Otherhood

 A road less travelled

The old girl from Ongerup half-choked on a yabby at my confession. Wide eyed, jaw on the floor, she sat by the 40 gallon drum fire in outback Australia. Speechless. A silence so awkward that anyone would think I’d confessed to have been Charles Manson’s wing man. Her hubby shuffled up joyfully with a swag of marron we helped catch from his abundant dam and soon we were chowing down on those mud lovin’ dwellers with the enthusiasm of kids on a carousel. A feast before a festival where I was invited to be a guest chef.

This was not the first time I had encountered ‘that face’, however this was certainly the most blatant display of shock, awe, and dare I say a teaspoon of disgust. “What announcement could be so arresting that it can stop a grown woman mid chew?” I hear you ask.

From where I write today – poolside at a luxury spa hotel destination in Byron Bay, my hometown for the last nine years – there are more women in foal than not, or so it seemed at the continental breakfast buffet this morning. More humps than a Wednesday. The need to breed is as ripe as a late picked riesling. Just not for me. Never. Nope, never had the urge, the calling or the tick-tock of the body clock. It’s as simple as that. Across the planet, women without children attract a ‘tsk tsk’ from many a maternal observer.

“Careerists” they curse. “Selfish” they shriek. Yet deep down there’s often a collective cocktail of pity, envy and pride. I know this well, because everyone who asks me “do you have kids?’ reacts with one or a trifecta of all three. To be honest, it never really bothered me until Ongerup. I happily oohed and aahed at baby showers. I continue to corral kids I barely know into the kitchen, and hold those I love more tightly than a mischief of Collingwood supporters.

Kids are awesome – they understand the secret language of Nyanganyang – and any other ridiculous banter I’ll offer up. I watch with deep affection as devoted parents and besotted grandparents in my world raise their young. I love it, but it was never part of my plan, and I am grateful I politely declined invitations to parenthood.

My ‘children’ are the people I cook for, teach and instil the love, passion and the spiritual connection of good food. This is my calling. It always has been and I have known my soul purpose since the day I signed up for a life in hospitality, which in turn birthed the creation of my thriving wellness business.

Success is about vision and the application of a craft over decades. Motherhood is one of the most successful journeys a girl can bake. The decision not to bear my own biological fruit is a deeply personal one much like religion, and it is one that needs to be respected without judgement. Rest assured it is not a lonely road, it is a well beaten path of love, connection, freedom, independence and an alternate pursuit of happiness.

Yabby recipe
The beautiful Nikki Fisher aka The Wholefood Mama, my good self and my darling goddaughter Sionach teaching a Melbourne Masterclass.
Next class 30th April 2017 Get Tix here

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