I don’t have any children.
Two cats, but no children.
I want to have children at some point; but would you think less of me if I said I didn’t? Or are you jealous of what you imagine is a carefree lifestyle?
Do we judge people, particularly women, who don’t have children? Do you think to yourself, “Why would she choose to ‘miss out’ on motherhood? She must be unhappy”
“We know of course that we are not supposed to judge other women for something like not having children, but we do it all the time. We know the decision is intensely personal, but we sometimes can’t help but involve ourselves. I know that I have found myself ardently encouraging a woman I know in her late 30s to have a baby, and then I have to catch myself: What is my investment in this, and how can I possibly know if she should have a baby?”
Do you ever find yourself having those thoughts about a sister, cousin or heck, about women you barely know? You’re making conversation with someone and before you know it, you’re smiling and saying, “So when are going to start a family?” Built-into the question is the assumption she wants children, and it’s just a matter of when.
Roiphe writes that we make judgments about childless men too, but to a lesser degree. They often get the “immature” label.
Read the rest of her piece on Slate.com.
Do you think there is still a taboo when it comes to being childless (or childfree depending on how you look at it), particularly for women?