Kids -- they're just not for everyone.
Rest assured that what you'll find here isn't at all an attempt to discourage anyone who dreams of becoming a mom to abandon her calling. What we're shooting for is more of an acknowledgement that being an awesome mom is indeed a calling- one that some of us hear, while others of us don't and an attempt to affirm that both choices can make for an equally amazing life.
While we could not have any more respect for the incredible women out there who answer to the call of mom-dom each and every day, here you'll find reassurance that if you've decided that joining them isn't for you, it's far from a reason to let societal expectations bring you down.
In a culture where woman are often accused of being "shallow" or "selfish" if they decide to opt out of parenthood, we dare to declare that these stigmas are often completely off the mark and give you a few reasons why.
1. It May Be the Most Unselfish Thing You've Ever Done
While some of us dream of being moms our whole lives, others of us just aren't really that into it. If the later is the case for you, then rest assured that there's nothing more selfish you could do than jump on the parenting bandwagon just because you think it's what's expected of you as a female.
While you may think that consenting to having a baby is living up to what you think is expected of you, be sure to ask yourself- at what cost? While parenthood may be worth the short-term struggles of raising kids for some, for others it may be a path to bitterness that isn't going to do you, or the child you begrudgingly concede to spawn, any favors.
2. Kids Are Expensive
If you're holding off on having children- even until later on down the road- due to financial reasons, rest assured that this is a far more valid excuse than some people tend to give it credit for.
It's estimated that the cost of raising a child until the age of 18 is somewhere in the area of $250,000, which is nothing to scoff at if you're already struggling with student loans or simply the challenge of figuring out how to support yourself. Though raising kids is possible if you're really passionate about it, it's certainly not a decision to enter into lightly either.
3. It Should In No Way Be Mistaken For a Way to Save Your Relationship
Though couples out there try this one every day, research shows that it's just a bad idea all the way around. If you're struggling with a bad relationship, bringing a child into the drama is no way to reduce it.
Parenting is not only a huge commitment, it's something that both partners should be ready and willing to devote a lifetime too. If your partner is making you unhappy, what makes you think that your child will have any less difficult of a relationship with them?
4. It's More Than Okay If It's Not Your Idea of Fulfillment
While motherhood is definitely one of the greatest things some women will ever do, we as women have been told for far too long that there's no other avenue to fulfillment. Parenthood isn't for everyone anymore than marriage, margaritas, or romantic comedies are.
If you've always felt that you could lead a more fulfilling life by focusing more on your career, your creativity, your relationship, or a number of other things then don't let society discount what you know in your heart to be true.
5. Decent Into the World of Kids Isn't For the Weak of Heart
While some women can't get enough of their kids' soccer games, PTA meetings, and Dora the Explorer, others consider this no less than a description of their own personal hell. Keep in mind that the decision to have children doesn't end when they grow out of that adorable infant stage and is going to involve a huge amount of kid activities for a very long time.
If you're up for it, more power to ya! If not though, who's to judge you for preferring the company of adults?
6. It's No Guarantee of Not Getting Old Alone
Though growing old alone can be a terrifying thought, the decision to have a baby is not something you should look to in order to escape it. Sadly, nursing homes around the world are full of parents who raised kids that now live in different states, don't visit much, or are busy raising their own children.
While some people certainly do reap great benefits from having kids in their old age, it isn't something to be counted on. Likewise, the decision not to bring up children isn't necessarily a sentence to growing old alone- if anything it actually makes it more likely that you'll have stronger bonds with the other adults in your life who will grow old with you.
7. Motherhood Comes With a Great Deal of Stress
As Elizabeth Stone once said, “Making the decision to have a child - it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body."
Unfortunately for moms everywhere, kids grow up. While the bond between a mother and child is undoubtedly a strong one, it can also be incredibly difficult to watch your children become adults themselves and go out into the world on their own, without your protection.
8. Motherhood Is a Huge Sacrifice
Again, this goes back to the fact that parenthood is a road for those willing to accept that it isn't an easy one. Being a mom may mean that you can't travel as much (or an over proportionate amount of trips to Disney World if you can), that you aren't going to get as much "me time," and that in the early days sleep will become but a distant memory.
These considerations aren't meant to detract from the bold woman who is up for the challenge, but are simply things you need to make sure you are ready for if you decide to jump into a lifelong commitment.
9. Your Time Will Be a Great Deal Easier To Manage
If you're already constantly struggling to balance your time between work, your friends, your relationships, and various other commitments, make sure you're ready for things to get a whole lot crazier.
While many amazing women pull off juggling all these things and more every day, don't fool yourself into thinking that it can't get really stressful, really fast. If you've arrived at a time in your life where you've found the time to have a family and really want one, fantastic! But why beat yourself up over it or risk constantly pushing your kids to the sidelines if you haven't?
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