All Articles Tagged "having children"
Listen up ladies out there, rushing to have babies before their eggs turn up into old, crusty dried up empty shells: you can now breathe a sign of relief as new evidence suggest that our baby making parts might have a much longer shelf life than we’ve previously thought.
According to Jean Twenge, a psychology researcher who has written for the Atlantic, “The widely cited statistic that one in three women ages 35 to 39 will not be pregnant after a year of trying, for instance, is based on an article published in 2004 in the journal Human Reproduction. Rarely mentioned is the source of the data: French birth records from 1670 to 1830. The chance of remaining childless—30 percent—was also calculated based on historical populations. In other words, millions of women are being told when to get pregnant based on statistics from a time before electricity, antibiotics, or fertility treatment. Most people assume these numbers are based on large, well-conducted studies of modern women, but they are not. When I mention this to friends and associates, by far the most common reaction is: “No … No way. Really?”
In fact, writes Twenge, there are plenty of studies that contradict popular wisdom about the fertility of women over-30, including one study, published in Obstetrics & Gynecology in 2004, which found that 82 percent of 35 to 39 year old women, who had sex at least twice a week, conceived within a year. The figure is only 4 percentages lower than the conception rate of woman, ages 27-to-34-year-olds. Twenge cites another study, which concluded that the typical woman was able to get pregnant until somewhere between ages 40 and 45. While Twenge acknowledges that fertility does lessen as we get older but the questions of, by how much and for how long, has been based on data that is largely debatable. “Fertility does decrease with age, but the decline is not steep enough to keep the vast majority of women in their late 30s from having a child. And that, after all, is the whole point,” she writes.
Generally speaking I have noticed that people have a visceral reaction and reflex to the idea of woman having children later in life even as men are free to spread their seed until the casket carries them home. Not to mention that I have met plenty of women, who have conceived way into their thirties – and a couple into their forties. So I always assumed that any pressure to conceive was probably and likely based on societal’s influence than actual fact. Like, the general consensus is that children are best had when young. You have more energy and are in better physical shape to keep up with them when they are small. Plus you can hurry up and get it all over with – and still have time in your life to enjoy retirement and the grandchildren, and if truly blessed, the great-grandchildren. I mean, who really wants to have to deal with children, then teenagers and finally college tuition over the age of forty?
But what if we are looking at it all wrong? What if having children later in life gave us time to spend our most active years – that we would have spent chasing, cleaning, teaching, etc…after a little one or two or several – on other life affirming activities like education (aka college)? And then after college, pursuing a career? And then after you decide you hate your career choice, quitting that and doing what was always your passion? Like art, or music, or helping people. And traveling. Don’t forget traveling. I’m not talking about trips to Disneyland or Coco Keyes or the closest kid-friendly amusement park. I’m talking about trips, which require passports and Visas and possible immunizations. What if instead of rushing prematurely into parenthood, you got to spend all of your hard earnings selfishly and freely (minus student loan debt) on yourself like that a thousand dollar Chanel Pink Lambskin Cambon Bowler CC Tote Bag (wish list)? I’m talking about evenings at swanky restaurants with even swankier adults, eating funny sounding food in tiny portions at tables that have no cartoon paper placemats, sippy cups, high chairs, crayons or screaming babies. I’m talking about having the privilege to enjoy coming home from work and eating a pop tart for dinner – because you feel like it – without worrying about denying another human being proper nutrition. And I’m talking about the freedom to come and go as you wish without having to worry about finding a babysitter, who is not a molester or does crazy stuff like this.
Most importantly, what if you can spent your younger years discovering yourself; your likes dislikes, ethics, morals, values? I can tell you how I felt at 20 didn’t reflect how I felt at 30 and damn sure doesn’t reflect who I am at 35. What if I had time to sort that all out before I had children?
When and what time in her life a woman decides to having children is and should be a personal choice. But I can also see how we as women can feel pressured and rushed into having children before they are fully ready. And, who wants to have children under that sort of duress? It makes motherhood/parenthood more like a chore. And I hate doing chores. I want to have children to enjoy my experience raising them. I want to teach them and fill them with the experience and knowledge that could only come from varied and fruitful life experiences and trial and error. I think if I had children earlier I wouldn’t be able to tell them about the time I saw some amazing art installation in Rotterdam or when I chilled out on the shores of Salvador Bahia, Brazil watching some local teenagers do capoeira. And then there is the knowledge that comes solely from living; like knowing what type of guys my baby girl should watch out for, experiences I had with guys and what to watch out for; and if my child is a he, how not to become one of those guys that his sister has to watch out for. Heck if I had kids when I was younger, I might not have had the time nor money for those experiences to share with them. Now that I think about it, I think I would make an awesome old mommy. At the least, a much better mother than I know I would have been if I had children when I wasn’t quite ready to have them.
Having children can bring up all kinds of emotions, but we were surprised by Isabella Dutton’s essay in the Daily Mail that said her main emotion was no emotion at all. Thirty-three years after giving birth to her first child, she can still recall quite clearly how indifferent she felt at the sight of her five-day-old son, Stuart, in his crib.
What did it, exactly? “Quite simply, I had always hated the idea of motherhood,” Dutton writes. “In that instant, any lingering hope that becoming a mum would cure me of my antipathy was dispelled.” Believing it selfish to have just one child, two years later she had a daughter—and the same feelings toward motherhood. Dutton married her husband at age 19, not wanting children though he said he wanted four. He thought she would eventually change her mind and she did at age 22, but only out of her love for him. Though she didn’t relish the job, she still got in with it. Dutton says she fed and clothed her children, took them to the park; she said no to nannies, feeling she would be the best for her kids. She didn’t want to do a “halfhearted” job, but Dutton still said her children “were like parasites [and]…would continue to take from me and give nothing meaningful back in return.”
The reluctant mother says she missed her old life, though with her day job as a typist at a telecommunications company, it’s not that she was doing anything terribly exciting. What she misses most is her time to herself and her uninterrupted time with her husband. Dutton is careful to point out her attitude toward having children isn’t a result of her own childhood. “Mum and I were close; even as an adult I could always confide in her. My childhood was very happy and conventional. Like most little girls I played with dolls. But I never recall a time when I wanted those make-believe games of motherhood to become a reality.”
Read more on MommyNoire.com.
It’s a taboo subject in our culture: Married women, who dislike, or even hate, having sex with their husbands. It’s a subject usually held in silence, behind embarrassment, confusion and sometimes even apathy. It’s consoled with inner thoughts, such as, “There’s more important things in a marriage than sex,” “This is just a phase,” or “My attraction will increase when the kids are older.”
But at the back of minds, a thought lingers: What if this is forever? What if I’m abnormal? What would outsiders think if they knew the truth about “us”?
Find out what happened to this woman and the fate of her marriage at Your Tango.com.
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Unfortunately, there are still some places that will treat you like a second class citizen simply because you’re black. While many of us recognize this fact, we wouldn’t assume that the place where we bring our children into the world, the hospital, would be so riddled by prejudice and racism.
But believe it. This was the case for writer Denene Millner who gave birth to her first child at a hospital in New York City.
You won’t believe how poorly she was treated on what was supposed to be a happy, memorable occasion. You can read her story at Black Voices.com.
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