While I don't consider myself old, I'm certainly well past the age where peer pressure should be an issue. In my late thirties, there aren't many friends out there pressing me to take a hit of E, and when mischief needs to be gotten up to, I am usually the one to dream it up. However, there is one aspect of my life where everyone, even complete strangers, feel they have a right to an opinion: the utilization of my womb.
I'd love some feedback from the childless ladies out there on this one: once you hit a certain age, do you find yourself feeling peer pressured into procreating? I find that this has become an annoying trend. I love my life. I am a fulfilled, independent woman. I like knowing that I can pack a bag and travel at a moment's notice. I have a career that consumes my entire being, and I mean this in the best of ways. I have everything that I need and want...so why is it that society seems to assume that my life isn't complete because I have never taken full advantage of having a uterus?
I don't judge stay-at-home moms; in fact, I think they work way harder than I do in my 60+ hour weeks. I would never dream of approaching a stranger with a newborn and saying, "Someday you'll realize you've made a huge mistake..." Yet, I'm constantly amazed at the amount of strangers who think I have no idea what I want, simply because I've chosen to remain child-free. I am 37 years old, and if I haven't warmed to the idea of creating life by this point, I'm probably never going to. And if I don't, there's no need to pity or judge me. I've made a choice, just as we all do.
And I'm sorry, but I don't buy into the whole, "Women are meant to have kids because their bodies are designed to" argument. My body is designed to do a lot of things that I don't do. You don't see me tightrope walking, or kicking strangers on the street, even though my body is capable of...well, at least one of these things. Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should actually do it.
Pardon my rant, but I find it simply preposterous for strangers to feel that they have a place in anyone's decision-making process on whether to make a new human being. It's one thing to say, "You'd make a good mom," and leave it at that (which has been said to me exactly zero times in my life, by the way...that should tell you something.) However, I have been in situations where women, women who know me not at all, have actually spent several minutes arguing with me about why I don't have kids. If you have a problem with the world being under-populated, don't take it up with me. I want nothing to do with the solution.
For those of you out there who think I'm a big meanie who hates kids...you're absolutely right. Just kidding. I love (some of) my friends' kids. I think I'm a fun yet responsible auntie. And I love these kids all the more because I can run like the wind when things turn ugly. Those screams of spoiled indignation don't affect me. I can simply walk away from the nose-picking, the bickering, and all that other unpleasantness that parents don't get an escape from. I know that you all love your kids, and that seeing that little scrunched-up face after 18 hours of labor was the best moment of your life. As for me? I choose freedom. And for those of you who feel the same, it's time for our uteri to unite and rally against procreation peer pressure!