they plan to achieve in the following 6 months? Is there a review form to be filled out every time that rates your skill level?
The thought of assessing my life every few months is beyond scary. What if I haven’t achieved what I set out do to? Do I have the strength to tell myself to lift my game? At work, most people have KPI’s they have to meet and if you don’t, your boss will hold you accountable. If we don’t meet our personal KPI’s, will we hold ourselves accountable? I admit that when I start a task and I don’t finish, I’m not always that accountable to myself. I can easily let it slide and push it under the rug. What if I had to face those tasks I didn’t complete and explain why I didn’t do them? Would it make me push myself more? Would I have more drive to complete what I start?
Although I find it easier to take criticism than compliments, do I really have the guts to tell myself I haven’t done a great job? I can be very hard on myself at times but it’s more when I’ve let other people down, not when I’ve let myself down. Maybe I need that 6 month review to build a better me. What if we took it that one step further and got out nearest and dearest involved every now and then. Again, the thought of having my best friend tell me where I could improve doesn’t exactly sound like a walk in the park. But what if it helped me grow as a person and I learnt something from it. On the other side, it could be an opportunity to tell me what I was doing well, reassuring me that they enjoyed a little wine between friends.
Will I start assessing my life every 6 months, who knows? Time will tell I guess. I would like to give it a go and see how I feel about it. As I’m getting older, I feel it’s time to start looking at my life and where I want it to go. Wish me luck!
I’m going to trial a new weekly ‘theme’ (for lack of a better word). Each weekend I want to write a post about what I’ve learnt this week. It can be as simple as learning a new shortcut key on in Excel or as big as learning a new life lesson.
The format will probably change each week, but the overall feel should be the same. I plan to use this weekly task as a way to help me appreciate my life and the little things that happen each week. It will be nice to look back at each week and have a record of the lessons I’ve learnt. So here goes week 1:
- Cherish your family. After a work colleague lost a loved one, it got me thinking about all the important people in my life. Remember to tell the people you love how much they mean to you.
- No matter who you are, work should never come before your real life. Just because thousands of people have paid big money to see you live on stage, doesn’t mean you should have to come to work that day. Whilst the majority of people support and agree with the decision to postpone the Rolling Stones concerts after this tragedy, I’ve unfortunately heard a few very selfish people whinge about it. Refer to the first point – family first!
- I’m better at my job than I thought!
- I enjoy writing, even though I have a long way to go! Not all blog posts have to be the size of an essay. When I was writing each post this week, I was so worried it wouldn’t be long enough. But guess what, its not about quantity, it’s about quality!
- Exercise is fun! I am sure I will look back on this one day and question if I was drunk or not when I wrote it…
So there you go, turns out I learnt a few things this week. Some profound, some a little less. Either way, it’s been a pretty good week but I’m so ready for the weekend and the chance to enjoy a little wine between friends.