Even as women continue to break down the barriers of gendered expectations, they’re still faced with an allegedly fundamental question: whether or not to have children.
We still live in a world where family and children are deeply associated with women, to the point where women are taught that having children is essential to having a strong sense of self.
Collectively, we tend to be extremely uncomfortable with the possibility that a woman could put herself before someone else—even above people who will most likely never exist!
We continue to associate womanhood with selflessness and self-sacrifice. Children are a fundamental manifestation of this mindset. A woman is expected to prioritize her kids first, but particularly at her own expense.
There’s a definite labor to motherhood in more ways than one: late nights, the responsibility of looking after someone else, and more bodily fluids than you ever wanted to imagine, not to mention the financial burden.
You supposedly can’t be a good mom without some sacrifice. Since the maternal archetype continues to be so closely associated to the core of women’s identities, it follows that the “right” kind of woman is willing to sacrifice other things in favor of her goal of raising of family.
But not everyone wants children, which creates a weird materialism vacuum in the minds of many.
Why do we have to subscribe to the belief that being a good person or good woman automatically means going without?
There’s nothing shameful about indulging yourself or living your life to the fullest on your own.
People try to guilt women with the myth that there is a certain type of happiness or fulfillment that only mothers can know. That might be true, but it’s also true that having kids may prevent you from having tons of experiences that could change your life.