I like to think my posts are usually quite light-hearted, but today I am afraid I really have to let off a little steam. There is a lovely little place in Bath, the Makery, that sells bits and pieces and runs sewing courses and I get their updates on Facebook. Yesterday their update was excitedly announcing a 'Mummy Mondays: a crafty night out for mums'. I assumed it was one of those things where someone has not thought through the name and it is actually open to anyone, so I queried it - only to find it really is only open to women with children but they are thinking of a separate evening when the childless would be allowed to attend!
Now I am fortunate to be sufficiently grateful that the 9 pound growth I had on my womb a few years back turned out to be benign and not the endometrial cancer the doctors suspected, to feel that not being able to have children is an ok price for being alive and fit enough to enjoy that life, but I know women who are torn apart by not being able to have children. For a business to think it is acceptable to segregate sewing evenings into those who can have children and those who can't is utterly heartless. Do they not realise what a slap in the face that would be for a woman already struggling to come to terms with not being a mum? Moreover, why should a woman not be able to chose not to have children, whether or not she could have them? Should a love of crafting be a deciding factor in whether or not to have children??
To be fair, this whinge is not entirely down to the Makery - there are are a number of groups set up for mums only, not to be...what?...tainted?...by the childless (perhaps they do not realise childlessness is not an infectious disease). I am forever being asked if I have children and when I say no I am reassured that I shouldn't worry as I am not too old yet (which actually, I think I probably am) and have I considered adoption? I generally feel my medical history is not their business, unless I am feeling particularly prickly (as I am today) and tell them just to make them stop going on about it. Fortunately, I have always considered having children, or not, a matter of fate. I really am so pleased for my friends when they have children, I love my nieces and nephews to bits and I thoroughly enjoy babysitting, but I think my life is bloody marvellous as it is...even without children.
I simply do not understand why there should be such an undercurrent in the world of crafts that sewing and knitting are things that only mothers do. Childless women, single women and...shock horror...even men can enjoy crafting too!