What are your definitions of a woman? What are your definitions of a woman’s worthiness? Is it how she looks? How she treats people? If she’s fat or skinny? Tall or short? Married, or 30 and single without kids?
What about childless?
What about married without children?
I saw this image above being shared around Facebook and it reminds me of how my hubby and I are sometimes looked at. How when we meet couples and I sit and talk with their wives how they ask about our kids. And the look on their faces not only because we don’t have kids, but because I’m older than my husband. I’ve witnessed first hand the subtle (or at times not so subtle) changes in their demeanor towards me. They question why. Don’t you want kids? is the usual question. And I can’t tell you how much that bothers me, but I’ll try anyway.
When I was a teenager and all my friends were talking about wanting to get married and have babies, I was the one who shy’d away from the thought of having kids. Especially since my Mother had forced me to have an abortion after a very very stupid choice I made while in search of love and connection. The story of that abortion isn’t one I want to really share here. It wasn’t a choice but it also isn’t a political statement during the current climate of debate on abortion.
Coming from an abusive Mother I was fearful. What if I become HER??? This fear and pain stayed with me for a long time. Slowly I learned I didn’t mind the idea of not having kids, my womb and child bearing not being the definitions of my being. I became a woman and I realized I am not the sum total of my Mom and I am actually the complete opposite of her when it comes to kids. I want to protect the whole world of kids and would if I could. When I met my husband, in that moment was when I said, ok, maybe now is the right time to think about a baby. So I changed my mind and hoped one day we would be blessed with a baby to lavish all the love on that I never received.
But that wouldn’t be the case. As my husband tells people (because yeah they ask him why we don’t have kids too), “we did the thing that makes babies and well, no baby happened”. My husband is a very technically minded thinker and he speaks in facts. That private sadness was ours to deal with. And we did, and very healthy ways. We are ok with it, it is fate or whatever. But WE came to terms with it just being how our life was meant to be together. Do we miss not having kids, sure we do, but that factor alone is not the definition of us. We also fully enjoy, unashamedly the perks that come with not having kids.
But my whole life as a woman I felt people’s definitions and judgement of my womanhood being based on children, or lack thereof. My barren womb. I’ve been made to feel like I’m less of a woman. And in some cases like I’m not doing my womanly job. These days, sometimes I go there, and just tell people we tried and could not have kids. But some days I remember the early version of my womanhood who said there’s more to life than being a birthing chamber and just maybe, that’s ok, more than ok even. And I tell them, we CHOOSE to not have kids. Because at this point, we could have adopted or fostered, but we chose not to. We were very accepting of our ‘fate’.
The definitions of me or any other woman, should not have anything to do with wanting kids or inability to have them. And seriously it’s no one’s business WHY people don’t have kids. Kids may be the norm of marriage, but it isn’t the ONLY reason two people come together to be together. And it isn’t everyone’s norm. The definitions of womanhood are whatever a woman wants them to be, not what society’s norms dictate it should be. If a woman wants motherhood to be what defines her, that is amazing and beautiful. But that woman that chooses to not have a child or who can’t have a child possess many more qualities and definitions of her being beyond child bearing. And that is also equally amazing and beautiful 🌷
Women, be good to yourselves and each other. Mad respect and love to you all!