There's One 'M'-Word That Scares 20-Somethings More Than Marriage: Mom

As times evolve and women’s rights advance (not still there, but much improvement has been made), we are faced with several stands on motherhood.

On one side of the spectrum, we find women who want to be mothers and homemakers who take care of their families. Cast aside as "stuck in the past" or as being victims of a male-dominated culture and society, they are looked down upon and labeled as having “an easy life.”

They are pictured as the antithesis of what a modern woman should want, and judged by wanting to take that monumental step.

On the other side of the spectrum, we have women who do not want to have children, period.

It doesn't mean they are obsessed with their careers and hate men. It doesn't mean they don’t have maternal instincts and don’t like children; it doesn't mean they aren't good, amazing women with hearts full of joy. They, too, are judged, but instead, for not wanting to jump on the motherhood train.

It’s time that we break the stereotypes once and for all, and we focus on stopping the judgment and discrimination.

Men may or may not have children as they please, and that is not what defines them as better or worse. Just because we have the ability to do something (aka generate babies) doesn’t mean we absolutely have to.

I want to have children; I can’t wait for the moment when I have my child in my arms, and when he or she calls me mom, I’m sure I’m going to melt. I like to imagine teaching my son or daughter how to write, why the birds fly and where words come from.

I will love to read my children's favorite stories with them, and hunt monsters under their beds and make them feel safe at night. Does this make me less ambitious?

Last time I checked, I still want to be a writer and write my own best-seller. I work full time; I volunteer at a scout group in my free time and I also write in between.

When I have a baby, I know things will have to change, and one of those things includes me having to stay home for a while until we can put the baby in daycare.

Three of my best friends, however, have made the informed decision of not having children. Why? There are many reasons, but the bottom line is they don’t want to. Not at the moment, or not at all, and that’s okay.

We are no longer under the obligation to be breeders, and getting together with someone doesn't necessarily mean you will have to multiply and have new generations stocking up the ranks.

You don’t have to depend on the ability or decision to have children to be considered a higher brand of woman, a better catch or even a successful person.

It is time that we, as women, start making others around us aware that it is a choice to decide to have, or not to have children. It's not an obligation.

We force ourselves to live up to the stereotypes of "mother" and "career woman," and it is unthinkable to try and choose another path.

We feel like we are disappointing or even throwing it in the face of our predecessors because it is a step back in the battle women have been fighting for centuries in order to leave the household and prove ourselves in a man’s world.

If we choose to focus on our careers, we are portrayed as frustrated, or ice queens, or as women who can’t find a man to settle down with. We’re considered selfish simply because we want more for ourselves, and we are not afraid to ask for it.

Many of these stereotypes have been established by century-old subjugation to men and to their mentality. However, our own sex is quick to judge whenever a woman speaks out the dreaded words, “I want to have babies” or “I don’t want to have babies.”

We must establish that women should be free to make up our own minds, and that this change of mentality and attitude starts with us.

The best thing is, nothing you decide today is permanent. You can choose not to have children right now, and want children later, or you can think you'd like to have children and then change your mind after spending the afternoon with hyperactive babies.

As long as you make fully informed decisions and are aware of the consequences, your guess is as good as anyone else's.

Photo Courtesy: Tumblr