Women don't need children to have a fulfilled life, women are not obligated nor are they completed by motherhood. Yes it's a wonderful pursuit for some, but not for all and people really need to understand this. First off, we're going to list all the things you should never, ever, say to a woman who doesn't want kids. Also, brace yourselves for the incoming tide of sarcasm...
1. "You'll change your mind".
This is the most annoying thing ever, because A) We have our own minds, we know them better than you do, so please don't tell us what we're thinking. B) We probably won't change our f*cking minds. C) If we do, then that's our choice and nothing to do with you. To reiterate, don't tell someone what they want, they know better than you do. Capiche?
2. "But you'd have beautiful children".
Fab, that's a solid reason to have kids then isn't it? Who cares if you'd be a competent mother, the only thing that matters is that your children would be good looking. Looks are absolutely everything, didn't you know?!
3. "Isn't that really selfish?".
Nah not really, you know what is selfish? Having children you don't want and then being a crappy parent.
4. "Won't you regret this when you're older?".
More and more women are deciding not to have children, or waiting longer. Millennial women know the challenges they're going to face and have reprioritised. If a woman wants to focus on her career and not have children she's "less of a woman". If a man focuses on his career instead of having children he's driven and ambitious. Misogyny is, ironically, the biggest ball ache.
5. "Don't you like kids?".
Not wanting children and not liking children aren't synonymous. It is about lifestyle and aspirations, it has nothing to do with the likability of kids.
Now we've got that out the way, let's get into the more serious stuff. The Urban Institute found that birth rates among 20-something women have declined 15% between 2007 and 2012. The US Census Bureau found that 47.6% of women ages 15 to 44 were childless, which is the highest it's been since they began recording in 1976.
This is a choice women are making more frequently, and arguably it's sensible. Kids aren't always financially feasible, there are fears of passing down mental/physical illnesses, the world is incredibly overpopulated, pregnancy sucks, and they may not fit into our lifestyles. Sometimes women have goals that don't include motherhood, imagine that, shock horror...
In reference to the latter paragraph, women shouldn't have to give a reason. It is our choice, our life and our bodies. It isn't selfish not to have children, and don't feel guilty that other women may not have that choice because of fertility issues. It is unimaginably horrible and unfair that some women don't have the choice, but if you do, then it's better to make the right decision for your life and not bring a life into this world just because society tells you to.
If you ever feel shamed over your choice, just think about all the amazing women who haven't had children and don't want them. Cameron Diaz for example, who said "I have an unbelievable life. In some ways I have the life that I have because I don't have children, it's just a different choice". Or Oprah Winfrey, "If I had kids, my kids would hate me...They would have ended up on the equivalent of the Oprah show talking about me; because something in my life would have had to suffer and it would've probably been them". Or the brilliant way Zooey Deschanel responded to "Is having children on your priority list?", to which she replied "I'm not going to answer that question. I'm not mad at your for asking that question, but I've said it before: I don't think people ask men those questions". Gotta admire her coherency and calmness, not sure I would have been so composed...
In summary, it's your womb, so it's your choice.
Photo Credit: Tumblr
Video Credit: TheEllenShow YouTube
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