I think I may be made of wood.
Almost everyone I know is having a baby or caring for a new baby right now. In the next few days I shall be making the acquaintance of Jake, new son of my close friend Donna, and also shaking hands with Oliver, the son of my oldest (I mean in terms of the time I’ve known her, not her age, she’s younger than me) friend Zoe after she brought him over from Sydney.
As I’ve already said, my best friend Louise is due to have her first baby on May 4th (she won’t call it Yoda, I’ve asked) .
Whenever I hold someone’s newborn, everyone looks expectantly at me as though I’m going to toss the offspring into the air and yell: ‘Must dash, uterus is twanging, back later!’
But I think my biological clock stopped some time ago, if indeed it ever worked.
My parents get all excited by such events, maybe they think if I spend enough time around these friends I’ll decide I have to have one. I think they’ve given up all hope of having grand-children – my brother spends half his life working abroad and I would rather spend my hard earned cash on clothes and holidays than baby formula and rattles.
It doesn’t help when I find out how much childcare costs. The idea that if I wanted to come back to work I’d then have to shell out a large chunk of my salary to have someone take care of my child does make me think that the whole set up is a bit unfair. People sneer at stay-at-home mums for not working just as much as they sneer at working mums, yet it could be a catch 22 – I have a friend who is a stay at home mum because it simply isn’t economically viable to work full time and pay a nanny or a nursery, she’d make nothing, and I have a friend who is having to work when all she wants to do is spend time with her daughter because if she doesn’t, she can’t afford to keep them both fed, clothed and sheltered, and her mum and dad take care of the baby during the day.
That’s the beauty of a pair of shoes – you can just put them in a box during the day and take them out at the weekend and they’ll love you for it.