…ppy those who have birthed miniature versions of themselves claim to be, it seems ludicrous to keep force-feeding young women this botched motherhood fairytale —this idea that being born a woman means you are first and foremost a baby-making machine.
I agree because I know some people who will admit they never wanted kids and ONLY had them because of pressure from others.
Problem is, the pressure doesn’t stop there. Once you have kids, then you are judged on how you decide to raise them. Are you going to be a working mother? Are you going to be a single mother? I ask because statistically if couples have children and break up, the mother is usually the primary caregiver. Are you going to stay at home?
Then you get judged on how you perform at work, at home, how your kids look and behave. Statistically, you also take on more of the emotional and physical labor of the household tasks (running errands, cleaning, cooking, etc) even if you work just as many hours as your partner. If you decide to change jobs, you’ll actually be asked (by some, even though it is illegal) if you plan on having kids, having more kids in the future. Men are less likely to be asked this question, if ever, even though they will be fathers.
If you decide not to have kids, people will regularly ask why — as though you are obligated to explain yourself, like there is something wrong with your decision. If I have a medical condition that keeps me from having them OR I just don’t want to, that is none of your damn business. But people are way kinder when it is due to a medical reason than they are with, “I’m just not interested.”
I’m also not interested in being a neurosurgeon or an astronaut, but people don’t seem to lose their minds about those. And yet those are important life-changing decisions. Similar to going to college or not, moving to the other side of the world or not. You get what I mean. All can be life-altering decisions.
I experienced this throughout my baby-making years whenever I would get asked about having kids. Tell people you can’t afford to have kids, don’t have a support system, a partner, or never had the urge, for example, and they will argue MY choice not to have kids as though they had some say in MY choice. I respect anyones decision to have kids. It is a difficult job, and I respect anyone who does it and does it well. But the moment you say you likely won’t, you suddenly are seen as uncaring, frosty, or people think you hate kids or some nonsense. I had several more than valid reasons not to, some of them personal, financial, medical, etc. but I’ve had people try to “talk me” into it. There is nothing more infuriating than having people tell you, “You’ll change your mind.” I don’t go around telling people they’ll change their mind or tell them not to have kids. So why do people think it is ok to dismiss a childless person with, “oh, you’ll change your mind.” How about you just be respectful of their choice the same way they are respecting yours instead of shaming them about it.
Sorry. I just put up with that kind of baby-making judgment for about 20 years and it got old real quick. It was always on me, never my partner, and nothing you seem to say is satisfactory unless you have a medical reason not to. Even then, people shouldn’t be pressured to explain why they don’t have kids.