- It's like, what are we doing?
- I know, it's like a blind date.
(upbeat music) My name is Lizbeth, I'm 31, married.
I'm Mexican from a Catholic family, and I'm not sure if I wanna have kids.
- My name is AnnMarie, 34 years old, I'm a Baptist Jamaican.
I have a four year old, I'm not married yet, and I do want more children.
(upbeat music) - I would say kind of.
It's one of the first things that you're getting asked.
When are you getting married?
When are you having kids?
You're taught that in the Bible from day one, like go forth and be fruitful.
You're supposed to have kids, you're supposed to get married.
I think it's kind of expected.
- When you were young, - No.
- [Lizbeth] No, not at all?
- Not at all, not an option.
- The idea that you could decide one way or the other was never something you thought about.
- Always wanted children.
- In my family, everyone had children.
I grew up in a very confined religious household, meaning that we weren't allowed to go out a whole lot.
So I wasn't so exposed to what other people were doing.
Mexican Catholic culture really encourages you to have as many kids as you can possibly pop out.
- Pop out, yeah.
- My husband and I, we are both as a duo on the fence.
But I think we're still kind of afraid to really find out how much one may or may not want a child.
- Why are you guys on the fence?
- Whoo, so many reasons that we think about in theory.
The environment's not in a great place right now.
Having more children doesn't really impact that in a positive way.
As a woman, I hate starting sentences that way.
But as a woman, I feel like a part of my identity would go away in the job of being a mom.
- Like what?
- There are things I do that I know would change immediately the moment I decide to be a parent.
And so, I think my husband knows this, and how I find that kind of scary.
- I think what we grow up seeing is what we tend to try to emulate.
You know that your kids are supposed to come first, or that's what you're told.
The buzz word now is self-care.
But it's like how do you really self-care?
- That's the other thing that you just reminded me of is that I've never seen a partnership in parenthood that's truly equal.
- No, it's not.
- Ever, ever.
- Dads, their role is really to be like the fun parent, unless the father takes the role like-- - I don't like that.
- They're like the fun parent, but it's not going to be 50/50.
It's more of a 60/40, 70/30.
- 70/30, that's a lot.
- I think just growing up seeing moms doing a lot, dads working.
You just know that that's your role, or that's what you're told that your role is.
- So you kinda just fall in line.
- Do you just kinda see that happening now with you?
You're kind of following the traditions?
- Yeah, following the traditions, but also trying to like break off and make your own choices, you know?
So I had an abortion when I was about 21 years old.
- I had been in a relationship for about six months with my now husband.
- Was that a very hard choice?
- I think not.
There's a lot of pressure from people, from media, from things that you read, to feel like it should be the hardest, most difficult decision of your life.
I didn't feel that way, but I did feel like I should be behaving as if I was having a harder time with it.
So it was kind of confusing.
- Do you think that plays a part in now not wanting to have kids as yet?
- No, I don't think that the fact that I've terminated a pregnancy makes me less likely to want a child.
- It remains one of the best choices I've made.
- I don't think I would be able to go through with it.
- I actually just told my mom not that long ago that I had an abortion.
- Oh, so she didn't know?
- She had no idea, yeah.
- Oh, how did she take that?
- Not well.
But I will say that the way she took it now was like 10 times better than the way she would've taken it back then.
I think that she's just upset really that she wasn't there to see me through it.
She doesn't feel like women shouldn't have the right, it's just she doesn't wanna hear about it.
- I don't love it.
On paper, it's not very appealing.
- Or it might change for the better.
- You think?
- You might enhance certain parts that might not have been as enhanced previously, you know?
I don't remember gaining a lot of weight.
I think I gained like the expected amount of weight, so it wasn't as hard to come back.
So what if your husband got off the fence and he was on the side of he wanted to have kids, then what?
- We are both anxious people and we are easily overwhelmed.
We've looked at all the cons, mostly the cons, looked at the pros and we just go over it, over and over again, and we just don't see how we could create a positive situation out of having a child other than just having to.
- I know a lot of people who have the same stance.
Don't overthink it.
I think you guys are overthinking it, you know?
- We hear that a lot.
- Yeah, there's a lot of things that would tell you not to have a child.
But when that child is looking at you or they tell you, like, "Mommy you're the best."
It's like, oh, I am, thank you.
A lot of people that I hear are hesitant about having kids, it's because they don't have support.
When you don't have support, everything is on you 24/7, 365 days of the year.
Having a lot of family around, has given us that village mentality, and that takes a lot of pressure off.
If I need help, I can drop her somewhere.
Or if I have to go away for work, I know that either she'll be with my mom, or she'll be with an aunt, and then she'll be fine.
- My family left Mexico, whereas the rest of the family stayed behind.
There was a lot of rebellion on my part to move away from my culture.
There were only aspects of my culture that I wanted to reject, not the entirety of it.
A lot of the sexism and these ideas that there are things that you have to do as a woman.
In my upbringing, I could have seen a situation where I didn't learn to ask myself whether I wanted any kids at all.
I just thought it was the next thing.
- It's expected.
I just wish we had a more neutral environment in which we could decide for ourselves, but.
(laughs) - Thank you so much.
- [AnnMarie] Nice talking to you.
- Nice to meet you.
It surprised me to hear about similarities between her culture and mine.
I get so involved in thinking about my own burdens and hardships and things, but there are other cultures that mirror the same kinds of things.
- When she was explaining why they're on the fence, how self-preservation in that sense is still very big for their family, kind of showed me another understanding of why people don't wanna have kids.
- My determinant nature, and my sense of wanting to be oppositional to authorities and traditions and things, makes me wanna go a little harder on the side of no.