Hi, my name is Brittany, I am 34 years old and I do not have children.
Although women, particularly Black women, have made great strides in becoming entrepreneurs and degree earners, those who don’t have children are often sneered at with reproach. To get a reaction like that is very offensive. It’s like all of your accomplishments mean nothing or pale in comparison if you’re not a mother. Womanhood does not equal motherhood and we should stop acting as if a woman’s life purpose is to become a mother. Some women want to have tons of babies and others don’t want any. And either choice is fine. Women shouldn’t feel pressured either way.
I feel pressure to have a baby all the time, from everyone. Even if that means me and the child’s father do not have a relationship. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard “if it doesn’t work out you can put him on child support” It is pure lunacy to me.
People seem to be more bothered at the fact that I am childless than I am single. In my opinion, I think the focus should be on developing a relationship with a man so that I can be assured he’ll be a good father. Picking a mate isn’t an easy or quick process. I am convinced that a lot of baby mama/baby daddy drama would be eliminated had folks made more of an effort and took time to asses their partner before getting pregnant.
I understand that biologically after a certain age, your chances of having a “healthy” pregnancy gets slimmer. But damnit I don’t need to be reminded about it every time the conversation about my future is involved. I am well aware of the fact that I am getting older, as evident of my knees creaking and cracking every time I bend down. I don’t need to be told the longer I wait to have children the more likely my child will have down syndrome. (someone in real life said that to me, like out of their mouth, to my face.)
Don’t be rude and don’t be stupid! Perhaps the most irritating thing is that people are real quick to get you pregnant but real slow to help you take care of the baby, buy diapers, formula or put towards their college tuition. If you ain’t putting ins on it then, don’t ask me about no baby.
You also never know where someone is on the journey to motherhood. Perhaps they are dealing with infertility or they lost a child. They shouldn’t be reminded about their struggle on a constant basis or be triggered on their emotional trauma.
Having a family with children seems like one of those boxes you’re supposed to check off in order to have a fulfilling life. I know when making conversation asking someone if they have children is an easy question in order to get to know them. But I implore you to temper your response when you discover they’re childless.