As we approach Mother’s Day we think about the love and sacrifice of our own mothers. Even if our mother is less than ideal we can at the very least thank her for our existence. Throughout human history, most little girls have grown up to become mothers. Yet, increasingly, women are not becoming mothers. Since mothers entered the “workforce”, fertility rates have dropped dramatically. We are now reaching a point of population collapse (despite some very ill-informed people still claiming we have to fear overpopulation).
Some women will say this is a good thing – women now have more freedom, they can now go into the world rather than be stuck at home. I, personally, am extremely grateful for the intellectual and career opportunities women now have. But as we see this dramatic shift in culture away from motherhood towards career we do need to honestly ask ourselves – where is joy and meaning found? Are their biological drives towards motherhood and constraints around it (fertility declines rapidly in our 30s) which may need to inform young women’s decisions? Is there a different path than the now standard – go to school…get a job…pay off debt…seek a relationship – which may be better suited to the average woman?
The clips included here are worth watching They show the state of women in our modern age and warn us to find a better way. Our modern does not seem to be sustainable or conducive to joy. As C.S. Lewis explains – “We all want progress, but if you’re on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.”
Perhaps we should look again at traditional ideas of marriage and family, while also incorporating into our ideal the freedoms we women now enjoy.
I got married in my early 20s during college. I had five children by the time I was 34. I am 40 now. After getting over my initial depression over my old age, I now see an entire world is open to me. My youngest is now six, and motherhood’s heavy workload is behind me. I am now able to explore new interests, start a side business, and dig deeper intellectually. I have a stable home and a loving family who support and sustain me. I do not share this to boast but to show there is another way- one that includes children and is not hampered by them, but enriched by them.
I have three wonderful daughters. I encourage them in all their dreams and aspirations. I also tell them that first things should come first and that love and relationships come first.
This documentary on the reality of world population is important and informative.
One thought on “A Childless Future?”
Yes. There are some very good points made by Dr Peterson and Stephen Shaw in the interview they did about Birthgap. Some feelings might be a bit hurt by the bluntness but I think the message is important. I grew up with “girl power” and “you can do/be anything!” and while it was all well-intentioned I think it was an incomplete message and it’s not one I will repeat to my daughters. I don’t know exactly how I will approach the topic of fertility but I know I will be honest about the challenges their father and I faced with fertility. I will share how grateful I am that I was able to have two children and that it is worthwhile to seriously think about how this fits one’s life plan.
I’m intrigued by the alternate life model where women have children younger and then return to school/workforce when older. It’s not what I did but it’s worth thinking about.