For a friend’s baby shower recently (more on that subject later) I took the opportunity to use one of my Christmas presents, a mini loaf tin from Lakeland. I’d been itching to put it into practice.
I made some very simple little sponges, with the basic 6-6-6-3 recipe, with a little vanilla paste thrown in. I then decorated them with pink ombre icing, using three varieties of pink, from pale to blushing. They looked quite cute when finished.
I love the tin and think mini loaf cakes are a great idea. However I did struggle to get them all out in one piece, and so they were a little crumbly around the sides. I did butter and flour the tin before I put the batter in (which, with the loose bottoms for each hole, was a bit of a feat in itself) as I didn’t trust its claims to be non-stick. Maybe that was my error – next time I’ll try not greasing them and see what happens.
I detest baby showers, I’m afraid to say. While I love to embrace the miracle of new life and am excited about the new arrival, I do not enjoy sniffing nappies full of melted chocolate that ‘looks like poo’, or tasting baby food, nor do I want to melt the ice in that shot glass containing a toy baby.
But most of all, I don’t want to spend the entire afternoon defending why I don’t yet have children, why I don’t want any tomorrow, and why I’m not sure whether I want any at all. I think it’s a very personal question, ‘do you want children?’, and I don’t like the judgement on people’s faces when I say ‘I’m not sure, actually’. What would that person say if I answered ‘I can’t have children’? I got fed up of explaining that at the moment, it might not be the right thing for me, although yes I’m thinking about it for the future, but no I’m not desperate for children tomorrow thanks all the same, and that is OK.
With all the politicians wading in at the moment about how irresponsible young women are for not starting a family until 30 or later, I wish people would just leave us non-mothers and our clanging ovaries alone. There are a million reasons behind everyone’s decision to have children, or not. My reasons are wound together in a mess of finding the right partner, money, employment, mental health, career, family, house, and worry, worry, worry about everything. I refuse to apologise for my current lack of children. I hope the powers that be look down on me and Steve and we are lucky enough to have a child in the future, but that is none of anyone else's business, quite frankly.
Suzanne Moore wrote a recent article in the Guardian about such things, give it a read.