- Gender and Relationships»
- Advice & Tips for Women in Relationships
In Defense of Women Who Do Not Want To Have Children
Why do women have to defend their personal lifestyle choices? The truth is: they should never have to. I have read the research about how women do lower their chances of having breast cancer by giving birth to a child, but that should never be one of your factors in reasoning when it comes to having kids. I have heard numerous stories about kids being told by their parents that they only had them to "save a marriage," or that they were a big mistake. I have seen parents ignore their kids to go hang out with their friends, and to act like a single unattached people, and then wonder why their teenager later has a myriad of social adjustment issues. Really, there is no compelling reason in the world why a woman should have kids if she does not want to, and please dispense with the retro stance that a woman who has many kids is some how far more validity and purpose in life than a woman who chooses to have none. So this is in defense of women that are choosing to never have kids.
Her Time Is Her Own
It is okay for a man to act like a bachelor when he is married, but if a woman neglects her kids she is called all sorts of names. Such as on Baby Boom when J.C. Wiatt's character is told by Fritz that she cannot "have it all," but that he can because his wife is at home to take care of the kids. Today I think a movie like Baby Boom would be less relevant as there are many working mothers who reach CEO positions, but there is still some of that bias towards women who choose not to have kids, r those who waited until later in life to have kids. Okay, so maybe the social stereotypes are eroding a bit more in this modern age, but if you ever watched the movie 2006 movie Little Children, Brad's character (Patrick Wilson) was considered the oddball by the playground stay at home moms for being a stay at home dad, whereas Sarah's character (Kate Winslet) was considered the norm. Yes, both the characters had kids, but why not have more movies with women who do not have them, or who are choosing not to have kids right this second. People even speculate about whether Jennifer Anniston wanted to have kids, and if that is why Brad Pitt and her got divorced, which is a bit silly. How is it any of our businesses anyway?
When a woman declares her time is her own and she does not want to have kids, many people who have kids probably think she is missing out on something. What is she missing out on? It is a woman's choice not to have kids, and I cannot think of any reason compelling enough to make a woman feel like she must have kids. Even the scenario wherein she might lower her chance of breast cancer, well that is not a good reason.
Speculation About Women Who Remain Childless
I have heard some women say that they did not feel grown-up until they had children, and that is great, but that is not my experience. I start feeling grown up when I chose to go to college and work and pay my own bills. So I think a better way to phrase it would be: "I feel grown up now that I have kids", and not "you really grow up when you have kids". At the end of the day having kids or not having kids is very much a personal choice, but there is no health statistic in the world that would induce me to have one. For instance, I can lower my chance of getting in a plane accident by never flying, and I can lower my chances of getting in a car accident by never getting in a car, but that is a bit realistic. I say as long as you do not eat mass quantities of junk food and exercise properly you should not have to worry about having kids just to lower your demographical chances of cancer. Oh no, I am a horrible feminist for saying this, but it is okay to admit if you never want to be a mother. Who knows maybe I will change my mind when I turn 38 or 39, but even if I do not, there are many kids in the world, and I do not have to feel guilty about not having one.
Couples Who Are Made To Feel Guilty For Not Having Kids
I have talked to women on childfree groups who have been made to feel guilty by their peers for not having kids. What the heck? People act as if you have not achieved one of the expected life events if you do not have kids, which is a bit silly. No one should feel they have to have a child to "save a marriage," and having a child might do the opposite. If a couple is already fighting before the kids are born, just imagine the ideological debates that will transpire once a couple has children. Many people amicably divorce and share custody of the kids, but there are also some scary cases where people use their children as pawns in legal battles. So having children will not make a couple or a single person's life easier, and maybe some families want to keep things simple so they can travel or take cooking classes. Having a child is not like adopting a puppy, and it is a decision that will completely alter a person's life. So definitely have children if you really want to, but do not apologize or feel less important than other people if you choose not to have a child. I probably do not even need to say that to the majority of women who feel confident in their lifestyle choices, but some of us more reserved types can be daunted by the comments others throw our way. Just remember life is short, and you want to enjoy it. If having a child does not sound fulfilling to you, then you are not missing out on anything. You can still have a wonderful and enriching life without being a mother. Also, maybe you will decide to have a child in your late thirties or adopt a child later on. Deciding not to have kids at the moment does not mean you can never revisit this decision at a later date.