Historically, Black women have been expected to dedicate their lives to others, but now more Black women are choosing to live child-free and dedicate their lives to themselves. And it’s about damn time.
Black women remain the racial group least likely to be child-free. However, research shows that Black women are also the group seeing the biggest increase in child-free women in recent decades. There are many reasons a woman might choose not to have children, but the reasons are amplified for Black women.
Her Body, Her Motherfucking Choice
“Her body, her choice” is a phrase that we hear echoing throughout the Internet and women’s rights groups in the wake of the Roe V. Wade turnover. But where the hell was this sentiment for Black women throughout history? Having outsiders dictate what they do with their bodies is something Black women have been experiencing on horrific, inhumane levels since the slave trade.
Following the Civil Rights Movement, Black women still didn’t get agency over their bodies. There was just a changing of the guards from white men to Black men. The Black Unity Party of the 1970s through 1990s were calling upon Black women to have as many children as possible as a way of destabilizing white society.
Today, Black women who don’t have children still find themselves with identifiers that attach them to children, like the title “Auntie.” It seems like freedom from being a mom can never fully mean freedom from caring for others.
How about this: some Black women do not want their bodies, or their lives, to serve others or be a part of some revolution. More Black women are choosing to live their lives for themselves and see how far they can take personal development and fulfillment – unhindered by motherhood.
Closing The Womb And The Financial Gap
The emotional and financial upsides of not having kids are heightened for Black women because the burden of children has been equally heavier for them.
Raising a child from birth to adulthood costs a lot of money – just under $300,000, to be precise. That’s $300,000 a Black woman could use to further her education, buy property, start her own business or retire early. For reference, Black women are significantly more likely than white women to prioritize financially helping out family today over saving for retirement tomorrow. Black women entrepreneurs face the greatest struggles in landing funding for their businesses. Oh, and Black home ownership has dropped to an all-time low in a decade.
Hanging onto that $300,000 for themselves could make a major difference in a Black woman’s life and start closing the racial and gender wealth gap on several fronts.
Personal Development Is Priceless – But Costly
Not having kids can also give Black women the space and breathing room to focus on mental health and personal development. And Black women need that space.
Motherhood is all-consuming and leaves little time or resources for self-nurturing acts like going to therapy, meditating, or just chilling. The cost of a babysitter when a woman needs a girls’ night out or a spa day is enough to have her skip it. Finding a quiet room to do Zoom therapy in with toddlers banging on the walls is nearly impossible. Traveling alone can be one of the most empowering and enriching experiences for a woman, but Black women don’t do it enough.
Living child-free gives Black women the freedom of finances and time to focus on themselves, see the world, look inward, financially thrive and self-nurture.
So auntie…. live your best life!
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