One nagging question that every woman gets asked sooner or later is if she and her husband or significant other have children or plan on having children. This can be especially trying if the married woman is childfree and has no plans on having children. Many men seem to share this sentiment but unlike women, do not get badgered by this question by other men a lot. It is generally assumed that the desire to have children is more natural for women since women bear children but this is not always possible. Not all women have that “biological clock” that tells them time is soon running out, so a child must be had as soon as possible. So it can be difficult for women not wanting children to convince others of this.
Why, then, do some people persist in trying to “help” childfree women have children? I have had my share of experiences, one time at work when a twenty-something woman asked me if I had any kids. I replied with a “We don’t have any or want any kids.” That was countered with a “Have you thought of adoption?” The words “don’t want” sailed right over her head. This was mild compared to other cases. I have heard horror stories of women who were nagged to death by relatives about not having children to the point of being disowned. “But you’re married!” or “But you’re going to get married!” usually legitimizes their argument for the poor, childfree relative who is adamant about not having or wanting kids. Then there is the famous “The purpose of marriage is to have children” line. I’ve heard that one too, from someone on the brink of getting a divorce. It’s laughable, since many people today have kids without being married or even in a stable relationship of some kind. At any rate, family can actually be harder to deal with here if they are not accepting of an offspring wanting to remain childfree.
Pressure to have children, trying to sell the social package to childfree people that “Children are the greatest blessings in life” may be true for some people, but definitely not for all people. There are in fact childfree people who know what their natural limitations are. These limitations include knowing whether or not if one is parent material, without having to go through the motions of actually becoming a parent. What is ironic is that more than one childfree person has been told something like, “But you would make a great parent!” when the childfree person knows better, possibly saying “No, I wouldn’t.”
The arguments for a childfree person becoming a parent also includes the person’s natural talents and brains, especially of the woman just received her advanced degree in chemical engineering. The problem is, she won’t be that great of a parent at all if she is at work 18 hours a day while the child is in daycare like so many other children are. Having abilities like that does not necessarily dictate that one must automatically start reproducing in the name of “superior genes.” Better educated women tend to have few to zero children simply because the desire is not there, coupled with the fact that she has better access to birth control information.
Women who get asked the infamous question about having children are smart enough to not let themselves be talked into doing something they know would be futile. Some women may enjoy the company of a relative’s children, but at the end of the day, know that she is better off not having to care for a child non-stop every day.