PLEASE NOTE:

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

 
Navigating manifestations
 
Comments: 16
Article views: 1019
 
 
Latest Badges:


 
View all Navigating manifestations's badges.
 

Happily childless woman

14 July 2013, 18:54

Being a parent isn’t always a walk in the park, according to the World Happiness Database unveiled in Rotterdam this week.

In fact, it could be bad for your mental health: one of the activities which sends happiness levels plummeting, according to the research, is having a child (although, it hastens to add, your happiness increases when they grow up and leave home - which hardly seems a glowing recommendation for having them in the first place).

Meanwhile, it was reported by the BBC that China has just passed what it is euphemistically calling the "Elderly Rights Law", a piece of legislation that makes it compulsory for adult children to visit their parents in a country with a rapidly ageing (and lonely) population.

In other words, you sacrifice happiness to parenthood in the prime of your life, enjoy a brief but halcyon retirement, then are abandoned in your twilight years to the extent that the government has to force your children to pop in for a cup of tea. No wonder we’re all procreating less.

But the fact remains that the "childless by choice" - or, as some prefer it, "child-free" - are still looked upon as dangerous oddities, possibly with some sort of social disease.

Even worse is the female half of the dreaded "childless by choice" couple, all settled down with someone they love in a perfectly good home with a spare bedroom that could be easily transformed into a nursery and just downright refusing to warm up a bun in her oven.

"Tick tock", publications aimed at thirtysomething women sing-song, as you scour the magazine rack for something that doesn’t make you want to throw up, move countries, cry, or all of the above.

"Your ovaries are getting old! Your eggs won’t last forever! You’ll change your mind in a few short years - and where will you be then?"

It’s beyond comprehension to most of the media, of course, that women without children might not end up crying outside the local school-gates every morning before being shooed away by the caretaker.

The "evolutionary science, hideously misapplied" brigade have been banging the "naturally maternal" drum for decades as an explanation for all possible facets of female behaviour.

Through this lens, the female role in a heterosexual relationship is to become your male partner’s new mother, helpfully cooking and cleaning and facilitating his life for him while he has fun and plays with his friends outside.

The "maternal instinct" apparently inherent in all women has been used as a way to keep mothers out of the workplace and discriminate against fathers who want equal custody of their children.

The belief that we are essentially born to be baby incubators crops up again and again amongst anti-abortion debaters, and is one reason why new mothers often report feeling ashamed of postnatal depression.

After all, if you’re supposed to be in your element but you feel like crap, then surely you’re a Darwinian failure of the first order - never mind if you opt out of having the baby altogether.

All of this contributes to the idea of the happily childless woman as the unicorn of society. A dedicated bachelor is a good-time guy, and a married man without kids is hardly a talking point.

But a bachelorette is more likely to be seen as tragic, bitter, yearning for the family that she hasn’t yet had the opportunity to create; her coupled-up counterpart a perpetual mother-in-waiting.

And why should this be the case, on an overpopulated planet with a surplus of poverty, starvation and greenhouse gases? Really, it shouldn’t be the child-free who have to justify their position - it should be those who choose to bring others into the world without good reason beyond "I JUST WANT TO SEE MINI-ME".

Yes, your unfortunate nose might look hilarious on an unsuspecting infant’s face - but is it really worth the extra carbon dioxide and the toe-curlingly boring hours spent poring through stacks of GCSE retake papers?

After all, the lifetime cost of raising a child in the UK is now £222,458, which is a hell of a lot of luxury holidays and stiff gins down the drain, not to mention the damage those little darlings can do to your nether regions on their way into the world.

Women spoken to have said that their own doctors have made it difficult for them to undergo sterilisation by condescendingly insisting that they will "only want it reversed in a few short years", as if they had chosen the procedure on a whim.

Others have been told by relatives that they’re not performing their "womanly duty" by shunning motherhood - seriously - and still more have contended with the mind-bending accusations that they’re "being selfish" or "will get bored in your marriage if you don’t".

By far the most common amongst others, however, was experience of the smug assurance that "you’ll change your mind once you meet the right person", as if a Baby Alarm will go off in every woman’s mind the moment they meet their God-given soulmate and embark upon Happily Ever After.

This is apparently now wheeled out more often even than the old and reliable, "Who will look after you in your old age?", which still persists despite the fact that very few of us are living on isolated farmland dependent on continuous manual labour in countries without some semblance of a national health service.

So how to stop the constant barrage of criticism if you are to live life as a contented child-free female human being? Firstly, ignore all magazines aimed at the thirtysomething demographic: there are far too many allusions to "Fertility O’Clock" and "foods to maximise your spouse’s sperm count".

Secondly, have faith in social progression: a recent survey covered by theWashington Post found that the belief that "mothers are more natural parents" is much more prevalent amongst older groups of society, as it fades in the younger (two-thirds of women aged 65+ agreed with the statement, compared with about half of woman in younger age groups.)

Meanwhile, grit your teeth while people loudly worry about who’s going to visit you in your nursing home and own the choice that’s right for you. Because £222,458 later, who’s to say that THEY’RE not the ones who’ll be left wanting to change their minds?

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.
 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
16 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Aurangzeb Thabethe
EFF and its tactics

The events inside the parliamentary corridors weeks ago must worry all of us.  Read more...

34 comments 1729 views
Submitted by
Abioye Olufemi
The absolute way to take Christma...

As Christmas is coming soon, I am prompted to write this Christmas article for all of us here at News24. Read more...

4 comments 263 views
Submitted by
goldeelocks
Phiyega.....SAY WHAT?????

Clearly the Honourable Minister has abrogated the duty of the SAPS to protect the citizens of this country! What then is the purpose of the SAPS?  Read more...

9 comments 648 views
Submitted by
Paulus
Genealogy of Jesus, and the probl...

The new testament writers were so kind as to leave 2 genealogies of Jesus for us to peruse, both of his father. Read more...

138 comments 1098 views
Submitted by
Lee Grandmaison
Everyone is entitled to their own...

"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion." If you've ever seen or been in a debate, on or offline, you've heard this phrase quite a bit. Read more...

54 comments 480 views
Submitted by
johan609
South Africa heading South

We need to speak up. We need to take a stand. We need to take action. Read more...

24 comments 2124 views

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

 

services

E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on your iPhone Get News24 headlines on your iPhone.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Blogs Your opinion on you, me and everyone.

Calais Website keywords automated by OpenCalais.

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 2014 24.com. All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.