What it takes
Having children is one of life’s most rewarding experiences.
A recent article by Time entitled Having It All Without Having Children addresses the fall in fertility rate in the United States; in fact birth rate is said to be the lowest in American history. The article explored why some choose to not have children.
The article also cited a London School of Economics study by Satoshi Kanazawa, who presented findings asserting that the more intelligent women are, the less likely they are to become mothers.
The article has sparked debate online, and I, too, pondered on the matter.
I have always believed motherhood is a beautiful thing.
Yes, it can get pretty unglamorous – cleaning poop and vomit never made me feel sexy. I hardly have time or the finances to splurge on some of the things single, unattached and childless people get to do. Travelling can be a pain, while the amount I need to save up for my children’s college education is just plain scary.
But, that does not sum up the experience of having children. Choosing motherhood means you get to give and get unconditional love. No matter what, you are bound to your children and you have the opportunity to nurture that wonderful bond. You belong to each other.
My favourite blogger cum writer, clinical psychologist Dr Kelly Flanagan writes there is true contentment when you give in parenting.
By becoming a mother, you put someone else besides yourself first. I also found that my children give me the best reason to progress in life, and I have extra reasons to be happy.
However, a response to Kanzawa’s findings by The Guardian blogger Sadhbh Walshe did bring up a relevant point: No one ever mentions the selflessness of women who choose not to have a baby, not because they wouldn’t love one, but because they don’t feel they are in a posi- tion to provide that baby with the kind of life it deserves.
There are also women who feel they are not fit to be parents due to a number of factors. So, they refrain which is selfless, too. I had a male colleague who couldn’t think of having children as his wife had an impossible work schedule that included extensive travelling. They felt they couldn’t give their best, so they shelved that desire.
I am not promoting women’s procreating duty nor am I worried about the diminishing market size which may affect tax income like some heartless economists. Far from it, I feel one should look at the finer things in life, beyond the obvious.
The writer thinks she’s a better person thanks to her kids. Reader response can be directed to email@example.com.