As young as five years old, I understood without real understanding that when I grew into a woman I would someday, inevitably, become a mother.
As a little girl, I semi-regularly played the game of House with a friend who lived in the next apartment building, and we’d choose our roles before each game: Husband or Wife. We took for granted that choosing Wife also meant playing the role of a mother.
I happen to agree that people who don’t want children should not have them. I’m delighted to wish you well on whatever road you take, but I do find myself stopping mid hand-wave and asking this question: Really?
How can you be so sure? I think having kids is one of those things you should probably never say never about.
I was visiting my childhood friend, now a mother, when dinner time arrived. She squirted ketchup onto her daughter’s plate and then her son’s. And then mine. I looked at it.
She immediately recognized her mistake and laughed. She knew I could squirt my own ketchup, she said, but she was just so used to doing it… She apologized (still laughing) for overstepping her role as “mother” by inadvertently mothering me.
Where my friend excelled is where many other women, such as Kathleen Parker in her column “Of pleasure and parenthood,” fail miserably. They overstep their role as mother by saying things, as Parker did, such as, “It’s hard to know for certain that one doesn’t want children. Many don’t, until they do.”
I’m one of those people who watches one reality murder show or another every night. I fall asleep to them – Dateline, 20/20, Evil Lives Here… Anything but woman-centric murder shows with titles like Murdering Moms or Twisted Sisters, or something. Probably because the “who” of the “whodunit” is right there in the title. Also probably because they’re produced in such a way that they’re stupid.
Whether people should need a license to have children isn’t a new conversation. In 1980, Hugh LaFollette, Marie E. and Leslie Cole Emeritus Professor in Ethics at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg and Editor-in-Chief of the International Encyclopedia of Ethics, argued in favor of licensing parents because, in short,
I’ve been a SAHW(riter) for a few years. I’m also an introvert who’s made a regular practice of avoiding groups whenever possible. Aside from the unpleasant necessity of distancing from my husband (he travels & interacts in close-ish quarters with others) and avoiding people now not because I don’t want to be around them but because they’re all potential contaminants, my movements haven’t felt notably restricted. But even with little change in that regard, there have been some differences since self-isolation / social distancing began that I’m really enjoying.