Monday, September 17, 2018

A Woman's Choice - Is It Really?

They say reproductive rights are about a woman's choice, but are they really? I mean, I guess they are... till health issues, government regulations, societal pressures, God and a fallen world, etc get involved, but we don't focus on that, do we?

I read a few articles over the past week on an assortment of "women's issues" and they rocked my world. Some made me nod my head in agreement, some made me shake my fist in anger, some made me think about things from a totally new perspective. In case you haven't read them yourself, I wanted to share them, as well as a bit of my own personal story.


My hope in opening the curtain and letting you (and the rest of the InterWebs) into my private life is that it helps us all to understand and remember that everyone has their own journey... and it's THEIR JOURNEY... and that it's not our right or place to impose our opinions or preferences on others and try to force them into our ideals. NO MATTER WHAT!

The hubby and I have been married for over 10 years (we celebrated our anniversary in August) and together as a couple for over 15 years (we started dating our sophomore year of college, in September 2003). I knew for many-a-moons that kids would not be in the cards for me. The reasons are plentiful (not wanting to pass on health issues, enjoying freedom, not feeling a "call" from God, etc), but I knew my future spouse would also need to be on board. Ryan and I discussed this numerous times, at length, and after much careful consideration, are thankfully on the same page. Let me be clear - this was not a decision taken lightly (just as I hope the decision to have kids is not made willy-nilly). (Just in case you were wondering - he was never 'opposed' to children, thought "if it happened, that'd be cool", but once we dove into it he understood my point of view, which in turn became his perspective as well - but not because of any pressure I forced upon him... he arrived at the extremely personal decision for himself.) This may not be your path, but it is what works for us.

I am not here to ask for your approval or even understanding, just acknowledgement that this is OUR CHOICE! Kids are not for everyone. Couples are childless for many different reasons (whether it is their choice or not). Just because you don't fit into the cookie-cutter mold of the traditional "American family" does not mean you are 'wrong' or 'missing out' or 'selfish'. There may be an ideal out there that the natural progression in life is to find a spouse, settle down, have a family and die... but that doesn't mean it's the only way. Write your own story and live your own adventure!


Anywho, back to the articles I came across last week, with topics including abortion, childlessness and miscarriage. No matter what your personal feelings or experience with these topics, I hope you take a few minutes to read through the articles with an open mind. I'd love to hear your thoughts (as long as we can have a respectful discussion, of course)!

My Twitter Thread on Abortion by Design Mom

I do not want to get into my personal feelings on abortion (although I would be happy to discuss this with you at a different time), but this post was AMAZEBALLS! Gabrielle touches on some opinions that were extremely eye opening. As a society we are told that abortions are all about the women, but, in fact, Gabrielle's article suggests (which I absolutely agree with) that the issue is not with women... but with MEN (and, to be crude, irresponsible ejaculation)! Like I said, you may or may not agree with abortion (I would actually say this article isn't even focused on abortion - whether is is right or wrong, etc), but I hope you read this post. If there was ever a time to use the phrase "mic drop", it is after reading this.

Childless Aunts Are The Most Undervalued Women In America by Tin Nuo Chan

The title of this article drew me in immediately. We didn't decide against children because we hated them... we just knew they weren't right for us. With that said, we still have some amazing kids in our lives (in fact, we will become the legal guardians of our best friends' adopted children if anything happens to them). Even though I am secure with my decision on not having kids of my own, some comments people make still hurt... Phrases like "I never knew real love until I was a mother", "Now that I have kids my life has true meaning", "It's a mom thing, you wouldn't understand". Obviously I know people aren't necessarily saying these things to be insulting. And most folks who say these statements may truly believe them for themselves. But PLEASE take a moment and think about what you are essentially saying... Since I don't (and won't) have children, I must not know real love, have purpose in my life or have the capability to understand your life.

I thought this article was powerful. If you have childless women in your life, please do take an extra minute or two to think about what you are saying (and what they may be hearing). Whatever path the women in your life are on, PLEASE LOVE THEM, THANK THEM, PRAISE THEM FOR ALL THEY DO AND GIVE THEM AN EXTRA SQUENCH OR TWO! 

Our Loss is Not a Secret by Liberty and Ryan

One of my sweet friends recently went through a miscarriage and was brave enough to share her experience on a recent blog post. With miscarriage statistics being as they are - recording that 1 in 4 women will experience a miscarriage in her lifetime - you would think that this subject would be one that would be discussed more openly or frequently. Don't get me wrong, I totally understand that women (and men) have the right to keep personal matters private - but I pray that when we begin being more open with one another then the hurt and mourning can be shared as a community. We need women (and men) to know that although we might not know the right things to say or what to do to alleviate the pain they are going through, that we are there for them no matter what to help shoulder the burden of life with them!

You may call me a feminist, a liberal, a hippie, and who knows, I may be all of the above, but all I know is that I will continue to advocate for and fight on behalf of the rights and respect I believe EVERY SINGLE PERSON deserves!


Have you read any interesting articles lately?


Anonymous said...

Having children is completely a personal choice between you and your spouse. It sounds like you have decided what is right for you :)

Virjinia @ With Purpose and Kindness said...

I absolutely love this post and I can't wait to read these articles! My husband and I do not have children and it's not from a lack of trying. It's not in the card for us now and we are both okay with that. I like to think I'm a pretty calm person but one thing that drives me wild is when someone tells me "It's different when you have kids." As if my opinion doesn't matter because I don't have children! That's wild and will have me seeing red every time.

Debbie said...

Thank you Carlee for sharing your feelings and experiences. Having kids is a personal choice and it's nobody's business but your own. I didn't read the aunt story yet, but I had an amazing childless aunt when I was growing up. She actually claimed that she didn't like kids, but she loved me and my sisters and that was all that counted.

Chelsea B. said...

This was a great article you wrote and I cannot wait to read the links! We do not have kids. I really have no desire to have any. I am an Aunt and I do love my niece and nephew. I have also been called "selfish"/"do not know what love is" from family members before for my choices on children. Sometimes I wish people would take the elementary school teachings: if you do not have anything nice to say, do not say anything at all.

Sarah said...

Design, mind blown. Great article and very eye opening.

ma.runs.happy said...

This post has made my day. Thank you!
I'm 37, being with my partner since 14 years, not married, and we don't want children. I totally understand what you've written, because I have the same feelings! I don't know why, but also here in Italy where I live, if you don't have children your are only half of a woman. What if I'm not that kind of woman? I simply look after my friends' children, and I'm happy with that. Being a mom is not for me, well, not for us, I guess. ;)