I met a lady last week. She told me she was 42 and child free...by choice. Her eyebrows raised when she said 'by choice' as though they were pre-empting a challenge and slowly relaxed when no challenge or questioning came from me. I am certain she has been met with the usual tryade of opinions from others about her choice to remain childless, but as far as I am concerned it is none of my busines or anyone else's the life choices others make.
The conversation moved on, but perhaps her eyebrows were so used to awaiting a challenge they felt uncomfortable with no response and this is what ensued.
She asked me that awful question, the one I struggle to answer...that question. 'Sooooo what do you do?' And after telling her about all the things I 'do' and finishing up with telling her about theplaycompany, she said 'I think that's really sad!"
WOW! Never had that response before!
Rather than feeling offended, I felt curious as to why she had come to the conclusion that something that was created to evoke fun, joy and a sense of playfulness could be considered sad. So I asked her what she meant.
Her reasoning for why she felt theplaycompany and other things like it were sad, was in relation to children and how she feels that having children takes away your ability to be able to do the things you enjoy. She explained that she felt that because she was childless (let me remind you entirely by choice) she did not have the problem of not doing the things that she enjoys, the things that she finds fun, the things that make her feel happy. She felt that what I am doing with this little venture was for women who don't have the ability to just do fun things. The women in the world who have children. According to this lady, children take away that possibility!
She told me that she did not fancy herself as a Mumma and bloody good on her for being honest about that! She also felt it a terrible shame that mothers tend to forget about themselves and put their children first. In a way she is absolutely correct. It can sometimes be shitty (literally) and can feel exhausting, like you left your fun self somewhere at the bottom of the laundry basket that you just know you will never empty!
However, whilst I totally respect her take on the whole shebang...I have got to say, I disagree and find that outlook kind of....odd.
Amongst the sleepless nights inflicted upon mums by their kids (regardless of their age...trust me, teenagers rip off your peaceful nights too!), shitty-ness, tiredness, school notes and early morning sport sessions in the middle of winter I've gotta say my kids are personally the number ONE thing in my life that inspires me to actually do fun things, to enjoy the present moment...to play!
The silliest, most fun people in my life who inspire creativity, present moment awareness and fun are my children.
I know it can be frustrating being a mumma, but for me it's mostly fabulous and oh my goodness...when you are a Mumma, that weekend retreat or playful afternoon workshop, glass of [insert drink of choice here], time with your love, hanging out with your girlfriends, yoga session, beach walk or whatever it is you do to get your kicks, is all the more relished!
As a Mumma, you may occasionally forget your fun-ness and disconnect from joy, but can anyone really, honestly tell me that it's just a mothers curse?
Some of the hardest working, most stressed out women I know are mates who work their asses off in a career of their choice, without ever having children and I know for a fact they all still benefit from some crazy silly times, weekends away or some space to just get playful!
Havin a good time, sharing and being a little joy button JUST BECAUSE is good for anyone!
Who says if you are a mumma, that automatically qualifies you as a stressed out sad lady with bad hair? And, although it's not my area of expertise, I think I can safely say that being a rockin career chick with no kidlets does not mean you are always in the fun zone!
Looking to blame a person (or several of them if you have a bunch of kids like me), a job, a situation or a place for your lack of joy is never a fabulous idea.
We always have a choice, even when we think we don't. There is not one perfect situation that we should all aspire to, nor are there any rules about 'how' you get your kicks!
Whatever path you are currently cruising on down....wether it be paved with sleepless nights and nappies or hair appointments and sleep in's. You always have the right to have a good time, to smile and have fun! You can always choose to add a little play into your day and desiring a little more fun and silly in your life does not make you (or me) sad!
Have Fun - Get Happy