Since I’ve arrived in Melbourne, I feel like I have been inundated by meeting after meeting that has included babies. Most of Chris’s friends are married and have children, so I guess I can’t really avoid the presence of babies. It’s not that I don’t like babies; I actually love seeing their faces with their fat little cheeks, and playing with them is always fun and makes me reminisce about simpler times. It’s more that I get really bored listening to baby talk. It’s as though I need to pretend I am interested in every tiny detail in every child’s life – what his first word was, where it happened, and when; what he likes and doesn’t like to eat; what his favorite toys or cartoon characters are; what his sleeping schedule is like and how easy he is when being put to sleep.
Once people have children, their lives tend to revolve around them, and their sense of individuality tends to go away because their main priority is their child. I can’t really blame them for that because your children should be your priority, but where is the balance between being a parent and being a real person with interests of one’s own? I never want to be the parent whose children completely consume her life, and I wouldn’t be able to talk about myself and my own desires and feelings about life.
Maybe one day, I will be the parent who decides that my career isn’t that important (likely because I may be fed up by corporate life and the inane expectations that men hold of working women, and worse, that other women hold of working women balancing motherhood) and reduce my hours to part-time, or just give up working in the corporate world in general. I never really “believed” in this before, but because I am getting closer to an age where children are a tangible reality, I am more empathetic of women who put their children before their career. Or maybe one day, I will learn to fully balance a full-time, rewarding career with raising my children; I’m honestly not sure yet. But one thing I know that I will strive to do is to retain my individuality and not become that mother who is just a mother. I still want to be all the other things I am – a wife, lover, daughter, niece, sister (I am still Ed’s sister even if he isn’t in our form), friend, colleague, helper, writer, photographer, card-maker, scrapbooker, organizer, cook, baker, and everything else I can’t remember right now.