Thursday, January 8, 2015

Why Having Kids Won't Fulfill You

I was interested to find that the author of a recent Time Magazine article titled "Why Having Kids Won't Fulfill You" was written by a woman who struggled and finally succeeded to have children.

Her article was in response to actress Jennifer Aniston's recently published complaint that "“I don’t like [the pressure] that people put on me, on women – that you’ve failed yourself as a female because you haven’t procreated. I don’t think it’s fair."

Maria Guido, author of the Time article said when she did, eventually, have children her life did change but not in the profound ways many women imagine. Her life just got busier and more complicated. She points to her mother's experience of being a divorced single mother and her claim that her children were the only thing that gave her happiness as the reason she felt compelled to follow in her mother's footsteps. Guido notes that 40 years after the women's liberation movement, we still don't believe we can be happy without children, and she asks, "Everyone is always looking for the latent sadness, the regret. What if it’s not there?"

Guido's feelings are summed up in this paragraph, which serves to reassure all childess women who might be feeling the same way as Jennifer Aniston:
I never questioned my desire to have children, because I didn’t have to; I took the well-traveled road. That desire is expected of me – it’s expected of all women. It took me decades to realize that the maternal drive I carried with me my entire adult life, the one that led me to try for five years to have children, may not have been a biological imperative at all. It may just have been a program that was placed into my psyche by the repeated mantras of a woman who was let down by a man and comforted by her children. That’s okay. I love my children and I’m happy about the experiences I’ve had and the paths that have led me to this place. But if this isn’t your place—whether you’re a famous movie star or not– you didn’t take a wrong turn.
Guido's article reminds me that fulfillment is not found following in someone else's footsteps; fulfillment is found is found by following the beat of your own heart.

1 comment:

Debbie said...

Yes, only YOU can know what's best for you. I was never interested in having children, going back to my own childhood. No regrets, 50+ years later! ☺
THE CHILDFREE LIFE