I knew at a very early age that I wanted to be a mother and given the love I gave to my three Cabbage Patch Kids, I knew I’d be good at it! Society assumes every little girl carries this same sentiment, however over the past 10 years a lot of women are saying “maybe baby…or maybe not.” So why the increase in woman choosing not to have children?
A recent article in Time Magazine, Having It All Without Having Children, pointed out that childless women are ofter singled out and forced to answer the question “Why don’t you have kids”? In some ways it can be taken as offensive as it implies that a woman has done something wrong for choosing not to procreate. I can’t recall the last time someone asked me why I have kids, so why do we invade the privacy of a woman that doesn’t?
From my experience, here are the 3 most common reasons a woman chooses to remain childless:
“I don’t want to be a statistic”- For this woman, being a single parent is not an option. She was raised in a two parent household and desires to have a family structure that mirrors her experience. She understands her Self Worth and will not compromise it for the title of mother without also being a wife.
We degrade the women that have multiple children out of wedlock as well as chastise the women that have none.
Why don’t we offer an equal amount of admiration for women that choose not to become a statistic?
After all, it’s her right to prove society wrong.
“I like things the way they are”- She is fulfilled in the areas of relationship and/or career and while having a child has crossed her mind…if it’s not broke, why fix it? All of her friends have kids and while they are cute, the sound of exhaustion, stories of not having a sitter and the public disciplinary behavior (or lack thereof) doesn’t really excite her.
We encourage women to love themselves first, but when a childless woman chooses herself first it’s described as selfish.
What’s wrong with a woman choosing herself and her current happiness first?
After all, it’s her right to live in the moment.
“I’m not the motherly type”- She doesn’t want kids. Period. Past experiences in her childhood gave her a strong sense of purpose and she is clear that being a mother isn’t for her. With confidence and a stern tone she’s not afraid to explain her choice and there is nothing anyone can say that will make her change her mind.
We criticize the “dead beat mothers” for not taking care of their children and frown upon women that choose not to commit to such a life changing experience.
Why do we assume all women are suppose to be mothers?
After all, it’s her right to say no.
Somewhere along the lines society intertwined womanhood and motherhood as if they are the same thing. By definition, womanhood is the state or condition of being an adult woman and no longer a girl. It mentions nothing of being a mother and with all the challenges of being a woman, why do we add additional pressure on childless women to confirm to society’s point of view?
Maybe baby…maybe not. When will we respect her right to choose what’s best for her?
Image credit: arcady31 / 123RF Stock Photo