A Message to Men from a Childfree Woman

We truly are from different planets but with that comes excitement, passion, frustrations, deep happiness and contentment. I love men, I love women alike. I love the uniqueness which comes from our differences.

Whilst I am an avid promoter of equality in the workplace and in life in general, I can’t help be warmed by receiving flowers or having a door opened for me. There’s a huge attraction towards an act of chivalry. Why not? It’s a welcome feeling to be looked after and cared for. Hell, most of the time we face this world alone and fighting adversity. Kindness in whatever form is truly a good thing. Everyone has varying views on this but this is mine.

The story derived from a recent business meeting, if you could call being in a tent in Frankfurt at Oktoberfest in November and drinking steins a meeting! We were all sat around the table. I say we, just to clarify that was me and 2 other women in a room of over 100 men. As always, I was leading polite conversation with my nearest colleagues (all men). We were discussing their childred, a topic, being childless I never steer away from. That is their world and I strongly believe in showing interest in all things that matter to those I am engaging with. Conversation was flowing until the moment I was asked if I had children. My response was not planned to be as short as it was but I was 2 steins in and the necessity to explain the how, why, why not just was not apparent so I just said “no I don’t”…

Tumbleweed moment extroadinaire…deathly silence….they twitched, looked awkwardly at each other, stammered some more as I mischieviously smirked inside and still did not offer an explanation. I wasn’t helping this educated bunch out on this one although I did feel a sense of compassion at their awkwardness.

After what seemed like an eternity, a welcomed response was uttered from the father of 3 and grandfather of 2 and it’s a belter….”oh, oh, oh, well, er, yes well I guess, I mean well I’m sure that means that at least you are able to have 3 or 4 good holidays a year”. Incredulous, I picked up my stein and proceeded to critique the gassiness of the beer. We moved on.

There really is a need to change both men’s and women’s views and perceptions of childfree women and their lives. To all men similar to these at that dinner table, I am ok, my life is full, happy, challenging, blessed with adventures. I have a busy job, customers I love, amazing friends, a wonderful family. I am educated and able to acquire successful positions in companies I want to work for. I am a loving “Auntie” and “Mum Number 2” to my friend’s children. I am a human being before a female and my purpose is far greater than just being a mum. Whilst at one time that was indeed my dream and I have grieved and am still grieving the loss of this…I AM OK and my life is full.

Maybe a way to respond would be to ask about my family at home, this does not have to include my own children but guess what? Even though I did not physically give birth I still have a huge family and an abundance of things to share with you.

So please ask about my life…I won’t cry, I won’t bite. I will appreciate you