“What do you want to be when you grow up?” asks an adult or teacher.
“A Mommy!” a 4-year old girl answers enthusiastically. Even at this tender age, she intuitively knows there’s something special about being a Mommy.
Oftentimes, girls strives to emulate their Mothers or any female who plays a dominant role in their lives. At school or in their private time, young girls are practicing being Mommies.
We accept, groom and condition our girls to become Mothers. We only prepare them all their lives. But what happens when some women opt out of becoming mothers—by choice? Family members, friends and even their husband/partners say there’s something wrong with a woman who deliberately chooses NOT to procreate. Obviously, she flawed, mentally, physically and morally.
Nothing could be farther than the truth.
Mandy, (name changed) a friend of mine for almost 20 years, knew in her early 20s, she didn’t want to have children. Simply, she never felt that maternal instinct.
“Being a mother is a life-time commitment that requires a lot of personal sacrifice,” she says. “I love children, but not enough to become a Mother. It didn’t feel like a natural fit for me.”
Her family was not supportive of her decision. They tried to convince her that eventually she’d change her mind.
“They told me I would feel ‘complete and the maternal instinct would kick in’ but I never wavered.”
Family members, family, friends are notorious for commenting on women’s choice not to bring children in the world.
“But we want grandchildren!”
“Your poor husband/partner.”
“When did you arrive at this decision?”
“Have you tried counseling?”
“Children are a blessing!
For many women, they are unwilling to give up their careers.
Another friend of mine, stated that she absolutely loves her career and doesn’t think she could balance motherhood and a thriving career.
“I travel extensively and would be an absentee mother, I already know that,” she sat adamantly. “I make no apologies for my success nor the fact that I don’t want children.”
Today, there are plethora of reasons why women chose not to have children or even postpone having children.
They’re not a caretaker type.
Marriage isn’t for them.
Single motherhood is not an option
It’s not financially feasible.
The bottom line: Remaining childless is a woman’s prerogative.
I love Mandy and told her many times she’s my hero for realizing beforehand that motherhood was not for her.
Initially, I was surprised. I thought both of us would be Mothers together, have play dates, swap stories and share life-long memories.
Once she explained it to me, I was fully supportive of her decision and even cheered her bravery.
“I cannot fathom why women (or parents) have children who they don’t want or love and screw children up for life! ” she says incredulously.
Kudos to Mandy and other women who are realist. These women were given the wonderful gift of acknowledging who they are and what they don’t want: children. I salute women who are not willing to succumb to their family and society’s pressure to have children to “fit in” or “fill this imaginary women’s role.” Thank you for being honest and saving children from being neglected, unloved and unappreciated.