Lego_Vik

(no subject)

Last night I was at my evening class and was chatting with a small group of people during the coffee break when one of them said that her sister had just had a baby. We all congratulated her and the discussion moved on over various baby-related topics. I made some comment about Matthew and one of the women did a total double take and said "Oh! You've got a child? You don't seem like the type, somehow!" I (laughingly) asked what she meant and she said "Well, you know, you get these perceptions of people, don't you. And somehow you just didn't seem the sort of person to have kids!". All the others in the group smiled and nodded and seemed to agree but no-one could elaborate on what they meant!

So, question for anyone (but I suppose especially for those of you who have met me IRL): do I seem like "the type of person who would have kids"? If so, why, and if not, why not? I'm genuinely curious and I've left anonymous comments enabled in case you want to say anything without your name attached.
People tend to assume highly educated women in IT jobs aren't going to be interested in having kids.
Possibly a fair point, but these people don't know (other than by assumption) anything about my level of education or my employment status....

But you look like a classic Cambridge-Educated-Moved-Into-An-IT-Job kind of person.
But that's back to square one! In what way do I look like that? I don't think I could make such an identification of a random person.
In the same way that you look English, rather than, say, Dutch or German or Finnish. It's a kind of all-over look thing. Don't you notice when you walk around Cambridge during term time that you see a lot of new students who look a bit like the people who were at college at the same time as you? There are distinct Cambridge types, but I don't know whether it's the selection process or that for example being good at mathematics is linked with having unruly black hair, pale skin and a speech impediment.
Someone once said to me, "You don't seem like you would be a mother. You know...you're, like, interesting. You have hobbies and interests." Um...okaaaay...

I think there is the stereotype (in some places) that mothers are boring people who are interested in nothing outside their children.
Not well, I think. I was like, "Oh yeah...I'm still *me*; I am just also someone's mother now. They aren't mutually exclusive." And then I was afraid I'd give the impression of being an absentee mother who never spends any time with her kid, so I just shut up ;-)
That's a hard question to answer. Since I know you do have a kid, of *course* you seem like the type of person who would have one. :-)

Let me think back to before you had M... I would have said that you seemed like a smart, educated, fun person who might or might not have kids. :-) Either option seemed likely for you, if that makes sense. I would not have been surprised to learn you had a kid, nor would I have been surprised to learn you didn't.

I guess I don't really buy into the whole notion of a type of person who would have kids. At least IME, parents come in all sizes, occupations, and demographics. :-)

I agree with Jennifer on all points. I would add that when I saw your wedding photos and when you talked about J. that I could just tell how much in love you guys were/are and that was/is awesome. So, I also thought that was a great quality for parents to have, even though you didn't yet have M.

I also think parents come in all sizes, ages, etc. When we were attending the parenting classes for the adoption process most of the couples seemed to be in their 30s or early 40s like us but one couple was early 50s. We have become friends with them. They already have two biological teenage boys, they just want a teenage girl so that is why they are adopting.

--Susan
Apologies for being so late in getting round to replying to this... but thank you for the nice things you say :-) And I think I agree that there is no real notion of "someone who would have kids". The more I think about it the more I think the people on the course were just being a bit random. :-)
I wonder if it's as simple as the fact that you're a) at an evening class (a _lot_ of mothers don't have the time or feel too guilty to take the time) and b) that you'd not mentioned your son before - again, a _lot_ of mothers mention their children basically every other sentence.
> again, a _lot_ of mothers mention their children basically every other sentence.

For some, even more often. I've dealt with a few of those, although rarely for long because the conversations tend to get boring for everyone involved.
I'm not going to be any help. I presume most people are the kind of people who have or want kids and am surprised (but not shocked) when people don't.
I would think you're the "sort" of person to have kids, but only because I knew you had one before I friended you ;-)

The other week someone at work misheard something I said, and thought I had kids. They were totally shocked: "You have KIDS???". I guess I must be the sort who doesn't look like she has them; then again I guess the fact that I'm at my desk 50+ hours a week etc means I probably can't do (unless I never see them ;-)

Where I work, of the 13 women in our part of the company, only one has kids and she works part-time. Pretty much all the (around 30 at last count) men (other than the obviously fresh-out-of-uni guys) have kids or have them on the way. Even more tellingly, most of the guys are in long-term relationships while all the women save 2 are dating or single. I think it says a lot, just not sure exactly what ;-)
Have a Child
(Anonymous)
You are the perfect person to have a child. It is a tribute to
humanity that you have a child.