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47: Do I have to be a mother? with Karin Rahbek

47: Do I have to be a mother? with Karin Rahbek

Are you struggling with the decision whether or not to have children?

If you are feeling pressured to make a choice, based on someone else’s feelings, you will benefit from listening to today’s guest, Karin Rahbek, author of “Do I Have To Be A Mother? A Childfree Woman’s Honest and Unspoken Thoughts and Feelings”

 

 

Karin’s hope is that this book will help other childfree women to understand and accept their feelings and
be happy 
in who they are (and not focussed on the mother they could have been). 

Karin spent several years looking for precisely the book that she ended up writing for herself. The book describes in a potent and personal manner, the thoughts and feelings that are associated with not wanting to have children at all, in a society that views motherhood as the most natural part of being a woman.

It is Karin’s hope that by reading and talking openly about the doubts felt by other women, that women can become more honest with one another. She intends to help make the decision about motherhood less fraught with taboo. Listen in today – this is such an emotive topic! 

“You define your own femininity. Feel beautiful and valuable and loved as the woman you are and not the mother you could be.”

Today, Karin talks about: 

Her choice to not have a child, even with the pressure of family and friends, who were all becoming parents.           

“The feeling that motherhood is not for me has been with me for as long as I can remember.”

How Karin’s book came out of some deep thinking about motherhood and the different facets involved in making this kind of choice.                                 

“I didn’t know any parents who actually had a life I would want to swap for.” (Very thought-provoking).

There can be great difficulty in making a choice contrary to that of most of the people in your life, with all the pressure that goes with that, to conform.  Karin says: “Yes, it definitely takes courage to choose a life without children.”

  • How many women feel pressured to have a child, even after having previously made it clear that they have no desire to be a mother.  “When you say that you don’t want a child, many people hear you say ‘I don’t want a child right now’.”
  • She highlights: if it’s the man’s choice not to have children, they often get the same type of pressure to conform.                                        
    “There was a man writing to me that the exact story… he didn’t want to have children. After a while his partner assumed the same thing ‘but you must have the urge to have kids now?”
  • How she got the idea to start a dating network for childfree people. Karin and her husband saw a program with a guy creating a dating network for people who really wanted to have children.”
  • The reason that she started her network.  “I thought why can’t these two people meet, they need another person that doesn’t want to have children either and that made me start the network.”     
  • Karin finds the special thing about women who choose not to have children – is that they know exactly what they want. ”Some people will just go along with the desire of their partner, because they don’t really know what they want.”
  • How different people make the choice with different levels of certainty. “There are different levels of having this feeling –  I don’t want kids – because some people are kind of indifferent.” (Ambiguity is a huge topic).
  • Some of the beliefs and questions that Karin explored around the time that some of her family members changed their minds. It made her question why she didn’t want to have a child when everybody else had that desire.
  • The number of women not having children in Denmark is increasing, but not only in Denmark – in all of Scandinavia.
  • Her interview with the BBC about her book and also about the paradox that the Danish population is in decline, while the market for Danish sperm donation is booming!
  • What she’s had to deal with in terms of pressure from family and friends, to change her mind.  “I felt the pressure within myself.
  • A TV show she was interviewed on about choices that people make around having children. Karin says: “They don’t really understand the term ‘childfree’.”
Be happy in who you are - not the mother you could have been. #childfree Click To Tweet

Karin discusses how she uses her energy to create in other ways and how important it is to her, to help and give to others.

Find out more about Karin’s work here and grab a copy of her book here.

I do hope you enjoyed this episode. It’s fascinating to hear perspectives from various countries and cultures to understand what the differences AND the similarities are, no matter where you are in the world. 

Please share this episode with another woman who would benefit and of course eternal gratitude if you would subscribe and leave a review. Thank you!

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