“I’m just myself. I have other things that make my heart beat.”

Serena, 51, Italy

I was born in a small town, where every woman was sentenced to be a wife and mother.

The seeds of feminism sprouted in my soul since I was a child. My father was a chauvinist, and because we were three sisters, he always asked to be served. He always said “I have three girls, why can’t I have what I need at the table whenever I want?”. My first boyfriend was even worse, he was violent, really a bad person and made me sick! Everyone around me was well framed in the patriarchal project that I had to be a mother like other women.

It took me forever to realize that if the idea of motherhood scared me, it’s not because I’m sick or bad. I never wanted to be a life giver, who would make me a slave to events greater than myself. I’m just myself. I have other things that make my heart beat. Only people who really want it should have children. Only thus it is possible to be good parents.

I am a teacher, a good educator, a loving aunt, but I do not want and never wanted to be a mother. Only now can I say it without feeling guilty.