Resist The Societal Pressure To Become A Mother!

As time goes by, women feel the social pressure that reminds them at every moment of the tick-tock of the biological clock!

As time goes by, women feel the social pressure that reminds them at every moment of the tick-tock of the biological clock!

She got married early and was not keen to have children quickly. Her husband, a new entrepreneur, was not ready too. They were two friends who had rushed into commitment.

The love marriage, a result of a teenage infatuation, lacked warmth and intimacy. Unable to transition from the exciting life of romance to the routine existence of a marriage in a joint family lead to disillusionment for the young couple.

“Children are the best in the world.” This is a very true cliché, and it is a fact.

However, many women and men do not want to have children. My young friends did not want to be parents. There was no physical intimacy or even a desire to have a family. And it was their right to take that decision. But then, they were systematically looked down on, condemned and recriminated against by the family and general society.

Caving in family pressure!

Four years after marriage, she buckled and told herself – I must be a mother. He didn’t want but went along with her and his parent’s desire. His younger brother’s wife was already pregnant. So, they tried.

After consulting a doctor, she finally got pregnant. Delighted with the new child, two years was a busy breeze. And then, life was stressful again. The father was not ready and responsible enough. She was young and had been influenced by societal pressures to be a mother.

It was a disaster.

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Each one expected the other to take responsibility. All of them suffered. Bumbling along, they tried to fulfil their parental responsibilities through the years. Finally, after years of unhappiness, the couple separated when the child was in college.

Why do we expect everyone to follow a life path?

This incident made me think. Why do we as a society expect everyone to fall in line? Why can’t we accept people who make different choices? Everyone doesn’t need marriage, relationship, or motherhood to fit in. We are born different and that enriches our society.

Many women feel an enormous desire to be mothers and invest in children that fulfil them. These successful mothers are cherished by society, which understands their will and identifies with it, legitimizing the success of parenting.

Others do not feel this desire and decide consciously not to have children. They feel fulfilled in many other ways, and having a child makes no sense to them. But, unlike childbearing mothers, they do not feel accepted and understood by others.

Suddenly there is a biological clock ticking!

They hear criticism and derogatory comments and are often compelled to keep their way of thinking and feeling to themselves. And as time goes by, women feel the social pressure that reminds them at every moment of the tick-tock of the biological clock and the risks of later motherhood.

Not infrequently, these women experience an internal conflict – doing what makes sense to them with what they want versus giving in to social pressure, which dictates the rules of “study, get married and have children“.

The pressure is sometimes too overwhelming, which potentiates feelings of guilt and stigmatization, leading these women to question the extent to which they differ from those around them.

Being a mother does not only imply satisfying life’s most basic needs. Sensitive and responsive mothers, capable of recognizing and meeting all the child’s needs, are important and appreciated. It is essential that there is an internal motivation for adults to have children, and it should not be based solely on trying to meet society’s expectations.

Don’t bring children without the motivation to support your parental desires!

In other words, in the absence of real motivation and desire to be a parent, like in the case of my friends, it is preferable not to become a parent just for the sake of having a child. These children grow up in an unfavourable context. And the parents find themselves trapped in an unwanted, unhappy and non-rewarding reality.

It is fundamental to recognize that wanting, or not, to be a mother is a right that belongs to each one of us. It is a legitimate right that must be respected. Therefore, let’s put an end to destructive criticism, blaming and almost marginalization of those who prefer to say “no” to motherhood.

My friends would have evolved into a happier couple by finding their authentic selves instead of getting sucked into parenthood and its pressures which left them struggling, unhappy, and constantly adjusting to fulfil expectations. We must leave people alone to make their own respective choices and accept their different way of life.

Image source: FGTrade, via Getty Images, free and edited on CanvaPro

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About the Author

Bindiya Bedi Charan Noronha

Bindiya is a linguist and works for a diplomatic mission in New Delhi. She is a published author, reluctant poet, passionate bibliotherapist and a happiness harbinger. Her heart beats in her community-building volunteer organization - “ read more...

37 Posts | 87,648 Views

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