Women together shopping

Motherhood vs Womanhood

Let’s break free from the idea that the word woman is synonymous with the word mother. Can we finally please teach children that just because girls were born with the instruments to give birth, they don’t have to give birth?

“Pro-Choice” apparently only applies to life or death. Somehow, we neglect to consider if someone desires not to be a parent. In this case, I’m pro-choice for parenting…

The expectation of having children after marriage is something that still confuses me, and I suspect will continue to confuse me throughout my lifetime. Religion aside, women and men choose to get married for many reasons. For many and for us in particular, it was to commit to forever together. It was not to allow us to have children or to take just another step in our relationship. We found a deep meaning in marriage that we decided we wanted for ourselves. Let’s start here.

There are Many Definitions of Marriage and Love

Marriage means so many different things to everyone. Religion really is a big one. It’s the natural progression in a catholic relationship for instance. First, wed. Then, build a home. Then, build a family. But, what if that wasn’t all there was to it?

In 2014, Ryan popped the question. It happened in December, just after Christmas. If you ask Ryan, he definitely felt the pressure from family and friends to pull out the ring and propose finally. We had been dating for almost five years.

It may have been premature or it may have been good timing. Either way, it took us two years to decide to have our wedding. We planned for a short time and decided we wanted something very small. And actually, we wanted to elope! Family, of course, wouldn’t allow that. So, we ended up having a small beach ceremony in San Diego and inviting just our close friends and family. It was perfect.

Then, we did it again! Privately. In Fiji. Like we first intended to. This small ceremony was exactly what we wanted and it was a way to lock in our love and appreciation for each other. For us, the marriage meant so much more than just being a couple. It signified something spiritual for us – a bond that can never be broken even through death.

Finding Happiness in Being a Woman

Being a woman isn’t easy. If you’re out there reading this as a woman, you get it. There’s the awkwardness of being a young girl, learning about your body, learning about love, dealing with emotions and hormones, and so much more. It’s not something that is easy to deal with and those that have truly embraced their womanhood – you are goddesses!

My thoughts are that being a woman is a perfect storm of so many great things mixed with so many difficult things. But, I believe it makes us stronger. (Sorry guys.) One of those difficult things we deal with is giving birth. Our bodies have all the instruments to do so. It’s something that even as children our bodies start to prepare for. Each month, our bodies go through cycles that give us a new opportunity to get pregnant. It’s really incredible when you think about it.

But, what if I don’t want to use the instruments I was given? What if I want to continue living independent of the physiological time bomb that is my womb that prepares itself for new life each month?

Challenging biology can feel a little shameful sometimes, I’ll admit. It’s not easy to tell people of my choice. However, this decision to choose womanhood over motherhood has helped me see something more beautiful about who I am and what my relationship with my husband stands for.

Deciding to become DINKs has been a road of conflicting feelings and emotions. My body says one thing, but my brain and my heart tell me another. This conflict has created the perfect breeding ground for discovering happiness in being a woman. I am a woman with choice. I am a woman who is grateful for the circumstances in which I have to make this choice.

The Real Definition of Womanhood

One of my favorite quotes of all time is from the bold and beautiful Jennifer Aniston. In 2016, she did a brave thing and wrote an opinion piece for Huffpost entitled “For the Record”. In this piece, she set the record straight about all the tabloids creating rumors about her being pregnant. And, she wrote a beautiful commentary on what having choice and freedom is all about, especially as a woman.

We get to determine our own “happily ever after” for ourselves.

Jennifer Aniston, For The Record, Huffpost

People will always fall to stereotypes and generalities. Our human reaction is to always have a bias. So, for those that believe in first comes marriage, then comes baby, it’s likely they will always be the ones asking when the babies are coming. But, it’s time to change the conversation.

I highly recommend reading Jennifer’s commentary and if you feel so emboldened, help spread the word that womanhood does not mean motherhood.

xo, A

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