Money, Money, Money …
As a woman, when you think about having a baby, you also think about the maternity leave that comes with it. Three months of sitting in your puke covered pj’s having no idea what time it is, sleeping whenever you can and trying to keep a baby alive (of course there is also the crying – yours, parts of your body falling apart, bleeding nipples- I know!) Then 6 to 9 months of hanging out in the sun, meeting up for coffee with other mothers, trying to get through the day when you were at the playground at 7.30, watching daytime TV, falling in love with your offspring more and more each day.
What never really occurs to you is that you may not be able to afford maternity leave. Who plans, in their early twenties, to have a baby alone and so starts to save hard for those 9 months out of work? No-one. No-one would want to burst the bubble and even for a second think that It might not happen. You know, falling in love, getting engaged, buying a house, having romantic holidays a deux, a huge family wedding, gurgling baby, painting the nursery together. You never want to believe that your life wouldn’t pan out that way, so why on earth would you put away a years salary just in case in you end up on your own having to buy sperm and time off work?
So that’s me. I am the person who didn’t join the dots in the right order and I definitely didn’t save for this rainy season! I have never been one of those people who is clever enough to save. I am deeply jealous of those people. It is definitely something I want to instill in to my children, should I be lucky enough to eventually have one/any. I have always worked, I didn’t take a gap year or anything like that. I finished school, went to Uni, got a job and have been lucky enough to have been employed ever since. So it is not that I don’t have income, I just don’t save any of it!
I was left money by my parents when they died and it was given to me when I was 23. 23 is too young. Way too young. Too young to give someone a large sum of money and expect them to know what to do with it. I had no idea what to do with it, but I know that I didn’t save or invest it. I would frit it away on nights out and buying huge rounds, tickets for friends, cheap shoes, CD’s (thousands, upon thousands of CD’s, where was Spotify then? That £10 a month would have saved me an absolute fortune,) and more nights out. I didn’t spend it on extravagant holidays, I am not a holiday person, I was just generous with life. I didn’t realise how generous for a long time, but now I do. I don’t regret any of it, not for a second. I will always be a generous person and I am totally OK with that. I just wish I had had more advise, or had listened to any that I might have had, but can’t remember. I did, thankfully, buy a house (a mortgaged one, obviously). So it wasn’t all spent on Tanqueray and gig tickets!
So now I am in the position where I need to buy sperm and then, somehow, I need to pay for maternity leave. I am trying, really hard, to get all my ducks in a row to make this happen because the sad truth of the matter is without some money, this cannot happen. My urge to become a mother, my deep longing to carry a child will always just be that, a longing. An itch I will never been able to scratch. One of my closest friends (who is a mother) asked me why I didn’t just adopt if this route was just too hard? I didn’t know how to explain to her how my insides literally itch, everyday, with maternal instinct. Adoption is not something I see as second best, at all, I absolutely will adopt one day. My tribe is going to be big. It is just that the process of carrying a child, to have a child who is genetically mine, is something I must, absolutely must try to make happen first, before my time runs out, before Mother Nature robs me of that chance. She has already left me without parents when I was just a teenager, she is not going to take this away from me as well. No way!
So, The Sperm Bank, must start … I may even start a crowd funding page … god knows I have given money to some mad things in my time, maybe there are people out there who fancy helping me buy nappies & Sudocrem! I have little pride left at this stage, so nothing to lose there.
Photo: Flowers for me, from me. Soon such mad extravagance won’t be able to happen. Argh …