Sunday, 27 July 2014

Maternal Instinct

This post was originally posted on my other blog which will soon be removed

I have never had a strong urge to have children. In fact, I believe I have no maternal instinct as they say. My monthly cycle has always been irregular and sometimes I don't have one for up to 3 months! So maybe that's a contributing factor.
What's strange is that my mother always had a very prominent maternal instinct and her only dream in life was to have a family. My partner doesn't want to get married but I don't mind. Married or not, I want to have a good career, but I'm still unsure about having children. This is mainly because not only lacking any want to have children, I weighed out the pro's and cons.

Pro's:
- Unconditional love
- Someone who looks up to you
- It's what makes a family
- You have someone to care for you when you're old

Con's:
- 9 months of discomfort carrying them
- Ridiculous amount of pain and risks when giving birth
- Expensive
- Huge responsibility
- You're stuck with them for the rest of your life
- They're hard work
- It can affect your career
- Can put a strain on your relationship with your partner
- It's extremely stressful
- Huge change to normal life
- Less freedom
- Constant worry about their safety
- You need to be emotionally stable/strong to be a good parent to them correctly
- They can get into trouble as they grow older, causing more stress
- They can be disrespectful when teenagers towards you
- Usually permanent physical damage to the mum

There's probably more, but those are all I can think of right now. As you can see, there's reason behind my choice and I have thought about everything deeply, something I think a lot of future mothers don't do. Though I believe the maternal instinct completely hides all the cons of having children, that's what it's there for. Those without it see all the cons, so have no desire for children.

Whenever I held a baby, I thought they were cute but I always thought to myself 'they're not always going to be cute. They're going to grow up into human beings and at some point in their lives, disrespect their mother and all they've done for them.'
Whenever I see some baby shoes or clothes, I just think they're cute because of their size and I think about how I was that small when I was a baby. I never think ' one day, I'll be buying clothes like these for my baby!'. But a couple of my friends have said 'I can't wait to have children!' and I never felt the same way. It sometimes made me feel like something was wrong with me and I felt less of a woman.

In my past relationships, my partners would talk about having children and would get very excited but I always felt uncomfortable when they spoke about it, because I was unsure about my view on children and if I would have them. I do sometimes think to myself that when I'm older and (possibly) married, I'll just go for it and try to not overthink it too much, but my partner doesn't want children either (thank goodness). When I think of a future where I just have my husband/partner and a job, it makes me feel like it's half a life, but that could be society talking to me. I haven't thought about potentially travelling the world with my partner, seeing things not many people have seen etc. first.

I not long ago read an article about a woman who didn't have a maternal instinct and so didn't want to have children. I then proceeded to read the comments. Now, some of the comments were of others who also had no desire for children, however, there were a few people who got very aggressive!

A few believed it was disgraceful to not want to reproduce as they were carried for 9 months by their mothers, as if to say, it's only fair that you go through the same situation and pain to make up for it. However, I have never once heard a mother say to her daughter 'you must give me grandchildren, just so it's fair that you go through the same as what I have'. In fact, I think some mothers wouldn't want their daughter to go through the stresses of bringing up a child, but they allow it because they want grandchildren and it's just the common thing for women to have children. And what about their sons? Their sons don't have to make up for all the pain their mother went through because they can't, so why should their daughters? I've told my mother that I'm unsure and may never have children and she's fully accepted it. She'd rather see me happy than going through something I hated. You can make up to your mothers by being respectful, caring, helpful etc, it shouldn't just be about reproduction.

Some people have said that those who do not want children just prefer their career and/or refuse to take on such a responsibility because they're selfish. Would you rather see a business woman who's always working, who dislikes children, to have her own children and them being brought up by a mother who has no time for them and secretly despises them? Some people have a drive to be successful in life and feel that children are a hindrance, which is understandable because they take up a huge part of your life. A major career is a huge responsibility in itself, so you can't say that they refuse to take on a responsibility of children because they're lazy.

I'm hoping to get a job working with animals, a job that doesn't require a degree. This is nothing like studying for years to become a vet, a doctor or running your own business. I'd have quite a lot of time free to spend with my children with (hopefully) no work to be done outside of work. I also see my future career being a job that makes money that I will enjoy, not a life choice. I'm certainly not choosing my career over children. Everyone takes on responsibilities one way or another and children are one of those huge responsibilities. Just because we choose not to have children, it does not mean we're incapable of looking after a child. I occasionally think I'd be a good mother and bring them up a lot better than most mothers nowadays, but I don't want children. I don't know why that's so hard to accept.

I think it's disgraceful that people can be so rude to others just because they choose a different lifestyle to the billions of other people in the world. Yeah, billions. The world is already overpopulated and I wish it wasn't this way. I believe that women lacking any form of maternal instinct can be a good thing due to a decrease in births, it just needs to be socially accepted. Maybe it can be classified as an evolutionary process to decrease the ever increasing population. The more people who are brought into this world, the more pregnancies occur and we will soon have a ridiculously high and out of control population.
There are so many children on this earth who have no homes, no food, no comfort, no anything. Why should we bring more children into the world when there are already children who still need to be cared for?

Also consider those parents who are incapable of bringing up a child. There are millions of people who suffer with a mental illness, or any form of illness which is passed on genetically to children. There are those who suffer with serious illness who have chosen not to have children to stop the illness being passed on. I think that's a great thing. After all, we reproduce to pass on the good genes, not the bad. But why should people get frowned upon for not conforming to the rules of society?

I personally know a woman who is bipolar, is always on Facebook and the baby's father wants nothing to do with the child. So this child has a mother who suffers with a mental disorder (which it most likely has now inherited), a mother who suffers with the modern day obsession with the internet and an absentee father. That child is not being brought up in a positive atmosphere which can lead to multiple problems. If children weren't brought into this world in a negative atmosphere, then maybe the world would be a better place.
Others have drug addictions, are homeless, jobless, abusive, too young or are incapable of such a huge responsibility due to many problems. There are many people in this world who shouldn't have children for a number of reasons or aren't ready for a child but society (and those who think people who don't have children are "selfish, bitter and mad") pushes it upon them. Somehow it's more socially acceptable for a jobless, mentally ill person who can barely look after themselves let alone a child, to have children, than someone who responsibly refuses to have children for a variety of reasons. Why is that?

I think people should be more accepting of people's decisions and accept the fact that not every woman has the drive to have children.

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