Being childless is a cause for celebration not pity, says Emma Kennedy.
I started the menopause at 6.25am on Friday 20 June, 2014. Well, that’s that, I thought. I will now have to throw my arms into the air and declare defeat. I have plain forgotten to have children. Some ladies might take this as a solid cue to gaze upon me with sad eyes, as if I’d presented them with a cake that has no eggs in it. But I don’t feel hard done by in the barren loins sweepstake. If anything, I feel pretty OK about my fruitless womb. And here’s why.
1. The only things that are regularly going to keep me awake at night are a third glass of wine or sex. That’s it. When presented with a choice between that or a small mewling child who’s puked all over a hessian rug or is insisting that a monster is under their bed telling them to wake you up every 30 minutes, I’m going to cut my losses right there and take the hangover instead, thanks. I once watched a mother picking vomit out of a crocheted throw with a toothbrush. That ain’t right, people.
2. Holidays: I have no doubt that there is much to be gained from the enriching experience of passing off the wisdom of the ancients to any over-excited child who has never been camping before. I am sure some of you will be chomping at the bit for a bit of outdoors fun. I tend to the view that family camping holidays are borderline child abuse. Camping is National Service for children. The only thing gathering any steam on a camping holiday are the independent eco-systems growing somewhere on your body. If despair, discomfort and a life-long dependency on antibiotics are your idea of fun then crack on, fill your boots. I’ll be in the adult only spa having an aromatherapy massage. The end.
3. I like to drive. I think it’s fun and relaxing. Travelling the open roads, music on, windows down – it’s super. Not so super when you’re having to listen to Peppa Pig the Musical on a loop for five hours and you’ve got an explosion of sick matted into the back of your hair from a projectile vomit so fierce it could have qualified as a tsunami. Children don’t care for long journeys. I do. Until I can buy a working Tardis (with coffee cup holders) kids are not allowed.
4. The internet: When I was growing up the most complicated thing we had to deal with were Pez dispensers. Parents of today have to navigate the murky waters of social networking, snapchats and mobile phones. In my day, if you wanted privacy you had to walk a mile to your nearest phone box with a couple of 2ps in your pocket and make arrangements for a week on Tuesday and hope everyone involved remembered. Thing was, they did. Modern technology is a veritable scourge. Good luck any parent telling today’s children they should make do with a pencil and some paper. Quite frankly, I don’t have the strength.
5. There’s no getting away from it, the grim reaper has my name on a long list and one day, he’ll get round to dealing with me. There is much to be said for doting children hanging round your death bed crying, but when I’ve got flu, or even a slightly heavy cold, I don’t want anyone near me. Give me a professionally trained nurse and a drip and I’ll be fine, thank you.
And there it is. Now then. Hot flush anyone?
Emma Kennedy is the author of nine books, a scriptwriter and the Fun Editor at Tatler. She's an occasional actress, she won Celebrity Masterchef and is a Guinness World Record Holder.