Being a woman does not automatically make you a mother nor does it mean you automatically want to be one

I have had this talk a few times with the women in my life who don’t have children. And one statement rings true, even for me: being a woman does NOT automatically mean you want to be a mother.

In fact, I have since considered that most of us don’t think about what being a mother means. We just roll with the way life is, you have a womb so have a child, right? WRONG!

Womanhood vs Motherhood

When we are born we have no choice in what we come out as or what we later identify as. So identifying as a woman or being born a girl has nothing to do with you. There is no choice in this matter.

Motherhood, on the other hand, is a choice. Well, it should be. We sadly live in a society that has let that little fact slip their minds and women of a certain age with no child are seen as deviant.

But my goodness, and all mothers will attest to this, motherhood is HARD! And we really should make it just fine for people to skip this part if they choose to. And if we (mothers) are completely honest, it is a ring of fire, we, of all people, should get it when people opt out, or have no interest in having babies.

The Best Reason I Have Heard Ever

In line with this ring of fire being a mother can bring into your life, I once had a conversation with a friend who has no kids and has no desire to have any. Her reason (not that she needed any) was such a light bulb moment for me.

She said: “My mother and I don’t have the best relationship and because of that I have so much I need to heal, the last thing I want is to have another innocent soul living out the dysfunction of this family, there’s no need!”

My light bulb moment was: kids bring up your stuff! The stuff you need to heal from, your kids will press every button available to make those rise all the way up. And this got me thinking, do we think long and hard about why we want kids? I mean beyond the “biological clock?” Or do we believe because we have a womb and someone to make a child with, that’s enough?

Financial Stability is Not Enough

Yes, being financially ready is always a good thing. It is not enough though. People talk about being emotionally ready too, but I have since learned WE HAVE NO IDEA WHAT WE ARE TALKING ABOUT!

Being emotionally ready would mean you have spent your whole life working out the kinks and your trauma. And honestly, how many of us are doing that? And even if we did, some traumas erupt after being a parent, because kids will bring up ALL YOUR STUFF.

And so in light of this, and again not that women need reasons, I can understand why this is not a road other women want to travel. Becoming a mother is a choice just like any other choice in life and we need to stop romanticising it and made to seem like it is the only way to prove you are WOMAN! Like we even need to prove that?

This lady friend simply added that she is not interested in looking at her stuff, “not in a way that would force me, anyway!” And I fell hard for her awareness. Awareness is such a beautiful thing. Ps…she is a brilliant ad- director!

There is more to being a woman than babies

We need to understand that we are not here to fulfill the same things and some things need all our energy! Maybe not all but, enough for us to want to sleep in when we want and this is a valid need (ask the mom who hasn’t slept in years and still needs to make a living!)

The point though, is we are not all here to give birth and that is just FINE! Because there are also women who absolutely adore having children and so we are not at risk of a world with a declining population, trust me, we will always have enough humans.

And just like I don’t have a single bone in my body that wants to walk into a lab and play scientist or blast off into space or climb Mount Everest, or own a cat and the list could go on forever because there are a lot of things I have no desire to pursue. The same goes for women who do not want to have children. It is not rocket science and it needs no explantion beyond “not my thing…”

Becoming a mother is not what defines you or not the only thing, it is definitely NOT what defines you as a woman. And so, can we give women who aren’t keen on motherhood a break? And practice being in awe of everything else they do to add to the world?

Over to you: Are you a woman who has decided you don’t want children? What has your experience been like when you tell people this?

Enjoy the Cape!! Book flights to sunny Cape Town 🙂

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