Golden Miss. Spinster. Mother. Daughter. Child-free. Childless. Leftover Women.
“All the daft categories, from “career bitch” to “tiger mother” to “spinster”, can’t sum up the complexities of how we live.” – Suzanne Moore
I agree with Suzanne Moore on this, and on her wider point that there doesn’t need to be animosity between mothers and those without children.
As an unmarried woman without children (still trying to navigate the childless/childfree thing) I’m frequently appalled at the stories of exorbitant childcare and the conundrum that women who still want a career find themselves in, all too often working to pay someone else to look after their child, riddled with guilt at not being there and with barely any money leftover from their wage after paying nursery fees anyway. This isn’t just an issue for mothers, it’s an issue for all women. And it goes without saying that a woman’s worth should not be dependent on her use of her ovaries, but when you’re not a mother you become keenly aware of how public discussions on women’s issues often overlook you, even though your taxes count as much as anyone else’s.
There’s always an anecdote about smug mothers making women without children feel bad, or the reverse. And the icing on the cake? Scientists claim to have discovered that marriages without children are happier. How on earth do you measure that?