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I Want A Baby And That’s Okay

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Western chapter.

Idea: Let’s stop telling women what they can and cannot do.

I have always wanted to be a mother. As I grew up, however, I became increasingly aware of the conflicting opinions people have in regard to motherhood. With more millennials choosing to not have children in today’s world, society has reluctantly supported them despite the population drop this will cause.

For someone who grew up dreaming of becoming a parent, the sudden change in opinion has inevitably caused a backlash on my own views. What was once the question of “why don’t you want children” has since become “why do you want children?” While I do fully encourage people to come to their own conclusions about parenthood, I am thoroughly tired of defending my maternal instincts.

If you don’t want a baby, that’s okay. However, I do want a baby and that needs to be seen as okay as well.

This ongoing debate on millennial motherhood has inevitably begun to split my friend group into two. Recently, after a close friend and her boyfriend broke up due to having differing opinions on their future offspring, it became clear that even within my small group of friends, our views are divided. As the majority of us are still in our early to mid-twenties, I understand why people older than us raise their eyebrows at the thought of my generation procreating at this time. However, it is typically not the older population who question my reasoning behind wanting to be a mother. Instead, it is the voices of my like-minded peers who pick at my brain and attempt to remind me of the things I will supposedly miss out on by becoming a parent.

The notion that you lose opportunities in life when you become a mother undoubtedly appears to eliminate any possibility of all the things you will gain. While my friends prod me about everything from travelling to finances, the one comment that has stuck with me is the idea that once you have a baby, your life is over. My friend recently posed this question at me: “Why would you want to give up your life so soon?” stating it as though having a baby was the equivalent of my death. What I wanted to scream out to her was that to me, not becoming a mother would likely hurt more than dying.

The comments and questions pertaining to pregnancy, birth and raising children are those which would make any mother-in-the-making feel like a moron:

“You know you’re going to get fat and get stretch marks, right?”

“Your boobs are gonna look horrible post-birth!”

“Have you ever even seen a birthing video?”

Before you ask an aspiring mother these questions, don’t. Deciding whether or not you want to be a parent is a big decision and I promise you, no one comes to this decision spontaneously. With age, I’ve gone from entertaining the idea of having children, to taking classes on parenting, to knowing with 100% confidence that I am going to be a mother one day. Ask any mother, or perhaps even your own mother, if she regrets having children at the expense of her perky breasts. I highly doubt it.

Additionally, as I actively attempt to convince my carefree friends of the positive aspects of parenting, society seemingly continues to solely endorse the negative aspects thus making finding a person to procreate with even harder. The same friends that question my thought process in regard to having children also love to question my dating abilities. “Do you ever scare guys away by bringing up children so soon?” they ask eagerly. That’s the whole point, I typically respond. Why would I want to waste my time on someone who doesn’t share a similar goal?

Admittedly so, however,  I am still a millennial in the year 2018, and between class, work and an attempt to have a social life, my dating platform consists primarily of using Tinder at two AM. In a university town filled primarily with men who don’t know what they’re doing tomorrow (let alone in the next five years) weeding out the family guys from the frat guys is a skill I have yet to master. Regardless, being upfront and honest about my dreams and desires has not only ensured I do not set myself up for heartache, but has also taught me to not compromise my own wishes for someone else.

While my baby fever gets higher, my friends only run away faster, thus revealing the inescapable stereotype that consistently constrains modern day relationships. Amongst all the questioning, hatred and general bias of aspiring mothers that I frequently face, I refuse to stoop to the level of judging those whose opinions do not reflect my own. In the same way I understand how travelling can make someone’s life worthwhile, my hope is that one day, the people around me will begin to accept that becoming a mother is the most worthwhile thing I could imagine. If you never want children or to be a mother then that is okay, but please try to remember that some of us do, and that is totally okay as well.

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Full-time student, part-time librarian, all-time procrastinator. Lover of all animals, drinker of many cups of hot chocolate, and auntie to two super sweet little boys. Angel mom, domestic violence advocate and junior communications executive.
This is the contributor account for Her Campus Western.