Jennifer Aniston says women don't need men to be good mothers.
In her upcoming movie, The Switch, she plays the role of a woman who chooses life as a single mother, and she says it's a role that can be played successfully in real life too.
"Women are realizing it more and more knowing that they don't have to settle with a man just to have that child," Aniston, 41, said. "Times have changed and that is also what is amazing is that we do have so many options these days, as opposed to our parents' days when you can't have children because you have waited too long."
She said the point of the movie is to challenge what family really means.
"Love is love and family is what is around you and who is in your immediate sphere. That is what I love about this movie. It is saying it is not the traditional sort of stereotype of what we have been taught as a society of what family is."
I agree with Aniston wholeheartedly and know plenty of incredible people who were raised by single parents or are raising children on their own now. Women certainly don't need men to be good mothers, but I can't imagine willingly taking on the struggles and joys of parenthood alone, especially when it comes to infants.
Every time my husband travels or I am sick or just burned out from the day-to-day challenges of raising my children, I think of single mothers. I know I can count on him, that I have backup, that I am not completely alone, but they are.
Sure, if like Aniston, you have unlimited funds to provide nannies and nurses and vacations, it may be easier. But the reality for many single mothers doesn't include any of those things. They can't just hop a flight to Belize with a nanny in tow when they've had too much. Instead they're left fearing for their job when their daughter has a fever and the daycare won't take her.
And it's not just in the hard times I see the challenges of single motherhood either, but in the good as well. I can call my husband endlessly about the new thing my daughter does or says no matter where he is, and he'll be just as excited as I am. I can brag about my son's accomplishments to him like I can to no one else in the world.
Sure there are relatives and friends who rejoice in our children, but it's only with my husband that I feel no fear of oversharing or overburdening with my worries.
I understand not everyone is lucky enough to find a partner with whom to raise a child, and if what you want, what you need to feel fulfilled in life, is to have your own child, then I guess you have to be willing to face those challenges alone, to go through it alone. And many women do -- women braver and tougher than I.
I just hate to see Jennifer Aniston glamorize a life that while full of joy has got to be among the most difficult as well.
What do you think about Jennifer Aniston's comments on single motherhood?
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