Today, one in five women will never have children.
A choice made by some, and made for by others, be it by nature or by circumstance. Society needs to embrace and accept this growing minority of childless women. It is time to put an end to the negative and archaic connotations of childless women being unfulfilled and neurotic.
Of course, there are many reasons why women do not have children.
Infertility, especially with an ageing population and women choosing to delay having children, is one. Despite the world of advancing medicine and world-class IVF treatments, sometimes nature just does not intend some couples to conceive. Options at this point include adoption and finding a surrogate, which some women realise is not for them. Other reasons for women not having children include timing. Not finding the right man for you to warrant conceiving is not unusual.
And finally, choice. Perhaps you prioritise other things in your life more than wanting to produce your own offspring - career, family, friendships, pets, the list goes on. This consideration and informed decision making is, quite frankly, intelligent and admirable. Why, then, do we so quickly judge women without children? One friend of mine selflessly noted that so many children are abandoned or orphaned making her feel it inconceivable to have her own.
Jennifer Aniston is forever slamming reports of pregnancy and wanting children. Why can we not happily accept that this successful, caring woman is not going to have children? Honestly, it must get tiresome and downright boring to hear this story time after time. Being plagued with pregnancy rumours when she simply has had pasta for lunch and then snapped in a bikini, is something we do not envy of Miss Aniston.
She told Allure: "I don't like [the pressure] that people put on me, on women – that you've failed yourself as a female because you haven't procreated. I don't think it's fair. You may not have a child… but that doesn't mean you aren't mothering – dogs, friends' children."
And we agree! In fact, Jen, we salute you.