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Tuesday, 13 July 2010


After reading Stephanie Faris' post Regretting Parenthood I had to comment here as the points she makes are so valid in my own life.  I am not a parent.  I don't intend to be a parent.  But for some reason it is assumed that I will be a parent.  Now, I'm not saying I won't change my mind; I'm not saying I will - I don't know, I can't know.  But I know that where I am now emotionally and mentally, I don't want a baby.  In the same way that I know that I don't want to get married.  This doesn't stop me from being in a loving relationship and being happy.  The way I see it, not have a marriage certificate probably won't make much difference in my life at all.  Of course, I can't guarantee that I won't get married.  I'm fully aware that I might change.  But it's the fact that everyone assumes that I'll grow out of it and soon enough will want to be a wife and a mother.

What happened to feminism people?  To me, feminism is about choice but it still seems that if you don't choose to follow the 'norm' in society then there is something wrong with you - that you're weird.  Personally I don't care if you have kids, I don't care if you don't.  I don't even care if you're one of those (in my opinion) idiots attempting to do both fully and completely.  I'm not saying it can't be done but I'm not sure it can be done and there still be space in your life to be yourself and actually be happy.  We only get one life so we might as well enjoy it.  So why can't I enjoy my choices without prejudice?  It's not like they really effect the majority of the population.  Everyone deserves to be able to live as they want (you know, as long as it's not hurting anybody - so no, I'm not condoning murder etc) and to be happy. 

I won't judge you (unless you are a close friend and your choices really are making your life miserable) so please have the curtesy to not judge me or anyone else.  You don't have to agree, you don't have to like it - but something I remember my mum saying is 'if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything' and I totally agree with this.  It is a motto of life.  There is no need for meaness or judging.  And remember that you can't know everything that person thinks and feels so in reality, you don't have any right to comment.


VeeVee "Vicki" B. said...

Hi Bethany,
wanted to comment... I am completely opposite to you. I want to be a mum and a wife and share my life with someone. I already do share my life with the man I love but will love to get married and have his children too.
However, you have a very valid point about the fact that you only have one life and you should be left to do what YOU want with it and that is so true because life should be about fulfilling your own dreams and if that doesn't involve marriage or children whether it's only for now or simply for life, no one should EVER come between you and your dreams for what you want. I am glad you brought this up as it's rare when people say outright that they don't want children and/or marriage and it's refreshing to know that there are people out there who are confident enough at least to know what they want for themselves and for the right reasons for them.
For me I am very pro-choice and wish people would feel ok to say what they want rather than what they think society expects out of them instead... well done hun x

lozzzy said...

I completely agree with your post about people should be allowed to make their own choices and not be judged for it.

My family tell me that I'll change my mind on having a baby of my own, but I know I won't - one, because I'm too selfih to go through the pain of childbirth and two, becaue I'm not really maternal. I'm brilliant at looking after other people's children, but my own would be a whole other ball game that I don't want to play.

Saying that though, I do hope to one day get married - not right now but in the future and who knows maybe I'll change my mind on the kids front but if I do I know for a fact that I will adopt and not have my own.

Well done for posting, it's one of those topics that can caue controversy depending on who reads it .x.

Unknown said...

Thanks guys for such supportive comments. I haven't posted about it before as it is so controversial but decided that this is my space for my opinions so why shouldn't I? Really appreciate that others understand though :)

Julie P said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ashley said...

Well said, Bethany! Don't ever do anything because society expects it of you! Be happy in your choices!

And Julie, I think you may have just read Bethany wrong. I don't think she was saying that anyone who tries to work and have kids is an idiot. She's saying (and I agree with her) that it's almost impossible to commit fully to motherhood and a career at the same time. If you can do that, kudos to you, but somehow, I doubt it. Usually, if you commit completely to motherhood, your career will suffer and vice versa. She isn't knocking people who need to work out of necessity. She doesn't need to elaborate if you know how to read it correctly.

Julie P said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ashley said...

Once again, Julie, you're reading it wrong. She's talking about mothers who assume they can excel at both motherhood AND work. You yourself admit that you work suffers and you've had to give up a career because of your child, and as a result, your child is exemplary. But it is IDIOTIC to assume that both your work and your child can be exemplary. Once again, SHE ISN'T TALKING ABOUT PEOPLE WHO NEED TO WORK OUT OF NECESSITY, so stop taking it that way already! There's nothing wrong with a mother needing or even wanting to work, but it is idiotic to believe you can excel at both. If they are "trying to do the best for their families" as you say, good for them! But it's impossible to completely dedicate yourself to both your career and motherhood. You have to choose. You chose motherhood, and good for you. Some choose work, and their motherhood suffers while their career excels. It's completely possible to JUST WORK and be dedicated to your kids, but your work won't excel. I don't know any other way to say it. You just need to learn how to read correctly.

Unknown said...

Thanks Ashley - I haven't been able to read Julie's replies so don't know what she was saying - but you have pretty much explained exactly what I meant. I think in many ways it's because society tells women that they can have the best of both worlds but I just can't believe it. Either choose family or choose career (and you're right, I'm not including the necessity for money here) as otherwise the chances for happiness are greatly depleted (in my opinion) as there just aren't enough hours in the day to do both fully. Again, I have nothing against people who do - but I worry that they do it because society now expects it, rather than because they want to.

Ashley said...

It's an absolutely crazy expectation to try and fully commit to a career and motherhood. One or the other will suffer. Honestly, I think even men can't do both. Society expects women to commit more to motherhood, and men to commit more to careers. While there are definitely couples where those roles are reversed, it's still pretty much impossible for men or women to fully commit to both. I'm sure there are some anomalies out there who really do have it all, but that's incredibly rare.