Claudia Camerlingo tells of her experience as a thirty-year-old career, with the dream of motherhood, struggling with social expectations and prejudices.
I am thirty years old and starting to suffer from that social anxiety typical for a thirty-something unmarried and childfree woman. I’ve always wanted children: I am fascinated by the shop windows that display those mini-dresses and I find the smell of babies intoxicating. In the past, I think I have never even considered the option of not having any, of not being able to have any, or of not wanting any. But even as a child, I always had a clear idea of my goal of self-determination and above all of emancipation.
In this, my parents have always played a fundamental role. Not studying, not creating a future or a one-way path for myself, was never an option. I have therefore made the desire for emancipation a leitmotiv of my life. I am a pretty normal girl, I do not have great inclinations, but I work very hard and I can say that I have basically achieved a good degree of satisfaction.
As a young girl, I imagined myself in my 30s married and with a child. As a teenager, I imagined myself at 30 to be a super busy and accomplished career woman. At the age of 30, I realize that I have not become either version of myself. But I firmly believe that I am still the best version I could ever aspire to. All in all, I feel fulfilled, I have a partner who I consider my life companion and enjoy a good economic stability. Honestly, I could afford a child. But the truth is that now I don’t want any, I don’t feel ready, I’m scared. I feel I still have too much to do, too many goals to be achieved.
I understood that when you become aware of your identity as a woman and as an independent human being, the idea of giving birth to a creature that depends on you 100% is frightening. I often ask myself: what will be left of me when I’ll have a child? What will motherhood take away from that constantly busy girl focused on her goals? What will happen to my happy and balanced relationship when I’ll have a child? What role will my passions, my interests, my friends, my work play in my life after a child? Will I be able to protect my child from the ugliness of life, educate her or him to be empathic, protect them from disappointments?
There is probably no instruction manual, nor there’s a right choice or a universal answer in the face of these fears. But I feel that the world wants me to be ready; I feel forced to accept the remote hypothesis that, if I were to have a child, I would have to sacrifice something of myself, look for a different job, to begin with. I don’t like this. External feedback, comparisons with friends and family, do not leave me with much space to consider other options: you cannot expect your partner to reduce his working hours, otherwise who will brings the salary home? Nobody tells you this up front, but it is a fairly obvious subtext when discussing the matter, and I, too nervous and wounded, let it go, because this is my life, in the end I decide for myself.
This is why even if I want a child (and I will probably have one) I will always, unconditionally feel like a Lunàdigas. That is because if I’ll have a child, I will do it because the desire to have one will be stronger than my fears, and because the awareness of what motherhood will represent in my life will be clear and no longer blurry.
I will be a mother because I will choose to be one and not because I will feel forced into the role by social imposition.
by Claudia Camerlingo, Lunàdigas editorial staff