Dear Sis: You Don’t Have To Choose Motherhood

Firstly, in honor of Mother’s Day, I want to salute all the mother’s today. To my mom, and all of the women who have contributed to my upbringing, thank you for all that you’ve done and continue to do for me.

At 31 years old (almost 32), I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had people ask me how many children I have, or why I’ve chosen not to have any at my age. And with each response, I have to reiterate that it is a choice and not mandatory. Unfortunately, we live in a society that forces motherhood on young women, and people try to make us feel like that birthing children and becoming a wife should be our number one priority. While yes, for some women it is. There are some of us who are uncertain that this is actually what we want, and who have just said NO, I’m OK with not having children. And that is OK. As we celebrate with the mother’s in our lives, and see all the pictures of the women we know and love on our timelines with their children, may we not succumb to pressures motherhood.

I wrote this letter to the young women who sometimes find themselves tossing the idea of motherhood around in their minds, but are not fully convinced. Those who have to remind their loved ones that motherhood is a choice that we are allowed to make, without having to worry about being looked down upon, ridiculed or made to feel less than the women who have decided to have children.

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Dear Sis,

Motherhood is a choice. Do not allow others to make you feel like it’s not. Put you first if you want to. Choose your career if you want to. Chase your dreams of you want to. Travel the world alone without a care in the world if you want to.

This is your body, and you have the right to decide what happens to it. Don’t let the judgment of others cause you to bring a child into this world that you may not be able to love fully because it’s not what you truly want. Never be afraid to let your lover know that to choose to be with you, is to choose you for you, not the possibility of birthing his children. Never have a baby in an attempt to keep a man. Because there is no guarantee he’ll stay anyway.

Let the people who try to lecture you about why this is a perceived selfish decision know that you are wise and intelligent enough to make your own choices. Let them know that you’re a grown ass woman who has decided to make the decisions best for you. That you will not be forced, bullied or made to feel less than because you chose a different path. If that makes you selfish, then say, so be it.

To the women who are uncertain, take as much time as you need to decide. It’s OK to not know the answer to the questions about motherhood. While your body has a limited number years to produce that egg, there are options. Options to freeze your eggs for later, surrogates and adoption. So, don’t let people pressure you to beat the clock. Because this is your body, and ultimately the decision to be a mother or not, is yours.

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