It was when it got to the point that the electricity was about to be cut off and I had forgotten how to talk in anything other than a singsong voice, that I decided to return to work two days per week. As I cried over my vegemite toast, and my 14-month-old daughter sang while eating hers, I told myself it was good for both of us that I work part-time.
But then I discovered something that I was oblivious to as I enjoyed family life. On my first day back at work, two of the women in the office were chatting away. Oh, about menial topics, like that they were in their thirties and were running out of time to have children. As the discussion continued I discovered that there are women out there who want nothing more than a family but haven’t found anyone to start one with.
The statistics on the falling fertility rate suddenly became real. Here I was having found the man I wanted to be with for the rest of my life, and having enjoyed six years of marriage before deciding to add a baby to the mix. That’s as far as the life planning went. It didn’t seem like a big deal. Yet here I discovered that in today’s society family is not an option for all, and that for some women the biological clock ticks away far too fast.
While I was stressing over how we were going to find the money for groceries that week and whether my daughter was saying enough one syllable words, I realised that having a family is no longer just a part of life. It’s a part of life people are starting to miss out on.