herald

Friday 9 December 2016

If a couple don't have children it doesn't make them any less of a family

Baby Pic
Baby Pic

I remember hearing some friends discussing a married couple, saying they didn't have a family. I thought it was weird - they WERE a family. They were a couple. Surely that's a family? But to my friends, that couple were somehow seen as incomplete.

I think there is a perception that a family only truly exists when children are involved, and the pressure on women to have babies is still very strong in Ireland.

Babies are not the be all and end all. Yes, they are precious and a gift and blah blah blah. But a life without a baby is not a life less lived.

At one stage I did want to have a child, but it was not to be. And yes, there was a little sadness for a while, but guess what? My life isn't over and my days aren't filled with regret or devastation. I don't need to have a baby to be a happy, fulfilled human being living an incred- ibly exciting and wonderful life.

trainers

I know my family would have been supportive had I had a child, and I know I would have been a terrific mother.

However, just like I decided not to stay in London and just like I decided that I should buy two new pairs of Converse trainers every year, my many decisions in life have led me to where I am now. And here is a pretty good place.

As we've seen recently, it's all about choice. Although it might seem weird to the mothers of the world, women can choose to have a child or not to have a child.

That doesn't make them strange or sad. Their relationships are just as good as those with children, and their family unit is just as important.

So enough with the pressure to procreate - there's enough of you doing it and we're just as happy without, thank you very much.

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