I believe I’ll be just fine.
Girls are taught that they’re supposed to bear and raise children. So, many grow up believing that this is their reason for being, their duty. Life is deemed incomplete without this variable. Girls become women who feel pressure to get pregnant, and struggle with feelings of inadequacy if they cannot.
The pressure is both self-inflicted and a result of outside influence. There is this sense of obligation to proving maternal worth. When a woman remains childless into her 30s, that’s really all people want to hear about. It’s just expected that you will or should be having children soon. If not, there will be questions. Man or woman, actually, people constantly ask when you’re going to have kids. Mom wants to know when you’ll give her some grandbabies. The ticks of that biological clock can grow deafening for some women.
All other achievements are overshadowed. Never mind the promotion you just got at work, the book you finally finished writing, your trip to Italy or the beautiful home you purchased. Nothing will trump everyone’s interest in the one thing they seem to care about most, you having a baby. The life-altering feat is treated as an item to cross off of a to-do list. Like, at a certain point, it’s just next up. Extenuating circumstances be damned.
Worse, the concept of a woman simply deciding that she does not want children is downright incomprehensible to most. They don’t understand. How can you not want to do the thing you were designed to do? This perspective reveals how someone really views women. The choice wouldn’t be so difficult to fathom for anyone who considers women to be much more than baby-making machines. Just because we can do something doesn’t mean we must, or even that we should.
I never bought into that ideal. Like ever. Motherhood wasn’t something to which I aspired. I have friends who fantasized about it all, eager to start families. In hindsight, I’m sure they’d agree they probably went a step further and romanticized several aspects. Like every other mental picture, it looks a lot easier and much more fun in your head. I wasn’t against the notion. Just never had that “oooooh I can’t wait to be a mom” urge. Though I think I’d be a great one.