Ladies, Your Family Plans Are Just as Important

As we all grow older and navigate the future, we’ve all had to consider at least once what our lives will look like. Many of us hope to meet the love of our life during college, and want to have children relatively soon, but what about those of us who prefer a more non traditional approach? Some women don’t want children ever, nor do some want to commit to someone for a lifetime. But honestly, in a patriarchal society such as ours, why would we want to when we are told to live and breathe all things motherhood since the moment we’re born?

Personally, I don’t plan on changing my last name or hyphenating it when I get married. I also don’t want to give birth to more than one of my children. And in all honesty, this has presented a lot more issues than I could have ever imagined. I’m told that I won’t belong to my spouse if I don’t take their last name, and that my children may resent me for hiring a surrogate. 

I have lived all of my life with my last name. I have almost earned a degree under my name, survived traumas that are intrinsic to who I am as of right now, and much more. To pass that off, to me, is like selling a piece of who I am to fulfill an antiquated tradition. Moreover, I only want to give birth to one of my children because pregnancy is horrific on the body. And if I can reduce the toll of multiple pregnancies on my body, while being able to work full-time until my child is born, then who is anyone to complain? I am doing what is best for me, and no one can decide what that is for me, except for myself.

To have people openly combat my intimate future plans is sad, to say the least. I feel as though I am reduced to the sex I was born with. To be told that my name shall be sacrificed for the sake of marriage, or that my family will be lesser if I do not birth them from my womb myself, is painfully patriarchal. I am reminded that I am nothing without the label of “wife” or “mother,” as society punishes women who refuse to partake conventionally in these traditions. 

Ladies, our marriage and family plans are valid, regardless of how “normal” or unconventional they are. Just because we are socialized to be mothers and wives does not mean that we have to submit to these roles, nor do we have to fulfill our “duties” as others see fit.