It’s been one of those weeks again, mysteriously tied to the moon cycle, where I look longingly at babies and children. It is exhausting trying to make a decision on a life course that feels out of control.
Last week a fellow 30-yr-old blogger welcomed a newborn baby into her family of one, a household of single-ness. I cannot believe she was able to do this! It is a *real* possibility! It has shaped my beliefs on what I can do, and what I can dream in my life.
I am very happy for her. Unfortunately, for the moment, I can’t really read the great blog past this, because it is too hard to hear so much happiness from someone who’s situation has turned for the best. I just can’t read about baby clothes and how this is the best experience ever (etc etc etc). Just like facebook, I need to tune out for a bit.
Another grad student in my department is pregnant. She started her Phd with her husband in tow. A girl in my new lab group has *three* boys under six years old. I don’t know why this is depressing – probably because this is another indication that it is possible, if you meet the right man at the right time.
I just don’t have that courage to go it alone, right now – and I also don’t have a support system (financial, health care) to do it. Can anybody tell me if I will regret, for the rest of my life, a decision to not have children? So many insecurities about just not knowing what to do, which fork to take.
So I ask – is it internal pressure or external pressure that it making me feel like I will be “missing out” without the experience of children?
Another quote from the article in the last post, from MsPea:
The article and every comment presupposes that women have will have children. That is a huge part of the problem, and it is why gender equality will never be a reality.
Women, for generations, have been subjected to intense pressure to have children. We have been told that we have “biological clocks” and that children will fulfill us more than a career ever can. Women lie to themselves, and each other about pregnancy, childbirth and the unrelenting pressure of raising a child. Our right to birth control and abortion is restricted or denied altogether. Women who don’t have children are pitied, or considered selfish. Most women can not answer when asked why they have children, except with Hallmark card platitudes. Most women will not even allow themselves to think about a life without a child.
Unless and until women admit that life without children can be fulfilling and meaningful, we will continue to overpopulate the earth, keep women in poverty and exploit their bodies. One of the comments above actually said, “anatomy is destiny,” and too many women still allow that to be true.