stop telling your teenage daughters who say they don’t want kids that they’ll change their mind
reblog the shit outta this
I haven’t been a teenager in over a decade. Mind has yet to change on the subject.
- At 14, I told my guidance counselor that I didn’t want kids. He chuckled, patted me on the back, and informed me that when I got a little older, and I was with a guy, I would change my mind.
- At 16, my grandmother nearly had a heart attack because of her three granddaughters, myself and the youngest agreed we didn’t want to uave babies. Ever.
- At 17, my father asked about my life plan. I told him: graduate high school, get my college degree, do some traveling and writing, go for this particular job I wanted, retired around X age, take month-long vacations to places I wanted to spend time in, etc. He asked, “What about a husband? Children? Normal things a girl is supposed to think about?” My response- a husband if a man came along that could share an adventure with me, kids were a No Go. He assured me I would ‘grow up’ qnd change my mind.
- At 19, I shocked my former babysitter who had known me since I was a toddler, when I confirmed the rumour she’d heard that I didn’t want kids. She patted my mom’s arm and reassured her in a sweet voice that, “Don’t worry, girls say a lot of silly things before they meet the right fella, and wise up. She’ll give you grand babies”
- At 22, I was talking to a college professor who chuckled at my making a comment about how, “thank goodness I’m never going to have to worry about juggling child rearing eith marriage, work, and life”, then she realized I was serious. She asked if I was alright, thinking I could-not (not didn’t-want) kids. I told her the truth, could have but didn’t want to. She was aghast, then told me that I’d change my mind when my husband wanted some kids.
- Well, I’m over 30, still have absolutely no desire to give birth, adopt, raise, or have much of anything to do with children. I don’t hate children, I don’t think people who have them are crazy (more power to you, to create and/or care for another person), and I don’t think it’s impossible to have a life AND have children. I recognized at an early age that I don’t have that biological imperative to procreate, I don’t have the patience to deal with children (something that has shown very little improvement as I’ve gotten older, in fact it might be getting worse), and I don’t feel my life is incomplete without creating another life- I am good with living my own and doing my best to enrich the lives of those I care about (I try my best to be a good friend, to be a good sister, good daughter, good pet-owner, and a good person in general).
So please, please stop telling girls (or really kids at all, but especially girls) that they will change their minds. Please don’t tell them that meeting ‘the right guy’ will make them suddenly feel broody, that their potential future husband’s desire to have children will make her reconsider and see things his way. For one, a couple should have had that conversation and decided if it was a deal breaker, LONG before they got hitched. For another, it’s her body that gets to grow and birth another human being- her husband’s desire to be a father doesn’t supercede her autonomy.
Please, let girls make their own choices? Girls are forced to mature too fast as it is and are bombarded from all sides with SHOULD (you SHOULD be a size 2, you SHOULD wear this dress, you SHOULD have a boyfriend to be a normal teen, you SHOULD always smile), they don’t need another judgement from someone who hasn’t walked a mile in their particular shoes. Respect teenage girls and their ability to look at the world, themselves, their situation, and their future, and make an important choice.
*gets off soap box, slides it back under the sofa, lets out a sigh*
Thanks for attending my TED talk. G’night.
I have found that “Well, I’ve not ruled out the religious life*” sorts most people out. And the people who say “but you can’t be a nun” can’t actually back that one up with any reasons lololol
My Mum worries a bit that I’ll be alone when she’s gone, but having been a mental health nurse that specialised in older adults for like… all of her life, she’s see plenty of evidence that families do not work out like that so there’s no guarantees with that route. She *is* reassured by the idea that I could live in a religious community one day. So. lol.
*and like, it’s true. I’ve not ruled it out, it’s an option.