“These women are everywhere. They are our neighbors, our friends, our sisters, our co-workers, our cousins. They have no use for our advice or opinions. Their wombs are their own. Let’s respect that.”
If I had a dollar for every time I have been given pity or ignorance for not having kids, I could buy you each a car.
For many years I wasn’t sure if I wanted to have a child. But of course “you’d be a great mom” and “kids create happiness nothing else can” and “you’ll never be fulfilled if you’re not a mom” and “what are you waiting for?” have always been questions and statements pounded down on me… since I was 20 years old.
For years I allowed myself to explore if it was something I wanted or needed. For years I chose adoption as an option because I’m fairly certain my body and its medical condition wouldn’t allow me to grow and birth a child. And honestly, I’ve just never had the desire to be pregnant. This fact in itself has led to more judgement and awkward, hurtful conversations than I care to revisit but it’s the truth.
Earlier this year I realized that I allowed the option to have a baby on the table because I felt like I “should.”
Even after breaking every other social expectation my upbringing has placed on me, somewhere deep deep down in my subconscious was this idea that I was “supposed” to be a mother. For no other reason than because I was supposed to. That’s what girls do, right? They grow up, get married, buy a house, and have babies. And if that’s not what I wanted then I must be wrong.
Would I adopt and love a child as if it were my own? Absolutely.
Would I birth a child and love it and be an incredible mother if I got pregnant? Absolutely.
Do I HAVE to make that my path simply because I’m a woman? No.
Do I HAVE to become a mother because you think I’d make a good one? Also no.
Do I HAVE to because I have such a motherly, care-giving nature? Again, NO.
People find this very hard to comprehend. And in turn they make a lot of assumptions and put a lot of that out loud onto me. In conversations with acquaintances, or with family members, or even a stranger in the grocery store. The assumption that it’s anyone’s business is astounding.
My body, my choice. My life, my choice.
Your opinion isn’t wanted nor needed here.
Neither is your pity. I don’t feel pity for me so why should you?
You have kids? That’s amazing! I love kids! I’m great with kids! That doesn’t mean I have to have one though.
Question: Do you have kids?
Answer: Nope, I have two fur-babies though.
Question paired with a concerned head-tilt: Oh. Well it’ll happen for you someday I’m sure.
Answer: No, actually I’m childless by choice.
And for those of you wondering about this, I’ll leave you with this…
Maybe find something else to talk to women about, something other than whether they have no kids, one kid, or 5 kids. Ask them about themselves. Ask them about their passions. Ask them about their damn shoes if you’re really looking for something to discuss but leave the very very very personal subject of their womb and offspring to them. Please.
And please read this article. It gives so much more perspective and it’s so important.