Woman Spills The Harsh Reality That Comes With Having Kids, Hence Going Childfree

Many of the societal pressures still present in the world do not keep up with the realities of modern life. For example, many women are choosing to go child-free, for social, personal, and economic reasons. They are often faced with undo scrutiny as relatives and other groups of people constantly question their decisions.

A woman decided to list all the reasons she made the choice to not have children. From the strain on her body and health to the lack of support from society, she must have struck a chord, as commenters shared their own experiences and thoughts. We got in touch with communications and gender specialist Kiki May to learn more.

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Some parts of society still think it’s a woman’s obligation to have kids

Image credits: freestocks (not the actual photo)

So one woman decided to spell out all the many reasons why she chose not to

Image credits: seventyfourimages (not the actual photo)

Image credits: depressedtamales

Society pushes often unwilling women to have children

Bored Panda got in touch with communications and gender specialist and journalist Kiki May to learn more about why women are often pushed to have kids. “When we, as a society, place pressure on women to have children or deem them as selfish or “less of a woman” if they choose not to do so, that’s just evidence of the patriarchy working exactly as it was designed. And the sad part is, so many women level this pressure and these critiques on other women, without realizing that this perpetuates an understanding of women as valuable for their capacity to reproduce over all else, which ultimately contributes to their own marginalization. This likely also played a role in their own decision to have children, whether they were cognizant of it or not. The patriarchy and its impacts are inescapable, no matter how much of a feminist or independent thinker you believe yourself to be.”

“When women are busy procreating and childrearing, this affects their ability to advance careers, which impacts their financial stability and upward mobility. When (heterosexual) women are busy procreating and childrearing, they sacrifice their bodies, their time, their passions, and their lives. They’re often working full-time and still taking on the majority of domestic and emotional labor needed to care for a family and a household. Sounds like a pretty great arrangement for men then, no? So why wouldn’t they want to pressure you into choosing this path?”

“Research has shown that women without children are generally happier, healthier, less depressed, less anxious, and more satisfied than mothers. And women everywhere are becoming aware of this fact. So how does society (read: men) contend with this? They tell you it’s not about having kids. It’s about fulfilling your role as a “good” woman. It’s about achieving peak womanhood – can you really call yourself a woman if you haven’t done the one thing they’re made for? After all, it’s the alleged “natural” order of things. And for some, it’s as their god intended. You don’t want to go against god, do you?!”

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Despite the pressure, more and more women are resiting

We were curious to hear more about her decision to be child-free and Kiki was kind enough to share. “My decision to be childfree and my journey to get there is a perfect example of how difficult it is to shield yourself from damaging societal messaging like this. I’ve always been an outspoken feminist and outspoken in general – I take pride in my convictions, am driven to pursue my passions, and speak out about the things I care about, even when it’s hard. I have been well educated on the systemic marginalization of women and other folks, have advanced degrees examining the ways in which gendered expectations impact so many aspects of our lives, and yet, even I could not escape the feeling that I was ultimately doing something “wrong” or “disappointing” by making this decision. Rationally, I understood the forces at play that influenced me to feel this way, but it didn’t stop it from happening, because, well…I’m a human being.”

“When I reached the age where many people start giving you the side eye and tapping their watch faces as if your uterus will disintegrate into a pile of dust at any moment, I agonized over making this decision. Or at least, I thought I was. What I was really having trouble grappling with, though, was the fact that I knew deep down I didn’t have some great urge to have kids, and if I made that decision, I was making one I knew would inevitably invite judgment, derision, speculation…and that these things would only get worse as I aged.”

“Some nights, I told myself I was defective and that life would be so much easier if I could just be “normal” and get on with having kids. Other nights, I would try to talk myself into it. I used to think about how woefully ignorant and underprepared people are and yet, they still manage to procreate and keep their kids alive. The mere survival of your offspring is admittedly a low bar to meet, but still, thoughts of their success gave me confidence I could handle it too. So maybe I should just bite the bullet? And I would find myself extrapolating from there, thinking that there must be something amazing about parenthood I just can’t fully know until I do it. Is it more amazing than going on a spur-of-the-moment trip to Bali because flights are cheap or waking up at 10 AM on a Sunday with absolutely nothing I need to do? I was and remain suspicious.”

It’s important for women to share their thinking and experiences

“Ultimately, what helped me be at peace with my decision and become comfortable speaking about it was something that I recommend everyone do, no matter who they are or what they’re struggling with. I went to therapy. It took time, but I learned that I am the source of my own joy, and that motherhood can’t make me happy any more than being childfree or being rich could. And as much as I thought a good life meant achieving a constant state of bliss, it turns out I was all wrong. Life isn’t a flat road. There are hills, potholes, and confusing signs that cause you to miss your exit — and this will be true whether I have kids or not. Without all that, in fact, life’s joyful moments wouldn’t feel like joy at all. Being alive is about embracing the discomfort in this realization and choosing to keep going anyway. It’s about staying true to myself, even knowing that others may not understand or agree with your actions because at the end of the day, you’re not living for anyone but you.”

Kiki has a dual Bachelor of Arts degree in Media & Communication and Political Science, and a Master of Arts degree in Communication, where her work centered on the intersection of gender and power and explored representations of female leaders in cable news programming. Her research has been featured by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication and her writing has been published in various mediums including The Morning Call, Men’s Journal and They Call Us (feminist literary magazine). She hopes to be able to become a full-time feminist content creator and writer so she can share her real name in the social media space soon. Until then, she’s operating under the watchful eye of the man, so you can find her posting on TikTok and Instagram.

Many readers resonate with her ideas and share their own thoughts

The post Woman Spills The Harsh Reality That Comes With Having Kids, Hence Going Childfree first appeared on Bored Panda.
Source: boredpanda.com

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