Motherhood or Not?

Jul 11

Baby Tor

The United States’ birth rate has recently been on the decline. In fact, the only populace to see an increase in childbirth is the over-40 set.

Some experts blame the recession. Others, a decline in immigration. No matter what these experts say, I don’t think it can be pinpointed to just one simple reason. Why? If you ask 100 childless women for the answer, you might get 100 very different, deeply personal unique answers.

I, like many of my female friends, peers and clients, am delaying motherhood or opting out altogether. At least for now.

Some of us are delaying until we have established ourselves in the workforce, trying to make a mark in our industries. We want to see how far we can go, how high we can climb and taste job success.

Others want to live a simpler, less expensive existence, choosing to care for a pet than pay for a child’s education. Recent studies suggest that each child costs $250,000 for 17 years…and that doesn’t include college.

Still, some delay motherhood until they’ve travelled the world and checked off their bucket list. Sure, you can travel with kids, but would anyone enjoy hiking the Inca Trail with a 3-year-old?!

Many women are scared. Scared at what pregnancy will do to their bodies, at the lack of sleep, and all the what-if’s of parenting. Some fear the zombiepocalypse, because let’s be honest: the zombies are coming. It’s only a matter of time.

Whatever the reason, no matter how thoughtful or ridiculous her reasoning might sound, a woman deserves the right to have a family on her own terms, in her own time. She should not be forced to procreate, nor should she be limited to the number of children she chooses to have.

After all, it’s really nobody else’s business, and her decision should be supported either way. Why encourage someone who doesn’t want kids to procreate? Or stand in the way of a woman’s dream of becoming a mother – albeit much later than most – even if it means adoption, fertility treatments or single motherhood?

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