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What Do You Mean You Don’t Want Kids?

A topic that has been mooted over the last few days surrounds the subject of women who don’t have children. Following an article which featured an interview with Scotland’s First Minister; Nicola Sturgeon, The Sunday Times came in for a barrage of criticism because alongside the interview in which Ms Sturgeon talked openly about a miscarriage she had, the paper, perhaps rather ill advised, decided to display a list of childless politicians who were all women.

The sad thing about this is the fact that Nicola Sturgeon raising awareness of miscarriage has now been marred by The Sunday Times trying to making a cheap point about ‘barren women’.

Following this, the daytime television programme This Morning conducted a phone in, whereby they asked “Should women who don’t have children explain themselves”.

Explain themselves to whom I questioned?

Who exactly has a woman who has taken the decision not to have children justify themselves to? Their friends? Family? The general public?

Big fat hairy bollocks to that.

Having a child is a choice not an obligation.  Just because someone was born into this world as a woman it does not automatically mean they have to reproduce.

There are so many options out there to women these days that don’t just extend to having a family. In an era where we have our second female Prime Minister and the next President of The United States could well be Hilary Clinton, now more than ever, the world is a woman’s oyster.  The opportunities can be endless.  Calling a woman out for her remaining childless is as offensive as it is ridiculous.

I often think, when it comes to societal pressure, us women can’t do right for doing wrong.

Focused on your career?  You selfish megalomaniac, I bet you’re a right bitch.

Stay at home Mum?  You’re lazy and bone idle. I’m probably paying for you to watch Jeremy Kyle all day.

Working Mum?  You can’t have it all, something has to give.

No matter what we do, we’re judged. Open to criticism.  Our lives seemingly up for discussion.

And I’ve had enough of it.

Life is bloody difficult. Being a Mum is bloody difficult.  Sometimes just getting out of bed in the morning is bloody difficult.  But we stick a smile on our tired faces and go about our day as best we can.   Ensuring the plates we’re trying to spin are always kept afloat, that everyone around us is content and happy.   So, why are we so quick to berate one another?  Why are the media so intent on bashing us women for the way we live our lives?

It’s not just the subject of women not having children which seems to get the media in a tizz, it’s often the way we look, our relationships, even down to the choice of clothes that we wear.

The Daily Mail (or The Daily Fail as it’s affectionately referred to as) is the absolute worse for this. The ‘writers’ behind the Sidebar of Shame just can’t help themselves.

‘Bikini clad Jennifer Aniston shows off her incredible gym honed figure’.

How about, Mail Online, she’s just sat on the beach in a bikini like millions of other women across the world. Where’s the showing off?  Is she stood there with a placard round her neck saying “LOOK AT MY BODY, ISN’T IT AMAZING?” No, she isn’t, now fuck off.

“Kourtney Kardashian flaunts her curves in tight crop top”

Where’s the flaunting? She’s wearing clothes, whilst walking down the street. Just like I do on a daily basis.

Gigi Hadid flashes her impossibly flat stomach in tiny crop top while teasing her toned legs in slit trousers”

Impossibly flat. How can it be impossibly flat, when it is flat?  What a ridiculous headline.  And teasing her toned legs?  She’s stuck a pair of trousers on which happen to show a bit of leg.  Who is she teasing you absolute morons?

“Kelly Brook shows off her perky assets in low cut yellow top”

To be honest, I’ve stuck this one in here because if there’s 2 words that incite a rage within me then it’s perky and assets. They’re boobs and while we know they’re big is she really showing them off?  What’s she meant to do?  Meander about the place with a roll neck top in the height of summer?  Please.

So, with all this mind. With the fact that we’re berated if we have no children, condemned if we have 4, chastised if we happen to wear a slightly low cut top, I’m throwing my hands up in the air and saying fuck it.  Fuck the media.  Fuck society’s pressures and fuck the opinions of those who don’t matter.

