Speaking from Experience, Venting

Can we stop the shaming already?

Welcome back blog readers,

There is one topic that seems to pop up every now and then, a subject matter that I am passionate about. This particular topic deals with our right to choose. No, not about abortion, for those inquiring minds, YES I am pro-choice on that topic. Perhaps I’ll create a blog post about that later.

I’m talking about my right to choose to be a mother, have kids of my own. More specifically, my right to not partake in motherhood. While it truly is nobody’s business, there is still shaming and judgments that take place when other women find out that another woman decides not to procreate. I live by the motto that ” Just because we can doesn’t mean we should.”

 

The decision to not have kids could be a number of very personal reasons. When we are asked if we have kids and the answer is NO, please respect that answer and don’t insist on prying to find out why not. Maybe we can’t due to health issues/concerns and it’s a sensitive subject for those who really wanted kids but can’t naturally. Maybe a woman was pregnant and miscarried, or worse she was raped and didn’t want to carry full term which is also a sensitive topic that they may not want to discuss in full detail.

Does it ever occur to people that not everyone wants to be a parent? Not to say that they dislike kids, but maybe they are content with their life, their career, having the freedom and not being tied down with having kids in tow all of the time. I’m sure there are those that don’t like kids in which case it’s probably a good idea not to have any of their own. Those of you with kids know it costs money, some of us can barely support ourselves nevermind a child with the added expense of daycare, diapers, formula and all of the baby accessories that go along with that.

As for my reasons, yes there are multiple reasons which are personal based on my experiences and concerns. I love kids and most of the time kids gravitate towards me. I spoil my niece, nephews and our neighbor’s son. When you put yourself in my shoes, knowing my childhood and the trauma I endured and also knowing first hand that abuse runs strong and repeats itself (in my family); I could not allow that same abuse to be passed on to my child.

I chose to have a tubal ligation (tubes tied) in November of 2016 for health reasons and to ensure that I would not get pregnant. For one, I have scoliosis and I’ve been advised not to put an additional load (weight) on my spine for any length of time. Due to my short stature, I lack an average torso space. There may be an inch of space between the bottom of my ribcage and my pelvis. I was concerned that if I did get pregnant, that there would be complications due to lack of space and the fact that I would be adding a load to my spine. I am aware that shorter women have been successful, I am not those women nor did I find the risk worth taking.

Due to my scoliosis also means that I would not be able to carry my baby (in my arms) for any length of time and I suspect that getting my child in/out of a carseat, lifting the baby/toddler in a carseat would do more damage to my spine. Not that my husband wouldn’t help, of course he would. I didn’t want to deal with the internal struggle that I know I would be inevitable.

Genetics was also a contributing factor to my decision. My family genetics suck, my health has been affected and I didn’t want to pass it down to the next generation. In my mind, I’m performing an act of kindness and sparing a child from having a small jaw, overcrowded teeth, scoliosis, heart complications, dementia (from me) and some variation of undiagnosed mental illness that is passed on from my husband’s side. My fear was that if I got pregnant and the choice presented to my husband was to either save me or the baby, I didn’t want that for him.

Here’s where my motto comes in, Just because I can doesn’t mean I should. I don’t feel that I’m missing out on the experience of motherhood. In all honesty, I knew from a very young age that I wasn’t going to have kids of my own. I think they are cute, I enjoy spending time with them, but it wasn’t meant for me and I’m perfectly okay with that.

Please don’t feel bad for me or give me a sad look when I tell you that I don’t have kids. It’s not a sad occasion. While I’m sure some family members are disappointed, it’s not their body to decide whether or not I put my life in danger. My husband and I are very content with our lives and our two pugs fill the role of having kids as they are equivalent to toddlers. Except we can leave them home unattended for a few hours and it’s not considered neglect.

This is me being a responsible adult and not jumping on the family bandwagon just because that is what is expected of me (as a married woman). I hope that the shaming will simmer down and we can all respect the choices of others, as they really don’t affect our lives in any way. For those who might be wondering if we might consider adoption in the future… Probably not. As I mentioned we are content with our choice of being childfree. Some might think we’re acting selfishly, and frankly, I don’t care. As I mentioned earlier, put yourself in my shoes. I feel that I have made the best choice for me, my health, my body and my peace of mind.

On a similar topic, please don’t feel that you can’t discuss motherhood with me. It is not a sore subject as I do not regret my choice. I am happy for my friends/family members that do choose to become mothers. I support them 100% and I don’t mind attending their baby showers and sharing their motherhood milestones. You don’t have to exclude childless women when it comes to baby showers or your kids birthday parties. When in doubt as to whether or not to invite a childless woman, simply ask if it’s something they’d be interesed in and proceed accordingly. This way nobody gets offended or feels awkward.

In our world where the judgments can be harsh and hurtful, choose to be kind. ~ Hannah

 

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