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Pressure to Procreate

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Pressure to Procreate

As a woman, it's always expected that you will want to procreate.  That your one mission in life, eventually is to be a mother.  I remember in high school my friends talking about the names they had picked out for their eventual babies. I didn't feel the same and while I didn't have a life plan, kids didn't really feature in the image I saw of myself. 
You would think that once you are 'with child' that they pressure would stop. That society would think, 'ok she's made her contribution, we'll stop hassling her now', but that couldn't be further from the truth.  The minute you have one child, everyone is wondering when you are going to be giving them a brother or sister. Labeling you as 'cruel' if you tell them that your child will be an only child.  In fact one of the cards I received when Devil Spawn was born had the sentiment 'he's gorgeous, can't wait until you have another one'.  I had pushed this baby out a mere week earlier and the pressure had started.
Let's talk about what is cruel shall we, about the reality of being pregnant and unmedicated.  Hormones already do strange things to normally rational women. Add to that a Mental Illness that can't be medicated while pregnant and you have a recipe for disaster. I was, for lack of a better term, bat shit crazy while pregnant.  I would go from crying, to screaming in a matter of minutes.  Poor Devil Papa didn't know what to expect or how to handle it.  I could not bring myself to knowingly put Devil Spawn through that. 
I use what little motivation I have most days on Devil Spawn. I don't think that I could spread it over 2 or more children.  Am I still being cruel for being happy to stop at one child? It is cruel to realise my weakness and work with what I have? No it's not. I know my limitations and Devil Spawn will always come first.  I know that if it did happen, I would somehow make it work but I would never knowingly try for another child because society has this notion that it's 'cruel' for a child to grow up alone.
I say it's cruel to bring a child into an environment that can't cope with it. It's cruel to have a child not because you want one but because it's the norm. It's cruel to bring another child into a family that is already struggling.  It is not cruel to realise that you have reached your limits and that you know you can give everything you have to one child, but will struggle with two. It is not cruel if having one child means that they will have a better life, will get what little their mama can offer them at this time.  A little spread over 2 is even less. I love Devil Spawn more than I thought it was even possible to love another human being and if I had my time again I'd do it all the same.
How many children do you have? Do you still feel the pressure to keep popping those bubbas out?
Are you childless by choice and feel the pressure to procreate?

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