I’m living my life just the way I want to and I could not give a rat’s backside if that doesn’t fit in with what is deemed right or appropriate.  If what I do, if the decisions I make offend you then look away.   Nothing to see here.

middle finger

 

This Post Has 106 Comments

  1. I love this and I love it when you’re angry which I’m starting to learn it a lot 🙂 keep it coming

  2. This post is amazing! I actually had a similar conversation the other day with my mother after she said she would have been out to visit me if I had children (I live in Australia, she lives in the US). This is so spot on. Great job!

    Stephanie
    Adventures in Aussieland

  3. Claire

    I love this. I love you, seriously, I may just be your newest fan girl! This post is powerful and so. fucking. spot. on. Thank you so much for articulating the feeling of rage and disappointment I get every time i try to read the news. Which probably explains why I just don’t bother anymore. xx #eatsleepblogrt

  4. Unless men are also quizzed on why they don’t want children, studied if they gain or lose weight, scrutinised over their beachwear then the topic is entirely irrelevant. The media needs to grow up.

  5. James

    As a 37 yr old guy I get grief for not having kids yet. It’s not that I don’t want them, it’s just that I’ve not found anyone to have them with! I think conformity dictates that if you’re a woman and haven’t had kids by the time you’re 35 you’re “body clock is ticking”, and as a bloke at the same age, you are destined to have the inevitable conversation at parties along the lines of “have you just been focusing on your career?!”. I’m 37 not 90! There’s still time. This is a frustrating topic for both women and men…….

  6. Great post! Why should women have to justify themselves? I don’t see the papers clamouring for the male politicians without children to justify themselves. Bringing children into the world is a huge decision, certainly not one to be taken lightly. Every person, male and female, has a right to decide how they want to live their lives. For some that may be having children, for others it will be not. Some people are not able to have children. The media needs to get over this constant obsession with delving into private lives and actually get back to reporting newsworthy stories. #MarvMondays

  7. *Gives virtual high five* Loved this! I can’t believe This Morning even thought “should women have to explain themselves for not having kids” was a question. Should men? I summon George Clooney to explain himself to the nation! Utterly ridiculous. #bigpinklink

  8. This made me laugh out loud! Absolutely hilarious but also completely true!! It’s shameful the way in which the media portray these women who don’t want children, and just women in general to be honest! Great post, off to share it! #dreamteam

  9. Aidan

    Surely Rachel gets picked up by the media soon
    She’s like a nicer version of Katie Hopkins.
    “Big Fat Hairy Bollocks” is perhaps a little OTT! But no girl has to explain not having children yet. Women have them later in life too, look at “Our Rach”!! I’ll regret that sarcastic comment. I have friends who are 36 like me and they aren’t too concerned with their eggs and bits and they’ll meet someone special soon or maybe they’ll just be happy a single lady or maybe they’ll have a partner or husband, but no kids or adopt later in life or are gay (heaven forbid)
    Also a girl in a bikini wow. I’ve seen a thousand on fifteen summer holidays abroad. It is shocking and sooo arrogant to get into a bikini as a girl . Em not.
    Rachel speaks a lot of sense,
    I bet she becomes a celeb
    I’d like to see her on Gogglebox, but the Bristol accent lol
    PS yes it is hard to get up some mornings and life can be a fuckinj giant pain in the arse (Irish for bum
    Rachel)
    Keep up the good work
    It’s a pity your blogs cannot drop into my inbox is my only criticism!!

    Aidan
    Fan

  10. nadine

    This was one of those posts when I speak to my screen ” Omg yes” “omg Yes” but this line “Impossibly flat. How can it be impossibly flat, when it is flat?” made me snort, clap and say OMG YESSSS! brill post #bigpinklink

  11. A fantastic piece of writing. Your blog Rach is a breathe of fresh air. My older sis is 39 and keeps getting told all the time your body clock is ticking away. But she has a hugely successful career and loves it. Why should she abide to others opinions?

