Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Pitter patter time. Or not.

I was quite surprised recently by the reaction of a group of friends, to the statement by myself that I might be keen to have a baby in the next few years.

What came as a surprise, was the very vocal disapproving response from most of the group. "Are you serious? - Do you know that it's for life?" were some of the questions posed. I engaged because I was interested in the debate and hadn't expected to encounter resistance from a group of lesbians.

I'd thought they would cheer me on and offer to babysit. It's a big decision after all and I was a solo participant-to-be.

So, why the resistance? I'd thought that most women had the innate urge to have a child. I'd supposed that if you hadn't been a mother, there would be - at some level, even if it was a very deep one - a sense of loss. I know this is what it would surely feel to me if I never had a child.

Interesting new perspectives were raised. They genuinely didn't regret not having a baby, in fact most of the women in the group were actively grateful at how their lives had turned out. They didn't display any hidden signs of being in denial or having pushed down the maternal instinct at all.

Hell no, they said, we're grateful not to have been tied down. It was, after all, a different era as well when they had been my age (most of the group was over 50).

Anyway, what I learnt is that there is no single answer. There are only answers for each individual. We are all so different and therefore we will all make different decisions in our lives. It only makes them different; not right or wrong.

I am not sure what will happen in the next few years. I would love a child of my own, but as a single lesbian, it would be very difficult for me to make it happen. Not from a biological perspective - that's the easy part. I'm talking about the things beyond that: being on my own and raising a child; being a gay woman and raising a child.

Who knows what will happen tomorrow. Whatever it is, I am sure of one thing: I don't want any regrets, either way!