-“Doctor…Every time I buy something for my nephews, I got to explain my life choices.”

Karen is a wealthy middle-aged lawyer that, by choice, has not had children. She joined the ranks of millions of women worldwide that made that choice. The latest Census figures in the USA showed that 47.6% of women between the ages of 15 and 44 did not have children in 2014, up from 46% in 2012.

Alina Tugend says that “despite these statistics, the majority of marketing talks to adult women like they are all moms or want to be mothers…” Melanie Notkin, author of “Otherhood: Modern women finding a new kind of Happiness”, wonders why companies ignore this demographic group.

One big reason is commercial inertia as long observed marketing studies show that the woman in a household usually makes the buying decisions. Another one may be “political correctness” as marketers are wary to offend these women who may be childless by choice or by chance. Who knows?

Besides spending a lot of resources on their nephews and pets, the NotMoms also spend more on beauty products, premium food and foreign travel. Unburdened by the scholarly obligations for children, both in terms of time and resources, that traditional families have, they spend much more freely.

Our society still views women without children differently from those that have them, a mixture of low-key prejudice, ignorance and bewilderment. The same holds true for the workplace where childless women usually have to shoulder an extra burden to cover for never ending family emergencies.

In my novel, I do not portray one childless woman but two. One of them is Matilda, the aunt of Emily, one of my three main characters; the other one is Yamira, the Touareg nanny that has reared Didier, another main character. They chose not to have their own children but became surrogate mothers that gave critical emotional support and care assistance to their loved ones.

What do you think? Please tell us.

Don’t leave me alone.

10 thoughts on “The NotMom woman

  1. It’s all true. There’s a negative social stigma for NonMoms, which is a heavy burden to carry. Motherhood is expected of women.
    It turns out, paradoxically, they who consciously made the choice of having no kids are in a worse position than numerous mothers who are drug addicts, alcoholics, child abusers.

    On the other hand, no kids does not necessarily mean putting your career first and being more ambitious.

    1. Again I have to congratulate you my dear Bojana for “daring” to put a thoughtful commentary, even though quite a few women (some without kids) had read this article before you did. Bravo!

      1. Maybe because I understand both. I was in their shoes once (not wanting kids) and, interestingly, noticed discrimination in both cases. When I was childless, I was frequently asked about my future plans (and they didn’t have professional ones in mind). Then again, many weren’t pleased either when I got a kid. I guess employers are prone to thinking moms would always stay at home if the child say got sick, rather than coming to work. You know what? They are right. Can’t I call in sick every now or then? Well, this depends on where you live/work and if laws are adhered to.

      2. Dear Bojana, family should come first, even for men. That’s why in modern societies there are special days allowed to take care of a sick child, for women AND men alike.

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