Open Season on Women's Repoductive Organs?

The other day, I hopped in a taxi and had a conversation a little bit like this:

Taxi Driver: Do you have kids?
Me: No
Taxi Driver: You should probably have them before its too late, being an old mom isn't great. It's nice when the daughter looks like the mom's little sister.
Me: Um, okay. I'm still doing a PhD and would like to finish my education first.
Taxi Driver: You have loads of time, just don't wait too long. 

Granted, I don't actually LOOK my age, so I'm sure if he knew my real age, he would tell me to hurry up and have kids right this moment. 
Babies are lovely....just not yet, thank you!
If this were an isolated incident, I probably wouldn't think twice about it. I remember going to a wedding a couple years ago in which a woman turned to me and said, "My advice is to have kids in your 20s." I hadn't asked for her advice on my uterus or family planning. At the time, I was also single, so the added pressure of having kids before my 20s were up made me feel the increased panic.

Red pill guys (mostly found on Reddit), will say that once a woman reaches 30, she begins to panic about her biological clock and it is annoying. Well, perhaps it wouldn't be such an issue if we weren't being told left, right and center how to manage on our ovaries.

I've always known I would be an older mom. Everyone in my family looks remarkably young for their ages and I'm already shocking people with my own age, just like all of the women proudly did before me. I'm not sure if it is related, but women in my family have also had children quite late as well. Most of my closer relatives gave birth in their 30s, my grandmother in her late 30s and my mother and great-aunt in their 40s. Although I know all of that about eggs depleting after age 35 (although there is some debate about whether or not that is true), 35 seems like the right age for me to start having children...and it shouldn't be up for debate or discussion with a taxi driver or even a close friend.

There are so many reasons why people don't want to, or even worse, can't have kids...so bringing it up likely isn't helpful. As women, we are all aware of our desire, or non-desire to have kids. We are all aware of our own situations, financial, education, partner status, etc. and it all affects when, or if, we choose to reproduce. The subject of kids or no kids can also be painful for some women, so it seems wildly insensitive to just bring it up with some chick you're driving around in a taxi.

Recently, a friend of mine posted on Facebook that she often gets told off for having a large family (four kids), another girl agreeing with her.  Now, I know mega families like the Duggar clan do invoke some pretty strong opinions, but four kids? Really guys? And also, even if the Duggars do make your blood boil, I think it would be pretty rude to say so to their faces. They've already made their choice, what--are they going to go put the kids back?

When people make these comments to women about their reproductive health, I often wonder what they think the outcome will be. Should I have gone out and bagged a random and ditched my PhD just so I could have kids in my 20s?  Should I be abandoning my life goals so I can bask in the glow of looking like my future daughter's older sister? Should my friends with "too many kids" return them like bananas at a grocery store? Should the woman who has miscarried or cannot have kids feel guilty for not being able to reproduce? Should the woman who doesn't want children all of the sudden be inspired to have a brood of her own?


We think society has come so far, but it hasn't. I am appreciating all of the conversation coming out of current events in relation to gender, but it is continuing to highlight that we still aren't there yet.




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10 comments

  1. Everybody is different,not everyone is ready in the same age to have kids.You should have yours when you want not when somebody else told you too ;)
    Great post btw ;)

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    1. Thank you! It is everyone's own perogative but people get so weird about it. It is SO rude.

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  2. Ah, I love how random strangers feel entitled to comment on a woman's decision to have children. No wonder some politicians feel qualified to make sweeping decisions on birth control and sex ed.

    And "it's nice when the daughter looks like the mom's little sister"? Seriously? Weirdo.

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    1. Right? Okay, let me put my whole life on hold so I will make sure to look like my future child's older sister. ???

      I've never thought about the connection to politicians and random strangers, but it does make a lot of sense.

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  3. Great post, and I totally agree! How is it anyone else's business? Live your life, I'll live mine. Sheesh!

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    1. Definitely. People are so rude...I think it comes from this idea that women can't make their own choices.

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  4. Good post - and you're right. However, as a girl who is now over 40 and didn't really see having kids as part of her life and if so - would be later (late 30s).....now having one....is wonderful - more so than I thought it would be. And I am now thinking - Why didn't I have kids in my 20s - I'd be able to have 4 or 5 easily. Hindsight is always 20/20. But even knowing how my thinking has changed for me personally...doesn't make it okay to offer those insights to a stranger. Although I can see that maybe they just want to offer some perspective --- but we jump to the defense and respond with "it's my life" tendencies. Perhaps it is easier to focus on silly things (like looks) rather than sharing the true feelings with a stranger.....
    All that being said....I'm definitely hoping the pendulum swings back the other way and my son will have kids in his 20s - early 20s! I want to be able to be a fun grandma!! And yes...I realize how selfish that is and hypocritical. We humans are complex!

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    1. I think it is entirely up to the person. Some people may regret that they didn't have kids young whilst other people regret that they did. There is so much in life to enjoy before having kids, though, and I feel like people ignore that when their priority is to be a "hot" or "young" mom. But it is everyone's personal choice! I think, though, women often get this sort of thing said to them more often than men, which is why it gets annoying...especially if you are unlucky in your love life the way I was for so long. All of this made me feel like I was going to miss out on someone or something because I couldn't find the right guy.

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  5. I'm in my late 20s and pregnant with my first, but I feel you. I got married young and that seems to make it even more of an open season.....I've been harassed for years about having kids. There's things in life that can only be enjoyed and experienced pre-kids. But everyone's opinions and choice are there own and it really is annoying when everyone (even strangers!) think they can comment on it.

    My Wholesome Home

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    Replies
    1. Agreed. And even people who have kids early get rude comments as well. It is so rude. Congrats on your first, though!

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