Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there ! In recent years, my thoughts on this special day have often drifted from the actual celebration. I have thought about it from my feminist, or a consumerist point of view, but this is not what I want to talk about today. Today, I wish to have a special thought for these other women.
The woman who wished she were a mum, but couldn’t. Asking her when she plans on having her baby, will only deepen her pain. Pain from a disease that she does not want to share with you. Pain from a financial situation that is not suitable for raising a child. Pain from a society that will not equally accept an LGBT+ person to raise one.
But she might also feel none of these. She might be one of the women who simply do not desire having a child. And our society is not as tolerant with her. She has less value as a woman than a mother, because it is still in people’s mentalities that women are supposed to want and have children. Her freedom of choice and her own values are belittled by implying that she has not met the right man yet. Her identity as an adult is stripped when being said that she is not mature enough and that she will eventually change her mind.
One in seven European women and one in five American women will not have children, by choice or by circumstance. Their lives do not matter less than the ones of mothers and they do not need to have children to lead fulfilling and altruistic lives. I would actually question the reasons why some women want to have children rather than the opposite, which is independent from the fact that I am sure most women truly love their children.
Finally, I wouldn’t like to forget the billions of mothers that nobody thinks about on Mother’s Day. The mothers who love their children so much, but whose babies are taken away from them by strangers to suffer a more dreadful fate. The mothers whose motherhood is exploited for unnecessary human profit. The mothers whose painful grief will never end.
- Picture of a mother and her child
- Childlessness up among all women ; down among women with advanced degrees (2010), Livingstone & Cohn
- Europe : la proportion de femmes sans enfants est en hausse (2017), Nathalie Jouet