Why Can’t We Accept That Some Women Don’t Want Kids? / We suffer from ‘Mom-opia’
I think at least one of these was written by Melanie Notkin – I first saw these articles mentioned on her Twitter feed. There are two different articles below.
(Link): We suffer from ‘Mom-opia’
Excerpts below each link.
- There Is No ‘Normal’ American Family Anymore. But Heads Still Shake When It Comes to Women’s Reproductive Choices.
- It used to be that the Cleavers—dad working an office job, mom raising two boys full-time—were the model American family. But the past several decades have seen dramatic changes—recent studies find that only about half of American adults are married today, compared to around 70 percent in 1960.
- A Pew Research Center study from 2010 found that 20 percent of American women now end their childbearing years without having borne a child, compared to 10 percent in the 1970s. During that time, the public has become more accepting of these women, but 38 percent of Americans surveyed for that study felt this trend was bad for society.
- …In advance of the Zócalo event “Why Have Kids?”, we asked a panel of experts: If Americans have come to accept a range of non-traditional family structures, why does a woman’s choice not to have children still elicit skepticism and judgment?
(Link): We suffer from ‘Mom-opia’ (I believe the author for this is Melanie Notkin)
- We have “Mom-opia” in America—the myopic view of motherhood as womanhood. And yet, the latest U.S. Census Report on Fertility shows that 46 percent of women of childbearing years are childless.
- This all-women-as-mother view generates “black and white” assumptions for why women make their choices, ignoring nuances and shades of gray. I worked closely with DeVries Global PR on a 2014 national demographic study entitled “Shades of Otherhood,” inspired by my book, Otherhood: Modern Women Finding a New Kind of Happiness, to better understand this cohort of modern women.
- Of the 19 million childless American women ages 20 to 44, over one-third (36 percent) are childless by choice. Some never felt motherhood was for them. Some don’t feel financially secure enough for parenthood. Some enjoy the freedom to live life to what they envision as its potential. And 18 percent of all childless women are on the fence, having not yet made a choice on motherhood either way.
- And then nearly half (46 percent) are involuntarily childless, some by biology, and more often, among the cohort I explore more widely in Otherhood, by circumstance.
- The women of the Otherhood are often single, often not by choice, and they choose to wait for love before motherhood.