One woman’s vessel is another woman’s temple (or, if you had a child to ‘complete you’, you’re dealing with the wrong end of the cow).
Having never sought fulfilment
in the pursuit of being mother
my body is my temple
for use of no-one other
than my own indulged desires
of aesthetics, pleasure, fun,
so, yes, I fret the stretch marks,
the odd pimple on my bum.
I obsess, in terms of thread veins,
for they make me feel unpretty,
so vain, if that doth make me,
I accept in all its gritty,
ugly notions – for us gals are meant to be
vessels of life-giving, all procreation’ry.
“Oh! I know my body’s purpose”!
the new mother’s apt to cry.
I shall not regret my choices
biologics tick… ticking by.
Does that mean our sad mechanics
are bereft of serving purpose?
It is no hard done-by chore,
our childlessness not cursed us.
When I stand, unclothed and natural
my body has a story
I don’t need the marks of childbirth
to feel a sense of glory.
All this talk of ‘battle scars’
babies sure sound painful,
but, forgive me, all you mothers
should I dare to sound disdainful.
It’s just I feel no less a woman
for not having given birth,
and there is no singular purpose
for this body on this earth.
Like living in a desert
enduring shifting sands,
the bits I’ve never really liked
I cover up with clothes and hands.
I’ve no need to ‘love my body’, thanks
I’m just fine with friendly banter.
Angles, poise and lighting
three small words – a mighty mantra.
Self-love is overrated
when costume is the thing,
and my body wears it well, you see,
and the pleasure that it brings
is proof enough that any scars
may be healed to nothing
without the need for motherhood
and its pushy, panting, puffing.
So curse my sour dismissives!
I’m all said and done,
the female form has every purpose
babies ain’t the only one.
It's not that I "hate" children, but...
But, when I was child, my Grandmother tells me I used to smack photographs of children and babies in magazines and books and shout "NO"!
As I've always known I prefer dogs to cats, quiet to noise, peas to carrots, wine that doesn't come in a box and men who treat tweed as a religious experience, I've always similarly just known I never wanted children.
With alarming regularity (which appears to have increased as I hurtled towards the big four-oh) younger women tilt their heads to one side and say, with a mix of pity and confusion: "How did you know"? As if they wish to remind me that if I change my mind at this late stage, I'd better get working at getting pregnant, like, NOW.
Maybe it's like being gay, or feeling as though you were born a hundred years too late, y'know, when the world moves too fast and you're screaming a silent, internal yowl for a crofters cottage to call your own on some remote Hebridean island where only the sheep can hear you muttering.
I quite like some children. The ones with parents smart enough to realise that if they eschew discipline in favour of letting the kid run amok like a mini-despot in terry towelling, then they're going to end up a) friendless, and b) loathed by their own offspring in equal measure.
Kids like discipline. I did. I liked having a measure of what to kick back against, what to blatantly flaunt in my parents faces, a threshold of tolerance by which I discovered my place in the world.... and a reason to seek ever-sneakier means of breaking the rules.