Women Who Don't Want Kids (Gasp!)

women becoming mothers, pro choice, feminism, having children, zooey deschanel, mom health
Who says every woman must have kids in order to be happy?

In the May issue of Marie Claire, actress Zooey Deschanel said she didn’t want to have kids, and instead chose to focus on her career because that is what she wants to do. (Bolding mine, hostility mine, too.).

Oh my, a woman not wanting kids… cue the end of the world.

Yes, it’s still 2012.

Here’s exactly what she said as reported by the NY Daily News:

“That’s never been my focus … My sister [Emily] was always very motherly, baby-sitting and stuff,” she told the magazine. “I like kids, and I like being around kids — but it was never an ambition, something, like I need … I like working. That’s what I like doing. I like to work.”

Her stance or statement didn’t surprise me. I actually thought, ‘you go girl’. Know what you want and go after it. What surprised the heck out of me were the comments on her feelings that she didn’t want  kids. All over the TV and the Internet, people (mostly women themselves!) felt compelled to point out that she must hate kids, be too selfish to have a child or just be an eternal child herself, incapable of being a mother. Seriously?

I think that recognizing a person doesn’t want children is one step closer to finding herself and paying attention to her individual wants and needs instead of societal pressure. Isn’t that more adult than, say, having a baby to please mom…. or even America? Today’s women don’t need to have a baby to be complete, as much as they don’t need a man to be whole. In fact, discovering who you are is the most beautiful relationship you’ll probably ever have. And your relationship with yourself is one, for the most part, that you never end.

When I was a teen, I didn’t want kids. I detested tradition but was surrounded by those in who it was ingrained. My husband and I met when we were kids ourselves and I know now that I had no idea what I wanted or who I was back then. We started having kids early and I don’t know what exactly changed my mind but once we had our first daughter, I wanted more children. I have enjoyed having a family and I don’t regret it at all.

That being said, I do sorta envy those women who spend their 20s and 30s getting to know themselves, enjoying their career and natural spontaneity that should be in every young person’s life. If my girls never have children, I will more than fine with it. In fact, neither of my daughters want kids and I’m not even sure they want to get married at all. I think it’s awesome.

Why should women feel pressured to reproduce? If they want to, that’s one thing but if they don’t or if they want to wait, go for it.  There is tremendous pressure on women for everything. As if you’d ever catch anyone questioning a guy in his 30s about when he’ll have kids.

Being a mom is great but it is definitely not the only thing a woman should be, and not every woman wants to be a mother. It doesn’t make her selfish or child-like.

And even when a woman is a mother (or a wife), that is just one part of her; it is not the sum of her whole being.

Image: iStock

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