It's not political. It's my opinion.
I became a mother at the age of 27. Some people hear that and think nothing of it. After all, who raises a brow when a twenty-something gets pregnant? But what about a twenty-something who doesn't want kids? What about a thirty-something? What if a woman never wants children? What then?
As someone who struggled to become a mother, I was faced with the very real possibility that I might never become one. My first miscarriage happened when I was 23 and 10 weeks into the first trimester. My second miscarriage happened a year and a half later, 14 weeks into the second trimester. Both losses were encapsulated by very different indexes of pain, anxiety, and fear. But even worse, both left me feeling like less of a woman. Something was wrong in me and with me. I couldn't hide from it just like I couldn't hide from the barrage of opinions people were so inclined to share with me.
After my second miscarriage, it felt like the masses had turned against me. I failed an unspoken expectation to carry a child to full-term, and in doing so, I botched my obligation to society. Until I pulled off a successful pregnancy, there was no coming back from it. From the staff lounge, to dinner parties and strolls down grocery store aisles, people were diligent in their efforts to remind me of my debt to society.
But it wasn't until I joined the Ya-Ya Sisterhood nine years ago that I realized mothers themselves play a big role in perpetuating the baby craze. Especially some Idaho mothers. From play dates and playgrounds, to bars and salons, I've listened in horror as some Idaho moms rake women without children across the coals. Is it the freedom that childless women seem to enjoy that makes them jealous?
Not all of course, but the way some Idaho moms describe motherhood makes me wonder if they're just misery in search of company. Seriously. They didn't have children because they wanted to be moms. They had children to check off a box on life's standard to-do list. They perceive themselves as saddled by diapers, carpools, and hellish teens, so they mock and belittle women who chose another path. To be absolutely clear, I'm not talking about all Idaho moms. I'm saying that since moving here nearly 10 years ago, I've noticed Idaho moms tend to ridicule childless women much more than moms in other states I've lived in.
If you're an Idaho woman who doesn't want children, I wish I could apologize for the cruelty so many of you have experienced. From my heart to yours, ignore the naysayers, enjoy kid-free nights with wine, and don't explain yourself to anyone.