A month ago or so I was in a room full of women, some of whom I knew well, some of whom were friends of people I know well. It was an open house for a product line and was very casual - a number of brands were being represented and I was happy enough to show up to support people. A fair chunk of extended family was there, too, so it was also definitely a social event as well.
After the first half hour or so, though, the conversation got a little bit stuck in a loop. Someone brought up their child and the next thing you knew, for the next three hours, the conversation was almost exclusively on children and being pregnant, with slight interjects about husbands not doing their share around the house. Granted there was also a heavily pregnant lady in the room as well as a brand new momma, so of course babies would come up. But everytime the subject changed it would inevitably spin back to the conversation of children
There was something strange and uncomfortable about the whole matter. These are smart, fun, engaging women. Women who are successful in their careers - there was a banker, entrepreneurs, a nurse. Women who have brains and have lives outside of just their babies. And yet the default conversation was entirely based around current and future children, interspersed with a whole lot of "you'll sees" for the few of us who didn't have children. Like I wasn't part of the club, and wouldn't be able to fully participate in the lady talk until I cross that boundary and my opinion is somehow less valid for not being there.
It's not to say that our families shouldn't be important, because they are huge. But really? Isn't there more to us? What's up with this idea that the defining moment of our lives is our reproductive success? I feel like we should have more to talk about than just babies. I mean yes, babies, interesting and engaging and huge accomplishments but there has to be more to us.
Where was the talk about the cool hobby projects that people were into? The fact that their careers were fulfilling or engaging or even just that they enjoy leaving the house to work? Wasn't there even one single other subject that these women could have used to relate to each other than just babies?
The whole time I felt incredibly isolated. Because I can't just jump into the baby conversation without revealing some very hard things, and so if I don't know the people involved in the conversation I'm probably not going to. I don't need to turn everything into a woe is me tale. It made me angry though, and sad, to suddenly be left out of the conversation just because I haven't been able to walk that path yet.