Societal pressures of motherhood

Leah Bryce

I’m 21 years old, nearing the end of my college career and I have been dating the man I plan to marry for two years. For some reason, this is the magic formula that makes every other female in the universe and most married males ask me about children. How many I want, what do I plan to name them, when do we plan on having them, etc. Every time the shock and horror on their faces makes for a great Kodak moment when they hear my dry reply, “I don’t want kids. I’m not meant to be a mother. Nick doesn’t want them either.”

I don’t hate children. I love my nephew and my cousins, I’m always the family member surrounded by kids at the gatherings, I just have no desire to be a mother. Everyone rages on about the theory of women’s rights, gender equality and the right to choose, but even those people fail to remember that having children is an option, not a mandatory right of passage for all females.

As a human being, try not to rush to conclusions about people’s personalities or motives based on one decision. I do not hate children. I will not feel differently about my own children, because I won’t have any and I don’t hate kids anyway. I might regret it one day, but that is something I will have to live with, not anyone else. Not wanting children is not a negative thing and it shouldn’t have a stigma of something being emotionally wrong with a person. Yes, that person may change their mind, or they may regret not having kids in the future, but that doesn’t give anyone the right to pass judgment or make assumptions about a person because they don’t have a paternal desire.

The movement in America about being more accepting of people’s differences doesn’t just apply to the big and routinely discussed topics. Just because someone has a different desire out of life doesn’t mean you get to “fix them.” In the great words of “Frozen” character Elsa, just “let it go.”

Leah Bryce is a mass communication and English junior.