A Dear Jane Letter to the Child I Choose to Never Have

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Recently, I had the honour to treat my wonderful and vivacious Mama this past Mother’s Day.  I was able to score a table for the annual High Tea Mother’s Day Event at a local winery here in Niagara, Creekside Estate Winery.

We were seated inside the wine cellar, surrounded by barrels of last years vintage reserves, beautiful linens, delicious treats and other gorgeous smiling and laughing mothers and their children enjoying themselves, putting the spotlight on Mom, the one person who usually gives the spotlight to others.

Once our time was over, we went back to the car and it hit me, I am never going to be giving birth to my own children, a decision I had made a while ago for my own reasons, but will I still be valued or ‘honoured’ as a woman?

Now before, you all chime in with your comments on the value of a woman or how we are more than the sum of our parts, sentiments I resoundingly agree with, let me first explain where I am coming from.

How many of you have been asked by your relatives, or loved ones, “So when are you getting married and starting that family?”, “When am I gonna hear that pitter patter of little feet?”, “You aren’t getting any younger you know”, “I want grand-babies before I’m too old to play with them” etc.

All pretty much the same thing; You + Babies = Happiness.  But, does it truly mean ‘happiness’ for everyone?

Now don’t get me wrong, there was a time in my life when I did very much want to have my own children, have the opportunity to give birth to my own offspring, teach and raise them to be productive and compassionate members of society.  But, I knew that it had to be on my terms, I had to be in the right relationship, a loving nurturing and healthy relationship with a partner I wanted to share the experience of raising a child with.  I knew that I NEVER wanted to have kids for the sake of having them, because that is what was expected of me.

Sadly, that relationship never came around.  As I got older, the need to procreate or the chime of my ‘biological’ clock seemed to diminish.  So now I find myself in my 40’s, single and still ‘barren’ a term used to  refer to women like me in the past; yeah charming.

Out of all of this, a bigger picture has come to light for me, why am I as a woman still being valued by not what I can cognitively contribute to society, but by what my uterus can reproduce or contribute?

In 2016, why are we still reducing women down to selective body parts?  Are we not a whole package that should be valued and respected as a complete entity?

I have value, not merely because what I can reproduce biologically but, by what I can contribute to society as a whole; intellectually, compassionately, selflessly and lovingly.

The comments that are STILL made to me to this day, “Are you sure?” , “Don’t you want to feel like a complete woman?”, “How will you ever feel fulfilled in your life?” are alarmingly mainly uttered by other women.

Why are we as women not rallying around the apparent need for personal choice?  Why do we even feel the need to comment when someone makes a life choice that differs from ours or just plain goes against the societal norm?

OK I will say it, I am selfish. I want to concentrate on me and what I need to be a better person, better daughter and better friend.  I want the freedom to pick up and travel anytime I want, have items in my home that are breakable and be OK with that.  I want the financial freedom to go on vacations, go out for dinners, sleep in and be frivolous if I choose.  I want, no I need to put myself first and I am not ashamed to admit that.

I like my life and having a child will completely derail that, and I shouldn’t be condemned because this is how I chose to live.

I have nieces, nephews and goddaughters that I have the privilege to interact with, bestow my life’s knowledge upon and more importantly love unconditionally.  But, at the end of the day they will go home with you and I will go home childless, and I am completely at peace with that.

Please don’t confuse this blog as a rant to condemn the virtues of Motherhood, because that couldn’t be further from the truth.  I respect and admire women who consciously make the life choice of motherhood.  Your selflessness, patience and dedication are something to be revered and admired.  All I am saying, is that this admiration and respect should also be bestowed on those like myself, who intrinsically know what they want out of life and what they want is a different path; a path without children.

So there you have it, I am a childless woman by choice, a decision I made with introspection and self awareness, so please stop asking when I am going to procreate and instead maybe ask me, how I am, what I have been up too or how I plan to contribute to society on my own terms?

Once again, thank you for taking the time to read my ramblings. I welcome your feedback.

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Until next time, love and light I send to all of you always,

Kindest regards,

Dina xxoo

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