To have, or not to have—that is women’s question:

Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer

The slings and arrows of not bearing a child

Or to take arms against a sea of anxieties,

And by having one, end them. To mother—to nurture—

No more; and by a pregnancy to say we end

The heartache, and the thousand natural shocks

That woman is otherwise heir to. ‘Tis a consummation

Devoutly to be wish’d. To mother—to nurture.

To nurture—perchance to love unselfishly:  ay, there’s the rub!

For in that gift of selfless love, what rewards may come

When in later years the need for us

By husband and child diminishes. There’s the devotion

That makes irony of our lives unbearable.

For who would bear the whips and scorns of children,

Th’ husband’s wrongs, the chauvinist’s disrespect,

The pangs of despis’d isolation, the law’s deficit,

The inequities of salary, and the spurns

That a mother merits by succumbing to nature,

When she herself might do better

With another career? Who would burdens bear,

To grunt and sweat under a weary housewife life,

But that the dread of children grown—

The menopausal depression, from whose confines

No mother escapes—puzzles the mind,

And makes us rather bear those injustices we have

Than fly to others that we know not of?

Thus conscience does make cowards of us all,

And thus the native hue of resolution

Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought

And constitutional amendments of great pitch and moment

With this regard their currents turn awry

And lose the name of action.—Soft you now!

The macho husband!—Darling, in thy prayers

Be all my sins rememb’red.