I am so glad I clicked on this article today, because I needed it. My dad’s dead, so there’s no pressure from him, and my mom’s not talking to me, so no pressure there, either. But there are quite a few other ladies (and some guys) who’ve gotten a version of the lovely spiel: “yay, you found a great person… have you guys thought about a baby yet?”
It doesn’t have to be that way, not right away. And for some couples, no kids at all. Considering how shitty healthcare is in this country (the cost of bringing a kid into the world–never mind when you get it home–is atrocious and I can only hope the person has good insurance that won’t jack with them), and the lack of supportive resources like a few months maternity leave rather than weeks, few to no options for fathers that want to be part of the family bonding and should have leave as well… yeah. There’s a reason a lot of women are postponing having kids or simply don’t want them.
And the pressure to have kids anyway, or else you’re “selfish,” just pisses me off… I can think of far more “selfish” reasons TO have kids than NOT TO have kids, but I’m gonna stop it there because the ladies in the article pretty much nailed the rest of the thought train.
I am 99% sure that I’ll be child-free for life, and that doesn’t bother me. I’m luckier than many, though, in the sense that I don’t have people demanding that I give them grandchildren or anything like that. Just thinking about the changes to your body during pregnancy, and all the risks that get glossed over (because having the baby’s the most important thing you can do if you’re a woman, after all), and the childbirth itself… it fills me with dread. If I decided to have a child in the end, like when I’m financially well off and have more than a little wiggle room to be able to provide for another human being, I’d consider adoption.
From my own loins, though? I’m perfectly happy not doing that.
These women checked off all the boxes of things I’d heard others go through over the years when being told that they’re missing out or incomplete as women if they don’t have kids… a whole lot of things. I had to re-read this article a few times because I was amazed it ended up in the NY Times and is getting wide notice, when the only other time I’ve read similar ideas is on Reddit posts or a few quiet corners of the web where people who don’t want to be lashed out at will retreat.
Not everyone has to have kids, and certainly not every woman does. I’ll get my coffee and salute well thought-out choices for everyone, whether it involves kids or not.