Otherhood – An overlooked demographic – the Childless and Childfree Women and Singles (links)
The book Otherhood: Modern Women Finding A New Kind of Happiness by Melanie Notkin is available for sale on Barnes and Noble, and other sites.
From a page about the book:
- More American women are childless than ever before—nearly half those of childbearing age don’t have children.
While our society often assumes these women are “childfree by choice,” that’s not always true.
In reality, many of them expected to marry and have children, but it simply hasn’t happened. Wrongly judged as picky or career-obsessed, they make up the “Otherhood,” a growing demographic that has gone without definition or visibility until now.
Disclaimer: I am not anti-motherhood, nor necessarily against people taking their mothers out to brunch on Mother’s Day.
I am, however, against the onslaught of syrupy Mother’s Day hoopla on and before the day, and the church services that honor mothers because:
- Some people (women included) were abused by their mothers and so find the holiday awkward or painful,
- some people had or have mothers who are/were cruel or overly-critical,
- some people’s mothers are dead and they miss them terribly,
- some women desire to be a mother but cannot because they are infertile, their spouse is infertile, or they are single and cannot find “Mr. Right” (and don’t believe in getting pregnant outside of marriage, or don’t feel they could support a baby alone)
- some women choose to be child free, but feel excluded or shamed by church and secular staggering emphasis on motherhood on the holiday
Some Christians have turned motherhood (as well as fatherhood and marriage) into idols, which they should repent of.
This post discusses “Otherhood” (women who delay motherhood for years, or who are infertile, or ones who were open to having children but who’ve not met “Mr Right,” and for whatever reason, do not want to have a child while single, but would prefer to be married before having kids)
- Melanie Notkin wanted love, marriage, and then the proverbial baby carriage — in that order.
By the time she reached her early forties, the entrepreneur and author was still single and appreciated the likelihood that, despite wanting desperately to be a mother, she might never give birth to a child on her own.
Like many women her age, Notkin, 44, a Montreal native, expected to reap all the social, economic, and political equality that her mother’s generation didn’t have. At the same time, in addition to her education and her career, she anticipated a traditional family track.
In her new book, released today, “Otherhood: Modern Women Finding A New Kind of Happiness,” Notkin uncovers the personal stories of women like her, who are part of a growing demographic trend and suffer what she calls “circumstantial infertility.”
Often, people presume that when a woman like Notkin is childless, it’s probably by choice. But many of the childless women in their thirties and forties simply want to do it the “old fashioned way,” she says, and find the right relationship before making a lifetime commitment to have kids.