    Thnks for linking up to #EatSleepBlogRT

  12. I know!! Right?! Honestly the media are complete idiots to women, they only do it because it sells. Men don’t get any of this crap. You’re right if we can’t win then we may as well say to hell with it and do whatever we want, behave the way we want and wear what we want! Oooo I feel all riled now! Haha xx

  13. Harriet

    Hear hear! Couldn’t agree more! I think it’s shocking how women, especially those in the media, are treated. Some of the questions posed to athletes, politicians, singers etc would NEVER be asked to their male counterparts. Honestly, isn’t it time it all stopped? #bloggerclubuk

  14. Oh my god yes to all of this. It absolutely is a choice to have a child. When I left my job, my boss (who I always didn’t like that much and he knew it) congratulated me wholeheartedly and said there is nothing better than raising a family. It made me angry after months of sexist dismissive remarks in meetings, that he was now so happy for me…like my place was as a housewife. Now I am interviewing to go back to work and couldn’t be happier – it might be a struggle to have it all but it’s my choice and my life. Fantastic post as always xx #eatsleepblogrt

  15. Claire

    Nicely said! Ive had to defend my position as a woman who has chosen not to have children to all sorts of people from complete strangers to consultants at the hospital (I kid you not). Nobody should have to defend their life choices ever. This is a great post!

  16. Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!!!!!
    You have hit the nail on the head. What I do with my life is my choice. If you dont know me then fuck off. If you do know me you can still fuck off unless my decisions directly impact on your life (and then I may discuss it with you)
    #bestandworst

  17. Kerry

    I stopped reading newspapers and glossy magazines years ago for this exact reason! The journalism in this country is shockingly awful at times. Us mamas need to stick together! #SharingtheBlogLove

  18. Laura

    Hear hear! I couldn’t agree more, Rach. The press is bloody ridiculous in the way it portrays women at times xx #eatsleepblogrt

  19. “Should women who don’t have children explain themselves”.

    Oh my god. It’s utterly unbelievable isn’t it. Why not have a phone in called “should people who don’t drink tea explain themselves”, it would be just as stupid and pointless. Last time I checked a woman wasn’t required to have a child. It’s worrying. I wouldn’t bat an eye lid if ,y daughter grew up to have no children or several, no one’s business but hers.

    #coolmumclub

  20. Ahahaha I am guilty of occasionally reading the Daily Fail and their ‘go-to-words-to-describe-a-woman’s-body’ are hilarious. ‘Her peachy posterior’ ‘showed off her ample assets’ ‘her famous curves’ ‘flaunted her enviable derriere’ are among the regulars. Oh and every female is also a model. They could be writing an article about Miss Trunchbull and they would call her a former model. Love your post!
    #coolmumclub

  21. Talya

    Amen to that! Never a truer word said in rage. You are saying what all us yellowbellies are too polite to come and and say. More ranting please! Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub lovely.

  22. Your posts are so passionate it’s impossible not to get carried away with the injustice of it all. We all have the right to live our life as we see fit and it is unfortunate that those in the public eye come under such scrutiny in a way we could never imagine. Carry on raging! #coolmumclub

  23. Great post – why the media thinks its acceptable to keep up a running commentary on women I just don’t know. Its like a huge witch hunt all the time. Who else can they hang out to dry for their choice, their clothes or their lives. It is so wrong. I agree with you, if you don’t like how I live my life feel free to look away now… #EatSleepBlogRT

  24. Okay I am actually applauding you! Yes, Yes and Yes! We can never win! I don’t understand why people in general feel the need to comment on others anyway! Each to their own in whatever choice people make. Leave them be.

