Saadia's Side: Motherhood is Not Meant For All Women
Think Pieces

Saadia's Side: Motherhood is Not Meant For All Women

Women have been programmed that motherhood completes them. The reality is otherwise

It was only a few hours ago when I wrote a piece about some famous and successful Hollywood celebrities who decided not to have children. To be honest, I did not intend to plug that article but we cannot go on without looking backwards. Before we go on to the story, it is important to tell you what led me here. Although the story dates back way longer, let us only speak about the trigger which led to writing the piece you have decided to read and I inetnd to write right now. We all need a sense of purpose; be it of the existence or of doing.

Women have been taught that their sole purpose of existence is to procreation

There are times when research can also be as enriching as creativity. Going through the lives of these successful and free-spirited people like Jennifer Aniston, Oprah Winfrey, Cameron Diaz, and many others made me realize the fault in our stars and the way of thinking. For generations, women have been taught and programmed that their sole purpose of existence is to procreation; to bring another soul to this world. Since childhood, young girls play with dolls and play their mothers feeding them milk and changing their clothes.

All these young girls grow up believing that one day they all have to become mothers to real-life babies and not just dolls. They all dream of getting married one day and making babies who would ‘complete’ them. This thought baffled me for a long period of time until I realized that it was the fodder of patriarchy to make the women believe that they had no other purpose of life.

Women believe that children will bring a sense of security in their marriage

In the patriarchal societies, women are also made to believe that children will secure their marriage and bring stability to their relationship with their husbands. For that matter, having male children has also been considered a sense of pride for the mothers because it is assumed that the mother of sons was superior and stronger than she who had daughters.

Children in general and sons in particular bring the expected stability to marriage and hence the breadwinner or the man of the house will never be able to leave his wife. Since the pursuit of marriage has always been considered the sense of security, women have been made to believe that children do not only bring fulfilment but also secure the mother’s position in a particular house.

Sometimes, the only incentive of bringing a child to this world is to end ‘boredom’

In some cases, where the households are considered to be a little less typical, couples are made to believe that children will bring the much needed ‘joy’ to the family which would in turn help finishing boredom. Yes, you heard and read it right. If you are getting bored and need activity, do not get a hobby or pet. Just reproduce a living human. It is as simple as that.

Children are considered a retirement plan

Another reason for making children in abundance is also the notion that they will take care of their parents in old age. This is even more ironic as the parents already decide they would depend on others and there is no one better than your own children whom you can always shame and keep in guilt by reminding them of what you did for them when they were little.

Are you sure this DNA needs to be carried forward?

Sometimes it is about carrying the family lineage and one wonders if most of the genes around us are even worth carrying forward in future generations.

I have some questions

It also seems logically incomprehensible. Don’t you think that if the only purpose of a woman’s existence was becoming a mother all women would have been mothers and there would have existed no childless woman in the world? Had God intended this to be the sole purpose of a woman’s life, he obviously did not create many women who did not have children without a reason. If motherhood came naturally to all women, why are there examples of women who abandon their children to follow their other priorities?

It was Jennifer Aniston’s views that made me realize that completion is simply an illusion. If a person is not complete within, how can another soul bring that sense of fulfilment to her?

If children bring secures a marriage, why do people with children still get divorced?

Why do not you find more productive and not just reproductive way to kill boredom?

Maybe these Hollywood celebrities discovered the truth 

Probably these Hollywood celebrities worked towards building their independent life breaking themselves free of any shackles of the stereotype. Also, many of them were self-aware to realize that they did not need a child to complete themselves and also did not consider themselves capable enough of raising one. Maybe we never realized what these people did. Maybe to us producing a child is still for selfish reasons while accusing those who do not want to have children of being self-centred.

Maybe the society never thought beyond it or experienced the joys and fulfilment that one could bring in life without having children too. It is hard for people to even imagine the lives of childfree people and the freedom they experience on different levels. Seeing is believing and we rarely come across people who dared to be free of the already strong shackles. Our toxic programming and the complete inability to think will take us nowhere. Please write this on a stamp paper and get it framed for the future reference.

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By Saadia Ahmed
Saadia Ahmed is a Bollywood and cheesecake fanatic with no obvious interest in space travel. She tweets @khwamkhwah day in and out