This Thing we do to Women
Being a mom is one of the things that I do best. In many ways it defines my identity. There was a time in my life; I believe around middle school, that I swore I would never have children. I have a friend who went to school with me; she said the same thing. We both have three kids now. I adore being a mother, and I wouldn’t change a thing about the choices that I made to bring me to this place in my life. Mothers don’t always get the recognition that we deserve, and I believe this must be the reason that we are so pushy about urging other women to join our club.
It is not okay. Just because I love being a mom, in no way do I have the right to push other women into motherhood. Everyone is not me; we all have different strengths and weaknesses. We all have different goals and wants and desires. Just because a woman has a functioning uterus does not mean that she owes the planet earth a child. When I hear women urging other women to have kids, by telling that they will regret it if they don’t, I want to scream. It’s not fair, it’s actually plain cruel. Sometimes, I wonder if it comes from a place of wanting to share the joy of motherhood, or the misery that goes hand in hand with it.
I have an enormous amount of respect for functioning adult couples that decide not to have children. If a person is smart enough to understand that they do not want to give everything in their lives up to nurture and raise a little human, then they deserve to live the life that they want. It takes courage to stand up to all the people who question you about when the babies are coming, the day that you get married. I love my kids like nothing else in the world, but I certainly can’t say that I don’t envy the lifestyle of couples without kids. My husband laughs at me because I call them single. The freedom is definitely something to be envied. I am extremely thankful for the adults who understand what they want, and make that decision. I don’t want for people who would be happier without children to be convinced to have them. Besides, all of my friends and family who don’t have kids of their own, are the absolute best aunts and uncles to my children. They still have energy…unlike us parents.
Please don’t tell women that their lives will be completely unfulfilled and meaningless if they don’t have kids. It’s old fashioned, and it really isn’t anyone’s business but the woman in question. No one ever asks this question of men. No one ever asks a man who is going to take care of him when he gets old. For some reason society just attacks women on the issue. It’s time to put a stop to it. Not having kids frees up a whole lot of time. Mother Theresa never had kids, and look at how valuable she was to our world. I doubt that she ever considered herself unfulfilled.
Here is a great article about some other amazing women, who never had kids either: http://www.policymic.com/articles/41331/mother-s-day-2013-8-famous-women-who-stayed-childless