Last week, Marie Claire published an article titled: Inside the growing movement of Women who wish they’d never had kids. The article presented readers with one of society’s biggest taboos: parents who regret having their kids.
One woman described motherhood as a “life-altering mistake” and a “middle-class prison.” The mostly career-driven mothers stated that they resent changing diapers which has kept them from writing books and working as much as they would like. They also went as far as describing themselves as “not mother material.”
As you can imagine, the article has attracted a lot of controversy. Some commenters have even labelled the Women that regret having children as a form of “child abuse,”.
More reasonably put, many have called the perspective “extreme” – yes the first few years of parenthood can be the toughest but after that you’ve kind of only got yourself to blame if your career still isn’t on track.
So quit blaming your kids and get your shit together.
Most mothers describe motherhood as the best thing they ever did. Yes sleeping in and doing whatever the hell you want is cool , but so is raising an actual human (apparently). But talking about the ones who really regret having kids is empowering to those who feel the same and helps dispel the myth that every woman should find satisfaction in raising kids.
Deciding whether or not you want kids won’t truly feel like a choice until there’s no longer a taboo against women who don’t want to be mothers.
Choosing not to have kids is not a big deal!
There’s actually less millennials now considering motherhood for fulfillment. Last year, the number of births in the U.S. hit a record low and a 2012 survey from the University of Pennsylvania found that in a 20-year span, the number of students who planned to have children dropped from 78 to 42 per cent. But cultural attitudes clearly haven’t caught up with reality yet.
The constant belief is that children make people happier, despite the conflicting scientific data. This is even more common amongst the older generation and if you still haven’t popped a kid out yet, chances are your family remind you of it at every holiday event. And god forbid you’re in your 20’s and not even married yet, they may as well disown you.
“So, when can we expect a little bundle of joy?”, has got to be the most annoying, eye-rolling question ever.
Celebrities don’t offer much inspiration either. Although there are many without kids, very few of them speak out about the benefits of a childless life. That’s why comedian Chelsea Handler is like a breath of fresh air for me, a child-less 27-year old. She released a series of PSAs titled “Kids. They’re not that great,” featuring her sleeping in past 1 p.m. and smoking pot in her pyjamas. *Goals*
It’s important to talk more about women who live a happy fulfilled life without kids and acknowledge the hard reality that some mothers feel post baby. If we continue to consider a childless life an inferior one, not raising a family will always feel like rebellion than an acceptable choice.
Women should choose motherhood because they want kids, not because of societal pressure.
Mothers who resent their children shouldn’t feel like bad people. You made a decision you thought you were going to enjoy for the rest of your life and it simply didn’t turn out the way you planned. Just do the best you can to enjoy your life as you and not always as mommy.