By MAMAMIA TEAM
UK journalist Kate Spicer, a 44-year-old woman without children, has been causing some online havoc this year be classing women who say they don’t want to have children, as ‘motherhood deniers’.
But before we all jump down Spicer’s throat and defend a woman’s right to choose whether or not she has kids, let’s look at what she says in a little more detail.
Spicer claims that she and many of her contemporaries are part of a generation who were not taught to properly consider their own fertility and as a result have either been unable to have children or have simply run out of time.
She explains that this group of women – who genuinely regret the fact they have not been able to have children for whichever reason – have been lumped together with a ‘very small minority’ of women who have never wanted and never want kids.
The result, claims Spicer? Society is assuming that a significant part of its female population is happy being child-free when this is simply not the case. Spicer believes that women who never wish to have children at any point in their lives and live happily in the knowledge they will not be mothers, are far fewer in number that society currently believes.
And Spicer is concerned that younger women are looking to older role models without kids and making assumptions about their happiness which are incorrect.
She writes for the UK’s Daily Mail:
“I had an intern recently, a 21-year-old Oxford graduate, who told me confidently she never wanted kids because it would get in the way of her career. I told her she was mad…
“While a child-free life looks fun on Facebook, no number of career highs, nights at the theatre, weekends away or adult pleasures can disguise the fact that it feels – there is no other word – empty.
“Between today and the end of my life, I hope there are a few more decades. But, as time goes by, the idea of dying without children feels unnatural and sad.”
Spicer appeared on Channel 9’s The Morning Show today, to share her views with an Australian audience. Her insinuation that most women who don’t have children will ultimately end up regretting their decision not to procreate, caused concern for host, 47-year-old, Sonia Kruger.
Kruger has spoken publicly about the fact that in her late 40s, she is still open to the idea of having children. However Kruger also maintains that her life is pretty darn happy without them and she took issue with much of what Spicer had to say.
When pressed by Kruger, Spicer insisted that she was not calling all childless women unhappy.
Spicer herself is a childless woman and she explained in no uncertain terms that she leads a happy and contented life. She also explained, however, that the special bond between parents and children – one unconditional love – is something she is sad that she won’t have the opportunity to pass that onto someone else in her lifetime.
Spicer insinuates that the majority of ‘Motherhood Deniers’ who claim that they’re happy having made the choice to be child-free simply aren’t being honest or haven’t yet felt the pangs of regret that will come as they face their own mortality.
Here in the Mamamia office, the interview certainly kicked off some firey debate. Some took serious offence to Spicer’s claims, while others were more sympathetic to the idea that, while not being unhappy, many childless women may ultimately feel some regret over a conscious choice not to have kids.
Take a look at the interview and tell us what you think:
Is motherhood a natural instinct for all women? If so, would denying it mean a woman is guaranteed to end up unhappy or at the very least, regretful of her decision?