This past weekend we celebrated Mother's Day. I love my mom and I have several friends who are wonderful mothers. I am not disputing the fact that they should be honored. However, there are those of us out there who do not have mothers, who are not mothers, and who can't be mothers. People need to realize this because this observance can be upsetting for some because people tend to be judgmental dicks.
But what I'm focusing on is the point that not all women want to be mothers. All my children have four paws. They are fuzzy and furry. I don't have children. I don't want children. Not right now at least. The reason I am bringing this up is because something was said to me last weekend at my aunt-in-law's May Day celebration at her farm. She has this every year for the past 11 years. It's fun. At least it is supposed to be. This year there were more older women than usual, but other I mean 60 and above. Things were going well until we were sitting in the lawn and having food. I donated one of my books to the farm because Sally has kids that come to the farm. People were interested in my book and it was passed around for a bit. Naturally the conversation turned to children and one of the ladies, who was in her 70s-ish, asked me if I had children. This is the exchange:
Me: Um...no I don't have children.
Her: Oh. But you are young. In your 20s right? You have time.
Me: No. I'm actually 31.
Her: Oh! You look so young. You need to hurry up! You are running out of time to have kids!
Me: I don't really want children actually.
Her: What?? But you are a woman. It is your job to have children to pass on your husband's legacy. I have five children. I should have had more, but I couldn't.
Me: Not that it is any of your business, but I was under the impression that it was my body and I have the right to choose if I have a baby or not.
Her: I don't mean any harm, dear, but you need to have a child for your husband. Just try. Once you get pregnant, you will change your mind.
By this time, I'm rather pissed and about to walk away before a full blown cat fight starts.
Me: I've been pregnant and had a miscarriage. Thank you for bringing that touchy subject to light.
Her: Oh, I'm sorry dear. Really I don't mean to be rude. I should have guess that since you are 31 and have no children, there could be something wrong with you.
Me: Excuse me?
Her: Well there is nothing wrong with having a bad womb but....
Me: You need to shut your mouth right now. You have no idea what you are talking about. You are being incredibly rude and obnoxious.
Her: There is no need to speak so rude to me. I'm only trying to help. You need to have a child for your husband, but you are being selfish, insensitive, and callous to your husband's needs and legacy.
Me: That's enough. Not that it is any of your business, again, but there is nothing wrong with my ability to reproduce. If you must know, it is my husband, but since I'm the woman, it must be my fault, huh? We don't live in an age where the wife is the husband's servant. I am my own person. If I want to have children, I'll have children. If I don't want to have children then I won't. It is none of your business, and I would appreciate you keeping your misogynistic and archaic views to yourself.
Heaven forbid that a woman does not want to have children. I don't understand why other women are so judgmental about this. If I don't want to have children, that is MY choice. It is MY body, I'm the one gestating. I'm the one who's body is getting stretched and pulled in all different directions. Not my husband. He has the easy part. And furthermore, why would I want to bring a child into the world when I'm not ready to be a parent?
To set the record straight, because I'm tired of being nice about this, I don't want to have children. I will probably never have a biological child. Yes, I was obsessed with getting pregnant when I was in my 20s. At the time, I had a really low self-esteem and I thought that having a child would fill the void, would fill the hole I thought was there. But I came to realize that a child would have made it worse. There are things that I need to fix. It has been a long time, but I now know that I have value. I'm reaching for my dreams, and I have them in my hand. I have talent. I have friends. I matter. It took me a while to realize that I matter. That being said, I came to my grand epiphany about children. Do you honestly think that I would make this decision without discussing it with Brian first? I have an amazingly wonderful husband who is full of understanding and support. He understands where I am coming from. He supports it. So when I told him about what happened at May Day. He was rather pissed. As much as I didn't want to, that lady's words got to me. Was I being selfish to my husband? He said, very vehemently, that no, I wasn't. In fact, both of us agree that there are so many children out there that have no homes. We have fostered dogs and cats, so why not children? Why should our love be given to only our offspring? Why can we not share it with more? That is where we are. In the next two years, we are looking to open our home to foster children. We plan on getting a bigger house and becoming good foster parents and maybe we will adopt.
But I would like to close this with, it is not anyone's business if I have children or not. I don't have children because I choose not to have children. Asking people why or if there is anything wrong with their reproductive health or whatever is really invasive and rude and you should be ashamed. Stop being so judgmental and trying to make those of us who don't want children feel like shit. It is none of your business.