No matter where I go there are children all around. A store, a park, even just now while I’m at the coffee shop trying to write a post for the day. Kids are everywhere. And they are drawn to me like a magnet. It’s all good, and I will happily oblige a curious conversation, play with a dolly, or action figure, read a line from a book that’s sitting nearby, and even listen to baby babble that hardly anyone can understand.
Kids have always seen me, smiled, and started engaging with me for as long as I can remember. I would be told “You just have a way with them, a demeanor they can feel comfortable with. Kids are like animals, if they sense something bad or off with you, they will let you know.”
Just now, as I sipped my Iced Cinnamon Americano, thinking about writing about what NOT to say to a woman who doesn’t have children of her own at my age, a little girl no more than 2 years old decided to walk away from her mother’s side and come sit with me at my table.
She stood by the table side and showed me her dolly. Baby Doll is her name. Baby Doll wanted to read the stories that were in the Coffee Book. The ones that tell you all about coffee beans from harvest to poured in your cup. Obviously, the little girl didn’t know what the book entailed but she wanted to read it. So I happily started going through the book she handed me, as she pulled the empty seat out and started to climb up to have a seat and listen to the story I would read. All while mom was apologetic for her daughters intrusion of my personal space.
I assured mom that all was good and I was happy to read to her daughter. So we flipped through the book (which is a photo album) and as I’m holding the book, and Baby Doll, I started to create a story which was more on her level of understanding than the technical aspect of harvesting beans.
“See this picture right here, this is a coffee bean. Once it’s grown up they take the bean and make the coffee that your Mommy and I are drinking right now.”
“Mmmmm coffee.” she says with a smile on her face.
As Mom is still apologizing for the intrusion. I assure her again that had I had a better book to read, and she didn’t mind, I would have happily entertained her; as I love to see children reading. Mom so happened to have “Goodnight Moon” in her free hand. We laughed a little and she said…
“You must be an awesome Mom for sure! Thank you for taking time to read to her, and not be totally annoyed by the interruption. Your kids are really lucky to have you as a Mom”
I honestly didn’t know what to say except, thank you.
Do I reply “Oh I don’t have kids” and make the person feel bad for assuming?
It was in that moment I just took the compliment and thanked her for it. I have often said, I am not a mom by nature, but by nurture I sure as hell am. I’ve mothered many children over the years, and although I don’t hold that title specifically I do almost everything a mother does, except for birthing and breast-feeding.
Let me be clear, I was not offended at all by the compliment and kind words of this stranger. Her observation of my caring nature, made her associate me with a mother. That’s totally fine. In fact I found her statement to be quite nice, and was definitely appreciative of what she said. However, at my age, I’ve heard many comments about why I don’t have children. Questioning the reasons why there are no little ones running around. Just as a pregnant woman gets tired of all the questions regarding breast or bottle, names, staying home or going back to work, and the list goes on. Still not sure what gives someone the right to question and ask why. That becomes annoying. Just like asking how much money someone has in the bank, or what their weight is, or any other possibly intrusive questions you could think of.
Why do you have the need to ask
- Why or why not?
- Is it a choice?
- Can you not have children?
- If you can have them, why wouldn’t you want them?
- Why haven’t you had any yet?
- You’re getting old, the clock is running out.
- Don’t you want to go through the experience of having a baby?
- Don’t you want to make your Mom a Grandma?
- Don’t you want to be called Mom?
- It’s not fair you have to raise someone elses children but not have any of your own, why wouldn’t you want to have your own too? *Let me clear this one up before someone jumps to conclusions~ I don’t raise my boyfriends children, they have a Mom & Dad. I am Dad’s Girlfriend. I am around a lot, and I care deeply about these boys, but I will never replace their Mom. She is, and always will be, Mom. I’m an extra special person that cares and loves them unconditionally, because I want to, not because I have to.
People chose to judge, jump to conclusions, and place their own self-proclaimed feelings, thoughts, wants and/or needs (that might even be their own truths/issues that they are fearful of acknowledging) upon someone else. It’s called projecting.
My capacity to love, care, nurture, etc. has no bearing on whether or not I give birth to a child. Nature does not need to provide me a biological child for me to be a nurturing woman.
That solely has to do with my nature, capacity to love, and my personality.
It’s also my body, my choice, maybe or maybe not, and a collective decision made by two adults on what they want/need, can/can’t have in their relationship. If you must cast judgement or just have a curious nature, maybe broach your question with some care and a little class so you don’t come across like a nosy little ass!