Not every woman is prepared to be a mother just as not every woman is prepared to be a doctor, actress or financial guru (“The Childfree Life,” by Lauren Sandler.) Choosing to not have a child is not always the result of conflict between motherhood and career. Unfortunately the fertilization of an egg by a random sperm does not necessarily confer maternal wisdom. I was raised unconventionally at a resort hotel called Grossinger’s by an educated widowed mother whose nurturing skills regrettably left much to be desired. Our rocky relationship and my subsequent fear that I might turn out to be exactly like her was central to my decision to remain childless. Quite a number of women I know, for their own reasons, know better than to take parental responsibilities they’re not up to. It has nothing to do with having or not having it all. Women like this should not be disrespected; they should be understood!
Do I have regrets? Rarely. Life is a series of trade-offs. Other people’s lives often seem more rewarding than our own. While I envied friends’ family get-togethers, they conceivably coveted my independence and freedom. There is no right or wrong. We often wish for what others have. It’s very simple; we can’t always have them. What we can do is to make the best of what we have. That I believe I have done with a vengeance!
Tania Grossinger, New York City