Saturday, June 26

Wish for children - natural?

It’s an interesting question, isn’t it? Is it ‘natural’ for women to want children? This would mean every woman who doesn’t want children (if she can have them or not, maybe due to some medical reason, is another question entirely) is an unnatural monster.

I was watching a talk show on TV dealing with the topic. Some women (young ones, usually) were stating they didn’t want children. One even stated she wanted her ovaries removed, because she was so sure she would never want them. Then there were the usual ‘you’ll see it different in a few years’ people around. And there was one women who had two daughters, but could completely understand everyone who didn’t want them. She even said she was not going to babysit the children of her older daughter, because she had done her job already when raising her own children.

Again and again the underlying theme of the show was ‘every woman wants children sooner or later’. (Some even want them a bit too soon, like the daughter of one of the guests who had her first child at the age of 13.)

When I was a teenager (quite some time ago, I’m turning 36 this year), I already knew I didn’t want a family or children. I could not (and still can’t) imagine myself being a good mother. I’m simply not good with children, I make no emotional connection with them. I see them as something good as a such, yes, but not as something that will feature into my own life.

My relatives (not so much my parents, but aunts and uncles) all said the same thing to me that has been said to the women in the talk show: “Sooner or later you will change and then you will want children.” (“Just as every woman,” because that’s what is always there in between the lines in those discussions.) Well, I’m about to leave the time when I can safely have children (medically speaking), I still don’t want any children. My decision never changed. But I also know I’m part of a minority, most women want children.

Still, the question remains unanswered. Is it only ‘natural’ for women to want children? Is every woman who doesn’t want them by definition unnatural, then? And are humans still bound by their ‘nature’ today?