One cannot assume every woman wanted children and that it is a reflection of her as a woman. I remember a woman telling me I was nothing and my life was simply not worth living if I choose to NOT have children of my own.
This declaration was made to me while I was checking a haircut the woman was having with one of my students. It came out of this woman’s mouth so readily and so easily that I was taken back. She was rather lucky that it was taking place in front of a student because I probably would have handled it much differently (that’s code for maybe I would have lost my verbal temper on her). Instead, I said, “It’s not for everybody”.
She did not let up, literally nagging me until I said it was really none of her business and that I could not have children. She added: “You could adopt”. All I did was walk away from her and her haircut. I did not want to see her again, nor could I handle hearing another word out of her mouth.
After, my student commended me on how pleasantly I behaved and how well I handled the “situation”. The fact is, it was not the first time or the last that someone “shamed” me for not having or wanting children.
The mentioned story took place in my mid to late ’30s however it has taken place in many forms over the years. Now, in my 50’s, people often ask if I have children. When I say no, there is often a look of sadness or pity. Sometimes I am asked “How many children do you have?” or “How old are your children?” This can be an awkward exchange between people who are having small talk while getting to know each other.
Asking someone without children “Why?” is not a great idea. When people ask me why I did not have children, unless I know them very well and consider them a friend, I will often make something up or say whatever comes to mind at the time which may not even be the reason. The question can leave someone feeling vulnerable and at times uncomfortable. Do not do it.
I am not writing this because I am hurting over not having children. It is a fact, I never wanted children, nor am I a fan of babies. I have always related to youth and young adults better. Getting to know my nieces and nephews is wonderful at any age, but I feel I have more to offer as an Aunty when they are older.
I often tell my clients the world has enough people to go goo goo for babies. I will be there when they are children or young adults. Not everyone who roams alone is lonely and not every woman wanted children.
Not everyone who roams alone is lonely and not every woman wanted children. Be aware of what you assume when talking to women, especially women over 50. Why do you assume we must be married or wanted to be, or that we must have or wanted children? And do not assume that because we did not want our own that we cannot help you raise yours. After all, we all know it takes a village to raise a child. A great Aunty can be a lot of help.
To all those mothers out there that love and care for their children, you are doing a wonderful thing. To all the other women out there, remember we are all thought of as mothers by someone. Collectively women are natural nurturers after all.
More articles by Cynthia Skabar Beauty Culture Queen