NoMo Women: Choosing Not to Have Children
“Motherhood will be desired or it will not be.” This historic feminist motto is currently a flag that’s flying high. On the one hand, it means that motherhood isn’t something absolutely necessary in women’s lives. On the other, it’s very clear that many women don’t want to be mothers.
NoMo women (Not Mothers) claim their position of not wanting motherhood. They don’t want to have children and, above all, don’t feel incomplete without raising a family.
Some people think this is a new trend. But actually, NoMo women have been around for centuries. The difference is that now we can talk about it. Additionally, we can fight the cultural norm that motherhood is what makes women feel complete.
In practice, statistics show that 30% of Western women don’t want to be mothers. In general, these are professionals or women with a medium or high level of education.
NoMo Women: Jody Day and other life experiences
Romantic love has captivated most women in toxic relationships, or caused them to spend their lives searching for prince charming. It’s common for women to think of motherhood as the cherry on top, or the happy ending to every fairy tale.
Nowadays, the best-selling stories have more to do with Jody Day, author of “Rocking the Life Unexpected: 12 Weeks to Your Plan B for a Meaningful and Fulfilling Life Without Children” and founder of Gateway Woman in defense of women’s reproductive and contraceptive rights.
In her book, the author expresses that non-motherhood was something that was given to her. In this story, she says that one day, she realized that she was 40 years old and wouldn’t be able to have children. “The life I had been preparing for since I was a child did not exist,” she reflects.
Day confesses that it wasn’t easy to get rid of this life plan that just wasn’t going to happen. However, letting go of the “family archetype” was freeing.
On the other hand, Audrey García is a communication professional and a reference for the thousands of NoMo women in the world. In her case, she chose sterilization as life planning at 35 years old.
“Society sees women as incubators for babies,” explains García. In that sense, she states that decisions about women’s bodies were everyone’s business.
Society interrogates NoMo women, and wants to change their minds at any cost. “They see us as a kind of demon,” says Audrey.
Social pressures and forced motherhood
Women who voluntarily, and in full physical and mental health, decide not to have kids, feel immediate social pressure. When 40-year-old women don’t have children, people get angry or pity them.
In reality, NoMo women have definitely considered whether or not they should have children. For most of them, not wanting children is something they take full responsibility of.
These women have evaluated the needs of a baby from birth to adult life and decided not to have one. On the other hand, others just don’t want to have kids. They don’t need to give explanations about it.
Sex education and reproductive education is so important to help women plan what they want for their lives. That way, they can see all different types of view.
“NoMo women have definitely considered whether or not they should have children. For most of them, not wanting children is something they take full responsibility of.”
Having children in today’s society
There are lots of NoMo women who have made their decision by purely following their heart. There are also others who decided not to have children so they don’t give up their marital comforts, travel, or job.
The question is: what would happen in a society that valued motherhood as a social function. What if children took the place they deserve in the community?
Another question is: what would happen if the vast majority of mothers weren’t stuck at home, and didn’t feel like they were suffering while raising a family?
An interesting thing to think about is that it’s the adult-centric society that pushes young adults to give up motherhood so they don’t derail the course of their career.
In short, in a patriarchal society, it’s important to reflect on the privileges that women lose when they become mothers. Therefore, of course many women won’t want to have children if that means they have to become suffering housewives.It might interest you...
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Royuela López, B. (2019). Mujeres NoMo en el siglo XXI: Visibilización del movimiento No Mother en la sociedad española. https://uvadoc.uva.es/handle/10324/39853
- Chacón Onetto, F., & Tapia Ladino, M. (2017). No quiero tener hijos (as)… continuidad y cambio en las relaciones de pareja de mujeres profesionales jóvenes. Polis. Revista Latinoamericana, (46). https://journals.openedition.org/polis/12339