I'm in my late 20s and I'm childfree by choice. I've known since I was a little girl I never wanted to have kids. I'm at a weird crossroads in my life where I'm with a committed partner and people who don't know me at my partner's job are expecting us to have children. People in my workplace are dancing around the subject and some of the other comments they have made heavily imply that this is the next step for me in my life. It feels like everyone is holding their breath around me and I'm somehow not being taken seriously because of the *risk* of *potentially* having a child.
I'm so tired. My partner is being treated differently because of this. Because he is the only member of senior leadership without a young child he can work long nights and come in on weekends, and always be on call to answer emails and hop on calls. He has no work/life balance and it's so frustrating. Just because we don't have a child doesn't mean our [free]time is less valuable.
I used to work in retail and the reason I left is because I would see my partner one day a week and we would have to spend that time doing chores together. I was sacrificing all of my relationships for work. I REALLY value my freetime because of this. I was getting my masters and working two jobs until a year ago and I spent almost no time with my partner or my friends. When I finally had a week off from school and my partner decided he didn't want to come into work on the weekend to spend my very little freetime together, he always got attitude from his boss (that also diminished the hard work I was putting in). I absolutely know that if it was about "family time," it would be a completely different story.
I don't know what to do. Maybe it's just a season of life I have to wait out. I just wish everyone would stop treating women like their one goal in life was to have children and we could stop dancing around the conversations about what women want. People, not just women, can want more than one thing at a time and regardless of their gender have the capacity to work for their wants and goals, whether that's having a child, training three beautiful dogs, rock climbing, sewing, baking, hiking, or getting out of bed in the morning. People are multifaceted. Women are multifaceted. Can we start treating them like that?