The Ideological War on Child-Bearing
Welcome to the rock’em, sock’em, no holding back, all-out ideological war on child-bearing. Women, mostly in their 20s and 30s, divide into opinionated groups to fiercely protect their views and to become confounded—or insulted— by a different group’s perspective.
I have seen women roll their eyes when they hear a friend talk about the beauty of a natural birth at home. I’ve heard women say it is against God’s will for the family to use birth control. I have watched a woman who has decided to not have any children explain again and again that no, she will not change her mind and no, she will not have a child on the hopes she’ll suddenly feel like being a mom after giving birth.
The Ideological Camps
Not sure what camp you fall under? Here’s a quick test to help you decide what camp you’re in. If you agree with the sentence, you’re on their side. You can be in multiple camps.
- I am happy with my decision to remain childless and this decision will not change in time
- I am planning to adopt because of fertility issues
- There is no such thing as a biological clock and I will have children when it makes sense financially
- I plan to have my birth at a hospital and I will have an epidural and if necessary a c-section
- I want to have a large family
- I will use natural family planning to control my fertility
- I want to adopt and I do not have any fertility issues
- I will use hormonal birth control to control my fertility
- I want to have a natural birth at home and I will not take any drugs to hinder the experience
- I want to have a small family
- I am under a time limit to have children before my fertility drops
Putting an End to the War on Women, by Women
Sorry, we’re not here to battle anymore. Now your job is to listen to the reasons behind the view points of your opposite camp. Why? Because the only uterus you have the right to voice opinions about is your own. Got it? Good.
Women cannot survive the horrific—or beautiful—decision to have kids—or not to have kids—without the support of other women.
Women need to be able to talk through their child-bearing decisions with their friends without judgement. When we fight and throw harsh words, we land a killing blow to the trust our friends have in us to talk about these vital women’s issues.
Listening to the Other Camp’s Experiences
How do we stop the hate? We listen to the other camp and don’t discredit their experiences. Turn this battle of child-bearing options into a salon of erudites discussing the multiple possibilities and outcomes of the power of a woman’s fertility.
Camp Childless and Happy
Stay strong! This is one of the most embattled camps, but the word is getting out how tough and sure you are, and the other camps are beginning to respect you. Lots of you in this camp love being around children but have decided that your life doesn’t include them as your own. Keep strong to this, and also keep a warm heart to other people who do have children, even when those children are kicking your seat on a trans-Atlantic flight or that woman’s maternity leave left you with double the work.
Camp Adoption is a broad group that is generally very embracing. This camp is made up of 2 types of women: 1) women who they themselves or their partners have fertility issues, 2) couples who have no fertility issues but do not seek to start or expand their family through child-bearing. Adopting to grow a family is becoming mainstream. Keep talking about it with family and friends. Also, it is perfectly OK to slap people who ask if you have fertility issues since you are adopting—it is 100% not their business.
Camp Hospital Birth and Camp At Home Birth
Ladies, stop the cat fights and eye rolling. Seriously. Camp Hospital, realize that some women are frightened to birth a child in a disease-ridden area full of doctors on a time table telling you to push or get out. Also, the idea of having a professional who is there for you for as long as this baby takes and it all happens in your own home is comforting. Camp At Home Birth, realize that some women are frightened that a medical emergency would arise, and that being at a medical location surrounded by professionals is comforting.
Camp Biological Clock and Camp When We’re Ready
Although opposites, you two get along pretty well in the views of women under 40. Yes, there are still some mothers are tapping their watches reminding their daughters of their obligation of grandchildren, but generally things are well. You both listen and respect each other. Just remember to stop gossiping when the other isn’t around. It’s OK if women want to have children when they’re young and presumably very fertile. It is also OK for women to wait until she is confident she has reached the right economic or emotional maturity to have children.
Camp Natural Family Planning and Camp Birth Control
Get off your high horses, both of you. Neither of you are better than the other. I don’t care if one is religiously ordained and the other is economically sound. If the women with the view opposite you has come to the conclusion without coercion or lack of knowledge that natural family planning or birth control is better for her, then it is better for her. Remember, the only uterus you have the right to voice opinions about is your own.
Camp Large Family and Camp Small Family
Camp Large Family, do not give pitying looks to women who have small families. Also, you are not allowed to judge her as less of a woman or mother because of the number of children, or assume that she values her career more than building a family. Camp Small Family, stop thinking women of large families are religious, crazy, brave, or need to be rescued. Also, you’re not allowed to judge them as antiquated or controlled by men just by the size of their family.
Okay, are we all good? No one is being mean or judgmental about another woman’s choice on child-bearing? Great! Now let’s open the discussion! If you’re comfortable sharing your experiences and insights—do so! If its none of anyone’s business—say so!
Don’t Forget to Use This Handy Disarming Phrase
I’m so glad we settled this in just one blog post. Now we can go on to tackle greater issues, like men’s opinions on child-bearing! And don’t forget, if a man or a woman does present an opinion on you child-bearing choices, remind them that the only uterus they have the right to voice opinions about is their own.
Wow, two birds with one stone. That’s a wrap! Have a great, confident day, ladies.