Sometimes it seems like childless adults can't win for losing. That sucks.
I think we can all agree that women are under a lot of scrutiny. A lot.
We are almost always too fat — unless we cross over and become “disgustingly thin“ or a “skinny bitch.“
We are expected to behave, and we hear these commands all the time:
“Don’t be pushy!”
“Don’t be too loud!”
“You are too opinionated!”
“Act like a lady!”
Wait, are those last four said only to me? No, I’m pretty sure they are universal.
We are constantly under observation.
“Sure, she lost some weight, but now her face sags.”
“I think she has had some work done.”
“She has cankles and her left eye is lazy.”
From where I sit, women can’t win for losing. This goes double for moms.
“I don’t know why she even had kids if she is never home.”
“She just lets those kids walk all over her.”
“She is a mess! If you can’t handle the stress, don’t have kids!”
Talking about not being able to win for losing, try that, women. Try not having kids. That will surely keep all that criticism away.
Oh wait — no it won’t.
You want to open yourself up to a huge stinking pile of judgment? Just be a childless female over 30.
Even worse, a married childless female over 30 — a woman who chooses not to have a child.
I have never been a childless female over 30, so I am not speaking from experience. But I can tell you that I have never heard anything good offered up about women who exercise their right to live their life in a way that suits them.
I can also tell you that when I meet a woman who has chosen not to have children, she often confesses that right away. Sometimes she will share this information apologetically, sometimes with a bit of compensating bravado, and sometimes just as a warning or heads-up that I may find her pristine ovaries all too much and take leave of her company forthwith.
Women would not be so preemptively defensive if they didn’t get a ton of crap for not having a kid.
Here is a list about why we should not dump crap on childless woman, aptly titled:
Why giving people shit for not having babies is messed up.
1. It is their body, their life, and their choice.
That’s right, people. Women are actually autonomous creatures with lots to offer the world besides their uteruses. They are not extensions of a man who can breed with them; they are not cattle impregnated for the good of the farm; they are not the unpaid nannies of the world, continuing the species, alone, on their exhausted shoulders.
They are humans, living in a society and oh so very capable of personal choice.
Seriously, folks, before you start laying into people about how “they must experience children, for they are God’s gift“ — think about the fact that God has been a little too generous with the gifts when we consider what the planet can sustain. God is like the uncle who brings us a puppy and a drum set. They seem like a good idea, but sometimes we have no place to put the drum set and now we have to feed and care for the puppy.
I know I am opening myself up to major critique with this point, as I have so many “littles,” but that is just my point. When I encounter people who have opted for a childless life, I thank them.
This is a very real consideration. It even has a name — the feminization of poverty — with lone mothers experiencing the highest risk for extreme poverty because their income is insufficient to feed their children.
Before we get all high and mighty as we look down on women who choose to lower their risk of destitution, maybe we should stop a moment to think about it as a wise choice.
If as a society we are so hell-bent on every womb being sacred and therefore obligated to hold human life, perhaps we should help a mother out now and again.
Players all be like:
“Have a baby! Have a baby! Have a baby!”
“Girl, why you have a baby when you can’t take care of it!??!!!”
Can’t win for losing.
4. Babies can kinda suck.
You know, I love me some babies. I am a total addict; I always need to hold them — I will even ask complete strangers if I can hold their babies. And thank God I have a fertile family that pops those little poopers out every few years because there is nothing better than baby head smell.
Buuuuuut ... truth be told, babies can suck the life right out of you, too. You give up your body to make them and your sleep and sanity to raise them. And you get to deeply understand the phrase “this is why we can’t have nice things” for at least 20 years.
When the littles are young, you spend every moment making sure they don’t die, and when they are older, you spend every moment fixing stuff they have broken or looking for stuff they have taken.
I love my kids. But realistically, parenting is not for everyone. Maybe it's not even for most people.
If social pressure did not exist and we had a really clear picture of what it's like to raise children before having them, I think our overpopulation problem would fix itself in a generation.
So, to people who do not have children: You are perfectly complete and amazing.
You have to answer to no one about your mindful decisions and your powerful choices.
You are going to have more time and disposable income than those of us who made a different choice, so good for you! I hope you use both in ways that make your life and the world even better.
The mandate that you must have children to be a “real woman“ is completely false.