Admitting disdain for motherhood and children in a ‘nuclear-family oriented’ society feels inherently wrong, like I’ve just announced that I get my rocks off kicking kittens. It is an entirely personal disdain, mind you, and extends only to myself. You want to be a mother and have a career and be a professional athlete? Go for it. You want stay at home and have a kid? Go for that too. Your decisions are your own. Do whatever you want, but please don’t try and tell me, and other women, that we should want to have children.
I will never have children. I like them well enough, but I like me more. Beyond abstract concerns of an acutely overpopulated country buckling under the sheer weight of its inhabitants, I do not want to invest so much of my life, money, energy, and time into another life. I like my body the way it is, no scars and no stitching of my private parts, thanks. I do not want to change diapers and not sleep for 18 years. Children do not fit into my career plan, nor do I plan on budgeting for them. I do not ever want to be a mother.
Do you think this makes me selfish? Will I be unfulfilled later in life? Will I change my mind when somebody, quite pompously, tells me that I’ll change my mind when my ‘biological clock’ starts ticking? Is something fundamentally wrong with me?
Assuming that having children should be the top priority of any woman is, frankly, absurd. Assuming that all women want to have children is even more ridiculous. The statement suggests that the only way we can contribute meaningfully to society is by incubating a tiny alien. Surprisingly, the words ‘spinster’ and ‘bachelor’ mean exactly the same thing. One is spoken of in tones of pity, and one in tones of admiration and indulgence. It is not an exaggeration to suggest that we demonize more women than men for pursuing their careers and forgoing children.
Somehow, adopting one of the million-odd children that need a home is inferior to actually pushing it out of you. Adopting children seems to be the bastion of those who will remain biologically childless through no input of their own. Millions of unwanted children, but none of them would have your eyes or your genetic predisposition to diabetes, so forget I said anything.
The perceived importance of motherhood brushes aside the notion that it is the 21st century and I, like many others, am not here to breed. I do not want a successful career as well as a little one; I do not ‘Want It All’, I simply do not want children. I am here to try and do something remarkable; be it in business, community service, or politics and children do not even factor into the equation.
By Noor Salama