When a woman turns 30, research shows that there is a phenomenon that occurs. All of a sudden, her maternal instincts come into play and she frantically jumps into action – flicking the feminist switch in her head from ‘high’ to ‘low’ and deciding that it’s about time she produced some offspring.
Just kidding. But in my defence, something similar does seem to be happening. An article in the Australian earlier this week took an in-depth look at recent census data and pointed out that while the majority of women are childless up to the age of 29, at 30 this drops to become the minority.
In other words – in this day and age, at least in Australia, women are deciding to have kids when they hit the 30-mark. Interestingly, as the article points out, in the past such a “drought of children” for 20-somethings was attributed to the men being off at war, a financial crisis or another such disaster. But today, women are waiting until later so as to focus on their work, and start a family only after they have established a good career.
There’s nothing wrong with women having a career, but I feel like sometimes they are making decisions they might regret – based on the wrong information. They postpone pregnancy just long enough that it becomes a real ordeal when they finally do try to conceive.
I meet so many young women, in their twenties like me, who think that falling pregnant will still be easy-peasy 10 or 15 years down the track. And that if it isn’t, there’s always IVF to fall back on. But if I’ve learnt anything from my friends who work in women’s health, this just isn’t the case. The media tends to present a distorted view of the process, and we only see the success stories of celebrities who are paying ridiculously big bucks. It’s just not that simple! I mean think about it – after a woman has suppressed her reproductive system with birth control for years, she can hardly expect it to jump back into shape without a problem.
This is obviously a topic in which I must tread lightly, for many have their reasons for postponing children, some can’t have kids and others just haven’t found the right man yet. However, for those who are ready and can have children earlier, there is so much beauty in this role. When I hear young women who desire to postpone kids for as long as possible or never have them at all, I often feel like society has brainwashed them into having that opinion – because a young, intelligent woman would never make a choice to embrace motherhood. But what they fail to see is that we women can still have it all – career and family – just not necessarily at the same time!
But what this all seems to be coming down to is this: in the end, could there ever be a better and more worthwhile job than raising your children with love? And when you’re young and in an appropriate situation, it seems like the ideal time to start. One of my best friends, married last year, has just fallen pregnant for the second time and is the perfect testament to just this. She’s healthy, energetic and just so excited about her role as a mother.
What do you think? Should a woman put her career first until a certain point? Are women still too young to be mothers in their twenties? Or do they just need to be educated on what a beautiful task it is?