29 August, 2011

A bit more about society ...

A follow-up to my previous post.  Apart from those few years when I was trying to conceive, I never believed that a woman had to be a mother to be fulfilled.  I always felt like a woman.  I always enjoyed being a woman.  I just didn’t feel that being a mother was the be-all and end-all of life.  I rebelled against the inference that I was only good for one thing, that my life was pre-determined, that I would be a mother and that would be the only good thing I’d ever do.  If I wanted children, I wanted to have them on my own terms, not because I was told I should, or because I wanted to conform to society's expectations of me.

But then I got older, and my hormones started to run rampant.  They weren’t helped by pregnancy and pregnancy losses and IVF drugs either.  I felt ready to be a mother.  And so my failure to become one hurt, and my drive to become one was accelerated by all those messages around me.

Fortunately, now, I don’t have the same hormonal urges.  I’m at the age where I’m not expected to get pregnant.  And I can brush off those (often subconscious) messages from friends, family, society, media, and politicians that my life is worth less because I don’t have children.  I know they’re wrong. But even so, knowing that people look at me that way still has the power to hurt.  Fortunately, not so often these days.


  1. I agree, Mali, and am thankful that the judgements and looks don't carry nearly the wallop they once did.

  2. I agree with you on this, I have never believed a woman has to be a mom to be fulfilled. If a woman chooses to have children, it will become a large part of her life and identity, but humans are extremely multi-faceted. I think some moms feel frustrated because they can be seen as nothing other than a mom and their own individual selves get lost.

    I think it is so important though for women to be seen as more than this one choice - whether or not they have kids. I am already starting to see my life outside of this... and finding my own ways to ignore those societal pressures.

  3. Whenever I read those studies I remind myself that there are always outliers for whom the rule does not apply. I am glad you are able to go through all the comments and expectations unscathed. I must learn to be more like you!

  4. I hear you. I'm still at the age where people still expect us to be able to get pregnant, though we're fine with child-free living. But it's really hard for others to accept that we're OK with this non-baby status.