According to an article on Jezebel.com entitlted Women who choose to remain childless have lots of money and hardly a care in the world:
Lysol and Tollhouse cookie commercials are losing their ability to pressure women to have children, since it’s becoming quite obvious that childless women can enjoy disinfecting their marinara sauced counters and getting blazed with a bucket of cookie dough, too. The results of a new study published in the October issue of The Journal of Marriage and Family suggest that, while, women who choose to remain childfree in today’s groovy world of contraception feel more pressure to reproduce than other women without children, they aren’t distressed about their placid lifestyle of going to weekend matinees, drinking at their leisure, and watching premium cable, probably because doing all of those things = wonderful.
Study author Julia McQuillan, a University of Nebraska-Lincoln sociologist, explained that, though motherhood in the United States was all knotted up with adult femininity, women have little to absolutely no qualms about choosing not to be mothers (women who didn’t have children because of fertility issues were, unsurprisingly, significantly more distressed about being childless). Said McQuillan:
Motherhood is so highly connected with adult femininity in the United States that many women feel that they need to be mothers. Yet we also found that there are women who have low or no distress about not being mothers, even if their friends and family want them to have children.
In order to figure out that childless-by-choice women weren’t melting into puddles of unused genetic material in their well-appointed and mercifully clean homes, McQuillan and her colleagues surveyed 1,200 American women without children about their reasons for staying baby-free. Among some of the most common reasons women had for forgoing motherhood were a simple desire not to have kids, financial concerns, education or career demands, or the absence of a suitable partner. It was only when women themselves viewed motherhood as important that pressure from family, friends, or the child-hungry media caused them any distress.
Interestingly, the study found that religious women experienced less pressure from media images to have children, whereas their irreligious (let’s just say faithlessly pagan) counterparts were more susceptible to saccharine commercials for tear-free shampoo. Women who chose to remain childfree, however, have the last laugh — they have the most $$$$ of all the women in the study, probably because they’re not using it to feed the insidious infant paraphernalia industry.
And yet, if it is truly so wonderful, then why is there the need for this pricey workshop from Jody Day at Gateway Women?
A new one day workshop designed to kick-start your Plan B for a meaningful and fulfilling life without children.
So You Don’t Have Kids?…Now What! is for you if you’re:
- A woman who wanted to have children but it didn’t work out for some reason
- Frustrated with how you are treated, perceived and sidelined by mainstream society because you don’t have kids
- Damned if you know where your mojo went and where the hell to start looking for it!
- Worried about growing old alone without children
- Furious that you ‘did all the right things’ and have ‘ended up’ like this
- Not sure what to do next, but you know that you need to do something, and it probably isn’t to ‘just adopt’ or any of the other ‘advice’ you get given!
During our Sunday together you will:
- Unpick the assumptions that society has about motherhood (and non-motherhood) and let go of what doesn’t ‘fit’ you
- Learn to stop beating yourself up about all the ‘wrong choices’ you’ve made which may have contributed to you not having children, and begin viewing your situation in new and more helpful ways
- Discover the dreams and goals you had for your life before you became convinced that having a baby was the only thing that mattered
- Get your Plan B going for a future that rocks!!
- Meet a fantastic bunch of women who just happen not to be mothers and who ‘get’ how hard it can be to be childless in our mummy-mad world
How Much: £150 (Early bird of £95 if booked by 20th October)
What other participants have said:
Jody has really tapped into something very much of our time in her own unique way. While she acknowledges the grief and sadness, she also provides hope and dignity with a fresh slightly “rock chick” twist . She’s amazing, and her aspiration to help women all over the world to live rich and rewarding lives beyond childlessness is inspirational. (Miranda, 47)
Gateway Women is an absolute life-saver. Laughter and tears and finally a place where I’m understood (Amy, 40)
The only reason I didn’t crash and burn was because […] I discovered a group of women headed up by Jody herself who were to become a complete inspiration to me. (Josie, 46)
My take: The research study asked women about their reasons for remaining childfree, and no doubt there are some small number of women who prefer to remain childless and are contented. However, at present in the United States, one out of every four women ends her reproductive years without giving birth. The Jezebel article (and note that Jezebel is a feminist website) is heavy on the mother-shaming language, as if those of us with children must really be the miserable ones, drowning in lysol wipes, cookie crumbs, filth, and tears. The article is unabashedly anti-motherhood, and any young woman reading it will come away with the idea that she should be ashamed of her natural urge to have her own children. So, even though she’s not one of those relatively few women who truly desires to be childfree, she’ll plunge into her career, dilly-dally on her husband hunt, and end up shelling out $300 to attend a workshop to cope with her grief when she turns 45, looks around, and says, “Oh crap – what I reallywanted was children.” And then it will be too late.