As a woman, there is one category in which I am under and/or not represented well: the inevitable road to motherhood.
Mother’s Day passed a couple of weeks ago and all over social media, I read comments from proud mommas. They were filled with joy, pride, happiness and in several cases, an inaccurate statement representing all women. Although, not verbatim, they all seem to elude that Motherhood was the ultimate goal for women.
Whoa there! Err…not really.
If you think the female voice is unheard amongst the male dominant society, I’ve got news for you. Plenty of female voices go unheard within our own circle.
While a lovely sentiment, it does not speak for all women. “A women’s desired path of life” is NOT motherhood, not for all of us, anyway.
I am a woman, who for her entire adult life has not wanted children. Sure, in my teens and early 20s, I too had the princess dream of marriage and children, but it has changed and the feelings I now have on the subject, far outweigh that of my 20-year-old self. So, don’t speak for me, don’t speak for all women. We are not all born with an inherent desire to be mothers. And when you, as a fellow woman, speak on behalf of all of us, you unintentionally give others a reason to think that as a female, our main purpose is to reproduce.
It saddens me to know that if I were a 21-year-old woman, married with children, without any other educational/career/accomplishments to my name, THAT would gain me more respect than I now have, as a 34-year-old single woman with a successful career amongst other accomplishments. It doesn’t matter that I push professional boundaries, make time to volunteer as a big sister to an younger girl in need, or that I am well traveled and well read, or that I’ve mustered the courage to venture into my own business, that I write about travels to encourage others to go beyond their comfort level, or that I have roles in which I am successful (sister, daughter, friend, partner, colleague, teacher). None of that overrides the simple fact that I am unmarried and not likely to become a mother.
I have other goals; I want to see the world, acquire new skill sets, creatively transfer dreams into realities, explore my capacity as an individual, expand my horizons, help those in need, and a plethora of other things, but none of it include being a mother. I know many find that to be selfish in nature, but I disagree. There are no shortage of women in the world who are terrible, unfit mothers. If you want to call someone selfish, they ought to be first in line. There are women resorting to motherhood as a means of escaping their problems, maybe they should queue up on the selfish category before the likes of me. If anything, I’m doing a service to the world by not taking on a role that I know I am not cut out for and/or have no desire to take on.
So, please, stop speaking for all women and forgetting about those of us who contribute to society by NOT popping out babies. We may be smaller in number but we exist. And we have the right to be represented accurately. You may not understand us, and that’s OK, much the same way we do not claim to understand you. But you owe us the same respect you expect of us.
Before you pass a judgment on a single woman, remember that for every woman who moves on to raise a family, you need one of us to continue to contribute to society from the non-family aspect.
Motherhood may be the most rewarding experience for those who are and have wanted to be a mother. For the rest of us, “most rewarding” have a million other synonyms. For me, it’s discovering the world.
I hope in reading this, you’ve been encouraged to take a moment to consider the perspective I represent. That single moment of thought, however big or small in duration, will someday make all the difference.
Thank you for reading.