I genuinely can’t even watch the adverts for One Born Every Minute.
I’m forever traumatised by a video I watched in school aged thirteen where a woman in her mid-20’s with a giant frizzy red 80’s perm gave me a full frontal view of childbirth. Blood EVERYWHERE and this giant slimy head emerging from between her legs.
It’s tormented my mind ever since.
My child-related fear is much broader than Tokophobia – I also dread the whole having an alien in your stomach feeling, the stretch marks, the hemorrhoids, the nipple infections, the mood swings, the relationship pressures and the babyshower.
Then after going through all of this torture, especially the babyshower, you’ve got a life sentence of unconditional responsibility for what is likely to be at least 50% Brat.
The subject of having kids get more and more sensitive the older you get, and I do get it – the biological clock is real, and it’s ticking.
I also realise that the vast majority of women will disagree or be unable to relate to how I feel about it all in this moment.
Some people I know have been wanting babies since they were a baby themselves. It’s totally each to their own and I don’t get offended in the slightest if people want to ask my thoughts on it all… but what I’m not into is people saying I WILL feel broody one day, and I WILL want kids.
Because maybe I won’t.
I’ve had two brief phases of feeling maternal and the first was at the age of five of pushing a pram round the living room, wearing my mum’s heels and her long denim shirt, pretending to be a hairdresser with 23 teddybear kids. Then twenty four years later, when I was a little bit besotted with somebody, we talked it over and I started warming to the idea.
Other than that, my maternal switch has been firmly off.
Evolution, Society and Situation
Evolutionarily, it’s all about survival of the fittest and building a clan to hunt, gather and live on.
As a species, our bodies have been programmed to make us want progeny. The fact that we’ve spent 99% of our existence in hunter-gatherer societies and only in more recent times made a societal shifts, is no doubt the reason why we feel biologically still tuned in to that.
Then as our species has evolved we’ve developed societal norms relating to how we should inhabit this earth. I’m generalising here and talking Western World themes, but societally it’s always been just what you do.
From an early age, we’re taught that when we grow up we’ll get married and have kids and live happily ever after. It’s more or less silently expected of us, and we’ve been made to feel we’d be disappointing our parents or doing something wrong if we don’t follow the herd.
But now that our civilisation has transitioned out of the long-standing Hunter-Gatherer set-up and society is opening up more than ever before, situation and individuality are starting to take a bigger share of the decision-making pie of parenting.
Vaginal destruction is no longer a need or a must… it’s more of a could.
There could, in fact, be reasons to argue against procreation.
Don’t quote me on these stats because I can’t be bothered Googling, but global population is at around seven billion now and it’s set to grow substantially in the next few decades.
Our resources are supposedly depleting, climate change is supposedly happening, the agricultural industry feeding our seven billion mouths is destroying nature.
In addition to this there are around 153 million orphans in the world – some with no parents, some with one and others just abandoned. That’s 153 million broken little hearts that need mending.
As for me, I know I don’t need to breed to keep the human race alive, I know societally I can be accepted for being child-free, so it’s all about situation and personal choice.
My situation right now does not warrant even thinking about it. I’m attempting the life of a Digital Nomad, my home is backpack and I can’t plan more than a few hours ahead at a time. Plus I struggle looking after a mobile phone at the best of times and I doubt a baby would survive if I accidentally left it in the freezer overnight.
I’m not flat-out saying I’ll never want one, I’ve been looking into adoption for years, but maybe I’ll just prefer being the eternal Uncle Nobhead who gets to do all the fun stuff and hand them back when they start to whinge.
All I know is I don’t need another human to feel complete and although my anti-marriage and anti-maternal opinions might make me some sort of Untouchable in the dating world, unless somebody comes along who makes a compelling case for change, this is where I’m at.