A Collection of Stories About Not Choosing Motherhood

Longreads

Here’s the thing: Moms, on an individual basis, may be taken for granted throughout much of the year, but motherhood itself is a status symbol. It’s a time-honored, accepted, even revered, path. Having children is, supposedly, one of the most fulfilling, important, life-affirming things a person could ever do.

So I wanted to write about women (rather, people—not everyone with a uterus identifies as a woman) choosing, actively, not to be mothers. I wanted to find joy in a countercultural narrative. And, yes, I wanted to write about this on Mother’s Day. Because it’s a day some well-meaning family member or total stranger might say, “So, when are you going to have kids?” It’s none of their business, but also, not everyone wants to have kids, and that’s totally okay. These folks have given their decisions a lot of thought—choosing not to parent at all is as big a decision as…

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