By Laura LaVoie
It is no secret that I am a woman who chose not to have children. When I was 20, I thought perhaps I simply wasn’t ready to have kids. When I was 30, I told myself and others that I reserved the right to change my mind. I recently turned 39, and I am pretty sure this not wanting kids thing is not just a phase that I’ll get over.
Because I made this conscious choice to avoid motherhood, I know that I really can’t understand the experience of a woman who was forced to be a NotMom. Here, we refer to them as NotMoms by Chance. That is to say that in spite of desperately wanting and possibly trying to have kids, it never happened. I can empathize with them and count them among the childfree allies, but I can’t say I fully understand.
And you know who else doesn’t seem to understand? Bloggers who have decided to declare war on the childless. Ever since that Time magazine feature was published in 2013, parent bloggers have taken to the interwebs to declare childfree people selfish and horrible and to make sure we know we will never understand what we are missing in our shallow, empty lives. If you don’t believe me, just check a couple of them out here and here.
These anti-childfree blog posts have one thing in common. They are focused on the Childfree by Choice population. They berate and belittle the decision to avoid parenthood. They are attempting in some sick and twisted way to make us feel guilty about not choosing to have children. However, their message is also reaching the ears and eyes of women who already feel guilty about not being able to have children and that is the real shame of their message.
Sending the message that it is selfish, immoral, and otherwise incomprehensible that all women are not mothers cuts to the bone of women who had no choice in their circumstances. To think and to post so callously, even if the message is intended for people like me, is irresponsible and reprehensible. It is time for everyone to understand that this is not just an issue of selfishness or just a choice that some women make. This war on childfree women is unnecessarily targeting women who cannot have children and that is unforgivable.
As childless by choice or by chance women, how can we respond to these bloggers and their attacks?