Recently, I saw a post from a 25-year-old girl who commented that she had fought with her mom. Her mother was pressuring her to give her a grandchild. Because of this, she told her that she didn’t want to have children; this is exactly why she had decided to have a medical procedure to avoid getting pregnant.
Some myths about women who choose not to have children
The mother had objected and – in her words – told her that in a few years she would regret it.
Also, the mother argued, that if she had no children, she would have no one to take care of her in her old age. The woman was angered by the answer; she told him that she would still do what she wanted because it was her life and she had the right to do it.
Like this testimony, there are hundreds on different websites with the same theme.
The reason is that it is popularly believed that one of the “obligatory objectives” of women is to give life. So much so, that a woman who decides not to fulfill these expectations that fall upon her, is considered “unnatural”.
There is no bigger lie than that.
Let’s establish something first of all: absolutely no one is obligated to meet the expectations that others have of you.
No matter if they are your parents, teachers, friends, or partners; no one can force you to do something that is not within your dreams.
Starting from this, women, while enjoying this blessing, can choose whether or not they want to be mothers. This should not be a problem for her and her partner if there is one, but no one else.
The thing is that when faced with a radical choice, there are always people who think they can give their point of view; it is not so.
Why so much opposition to a woman not wanting to have children?
Because the world society is old-fashioned patriarchal.
The people are used to following rules that have been implicitly established for years. This is why they resent changes or people who break the mold.
When something is expected of someone, it is shocking when that person does not fulfill what is expected of him or her. For this reason, a woman who expresses that she does not want to be a mother is seen as someone who goes against her feminine nature.
It is as if women were born exclusively to be mothers and that is the only purpose for having a life.
Being a mother is a blessing that unfortunately, not all women have; however, this is not an argument to “force” those who can, to be one.
For many reasons, there are many reasons why a woman decides not to be a mother; and that is a highly personal matter in which no one has the right to have an opinion. The truth is that out of consideration if you do not want to be a mother, be honest with your partner and communicate your decision.
Common myths about women who do not want to have children
It is no secret that women who do not want to have children are greatly stigmatized. Very harsh things are said and believed about them that is far from reality. For this reason, here are the 4 most common myths about this subject.
They don’t like children
False. A woman can love children, work with them, be a good aunt and/or godmother and not have children.
The decision of a woman not to have children is a personal one. It should not be attributed to her “hating children”; she simply does not want to be a mother and that should be enough. Loving and caring for children is a series of actions that have nothing to do with motherhood.
Your choice is a hidden desire
No, but there is a variable.
Many women, when they decide not to have children, do so with a clear mind on that goal. The decision was not made from one day to the next; everything was duly studied and calculated. Moreover, it has unique and particular reasons; it is just because they have given it so much thought that they have no doubts about it.
However, in the future, some of them may change their decision; in any case, it will always remain a unique and personal matter in which no one else should have a say.
They are selfish
False. The most common criticism of women who do not want to be mothers is that they are extremely selfish.
Furthermore, they believe that by aspiring to “fulfill themselves”, they leave aside their role in society: to bring children into the world. No, women do not come only to bring children into the world. We must be clear about one thing and that is that a person who does not seek fulfillment, rarely manages to make people who depend on her happy.
Contrary to what one might think, a woman can commit herself to the causes that attract her, whether or not she has children; this is something that depends more on her values than on a natural condition.
Recently, however, more and more couples have chosen not to have children. Instead, they engage in altruistic causes that seek to make the world a better place to live in.
No maternal instinct
Perhaps this is the most outstanding myth that exists.
It is known that when a baby is born, “something in the parents is activated” and a bond is generated between them; however, not only parents can “awaken” the maternal instinct. Even grandparents can feel this instinct towards their grandchildren.
A woman may or may not feel this instinct; however, the decision about whether or not to have children has nothing to do with it. Yes, some women feel they could not have children in their care, but this has nothing to do with instinct, it is more a matter of personal choice.
I think as a society we need to start respecting the choices of every person in the world. Every human being has the right to decide what he or she considers best for his or her life, this does not make someone bad; on the contrary, someone who decides not to have children does so thinking about the future.
Choosing not to have children is often considered an act of free responsibility.
Is your choice whether you want to have children or not
Being a mother is a blessing and a great responsibility bestowed by nature; therefore, a great blessing brings with it a great responsibility.
This article has been translated and adapted from the original author Erika Patricia Otero for familias.com
Psychologist with experience working with communities, children and adolescents at risk.