Tag Archives: coworkers

Child-Free ≠ Selfish

12 Jan

Happy New Year Visitors!  I haven’t been here since December 2016.

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Well I have been occupied.

I landed a new job in February of last year.  It was an improvement. Hooray for three-day telework!  Then I reconvened prepping my former condo for sell. Yes I said former because I sold that bitch and moved in with my sister for two months until I purchased my desired home (a ranch-style house with a porch, wood-burning fireplace, and garage) in my coveted zip code.  I moved in the middle of November and my mom had me hosting Christmas dinner.

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There was also the large family dinner for my dad’s folks and a three-day family reunion for my mom’s side; both were coordinated with the help of my sister. So yeah 2017 was packed. And I’m motherfucking tired (and thankful).

So now that you’re all caught up, let’s dig into what a coworker told me this week. Picture it:  four 30-something black women in the conference room chatting. Three of us are spouse-free. Two of us are child-free. The topic of parenting surfaces for some reason that escapes me now. Long story short, one of my coworkers shares that she thinks child-free women regret not having kids when they reach their 60s.

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Now my personal procreation train is leaving the station. I’ll be 40 this June. And I’m not one of those motherhood or bust types willing to have a child on my own. If you are, cheers sis!  Sending you nothing but good vibes. Perhaps if I lived in another country where more of a support-system existed for single parenting. But alas I live in the U.S. where “despite working more hours than their peers in other high-income countries, single mothers in the US have higher poverty rates.”

I just don’t want to intentionally do it alone. I’m willing to forego it if the stars and moon don’t align and I don’t have 50 Cent’s thereby becoming a millionaire. And I’m ok with that (for right now). Who knows how I’ll feel in my 60s or a few years from now for that matter?

But to assert that all child-free women will regret their status later in life is myopic and misguided not to mention harmful. Not all women desire motherhood and marriage. And who is say that homegirl won’t regret having her now one-year-old son when she’s pushing 60? Only time will tell.

When I explained that I enjoy waking up when I want to and doing what I want when I want to do it, I was called selfish. And this isn’t the first time I was labeled selfish. My cousin’s soon to be ex-husband said the same thing to my sister and I years ago as he present-day walks away from his wife and two young kids. (Misery loves company.)

But let’s define selfish shall we?

Selfish

I regard others – all the damn time if I do say so myself! (Toot, too, beep, beep.)

Motherhood isn’t the litmus test for altruism and sacrifice. Furthermore, men aren’t labeled selfish for not procreating. Women are expected and pressured to make babies and that’s

bullshit

Why must I be subjected to such nonsense at the place of my employment? Damn these mortgage payments.

And while we’re on the topic of motherhood, congrats to Serena Williams! She and baby are beautiful.

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Shout out to my baby daddy. 50 isn’t my favorite but I love this song. Pay me to procreate!

 

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Conversations with Coworkers Cont’d

20 Dec

So me and the office folks were at it again.

The topic – relationships.

The catalyst – not really sure.

Like Andre Benjamin, my memory sucks. My sister just reminded me of this today.

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I think it all began with my boss (Mark) telling me that he planned on ending his relationship with the woman he’s been dating the last year. Termination date —  December 26th. Why the day after Christmas? Because he can’t do it on Christmas and her birthday. Yes, this unsuspecting woman shares her birthday with Jesus of Nazareth. Home girl, just can’t win.  Can she?

I think Mark wants to start off 2017 with a clean slate. Who can blame him? New year, new you and all of that. I’m coloring my hair. Plus Mark’s girlfriend is making plans for New Year’s Eve, so lets abort this failed mission of romantic mediocrity shall we. I can dig it.

So a discussion of the termination of Mark’s romantic entanglement mushrooms into a generic discussion on local dating between three 30-ish singles (myself, Mark, and another woman (Stephanie)).

Mark states that good company and conversation are hard to find.

Agreed.

Stephanie shares that some of the men she’s dated have complained that she’s so self-sufficient that she doesn’t need them.  Hmmm. Define need.  Men have told me that I’m intimidating.

Again.

shrug

Mark mentions that one of his single friends decided to end things with a woman he was dating because she didn’t keep a neat home. Now by untidy I mean some shirts were scattered about the floor.  I’m not referring to a roach-infested, unsanitary, basket-of-deplorable dump. Now both parties are employed well. The messy woman is a lawyer and apparently Mark’s friend has a really good job, code for he makes bank.

But where does Mark’s friend reside?

At home with his momma.

 

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Conversations with Coworkers

15 Dec

Convo #1

Last week I asked a coworker if she was taking time off for the holidays. We’re civil servants and the federal government is typically a ghost town during the month of December with so many people having use-or-lose leave to burn.  She said she wasn’t taking time off for Christmas because she’s not married nor does she have children.

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I said neither am I, but I’ll be taking time off. Everyone needs a break. Americans work way too much as it is. Forty percent of Americans do not use all of the vacation days we’re entitled. If you’re fortunate enough to have paid leave — use it. And women tend to do the heavy lifting (lest we forget) so we truly need a break to recover, rest, and recharge.

Time off isn’t the sole domain of couples and/or breeders. In fact, I’d argue that singles actually need it more because we’re a unit of one with no one to share life’s load. We’re more likely to be the caretakers of family members/friends and the contributors to our community as a whole.

Yes, our capitalistic society likes to center holiday fun around kids and obligatory-gift-exchanges. But festive adventure shouldn’t end with adulthood; nor should one’s parental and relationship status influence one’s propensity to enjoy life. The child-free and/or spouse-free needn’t opt out of holiday cheer and well-deserved time off. Party.  Sleep.  Vacate. Drown yourself in tacky holiday decorations. Do absolutely nothing.

We all deserve it.

Convo #2

A married coworker (Kim) told us that she “pulled” her husband with her tasty home-cooked meals. Apparently Kim’s now-husband was heavy into that gym life and was eating low-calorie bland meals before her arrival. Got ’em, Kim said. I assume with her macaroni and cheese.

A male coworker (Mark) cosigned with the adage, a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. We’ve heard it all before. Somebody cue up the Sunshine Anderson.

But what’s path to a woman’s heart? What’s the corresponding adage for that?

In We Should All Be Feminists, Chimamnda Ngozi Adichie writes

We spend too much time teaching girls to worry about what boys think of them. But the reverse is not the case. We don’t teach boys to care about being likable. We spend too much time telling girls that they cannot be angry or aggressive or tough, which is bad enough, but then we turn around and either praise or excuse men for the same reasons. All over the world, there are so many magazine articles and books telling women what to do, how to be and not to be, in order to attract or please men. There are far fewer guides for men about pleasing women.

My point exactly. Where’s the instructional for men? They’re left to their own devices and women are expected to silently and graciously endure.

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