being child free     From being called selfish to being called weird, I have heard it all.  From looks of confusion to looks of amusement, I have also seen it all.  I am only 22, but I have been asked many times about when I will start having babies, and I know it will get even worse when I get married in less than three months. 

It’s not that I mind answering this question because I am not ashamed of my answer.  But why does it seem that society defines women more on motherhood than professional goals and accomplishments?  There is a long history that explains this question, and I want to do as much as I can to change the very old and sexist idea that women are expected to solely be wives and mothers while men are the bread winners.

Why I Choose to be Child Free

At this point in my life I feel perfectly fulfilled and happy being child free, and there are economic and social benefits as a result of this choice.  Parenting is a lifetime commitment and whether someone decides to be a parent or not is a very personal decision that should not be judged by others.  We seem to live in a culture that expects parenthood out of everyone, and I think women are especially subject to this pressure.  I absolutely love my job, but I also cannot imagine leaving my child in the care of someone else while I work.  So either way I would be making a sacrifice.  Is it more important that I provide more emotional or financial support to my child?  Would I be happy being a stay at home mom?  Is it really possible to have it all – a career, children, a happy marriage, and a social life?  I do not know the answer to these questions and these are only a few reasons I have decided to be child free.

I am certainly not degrading motherhood or trying to discourage anyone from parenting.  In fact, most of the women I look up to are mothers.  My point is that it is your life to live however you want.  We are fortunate to live in such a wonderful time period where women have the control to decide if and when to have babies, so I encourage all women to make this decision based on your own wants and needs.

Ironically, I am a registered nurse working in obstetrics and my ultimate goal is to become a certified nurse midwife.  I feel very passionate about my ideas concerning how women should be cared for by healthcare professionals, especially during labor and delivery.  Women have always been treated as inferior to men and characterized as the weaker sex.  Although feminists have made great progress in the last few decades, sexism still strongly exists today.  By working together we can fight sexism because we deserve to be treated as equal to men.

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