Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Why I think it's okay not to want children

I have to admit I'm at a complete loss as to why there is a debate around whether or not women have the 'right' to decide whether or not they want children. It seems fairly straight forward to me: if you want to have children, have them and if you don't, then don't. Obviously, I understand that it's not always this simple, but the debate at the moment isn't considering physical circumstances; it seems to be saying that women should want to have children just because they are women.

I have four children, and I love having them - even if it means I don't get a lot of sleep. But I don't think it makes you less of a woman if you don't want to have children - to be honest, I can understand some people just wouldn't want to do it. I have friends and colleagues who have made the decision not to have children - their reasons are varied. 

For one, it's a lifestyle choice - she likes her life with her husband as it is, and she doesn't want to change it. Her husband is totally on board with that - and good luck to them. Another hasn't met the right guy and honestly believes that children should have a mother and father if at all possible - she doesn't think it's right to have one without a partner and therefore she has decided it would be selfish for her to have a child just because she's nearing an age where she won't be able to for much longer. Again, I think she's being completely honest with herself - and that's totally her choice.

We absolutely should not be making women feel like they've somehow failed if they opt not to have children. Quite the opposite; having children is a massive undertaking and there are enough unfit parents out there, without forcing more people into it just because society tells us it's the appropriate behaviour. 

Taking control of your future, whether that includes children or not, is your right and isn't anyone else's business. Is it possible to live a rich and fulfilled life without children? Quite honestly, I don't know because I have children and can no longer remember life without them, but I'd bet you a pound to a penny that I could find you many child-free women that will tell you it's more than possible; it's a reality. 

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