An Article to Read: No. 2

Jul 02, 2013

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In The Atlantic’s July/August 2013 issue, professor psychology at San Diego State University Jean M. Twenge’s article “How Long Can You wait to Have Baby?” is well worth reading. Whether you have children, long for children, are wondering if you want children or are certain you would prefer to be an aunt, she dispels many popular accepted statistics regarding the fear mongering circulating around a woman’s biological clock.

Drawn from her successful book An Impatient Woman’s Guide to Getting Pregnant which was released last year, she draws on current research, debunks research that interestingly enough is based on findings from the 16th through the 19th century, not contemporary findings, and offers breathing room to women who do indeed want to have a career and a family by helping to assuage the fear, increase one’s knowledge and serve as a reminder that women need not fall prey to unfounded societal beliefs.

As someone who has never desired to be a mother, but would lay down my life for my niece, nephew and students, I admire deeply mothers and fathers who are devoted to raising children who are loved, responsible and full of possibility.  While reading the article, I found myself intrigued and reassured by Twenge’s contribution to eradicate the fallacies that many people toss around lightly about a very ponderous decision in any person’s life.

I’d be curious to know your thoughts after taking the time to read the article.

Image: The Atlantic

6 thoughts on “An Article to Read: No. 2

  1. Great article! Thank you! I read something similar at the doc’s office a while back and it made me feel much better as I am not in a hurry to have a baby (if I decide to have one at all, I am still on and off). I wish more people knew this info and stopped bothering me with their well-meant comments about waiting too long. Also did you notice how parents see every non-parent as a lesser citizen?

    1. So true!! I almost feel like they are trapped in the baby club, so they figure they should rope as many others in as possible! lol. I few times I have gotten “Well, you wouldn’t know, because you aren’t a mom.” and this was in response to an un-kid related subject!I DO still experience life and I DO still know things about the world, despite the fact I don’t have kids ; )

    2. I feel like there is an internet conspiracy going on! ;)I can’t even tell you how often this has popped up lately. This has been a constant debate for my husband and I for the past few years. Today I begin my 30th year…and everyone is happy to remind me that time is “running out”….and for someone who is still undecided, it can’t help but instill fear no matter how you look at it. I do however, think it is very important for people to be educated on their choice to wait. Many friends have pursued careers and relied on IVF as a “backup plan” only to realize that IVF success rates stand at 25%. Had they had known, they all say they would have started sooner. Thanks for posting such well-rounded posts!

  2. Its such a difficult subject to discuss because people are SO opinionated on the matter and no doubt someone will always get upset by comments.
    I am 33, 34 this year. I do not want children and have known this my whole life. My family know this (my Mother is more than happy with her Grandpuppy) and friends all know this.
    Yet for some reason being a woman in her 30s who openly does not want children is just plain unbelievable to some people. I way as well be racist or homophobic (im not either) for some of the looks I get when I tell people.
    I am not a child hater, I have 3 god children and 2 nephews, plus 90% of my friends have children that I love. But I don’t want my own, to keep, every day for ever. Yet I cant tell you how rude some people can be. ‘Oh you just don’t know yet love’ ‘you just have not found the right person’ ‘you clock will kick in’ ‘you will want them one day’ Urmmm are you basically calling me a liar? Of course I have a clock, and of course its ticking, but not for babys. Im not trying to fool anyone cause I cant have them (I am currently donating my eggs to a couple that really want children but cant have them) Its like You are a woman. you MUST have children, come on people its 2013.
    Anyway, my rambling point is.. I receive a huge amount of pressure even though I don’t want kids. I cant imagine being on the opposite end of wanting a child but just not right now, yet all the pressure from TV, papers & society, everywhere you turn. I honestly feel for the weight on peoples shoulders sometimes. Its a good post and im glad people are not afraid to tell the truth about matters despite what seems like the world against them.

    1. Anonymous – Thank you for sharing your experience and decision. I think there are many more women who feel the same way, but it is the uncertainty of how people will respond. The more people hear it and see women leading full and productive lives, the more at ease people will become as they realize that choosing to have children is not a decision that is to be taken lightly, is not what every woman must do to be viewed as a “good” woman and that whether one chooses to or chooses not to is solely their decision, not society’s or their family’s and we should support all women regardless.

  3. I agree with all above commenters. I also do not want children and just turned 31. I am not married yet (but have found the one I want to grow old with) and I am not looking forward to the “when are you having children” questions that will immediately start when I do get married.

    I especially agree with Sarah who states that I think the people who are most adament about the idea that you “must” have kids fall into the “misery loves company” camp. So many people have kids, and realize years in that it is not the fantasy world it is made out to be. The thing is, you can’t give them back. They did it bc it is what everyone else does, and now they realize that its really not all that great.

    I also have spoken with way too many men who regret getting married and having kids (and they love their kids) but their wives are a shadow of the person they married, and their lives are just one big monotonous routine that they despise. I can’t think of anything worse!

    Of course it is not everyone, but recent research has indicated that people without children are happier, and I think to that when people look at me like I am crazy for not wanting any.

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