I remember the quote, “You’ll never regret having children, but you may regret not having them.” I thought of that when I read an article in the March issue of Bazaar magazine called “Opting Out of Motherhood.” The author, Meghan Daum, had concluded that children were not something she pined for. She preferred the calmness of drinking her coffee while listening to the birds chirp. How come I hadn’t foreseen that my coffee moments would be in the car driving my children here, there, and everywhere? Had I not given thought to what I’d someday sacrifice? We are fortunate to have the choice whether to reproduce or not. The author remarked how there were many times to doubt herself for not having children, but at her present age, she no longer had an option.
Do I think she’s missed out? I’m not sure. Having children is a very personal decision. I don’t look down upon women who don’t have children as “selfish.” Rather, I see them as selfless. It takes a lot of courage to say no to societal pressure. Imagine having so much conviction in your belief that you won’t have a child “just to make sure you haven’t missed out on anything.” Kudos to those who knew their limitations and opted out of procreating.
For me, I’m thankful I have children as they’ve enriched my life and challenged me daily with their very full personalities. Some days, in fact, they are so challenging that I completely understand the foresight not to have children. On this Mother’s Day, I salute all women, those who have children and those who have chosen to contribute to society in other ways. May we all be grateful for the decisions we’ve made. Happy Mother’s Day!