I’ve seen an uproar today in Kirstie Allsopp’s comments about having children younger to live your life when you get older. Some have said that’s just reversing the course that feminism has fought for, but what if actually they are wrong?
Feminism has taught women of all ages to be strong, to aim for their careers and strive for equality, which still has a long way to go when average women today are having children at later ages to focus on their careers and are scared of going on maternity leave incase they might lose their job. Women and men were outraged by Kirstie’s comments because they imply going back to the 1940’s when women lived for their household and families, I know Kirstie loves her vintage but I don’t think that’s exactly what she means by this especially when girls are having children by choice younger and younger. Maybe the point is that because feminism is about women having choice… if a girl chooses to have a baby young and focus on her career later on in life, who are we to judge, isn’t it her decision; goal and above all life? Of course not every girl/woman wants to have children and so they may choose to focus on their careers, but I get a sense that those women who want children feel pressured to pick their career first or try and have it all because of the standards some feminists have said we need to follow; there have been women who are slated for choosing to be house-wives or stay-at-home mum’s and what is wrong with that? Nothing.
Myself, I have tried to get my further education and build up by business at the same time because I would like to have children one day in the future and have my degree and my business stable when I choose to start a family. Even now trying to juggle education and my business is a struggle at times so I couldn’t imagine throwing a baby into the mix – I’d most likely spend most of my nights crying on the phone to my mom on loud speaker in front of my laptop, crying baby in one hand and a uni study guide in the other – that actually sounds like my idea of a nightmare! But! There are young women my age (20) who are doing this, whilst others will bad-mouth them for having a child so young – at the the wrong time, I’d have to give them my upmost respect for doing something that I couldn’t. Which brings me to the next point, when is the right time? They say get your education first, buy a house, travel, live your life… but first of all surely having children is living your life but also, what if it all goes wrong? What if you’re told at a young age that you should children soon otherwise you might not be able to when you’re older – you had plans to go to university and buy a house – I guess in this case Kirstie could be right, have your child and then go and get your education later. What if you get to 35 you’ve been married for ten years, have your own home and suddenly it all goes wrong? You lose your job or you and your husband get divorced, you might even reach a later age to find out you can’t have children then questions come in such as, ‘could we afford IVF?’ … ‘Can we deal with the wait and process of adopting a baby?’. I don’t think we can dictate when the time is right to have children, maybe it is one of those ‘you know when you know’ things.
Whilst I do not completely agree with Kirstie – I personally would quite like to get my education out of the way without having screaming kids running around creating mayhem – but I do believe she has some points that are valid if you are willing to look at both sides and opinions and if by some twist of fate I did have a child now, I would embrace it as best as I could because life is one big roller coaster (Just like Ronan Keating sang) and not everything goes the way you plan it to. Being 45 no kids around, doing a degree or building your career is no problem, you still have 20 years at the least before you need to retire; so maybe we should stop frowning and ‘advising’ when women and what circumstances they should be in to have children and support the fact that they have a choice which has been what feminists has fought for women to have for years.