'Regretting motherhood' debate rages in Germany

Is it possible to regret becoming a mother? The question first posed by an Israeli researcher has stirred a debate in Germany like in no other country, shattering a long-held taboo. PHOTO| FILE| NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • The book taps into a usually-unspoken maternal ambivalence that may be far more common than previously acknowledged in many places, including Germany, whose fertility rate is less than half that of Israel's.

  • Several German books have since been published on the subject, including "The Lie of Maternal Happiness" by Sarah Fischer, along with almost-weekly newspaper columns, television chat shows and Twitter debates with the hashtag #RegrettingMotherhood.

  • "More than a third of women with a university education remain childless here, a situation that is unique in Europe," said scholar Barbara Vinken, who published an analysis on the "myth of the German mother" in 2001.

Is it possible to regret becoming a mother? The question first posed by an Israeli researcher has stirred a debate in Germany like in no other country, shattering a long-held taboo.

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