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“So, when are you two planning on having kids?” A question asked during holidays and events from friends and family that I dread more than anything. At 24-years-old I feel like the last thing I want to worry about is taking care of another human life. Yes, I have thought about having kids in my future, but that future is still far off. This does not make me selfish or lacking of some type of love in my life. For some reason, women get told they are ‘selfish’ if they don’t intend on having children one day. Are men treated the same way when asked?
With pictures on newborns flooding my social feeds, all I can do is wonder: why are women so pressured to reproduce? I absolutely love kids and have a deep place in my heart for all of my friends and families children. Just because I don’t have that urgency to have one of my own doesn’t mean I’m callous towards babies. This just means it is not my top priority in life right now. My main focus in life right now is finding what I love to do and to put hard work and determination into making that my career. This does not make me selfish.
My mother had me at a very young age. While I was a blessing that she needed during that time of her life, I also see that having me put her career on hold to give me the best childhood I could have. She is by far one of my most inspirational women that I look up to on a daily basis. I applaud women who sacrifice for their children and in turn I want to give my children, if I have any, the same love and sacrifice that my mother gave me. However, I want to be able to establish my livelihood before I bring someone new into the world.
Society looks at successful women without children as emotionless, power-hungry feminists. They see them as women who don’t know what true love is and that they are ‘missing’ something in their lives. Newsflash! Women don’t have to raise a kid to know what love is. Love for a career, for a significant other, or love for oneself can be enough to sustain a human. While a child is a blessing, that does not mean people who don’t have kids are lacking something. Again, would you think this of a successful man?
Obviously, when it comes to children, there is gender inequality in society’s eyes. My viewpoint is probably not going to change anything, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t speak up about the matter. I shouldn’t have to go to events and leave feeling guilty because I’m not planning for children. Right now I’m truly happy with where I am in life and while I’m still working things out, I know adding a kid to the mix would not help anything. At the end of the day, we shouldn’t be pressured if we are not ready.
Becoming a mother is a huge step, one that should never be taken lightly. People are so quick to judge if you say you don’t want children, as if that concept makes you less of a women. We might live in modern ages, but some of these ‘rules’ we live by are still coming from the 1800's. It is okay if you don’t want to reproduce. I would be much more inclined to help out a child who was put into the foster care system and needs someone to love them. There are so many children out there in the world without a family who need love and affection. If we stop to think about them instead of judging women for not wanting to give birth, the world might be a better place.
My body, my rules.