Ellen DeGeneres revealed on her TV show that she and her Aussie wife Portia de Rossi were so fed up with being asked when they were going to have a kid that they bought a puppy and named him Kid.
Now when anyone asks, they can reply that they have one. Problem solved.
But there’s more than cheap laughs at play here, especially when you consider that society is conditioned to believe that being a mother is an experience that every woman yearns for, says Australian self-love mentor Michelle Marie McGrath.
In her first column for The Carousel below she shares why childless women shouldn’t feel they don’t belong and how they can deflect those questions Ellen and Portia are so used to hearing…
“There are millions of wonderful women who desire to experience motherhood.
However, there is a growing demographic of women for whom having children is off the agenda.
The percentage of women over the age of 40 without children, has more than doubled in the past 10 years. There are a multitude of reasons for this evolutionary shift.
I work with women who are childfree or childless. When they share their personal story every woman talks about a combination of factors as to why they have not given birth.
There is no black and white it seems, which highlights the irrelevancy and unhelpful nature of the stereotypes about women without children.
When we meet a woman of ‘a certain age’ without kids, we have no idea about her circumstances and it is unwise to make assumptions.
A woman may be struggling with inexplicable infertility or social infertility; she may have no desire to have children or she may be happy with her role as a stepmother to her partner’s children.
Before asking that deeply personal question, pause and consider your motivation.
This is not ‘small talk’ and it is certainly not ‘polite conversation’.
If you’re a woman who is childfree by choice or childless, the following five responses almost always politely defuse a well-meaning family member or friend’s questioning.
1. Deflect the focus: “Why do you ask?”. Often people will then realise they are prying
2. Put the onus back on them: “What was your motivation for having a child?” Many women assume they will have children and do not question their ‘why’ so it’s an interesting discussion
3. A philosophical response: “It’s not every woman’s path to be a biological mother. My life is already complete and fulfilling. I choose to focus my energy and time elsewhere.”
4. Closing the conversation: “This is a deeply personal topic, which I have no interest in discussing, but thank you.”
5. Inject some humour: “I enjoy practising and I’m fully committed to tantra. Lovemaking takes up all of my free time.” Or “I had seven in my last lifetime. I’m still tired.”
Ultimately, only you need to be resolved about your choices and your opinion of you is the only one that truly matters. This takes time and practice.
Good luck with these conversations.”
Michelle Marie McGrath is a Self-love Mentor coaching women committed to a loving relationship with themselves. She’s also the podcast host of Unclassified Woman and an Intuitive Aromatherapist at Sacred Self.