I woke early this morning terrified that I wouldn’t be able to get enough money together to buy my baby from the hospital. I know that sounds weird, let me explain. My dad has been in hospital for the last week so that partly explains why I’ve been thinking about hospitals. As for babies – there’s nothing knew about that.
I’ve been dreaming about babies since I was sixteen years old and anyone who knows me well enough knows how much I love them. I think its difficult for someone who doesn’t experience this to accept that I’m a girl in her early 20’s who wants a career, wants to travel, I want a house and a mortgage and a garden with herbs and yes I also want children crawling in my feet and laughing in my arms because without it, the rest would be meaningless.
I feel like feminism has failed me to a certain extent. In urging women to leave their kitchens and become career women, it seems like we are letting down the cause, or taking a step backward, if the thing that we want the most in life is to be a mother. I’m not saying I don’t want a career – I do. In order to give my children the life I wish they could have, I know that my life has to be a model to them. And so I surround myself with things that make me happy and work hard to build a career I am proud of, I want a happy and fulfilling marriage so that I can show them what love can be like, and fill my life with hobbies and activities that engage and interest me, so that I can be the kind of woman I need to be, to be a mother to them one day.
I want babies the way that some people want to cure cancer. It is instrumental in the way that it affects my life. You could say I’m a Pre-destined parent if you want to be sociological about it. I just say that I was born to be a mother. I was put on this planet to give life, and if for some reason nature means I can’t do it biologically, I will adopt. But there is nothing I want more, nothing I could more easily risk my life for, than my right and ability to have children. So last night when I had a dream that I had a baby girl, and that all the babies were lined up in a kitchen drawer in a hospital with white light and price tags on their wrists, imagine my horror when I realised that I didn’t have enough money to buy my baby back from the hospital. Each day she was left there, the price rose exponentially (perhaps a sign of recent unemployment worries) and I cried at her kitchen drawer, unable to even hold my baby. Not being able to take my baby home had me waking up in a cold sweat.
I woke up realising that firstly, there is no need for me having to justify why having children is so important to me. People don’t need to justify why having money is important to them, or why having all four limbs is important to them, so why should I have to justify being a 23 year old girl who wants to be a mother (5-8 years from now) more than anything else in the world. I have given up on my dreams of having children before I’m 30. I realise that that is not something that will happen for me anymore. I had such a beautiful childhood with a young mother who played with us and let our imaginations run wild that I wish I could do the same for my children. But I’m trying to look at the positives like greater financial security etc and hope that I will still be a parent who will run around with my kids, and sit with them in puddles looking at the rain, roll down hills and climb trees with them regardless of my age.
The other thing this made me realise was how much my dreams are influenced by my current worries and occupations. I’ve decided to start a dream journal – keeping a notebook beside my bed at night, and writing down any dreams that I have as soon as I wake up. Perhaps there is more to our dreams than we believe.