    Amina xx #coolmumclub

  25. Yes! I couldn’t agree more or rant more! Nobody should ever have to justify themselves or anything they choose to do or not to do! Thank you for sharing with #bigpinklink xx

  26. Fab post. So many people are too bloody opinionated when it actually has bugger all to do with them. I saw This Morning too and a lady called selfish for both having kids when the truth was she wasn’t able to. People want to keep their opinions to themselves when they don’t know the full story! The dm has me in stitches with people showing off their “washboard abs” when there’s none in sight or “embracing their curves” cue the workout dvd! #effitfriday

  27. Claire

    I love this! You’re so right, i always laugh to myself at Daily Mail headlines! #pocolo

  28. This is all so true! There is no need to justify why a woman doesn’t have children. And nor should they be asked to! For all anyone knows all they wanted were children but they suffered miscarriage after miscarriage. How painful for any person to have to talk about that just because some arse of a journalist feels it is their right to ask. Of course even not in this instance if someone doesn’t want children then how is that not ok?
    Well said! Live and let live.
    #BloggerClubUK

  29. The media is so unfair on women and I’m so glad you’ve written this to stand up for women in society. We should be able to make our own decisions about how to live our lives #PoCoLo

  30. Flipping love it Rach!! Great post, written exactly how it should be and I agree with you! Thanks for linking up #bestandworst

  31. LOL right on! I love your ending, because it’s so true. So many people are incredibly judgey, but if they have a problem.. they should walk on by. Thank you for linking up to the #DreamTeam

  32. The Daily Mail is one of the worst examples I’ve ever seen with how it writes about women – either woman are ‘flaunting themselves’ or they’ve ‘let themselves go’. It seems there is no middle ground! I’d like to think that we are moving to a society that judges women less – I think it’s coming slowly (very slowly!) Thanks so much for joining us again at #SharingtheBlogLove

  33. I realised a little while ago that women just cant win. Whatever we do, whatever we decide about how to live our lives, it will always be under scrutiny as far as the media are concerned, so now I just ignore those stupid headlines and conversations. As long as youre happy, who cares what anyone else thinks, especially the british media for one! Great to have you join #MarvMondays, thanks for lniking up. Emily

  34. Emma T

    I totally agree with what you say. Men don’t seem to have the equivalent hassle and judgement that women do in the press. You;d think they’d have some other worthy news to report on.
    #pocolo

  35. Popping back from #chucklemums and so glad I had reason to read this post again, I love it! The Daily Mail Sidebar of Shame is rage-inducing.

  36. I missed this ST article but it sounds interesting. As a ‘writer’ for the DM side bar of shame though I would point out I’m ‘just’ a mum trying to keep all those plates spinning and doing my job – getting people clicking – to put food on the table… #coolmumclub

  37. Yes, I read the ST article and tbh couldn’t get my head around all the crap that came out around Nicola Sturgeon talking about her miscarriage. The press doesn’t need an excuse to come up with a load of bullshit, but there seemed to be so many crap angles put on the aftermath of this story, that I must admit, I switched off from it. Your post reminded me – brilliantly – what a load of shite is regularly spewed about women. A great rant. Alison x #chucklemums

  38. The daily mail are the worst for the way talk about women. I really hope that changes over time because I can’t even bear to read any of there articles. Thank you for joining us at #sharingthebloglove X

  39. Suzanne

    OMG I can’t believe that This Morning did that phone in. What a pile of wank. It is so exhausting having to be everything to everyone all the time. How about we just accept that all women are individuals and so even if we make the same choices we still embrace them differently? #chucklemums

  40. Yay I love Ranty Rach! “Impossibly flat” also riles me to buggery. What, do you think it’s optical illusion trickery, Mr Journo? Is it any wonder half of us women feel like shite? Great post – thanks for linking up to #Chucklemums xx

  41. I have a wonderful friend who has chosen not to have children. She has been accused of being selfish. She also doesn’t work. Well you can imagine what comes next – why not? That’s not the media though it’s the general public. #PoCoLo

  42. Bravo. I can’t read the Daily Fail sidebar of shame any more as it makes me rage. People are either gaunt or curvy (code for FATTY FATTY BOOM BOOM) and while yes, some of these people do court the media, they don’t deserve to have these shitheads judge them EVERYTHING THEY DO. #chucklemums

  43. I bloody love this!!!!! You’re so right, women just can’t win in the media at all. I’ve never seen a headline about what a male celebrity is flaunting (except the Orlando Bloom dong reporting!!) and don’t even get me started on the olympics reporting of female athletes! Thanks for popping your #effitfriday cherry!

