When I was a kid, I watched movies where; as soon as a lady discovers she is infertile or unable to bear a child, she goes hysterical, she and everyone else around her act like her life has ended and that she does not have a purpose for existing anymore.
This made me believe that one of the worst things that could happen to a lady is being infertile. Societal construct made me believe it was even worse if it is a lady’s decision not to birth children, I believed such a lady would never find fulfilment and would end up lonely and filled with regret.
As much as society puts a lot of importance in bearing children, society only appreciates it if you have the children while you are married. As a result, many people marry just because they want to have children. But wanting to have children should not be the sole purpose of Marriage. Staying in a marriage is hard, staying in a marriage solely because of children is even harder. Imagine the possibility of having to spend the rest of your life with someone you are not very attracted to or someone you barely admire. Most women stay in abusive marriages or marriages they are not satisfied with just because of the children.
So much importance and glory are ascribed to child bearing even though pregnancy and childbirth are not as easy and exciting as a society will have you believe it. It is painful. A pregnant woman goes through a lot of uncomfortable symptoms, some of the things are listed here. Childbirth is even harder and sometimes unsafe especially in Nigeria.
According to the United Nations, 303,000 women die every year in childbirth, or as a result of complications arising from pregnancy. This means 830 women die each day. This means more people die from childbirth than bungee jumping. If a woman is lucky enough to survive pregnancy and childbirth, she might still have to deal with after-effects of pregnancy. Of course after this, she has to deal with raising a baby throughout most of her life which is certainly not easy.
Being a mother or perhaps bearing children is a decision people need to think about thoroughly and not let society make for them. It changes your life completely, it counts in every decision you make, it costs a lot and it is stressful. It can be beautiful and worth it too as long as you are deciding to have children because you want it and not because you are expected to.
Furthermore, ladies already have to deal with a lot of body and health issues. Therefore, if a lady is not ready to have kids or does not want to have children at all, she should not be shamed and her decision should be respected. Women have the rights to their body and can choose what to do with it.
Also, being barren is not a death sentence. Women should not be made to feel less like women because they cannot bear children. A woman is a complete person regardless of the children she has or does not have.