Throughout history, women who have decided to not have children have been shunned, pressured and criticized by society. This is a new era though, and the decision to not have children isn’t so black and white. These 10 reasons why the blame should stop being placed on women just about sums it up.

1. For too long, it has been a societal expectation for women to have babies.

While some women absolutely love the idea of having a baby and being a mother, other women simply have no passion for it. Unfortunately this idea can be surprising to a culture that defines a woman’s worth by her ability to produce and raise kids. Being a mother requires a lot of passion, so we must be open minded enough to respect the decision of those who decide not to be one.

2. It is incredibly painful.

This might seem like an obvious statement; though it is one that I must state. Having a baby is an incredibly painful process for a woman. It is not just the day of labor, but the entire nine months leading up to it. From morning sickness to swollen ankles, it is an uncomfortable journey to say the least. And even with all of our advances in modern medicine, the process can also be very dangerous. There is no guarantee of a non-complicated pregnancy or birth.

3. The world is over populated as it is.

This may not factor into a woman’s decision to have or not have children, however the main purpose of reproduction is an intense desire to populate. With more than 7 billion people in the world today, I say we have successfully accomplished that goal. At this point in our existence, it is actually beneficial to society if some women do not crave motherhood.

4. Physical changes aren’t easy.

Having a baby brings a lot of physical changes to a woman’s body, some of which will never go away. You will find things are in places they never used to be, stretch marks in places you never knew you had and overall, this new body is not the one you have come to know and love. For some women, this can be a very daunting reality and the cost is just too high.

5. Financial changes are too great.

There is an old proverb that says “count the cost before you build”. When having a child, you are building a family. It is a wise to make sure you can afford it. There are very real costs that come with having a child. This includes hospital bills, housing and feeding. It is not a decision to make solely on sentiments. With many single mothers ranked among the poorest people in the world, I say we must consider the perspective of women who have chosen to lower their risk of poverty.

Society should not fault a woman who is logical enough to look at her situation objectively and make the hard decision to not raise her kids on welfare, debt and hope.

6. Career Choices, dreams and ambitions.

For some women, having a child is their biggest dream and greatest achievement. For others, that dream would be the antithesis of what they really want out of life. Whether it’s a career or a life of adventure and travel, putting down roots and raising a family could be the death of a dream for some women.

7. Parenthood is never as easy as it seems.

Everyone tells you about the joys and blessings of having children. But no one is ever as quick to tell you about the sleepless nights, 2 am feedings, spit up or poopy diapers. As much as you might think you know about that reality, until you are a parent yourself, you will never be able to comprehend just how hard that job can be.

8. There is a difference between having a child and raising a child.

Having a child makes you the noun “parent”. However raising a child makes you the verb “parent”.
This is a lifetime commitment and not a one-time event. It is understandable if a woman cannot make this commitment.

9. Some women are not afraid to be alone.

In our society today, there are many women approaching their 30’s and 40’s who are still single. For many of them, it is a choice. Whether they have not found a partner they like enough to commit to, or they just enjoy the freedom that comes with being single, this is the reality that they have chosen for themselves. However in reality, society will still pressure them to have kids for companionship.

10. Having a baby is a personal decision.

We are lucky enough to live in a society where all men and women are created free and equal. So a woman’s choice to have or not have a child should not be judged, criticized or pressured.