Opinion: To be a mother, or not

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Angry baby. Photo courtesy of Harald Groven.

A really polemic issue nowadays is abortion. A matter that goes way beyond yes or no, it is a concern for society that ends up involving too many factors and seems like it will never come to a settlement. But another topic, so close to the matter of abortion, that doesn’t get brought up as much is denial of motherhood.

As society changes, concepts of life fulfillment also change. The time when women thought they would only be happy with a husband and a few kids is far gone. Women have a bigger space in the workfield, they have more to look forward to than just worrying about settling down and building a family.

The world’s total fertility rate has been cut in half since 1950, but in this economy, who could even blame people for not wanting to have babies? According to a 2017 report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the average cost of raising a child from birth through age 17 is $233,610. Having a baby goes beyond just giving birth to a child. It also requires huge monetary engagement, time and, most times, a whole professional career of one of the parents.

But, sometimes people just simply don’t want it. Some because it’s better for the environment, some don’t think they’re fit to raise a child and some just don’t want one. And that’s where it gets kind of polemical.

Every family expects their kids to have kids, so when a woman says having a child is not in her life plans, she has to face a sea of people telling her she’s wrong – surely she’ll change her mind, it’s just a phase, once she finds the right guy she’ll know better. But why can’t women just make that decision and not be bothered by it? Is having a baby that crucial to her existence?

If you look around, how many people will you see complaining about their kids? How they ruined their lives? There are many stories out there of people who regretted having kids. This usually falls a lot on women too, since they’re most likely the ones who will have to give up their professional careers to take care of the kids. Who are we to blame people that just want to live their lives?

It’s already 2019 – people shouldn’t be expected to follow societal norms that have been here for such a long time. If someone thinks they shouldn’t have a child, that instinct should be trusted. When a person becomes a parent because they wanted to, things are not only better for the parent, but also for the child. Every baby born in this world should be welcomed to a loving family that have been waiting for their arrival. Forcing motherhood onto people is wrong – society and their families should not make women feel bad for not wanting children.

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