Orna Donath talks about her bestselling book ‘Regret Motherhood’

Sorry about motherhood. It’s the translated title of the worldwide bestseller Regret over motherhood By Israeli sociologist Orna Donath (46). About women who consciously choose not to become a mother, but are constantly warned that they will regret this decision. That there are women who feel remorse From Motherhood is rarely talked about. JAN spoke to Orna about this taboo topic.

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Orna Donath on ‘Regret Motherhood’

In “The Regret of Motherhood,” Donath questions the still-held assumption that every woman is destined for motherhood. This insightful and provocative book, written on the basis of years of research and interviews with women from different backgrounds, has sparked countless heated debates internationally and was published at a time when the status of women still had to be fought.

What motivated you to explore motherhood regrets?

After my first research in Israel on intentionally childless, there was one thing that kept me busy. This is the common saying that women who choose not to become mothers will undoubtedly regret it. It astounded me. I saw it as a political use of emotions – the way society uses emotions to align us – and wanted to learn more about this.

Regrets of motherhood: how does it manifest itself?

In this case, I don’t think of regret as just sad thoughts, doubts or annoyances now and then. These mothers have a deep desire to go back in time. The numbers are unclear, but motherhood regrets. And if it exists, I think we should talk about it. There are mothers who walk around with guilt and shame. Like monsters. This topic is rarely talked about, which is why they often feel very lonely. From my point of view they did nothing wrong. These women simply realized in the past that motherhood was not for them. And although unfortunately, they try to raise their children as best they can.

You yourself consciously childless. When were you sure of this?

“I’ve known him since I was 16. While my friends at school talked about ‘having kids later’ and were jokingly fantasizing about kids’ names, I already knew this wasn’t my dream. I didn’t doubt in the years since. But at the time , I did not realize the consequences of my statements. For me, this was never a problem: it made sense that there were women who wanted to be a mother, just as there were women who did not want to be a mother. It soon became clear that society generally believed that I had a problem, And that I had to solve it. They also thought I wasn’t serious, that I was going to get out of it. That’s how my fascination with the subject began.

In your opinion, how can a woman determine whether motherhood is right for her?

“Don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly not against motherhood, but I do wish women more freedom to decide their own bodies and feelings. Without the pressure of society. Perhaps it would be helpful not to think directly about motherhood, but first to know yourself to the core. Who are you? What? What contributes to your well-being? And what is “harmful” to your well-being? Then think about whether motherhood can contribute to the things you need to feel good. By the way, I am not talking about perfection, because I do not think that this exists.

Talking about it with the kids: What are your thoughts on this?

I understand that this sensitive issue cannot be discussed with young children. But at an older age, such a conversation might actually bring them closer together. As long as it is done in a respectful and thoughtful manner. The “regret” in my research has nothing to do with the child itself, but is only about motherhood. mother’s role. It can also be a relief to the child. What if he feels or feels something from him, and take responsibility for it? It can be healing, and even creating empathy, if they realize that they have nothing to do with this.

Sorry about motherhood From Orna Donath for sale since 6 October 2022.

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