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That same study showed that 46 percent of those surveyed wanted children, 36 percent did not, and another 18 percent were undecided.

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Much of society still can’t account for women like me.

We are often forgotten at the fringes, even as we grow in number.

At night, my then husband would wrap his arms around me and whisper, “You’ll make such a good mom.”In truth, I was on the fence.

Children felt like both a way to jump-start my real life and a way to end it.

I would hold my grandmother’s treasured brooch, and think, One day, I will pass this on.

Around Christmas, I would pull cookies from the oven, inhale the heady punch of ginger, and think, One day, I will teach someone how to do this.And while life outside the prescribed path can feel like a constant search for a new template, this struggle isn’t just relegated to those without children, those who can’t have them or those who can’t decide.Increasingly, mothers themselves are expressing the same frustration with the maternal script— namely, how following it often comes at the expense of their own success and happiness.The struggle to make a similar “wise and meaningful decision” is also at the centre of Sheila Heti’s new novel, , in which an unnamed narrator consults a psychic and tarot cards.“Whether I want kids,” she says, is “the greatest secret I keep from myself.”After several years of this uncertainty, an event forced my hand: my husband left me several months before I turned thirty-one.No wonder so many of us have started to question whether modern motherhood is even good for women at all. At nearly 30 percent, single-person households today account for the greatest share of the population since Confederation.

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