  44. Yes yes yes! Love this post and thank you for writing it finally someone says what I think every time someone questions my life choices. If I could high five you right now I would!

  45. Amie

    I totally agree, it’s a persons own choice if they have children or not and society has too much to say about it and is far too into everybody else’s business!

  46. Emily

    Too bloody right! Well said! Thanks for linking up! #ThatFridayLinky

  47. So true, at every level. It’s also seen as ok for family and friends (sometimes strangers) to ask a married couple when they’re having kids. None of their business, as they may not even want them. Puts unfair pressure on having children.
    #Brillblogposts

  48. Nige

    Fantastic post totally spot on love it when you get angry a must read Thanks for linking to the #THAT FRIDAY LINKY come back next week please

  49. Lucy

    Well done Rach another well written blog! Thougourly enjoyed it and raised a very good point xx

  50. Being a parent is HUGE lifestyle decision. Not to mention a HUGE commitment.
    It is a personal decision and people should mind their own business!
    #thatfridaylinky

  51. Briony

    Spot on. No one should have to justify any of their life choices. And the mail, well, what can you say. #stayclassymama

  52. What a freaking brilliant post! I couldn’t agree more… the Daily Mail online drives me insane with all its sexist smutty headlines (but I’m still guilty of reading it – hoping to find the odd piece of news!). I’m a 41 year old childless woman. Although we tried to have kids for years, we came to the conclusion that it just wasn’t going to happen so we moved on and we’re really happy, but I hate being judged for not having any! Even if we’d chosen NOT to have them in the first place, why should I have to explain myself to anyone?
    Seriously, great post! Love it.
    Suzy x
    http://www.suzyturner.com

  53. Tubbs

    You have obviously bugged our office as we were having exactly the same conversation over lunch whilst I was making rude signs at the sidebar of shame. Brilliant!

  54. Wow! So spot on, I was cheering your every word! I love this and agree — FUCK THE MEDIA! #stayclassymama You go girl, and bring us along! <3

  55. Love this! Completely agree. Women are berated one way or the other so I’m just going to say fuck them I am ME and I can do whatever I want, kid or no kid. Thanks for sharing with #StayClassyMama!

  56. If only we lived in an alternate reality in which Hillary was President.. I’m so sick of misogyny in the media. I blame advertising for a lot of it because a lot of what they put in your face tells people that it’s okay to objectify women all the time. Or in ads for household products, it’s always women who are doing the housework. I agree wholeheartedly with your middle finger. #globalblogging

  57. Hubster and I skipped kids…you’d think we were the first humans to ever do so!!! #GlobalBlogging

  58. Great post. Why on earth should anyone have to justify themselves to others? thanks for a passionate, well written post.
    #Globalblogging

  59. Oh Rach, you’ve hit the nail on the head here. We are who we are, sometimes by choice and sometimes not by choice but it’s nobody else’s business except our own. Women are so often objectified it’s disgusting x
    #GlobalBlogging

  60. Anne

    I’ll never understand why people are always so judgemental.
    #GlobalBloggingg

  61. Tubbs

    Too blooming right. We make the best of what we’ve been given and just get on with it. Howe we do that is no one’s business.

  62. Mainy

    Well said! There’s no way we seem to get it right in some people’s eyes.
    Mainy
    #globalblogging

  63. The trouble is, no matter what you do as a woman, the Daily Fail is going to find a reason to be up in arms about you. Having worked in the media, I wish all the best angles could be about hailing the achievements and not scrutinising the weak points. I think the blogging world can be like the antidote. Because bloggers do pay each other on the back and offer support. #GlobalBlogging

  64. Katy

    I didn’t think this was possible, but the British media seems way worse than the US media. It’s all spin and click bait these days. We women know the truth! We are all wonder women. 🙂

