Feeling The Pressure
Feeling The Pressure
I'll be honest, for the longest time in my life I did not want to have children, ever. My decision was so solid that when I met my husband 7 years ago I was very clear with him that parenthood was not part of my life plan. I never saw myself as a mother and I never felt warm and fuzzy inside toward babies. I was never very good with children, either. Nor very patient. Yes, I was THAT person. And yes, I realize that most of the female population in the world found my decision to be a very selfish one (you should see the expression on people's faces when I'd tell them that!) but, I could care less. It was MY life and I loved the freedom I had. I mean, when did society decide it was okay to brainwash us into thinking that a woman who chooses not to procreate is, somehow, less of a woman?
Although my decision about this subject has clearly changed over the years, mostly because I believe my husband will make a GREAT father (yes, I love him that much), I'm still finding it difficult to welcome motherhood into my life- at least at this very moment. I understand there will never be a "perfect time" and that we'll never be "completely ready" to bring another human being into this world but, I do believe the decision to be parents is something a couple must be fully prepared to commit to, and that couples must be ready to welcome (and face) the changes and responsibilities that come along with having children in their lives (as great and "magical" as kids may be). And honestly? We are just not ready for that yet.
There's no doubt that the pressure to have children has increased the longer we've been married, specially since our siblings and most of our friends now have/had children of their own. But as frustrating as the "pressure" can be, I decided that in order for people to understand (and respect) the choices my husband and I make as a couple, we must first understand their reasons for being pushy, curious and aggressive in regards to what happens in my uterus. Because I'm certain we're not the only ones going through this, I've decided to share some of the most common reasons why people tend to pressure couples to have children. You know, for all our sake:
1. Humans usually want to keep up with their neighbors, friends and family. For some people kids are a status item.
2. They feel threatened by the difference. Married people HAVE children; otherwise, why would they get married? By not having children you're deviating from the "normal" behavior- they reason.
3. They see reproduction as a religious issue.
4. They genuinely enjoyed raising kids and cannot understand why you wouldn't.
5. They want to see the family bloodline continue.
6. They may think that your choice for not wanting to be a parent (or postponing it) reflects badly on them (parents/in-laws).
7. It's a woman's "duty" to procreate.
8. They may think your biological clock is "ticking".
9. Children are a "blessing from God". How can you not want them?
10. You can't be completely fulfilled and happy as a couple until you have children.
It's funny, though...society finds it completely acceptable and normal to ask a child-free couple (or a couple who is waiting) to justify their reasons for not wanting to procreate but, finds it completely bizarre to question a "normal" couple WHY they chose to have children. Definitely something to think about!
And for those of you who find yourselves asking your friends and family when or if they will have children, here are 4 reasons why you shouldn't- besides the fact that it's a very private and personal matter, of course.
Until next time!