A woman takes up a plethora of roles during her lifetime and in each role, it is expected from her to live up to it and do a phenomenal job. First, she is asked to be a perfect daughter and then a wife, mother, so on and so forth. Now, there is nothing wrong with embracing these roles. But, the quandary arises when society makes it a completion, where if not followed their checklist, she is deemed an unfit woman. And, one of the major roles a woman is asked to realize is that of being a mother.
During a speech on International Women’s Day, Turkey’s President once said, “I know there will be some who will be annoyed, but for me, a woman is above all a mother.” His statement mirrors the prevailing thinking of the culture we live in. From a very young age, it is instilled in women that they are natural nurturers. They are persistently told how “motherhood” will “fulfill” and “complete” them and if they don’t reproduce, they are showered with titles such as cold and heartless, even if she has a lot more to offer.
Now, don’t misunderstand me, I have nothing but love and respect for all the mothers out there. But, putting motherhood on a pedestal, where women who choose a different path are seen as lesser women is just wrong. She has the right to decide and her choices must not define her. Instead, we must look at the woman she is overall!
It is natural to wonder why women choose not to have children; after all, we are conditioned that way. However, there is no correct answer here but it is simply a matter of choice. Some women are happy with their lives and don#Lifestyle, ’t crave a child to feel complete while some deny themselves motherhood due to an existing health condition. The reasons are many and that’s not ours to ask or know.
A friend of mine, who got married at the early age of 19 decided then that she would not bear children and rather would sponsor needy children. At that time, her decision was seen as a juvenile one. Her parents and in-laws weren’t happy and tried to persuade her in a variety of different ways. She was even asked to visit a psychiatrist because they thought something was mentally wrong with her because they couldn’t comprehend how someone would say no to motherhood. But, she didn’t budge.
Today, she is in her mid-thirties and is sponsoring three children and both she and her husband are immensely happy with their lives. She is still asked when she will have a child and she knows that question might never stop coming her way and has made peace with it.
But, that’s where the problem lies. Why do we feel the need to enquire something so personal and feel that it’s okay to do so? And, when the unsolicited advice and judgments make their way, why is that seen as normal? Just like her, there are several women out there who are happy with their decision to go childless. Instead of suffocating them with social pressure, we must “live and let live.”
Especially in today’s day and age, a woman’s choice must be respected, regardless of whether it aligns with society’s ideologies. It is time for us to understand that a woman is more than just her womb.