Seriously. Shut it.
More women in the U.S. are choosing to go child-free than any other time in recorded history, according to new census data.
Leading a solo life doesn't mean a woman is miserable, yet those who don't have or want kids continue to be ostracized and judged for it. Here are five phrases these women hear all too often, and why we need to ban them from our vocabulary.
1. "You just haven't found the right guy yet."
A man can't awaken a maternal instinct that doesn't exist. Kid and man are no longer a package deal—you can have one without the other.
2. "Who will take care of you when you're older?"
Having children shouldn't be about creating a long-term life insurance policy that protects you from less-than-stellar nursing homes or senior centers.
3. "You might regret it."
This statement completely invalidates a woman's right to choose her own path—and the choice itself!
4. "Nothing will make you happier than having a child."
It's undeniable that raising a beautiful baby boy or girl brings immense joy to many people—but many great women also find bliss in other valuable endeavors. We should celebrate, not squash, the varied experiences women find happiness in.
5. "Isn't that kind of selfish?”
Staying childless does not guarantee a selfish existence any more than becoming a mother automatically makes a woman a saint. No one says procreation is a requirement of all human beings.
This article was originally published at Glamour. Reprinted with permission from the author.