“The simple fact – not that it is anyone’s damn business in the first place – is that most childless women today feel the decision was taken out of their hands through lack of financial and emotional security.”
That sentence is lifted from a powerful commentary by Wendy Squires, a writer in Melbourne, Australia. I might amend the descriptor to say that many, not most, childless women …, but otherwise, anecdotally, at least, I agree!
Women choosing not to have children are getting the media buzz right now, but the larger, bubbling undertow holds millions of wanna-be Moms mired in a marketplace of men below their standards. That’s the study to look for.
Beyond its universal reflections, Ms. Squires’ honesty strikes home, miles from the writer, into my little office in northeast Ohio. And, judging by reactions to the article on our Facebook page, my reaction isn’t unique.
From Australia, Ms. Squires touches kindred hearts around the globe. She notes that woefully standard, unsolicited comments such as…
“‘You decided to choose career over family …’
”You don’t know love until you have a child”, or,
“It’s the most wonderful thing a woman can do”‘
…are insensitive and totally self-absorbed.
Forgetting gigantic assumptions made by the speaker (covered exquisitely by Ms. Squires), exactly how is the listener to react? Short of instantaneous pregnancy, she is condemned to a life of half-assed love and an unfulfilled life.
It would be rude of a NotMom to gloat to a Momfriend, “Geez, your sleep patterns are shot for at least 10 years! You’ll never be at your best at work now. The opposite is true; Moms kick butt in the workplace. Likewise, though women without children will never know what it feels like to love a child of their own making. isn’t it rude and wrong to tell a post-menopausal woman that any love she has ever felt is, and will always be, insignificantly inadequate?
The bigger point is that interactions between Moms and NotMoms are on the rise. In Australia, Ms. Squires notes that that country’s Bureau of Statistics predicts there to be more households without children than with them by 2031. New awarenesses, etiquette and kindnesses are yet to be absorbed into the global culture, and just as with other minority groups, they will come in time.