Jun 3

Life, Love, Laura & Guests: 31 and childless, I’m fine, honestly!

by LifeLoveLaura on June 3, 2013

Today on Life, Love, Laura, there’s something a little bit different. Our guest is my friend Lyndsay who bares all about being a woman in her 30s without a mini person. Even though I’m now a mother, I can relate to literally everything in this post. Children can be scary, the prospect of having your own even more so. Give me something four legged and furry, however – no problem! Lyndsay also writes for Sitting on the Swings, a collaborative blog that I suggest you take a look at. It’s good.

I am 31 and I have only ever held five babies, two of them were in the last few months, so it would be fair to presume I’m not maternal. I’ll admit that children annoy me, they screech in public places which makes me rely heavily on my iPod. They walk into you when you are concentrating on the iPod, look where you’re going! I find they look at me in a creepy way, like they know things or like they think I know things, I can’t work it out but it makes me uneasy. They are so needy too, they need to stop thinking I’m responsible just because I’m taller than them, I’m really not! I mainly get annoyed at children because they remind me of myself; they cry when they are tired, need a cuddle, hungry or need a poo…. and so do I. If I can’t even cope with myself how can I cope with a whole other human being?

On the other hand, babies are super cute, tiny clothes make me melt inside, as do their little toes and fingers and I could just eat those chubby cheeks. Cute yes, but can I do the cute baby talk thing? Hell NO. When I’m holding a baby I find it physically impossible to make my words come out in that “goo goo ga ga aren’t you a little pudding” kind of way other people talk to their children. I’m more like “sooo, how you doing? Teeth coming along nicely? Good good. Have you seen the bloody weather out there?”.

However, I could do this baby talk with my dog. I would be fair to presume I’m not maternal, but I’m not entirely sure that’s true. I had pets as a child – budgies; Pecker flew away on Christmas day, true story, heartbreaking. A dog; which my dad gave away but told us it had been stolen, also heartbreaking. And gerbils, which to be honest were so bloody boring I tried to liven things up by dressing them up in my Barbie’s clothes. Also, slightly worse than the humiliation of looking like a hairy Barbie, I once picked one up by it’s tail and spun it round so much it broke a little bit and bled. Whenever anybody mentions that theory about serial killers torturing animals when they are children I feel very uneasy and guilty, but I haven’t killed anybody yet, hooray! Despite the gerbil incident, I did love my pets but I LOVED Dolly.

August bank holiday 2007 me and my then boyfriend decided to get a dog. It had never been discussed before it was totally on impulse, we didn’t even know what breed of dog we wanted. We just looked what was for sale in the local newspaper and chose the cutest breed. Yeah yeah I know that’s a very irresponsible way to choose a dog but have you SEEN ‘Pug x Jack Russell’ puppies? They are called ‘Jugs’ and they are bred to melt your cold rotten heart. The moment I held that wriggly little bundle of puppy I couldn’t let go, my maternal side had well and truly come out. All the goo goo noises and “aren’t you a cheeky little pudding wudding” phrases, yup, it all happened with Dolly. I loved Dolly and she loved me.

Lyndsay and Dolly

Lyndsay and Dolly

She followed me everywhere, even to the toilet and for the 4 years I had her she slept in my bed. When me and my boyfriend broke up I struggled to look after her, I worked full time and was also at uni. I eventually made the heartbreaking decision to find her a new home. I don’t use the term ‘heartbreaking’ loosely here, in fact that word isn’t even strong enough, I was devastated. She was my constant companion, I taught her tricks, we would share my food, she knew when I was sad, we’d go for walks to the and sit under our favourite tree, she would be constantly cuddled up to me either on the couch when watching TV or in bed sleeping. She was my best friend. I was her mummy. Giving her up was the hardest thing I ever had to do. I cried, howled in fact, with heartbreak and even typing this I have tears streaming down my face. But it was for her own good, I loved her too much to make her sad by being alone all day, she needed the nice retired old lady she went to who could be with her all the time and walk her 3 times a day. Her happiness was my priority. The love I felt for Dolly was overwhelming, I can’t even imagine the love a mother feels for her child which she has grown inside herself (then I get to thinking about how people can hurt their children and I get very sad and VERY angry). My point in mentioning this crazy dog is that it’s the closest experience I’ve had to having my own child, another thing that relied entirely on me. I proved I’m maternal, just maybe not for humans…..yet.

The first time my friend Lisa asked me to look after he daughter I was filled with fear. Olivia was about 3 and that is a strange age, loads of questions, not entirely toilet trained. SCARY. My instant reaction was to ask “is it just like looking after a dog, like feeding her and taking her to the toilet?”. Lisa assured me it was, and knowing she wasn’t exactly the maternal type herself I trusted her judgement. So off me and Olivia went to the cinema, but the film was so bloody boring she ended up crawling into my lap and going to sleep. Just like Dolly dog! I looked after Olivia a few times and they key points to note here are 1) she’s still alive, all limbs in tact 2) her mother is still my friend. So I must have done an OK job.

Combine me doing an OK job with Olivia and the love I felt for a puppy and I come to the conclusion that I would maybe make a good mother one day, when I’m with the right person. It’s probably a blessing that it hasn’t been an option with my ex-boyfriends, it was never the right time or place. Age 31, I have come to the stage where everyone I know seems to be having children or at least planning children. I feel like I’m faulty for not even having a boyfriend, not even vaguely on track to being a mother. I feel like my own mother would love me more if I had a baby, I’d make her proud. I would feel like I’d have a purpose in life other than drinking wine and Tweeting all night. As much as I love the freedom of going out with my friends whenever I want, spending my money on myself and sleeping until 3 in the afternoon, as much as I try to pass myself off as not being maternal, I do desperately want children. I want to find my soul mate and create another human being who is part of both of us. I want to be woken up at 2am by a weird looking but adorably cute creature who relies entirely on me, just like Dolly did, but more. I’d give up nights out with my friends for that, they can instead just come to my house and listen to me whinge about the price of nappies and gush about little Tyrone’s first words. I can’t wait.


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