Choosing to become a mother

Choosing to become a mother

Choice implies prior understanding of motives and consequences. Bringing a child into the world is a long-term commitment that requires that he or she be a priority. Of all the decisions that a human being faces in life, this is the one that generates the most radical change. Prudence would, therefore, have one think twice about it and ask themselves very seriously just what their altruistic capacity is and how much gratification they wish to derive from it. (….) In reality, Reason has little to do with the decision to procreate and is probably more involved in the decision to not have children. Aside from the Unconscious, which weighs just as much on both sides of the scale, it should be added in the balance that the majority of parents have no idea as to why they had children. (…) And thus the temptation to cite some instinct as the overriding factor. At the end of the day, the decision to have children stems more from the affective and the normative than from any rational understanding of the advantages and disadvantages.

Translated from: ELISABETH BADINTER. La mujer y la madre. Publisher: La esfera de los libros, 20,21,22.

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