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.
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.