This post was generously written by guest contributor Ms M, a local writer.
Ideally being a 38-year-old female involves being content, confident and happy with your role as a woman in this world. However, within myself I am anxious, and not feeling like this at all. I seem to have blinked and missed the two greatest things that shape the meaning of pure existence, as though they were fleeting moments that occur only once in your life….
From the moment we are born girls have dolls thrown into our arms to nurture, just as we are to nurture our own real family. We are dressed up like princesses as though a dress-rehearsal for our real-life wedding day – the once-in-a-lifetime chance to dress up and have a man vow publicly to love you forever.
Lately, I have succumbed to the fact that if I do somehow marry by the age of 40 then it will take a little more than make-up to glamourise my wedding photos. And the time has come to admit that I will never fit in to that wedding gown I dreamed I would, or saw in that magazine a few years back.
In my wildest dreams, I never expected to be that old gal standing in the mix of single girls cat scratching to catch the bridal bouquet at other people’s weddings. Mind you, having caught the last three I’ve become very good at it. At the last one, there wasn’t even anyone else eligible so they just threw it straight to me, which was embarrassing.
This is where insecurity comes in to play. Why have I never been married? Why don’t I have children with anyone? Why hasn’t someone told the world how much they love me? What is wrong with me? Am I such a bad person? ‘Aren’t I pretty enough? And is my new man going to be the one that helps makes sense of this all? Or what if none of this is as important to him as it is to me?
And then there is the big question, am I not good enough to be a mother? I haven’t had my own babies and every month in which I find myself in tears, my ovaries crying out in severe pain, is another reminder that they are yet to produce a child for me to nurture and share my whole heart and soul with.
Even without this reminder, there is always a sense of something missing within myself, like an empty void that needs to be filled. It’s as though my body is more than ready to nurture and love a little mini-me and the debilitating pain I go through each month is a form of punishment for going against the natural rules of existence. All this in mind now I have come to understand those older ladies that surround themselves with cats for no other reason than to fill that void and simply nurture a living soul, furry or not.
The truth is that the outside – the confident, content, secure happy single, unmarried un-mothering female – is a façade for many of us. We can be full of insecurities, sadness and at times experiencing feelings of loneliness all too often.
So heads up ladies! Next time you are speaking with a friend about why she is yet to be married or have babies please don’t assume it is not because she doesn’t want to. In truth, she more than likely wishes she had at least an engagement ring on her finger with a clone of herself tagging along beside her calling ‘mummy!’.