OPINION: In a world where a woman supposedly has more control over her body than ever before, why do so many still believe the true measure of her success in life is the moment she has a baby?
The reality of just how far we haven't come, that once a woman is closer to her 30s than 20s it's "time" to start listening to that ticking clock, has only been brought home since I made the decision to say goodbye to life as a Kings Cross crime reporter and follow my heart and a certain real estate agent back to Hervey Bay.
I thought the giant leap into cohabitation and challenge of keeping a herb garden alive was big enough but no... suddenly I was involuntarily thrown into a race I would have thought was cancelled with the invention of the pill.
The admission I was happily childless immediately drew the "how dare you be so selfish when there are women who can't have kids?" and defensive social media statuses about how being a cooking, bottle juggling, nappy ninja was by far the toughest job in the world.
I could finally sympathise with the shacked up and newlyweds who felt the immense pressure to go to the "next phase" and earn the official status of Superwoman which could apparently only be achieved by enduring the hellish ordeal of labour, posting the evidence on Facebook along with a photo announcing the arrival of (insert name no English teacher will be able to spell here).
On their behalf, and for my own sanity, I say this: we suspect heart surgeons, soldiers and Eddie Obeid's lawyer probably have it tougher but we accept that, one day, the role of mother will be the most rewarding.
Right now, we like our boobs, our partners do too and would like a bit more time with them before they become an item on someone else's menu.
Until then, please stop side glancing at the odd chocolate/cheese bulge wondering "is she or isn't she?" and if we pass on the champagne, it's just because we are suffering from a self indulgent, mid-20s hangover.
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