The Great Baby Debate
The Great Baby Debate
There is a vast array of opinions when it comes to the discussing babies. Many cultures still today expect women to have children, an opinion on the matter is not even asked for it is expected that women want to have, and will have, children. What about the opinions of women today? Do we know what we want?
Many of us have thought about it and opinion is ultimately divided. Don’t want, Can’t have, Desperate to avoid; can there be any topic more diverse than children?
“So, when are you thinking of having kids?” As personal questions go, this really is the worst. But, once you are married or happily settled in a long term partnership, it’s the one question that everyone feels they have the right to ask. The subject of having babies has become one of the most incendiary topics for women of a certain age. Statistics say that, on average, women in the UK become mothers at 30, but it is a little more complex than that.
To make matters worse, women are judged on this very personal decision – not wanting children is viewed as selfish or ruthlessly ambitious. Whereas on the other hand happy mothers who speak about their love of children are seen as smug, boring and unambitious. According to this if you have made your decision either way, you just can’t find approval anywhere.
But, what about the women that are not sure? There are plenty of them and no stereotype really captures the truth. Stylist asked these women to write in and discuss their views. Opinions ranged from “Thank you for representing different views” to “Can’t we stop judging each other?” to “You’ve left out a group of women who are ambivalent over motherhood”. However, one woman, Laura Potts from Leeds, contacted Stylist asking “Where were the women who haven’t made up her mind? I would have written something that would have resonated with countless women.”
In her letter Laura describes how the first time one of her friends let her hold her baby daughter she remembered feeling like “her big baby eyes were staring into [her] soul”, however she did not feel the “lightning bolt that women are told they’ll feel when faced with a small human.” When another friend fell pregnant 18 months later, Laura was shocked at watching her body change and the “alien-like image of a baby’s foot pushing against her expanding stomach” never quite left her.
Laura‘s view represents that of a lot of women today: why should women know if they want children and why should society put unnecessary pressure on women to have children? This cultural norm needs to change: men do not get asked when they are having children or if they even want children, so why should women?
By breaking these norms society as a whole will break the gender divide and move forward together in a world with greater equality for both sexes.
Nina is in her Honours year at The University of Strathclyde in Glasgow studying History. She loves keeping fit and healthy at the gym and singing to her hearts content. Because of Nina's love of all things history related, she has a passion for reading, writing and researching. Nina is the Editor-in-Chief for an online magazine for female students at Strathclyde called Her Campus Strath and wants to continue her passion for writing after graduation.