Why I’m with Kirstie Allsop, we SHOULD be having babies earlier

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Kirstie Allsop caused outrage this week when she suggested that women be better educated in their fertility, with the result being that more women should go straight into work after school, save to buy a house and have a baby and THEN go to university and focus on progressing their career.

Feminists, went mental. Girls in my office were like WHAT THE FUCK IS KIRSTIE SAYING? SHE’S SO ANNOYING.

And I was quietly sat in the corner like, err I get it Kirstie, I get it.

I’ve known i’ve wanted kids relatively early since I was 15. It happened one day whilst I was a waitress on washing up duty at a golf club. Lost in my own thoughts about whether to have a Chicago Town pizza or a Pot Noodle for dinner, I was drawn to the size of my hips. Right then and there I decided that if I had such naturally ginormous hips I was obviously made to make babies and therefore I should always put a family before a career.

I know, sounds so 1940 doesn’t it?

Don’t get me wrong, I always knew I was going to go to university and I was always going to be relatively competitive about getting a career, but I KNEW I was going to want to juggle it with having kids whilst I was young enough to run around with them, to sort of ‘get’ them as teenagers and to be around to see my grandkids grow up.

But what i’d have given to shake up the entire order in which we do things the way Kirstie suggests.

When I went to uni I had no idea what I wanted to do, I wasn’t passionate enough about anything to really make the most of the money I’d spent on fees and I could have done with some time out in the working world to save and get ready for the rest of my life – maybe even buy a house outside of London to set me up.

Truth be told, I make a pretty mean journalist, but i’d have loved to have been a doctor – having decided that at 21, I now think i’ve left it too late to advance on a new career AND have time for kids.

Obviously the main flaw in all of this is that you can’t actually have kids without a boy of some sort. Although it’s not ideal to have kids with parents who break up later in life, it also didn’t do me too much harm – it gave me strength, independence and has probably made me closer with my brothers.

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I think Kirstie’s entirely right, we DO need better educating about our fertility. Hell, I had no idea mine was already declining – I am 24 and my fertility has already started on the slippery slope to nothingness, how is that a thing?

I’ve spoken to some friend that i’ve grown up with – not women who ran off to London to embark on competitive careers – just normal girls who grew up to do different things, and the consensus is that the late twenties to early thirties is the right ‘timing’.

But is that even too late if we want enough time to push out more than one?

We also discussed the biological clock that starts ticking about now (boyfriend, please don’t leave me), and although it’s half down to the constant Facebook bombardment of our school peers shooting babies out at an alarming rate, it’s probably also our bodies way of saying ‘OH HIII DON’T FORGET ABOUT YOUR WOMB, IT’S STARTING TO LIKE YOU LESS AND LESS’.

We are the generation that can have everything. Just remember that we cannot defy nature. We can go against social norms and create exciting opportunities and break records but we cannot change the way our bodies work.

Don’t think that just because you’re ace at work that you’ll be ace at making a baby.

Because from what i’ve heard from the over-35s that waited because they wanted to have everything in the workplace that their mothers didn’t, it’s not all that easy to convince your body to get pregnant when it’s too old to.

 

  • I totally agree with you and Kirstie.
    Although I think going to Uni straight after school can be good to develop life skills etc, I do also think that girls are pressured into have a career whether they like it or not. There is a shame now in wanting to have children at a time more suitable to your body, which doesn’t make any sense!

  • Good to hear your honesty on this Hannah. I think it has almost become taboo to admit you might put kids before career now. I wrote a blog on this myself today too: http://www.motherdiaries.com/2014/06/feminism-motherhood-and-kirstie-allsopp.html

  • It’s interesting to hear the other viewpoint on this and I think this is great for those who grow up wanting only to raise a family rather than prioritising a career. But what about all those other women out there who have worked and campaigned for decades to give us the choice? What about all those girls out there who don’t feel ready for children and a family, or those women who don’t meet the right guy? Are we supposed to settle for any boyfriend of the moment in order to make a baby? What if he doesn’t want a baby yet? And what happens when the kids grow up and move out and you are left needing to find work without any experience/qualifications etc? I think CowHeartGirls’ comment raises a good point in terms of this shame that is placed on having children young. But perhaps this is because there are so many who become pregnant before they are ready, or in the UK, because they see it as an easy ride to get benefits to pay for your life and flat… It’s a difficult one and I can see both sides, but the argument for women being entitled to a career and for this being more beneficial in the long-run than raising children straight off the bat seems stronger to me.. I wrote a post on it and would be interested to read your comments on it :)x

  • I agree with your argument entirely but just to rock the boat a little; we are all able to make the decision about when to go to university, so ultimately it’s our responsibility rather than a cry out to society to change the norm…

  • Lucy

    I agree with your argument – for you. And for other girls who want to have children at this point. I personally know that I am not ready for children, won’t be for quite a while and may never be. There would be no point in me reaching a certain age and having a kid just because my fertility was about to become questionable – what kind of mother would I be if I wasn’t entirely sure it was what I wanted? I have grown up with a parent who didn’t want me – I don’t wish that on anyone else, let alone my own child!
    But, when one woman says she thinks this about life.. that’s cool. Every woman is allowed to have her own opinion on what constitutes the right way to do things. For some reason though, when one woman speaks out she is seen as a representative and speaker for all women, it’s crazy!
    So good for you for speaking out. It’s not the right choice for me but it is for you and that’s all that matters xxx
    Lucy @ La Lingua Italy

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