I have heard a lot of things about becoming a mother. Many people say that is the most rewarding experience in the world. I think that’s wonderful… for them.
I personally have no intention of ever having children. I’ve felt this way ever since I was a child myself and it hasn’t changed. The adults around me have constantly told me that I will feel differently eventually. I don’t have a problem with this because it could be true. Circumstances change. What I do find a bit insulting is the subtext behind it.
Most of the adults telling me this are not talking about finding someone who wants children and rethinking it. They aren’t talking about making an informed decision and deciding maybe children are, indeed, for me. No, they’re talking about the biological need as a woman to have children.
Society finds women who do not want children as strange and deviant. Women are meant to be mothers, right? That’s their job! Yeah… I don’t think so. Women do not NEED to have children. It must be a personal choice. Also, I feel that I know myself better than anyone else and so I would know what was best for me. I resent the idea that I will suddenly decide that I need children. It’s different for women who live their lives never really considering whether or not they want children. I’m firm in my decision. I do not think I am stable enough to take responsibility for another life.
The majority of the population gives me funny looks when I say I do not want children. Why is that strange? Again, it’s a personal choice and since I will be the one to take care of the child, it is my decision.
Children are a great responsibility and it’s important to think about the personal sacrifices you must make. American also does not help when they refuse to offer more maternity and paternity leave. The United States is so far behind in matters like these and it’s time for that to change.
I want to have a stable career before I even consider children. However, the business world makes it difficult for me to want children when they refuse to offer paid leave for expecting mothers. There are corporations, I’m sure, that do have better situations but those are far and in between. They think primarily of profit and women who cannot work are not useful.
Maternity leave usually does not offer a lot of time off. Women in the last month of their pregnancy need to take time off before childbirth and then they need time to recover afterwards. However, most businesses do not take this into account and so women often return to work immediately after their baby is born.
Fathers also do not get any sort of leave. They have a responsibility to the child too and they should have time off to take care of the mother. However, childcare is still primarily seen as a woman’s job and so men are not offered any leave.
Both parents have an obligation to their child. Mothers should not be the ones to shoulder most of the work.