    #globalblogging

  65. Mail Online is the worst. Always try to avoid reading any of their articles, they manage to piss me off every time I read one. #globalblogging

  66. Nige

    This is spot on women shouldn’t and don’t need to justify themselves love your rants you say it so well thanks for hosting #globalblogging

  67. Right again. It’s ridiculous. My sister (18 months younger than me) is unmarried, childless, living the single life in London and NO ONE from our little one-horse town in Africa gets it. They think there is something ‘wrong’ that she hasn’t found the one, and had 2 kids already. It makes me so mad. It’s her choice. Better she made the right choices than settle for less than she deserves. And surely someone’s service to their country as a politician is worthy enough that they don’t have to justify anything to anyone. The media are so screwed in how they portray life and most people don’t even realise it, they just accept it, like sheep.
    #globalblogging

  68. Pen

    Brilliant. I love your rant. You are so right. Why are men not judged in the same way that women are? That’s what makes me really angry. Anyway, thanks for the great read. Pen x #globalblogging

  69. People should stop judging each other and focus on being better people themselves and raising the next generation to care less about appearance and material goods #globalblogging

  70. Love every single thing you say here, and it just depresses me that my daughters are in a world where this kind of drivvel about women still appears in the papers. Why on earth should we have to justify ourselves to anyone, EVER? And it’s just pathetic that women are being highlighted still for what they’re wearing, and their ‘impossibly flat stomachs’..ridic. #globalblogging

  71. One of your best rants so far. Spot on. The discussion of the role of women and their portrayal in society I feel will be going on for centuries as we continue to battle against narrow minds. Thanks for a great post. #global blogging

  72. Brilliant! So true, women shouldn’t have to justify their choices on children, clothes etc to anyone. Well written. #satsesh

  73. Berni

    Rach! Thank goodness for #thesatsesh so I could find you . THIS BLOG IS FABULOUS . Fuck the lot of them I say! Life is and we should just enjoy living it not try and find fault in everyone else. Dare to be you.

  74. Yes! Women certainly shouldn’t have to explain their decisions about having children or not having children. And you’re right – the media certainly doesn’t help with this issue. #thesatsesh

  75. I think the media literally does it to piss us off. They want a bunch of ragey comments to get people reading and talking about them. I’d love it if everyone just point blank refused to click on or mention any of those articles. They would soon die a death through lack of engagement. I want to know who actually reads them for enjoyment rather than just horrified curiosity! #thesatsesh

  76. Sumra

    Absolutely. It needs to be said, over and over again until we see some change. #thesatsesh

  77. Totally agree! Everyone should mind their own business you never know what other people are going through #coolmumclub

  78. Talya

    You are so right as women we can’t do right nor wrong! I have no idea why people feel the need to pass judgement on us for whatever we do…. well said Rach! Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub xoxo

  79. Perfectly put! We live in a society of nosey buggers who think they have the right to judge and know everything when that just isn’t the case at all. #Coolmumclub

  80. MMT

    “Our Rach shows off her impeccable literary assets with another on point blog post”

    High Five Rach

    #CoolMumClub

  81. Yay to this! As a constantly shattered mum of two children, one of whom has a chronic illness I totally get why someone might not want to have kids. But this whole thing drives me crazy because how do they know the women they are talking about didn’t want to have kids? Maybe very painfully they haven’t been able to?? These papers and people know nothing about what these women have going on in their lives. Did they want kids, have they wanted them and now made peace with the fact that they can’t. They may not want them at all and know it’s best for them and everyone concerned. I really dislike the idea that this is all women are here for and that there is something wrong with you if you don’t. You are surely a better parent if you only have children when you really want them. Parenting is a tough gig and there many difficult moments that you would resent if you made the choice because society expected it of you. Must stop ranting! #coolmumclub

  82. You’re damned if you do & you’re damned if you don’t…that said, as a ‘writer’ who has been behind the Mail’s sidebar of shame in the past, I can’t tell you the pressure behind the scenes to produce a story out of nothing, and use certain keywords to get clicks #coolmumclub

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