News Detail

Nancy Kenney was quoted in the Seattle Times about women choosing to have children, or not.

The Mom question: Seattle-area women share their complicated decisions

By Seattle Times business reporter The decision to be a mother is as intense, and personal, as ever. Here, several Seattle-area women share how they made their choice to be a mom — or not.

NATASHA MARIN PUTS her hands on the sides of her daughter’s head; looks straight into her eyes; and tells her, “You do not need to get married and have children.” Marin, 38, doesn’t want 13-year-old Roman to feel pressure to have a child because it’s what other people expect.

“I really hope my daughter has a chance to be herself before necessarily being protector and guardian and guide to another person,” Marin says.

It wasn’t until she was breast-feeding her second child that Marin realized she could have chosen not to have children. It didn’t really feel like a conscious choice at the time she had kids, she says: just the next step in her life.

Her kids are one of the best parts of her life, but Marin wants Roman and her 6-year-old son to know they don’t have to become a parent when they grow up.

“The idea of opting not to have children has entered public consciousness in a way that we have not seen previously in our culture,” says Amy Blackstone, a professor at the University of Maine who has been studying child-free families for years. “Parenthood is now thought worthy of a thoughtful choice as opposed to the next thing you do.”

In the Seattle area, where many women work in technology or have intense careers, it is easier to talk about the choice, says Nancy J. Kenney , an associate professor of Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies at the University of Washington.

Read the entire article here .