I'm A Woman Who Doesn't Want Children, Please Respect That There Is Absolutely Nothing Wrong With That

I'm A Woman Who Doesn't Want Children, Please Respect That There Is Absolutely Nothing Wrong With That

Apparently everyone in my life expected me to grow up to be a mother, except me.

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I knew when I was about 17 that I did not want to have children when I grew up. It was at a point in my life where I spent a lot of time considering the future I wanted for myself. I thought about it probably more than I should as a senior in high school and ultimately decided that I just had no desire to have children.

I had friends at the time who were unclear about what they wanted to do with their lives. They didn't know what they wanted to major in or what career they wanted. All they knew was that they wanted to be a mother. I had a lot of respect for them because I could never see myself as a mother or wanting to be one. In the same way that they knew without a doubt that they wanted children, I was sure that I didn't.

Until I really thought about it and came to the conclusion that I didn't want kids, I hadn't noticed how often people reference my hypothetical children. I came to realize that the expectation of me to become a mother was enormous. My parents, the rest of my family, my teachers and mentors, all of them seemed to have this picture of me with children. The phrase "well when you're a mother..." was apparently commonly used in my life. I found myself continuously having to explain that none of the hypothetical scenarios the people in my life were referencing would ever exist.

Sure I could let it go and just allow people to have their own vision of my future, but some part of me felt a need to question why it was automatically assumed that I would become a mother. So many women feel that the feminist movement judges them for decided to be stay-at-home mothers, and I have never been one to say that wanting children makes a woman less of a feminist. However, until then I had never understood the pressure women are under to become mothers.

The worst part was that when I responded to people's comments by saying that I didn't want children, they would immediately tell me "you'll change your mind". To everyone around me, it seemed unfathomable that I would not want to be a mother. My family treated the issue like there was something they knew that I didn't and that when I grew up I would magically want kids. I've never discounted the fact that I could change my mind at some point, but no one respected that I know myself and what I want.

I even had a moment with a close friend of mine. He was telling me how he couldn't wait to have kids, and I was unable to relate, eventually telling him that I actually didn't want children. I could never have predicted his response. He used the words "what you're meant to do" telling me how unnatural it was that I didn't want to be a mother. I was so shocked, that someone my age and who knew me so well could be so upset with the fact that I didn't want kids.

In reality, today less American women are having children than ever before. It shouldn't come as a surprise that as young women are deciding what they want their lives to look like, many choose not to involve children in their aspirations. It's clear to me that society has quite a lot of work to do if we still expect girls to aspire to motherhood without holding boys to the same standard.

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I'm The Girl Who'd Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

You raise your protest picket signs and I’ll raise my white picket fence.
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Social Media feeds are constantly filled with quotes on women's rights, protests with mobs of women, and an array of cleverly worded picket signs.

Good for them, standing up for their beliefs and opinions. Will I be joining my tight-knit family of the same gender?

Nope, no thank you.

Don't get me wrong, I am not going to be oblivious to my history and the advancements that women have fought to achieve. I am aware that the strides made by many women before me have provided us with voting rights, a voice, equality, and equal pay in the workforce.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Who Would Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

For that, I am deeply thankful. But at this day in age, I know more female managers in the workforce than male. I know more women in business than men. I know more female students in STEM programs than male students. So what’s with all the hype? We are girl bosses, we can run the world, we don’t need to fight the system anymore.

Please stop.

Because it is insulting to the rest of us girls who are okay with being homemakers, wives, or stay-at-home moms. It's dividing our sisterhood, and it needs to stop.

All these protests and strong statements make us feel like now we HAVE to obtain a power position in our career. It's our rightful duty to our sisters. And if we do not, we are a disappointment to the gender and it makes us look weak.

Weak to the point where I feel ashamed to say to a friend “I want to be a stay at home mom someday.” Then have them look at me like I must have been brain-washed by a man because that can be the only explanation. I'm tired of feeling belittled for being a traditionalist.

Why?

Because why should I feel bad for wanting to create a comfortable home for my future family, cooking for my husband, being a soccer mom, keeping my house tidy? Because honestly, I cannot wait.

I will have no problem taking my future husband’s last name, and following his lead.

The Bible appoints men to be the head of a family, and for wives to submit to their husbands. (This can be interpreted in so many ways, so don't get your panties in a bunch at the word “submit”). God specifically made women to be gentle and caring, and we should not be afraid to embrace that. God created men to be leaders with the strength to carry the weight of a family.

However, in no way does this mean that the roles cannot be flipped. If you want to take on the responsibility, by all means, you go girl. But for me personally? I'm sensitive, I cry during horror movies, I'm afraid of basements and dark rooms. I, in no way, am strong enough to take on the tasks that men have been appointed to. And I'm okay with that.

So please, let me look forward to baking cookies for bake sales and driving a mom car.

And I'll support you in your endeavors and climb to the top of the corporate ladder. It doesn't matter what side you are on as long as we support each other, because we all need some girl power.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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The Importance Of Passion

Without it, you'll never get where you want to be.

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I've been told time and time again that I'm "pigeonholing" myself.

I've been told what I want to do with my life makes no sense.

I've been told that my desired career field is small, and therefore unrealistic.

I've been told not to set such a specific goal for myself, and that having my heart set on something makes me narrow-minded.

I've been told that keeping my goal in mind is just closing myself off and that it's therefore obsessive.

Although it's important to keep an open mind, it's also important to keep in mind what makes you happy. You'll go nowhere if you aren't passionate about what you're doing. If your heart isn't there, you won't be fully present. Passion is the fuel to your fire; it drives us to better ourselves each and every day. It makes us more determined, and more willing to rise to challenges. Passion can take you extremely far, and help you bring something entirely new to the table.

In my opinion, passion is one of the most vital character traits one can have. Passion is what sets you apart from others. It's clear when you're discussing something you're really into, and it's often commendable. It gets people invested in your conversation and really helps drive home the point you're trying to get across. It's something people will remember when you walk away.

As a college student, I am well aware of the fact that I need to keep an open mind. And I am keeping my mind very open. There's a difference between closing oneself off and having a goal to work towards, although many seem to believe there is a very thin line (if any line at all) between the two. There is absolutely nothing wrong with setting a goal for yourself. Having a "grand plan" is a great way to keep yourself motivated. I know that I need to take what I'm given, and that's what I plan to do... but I see anything I do prior to reaching my goal as a step to really get there.

I'll leave you with a quote... anyone who knows me will not be surprised that the quote that immediately comes to mind is from my all-time favorite musical, A Chorus Line. As stated in the show by Cassie, "I want to do what I love as much as I can and as long as I can. But at least, now - I'm doing it for me. Who are you doing it for?"

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