I have spoken about this issue several times before but after reading an article today in the Mail ( where else?) I really wanted to bring it up again.

There are so many fucked up arguments surrounding the ‘right time’ to have a baby. I think the Daily Mail have a reporter whose sole responsibility is to keep motherhood and all it’s issues at the top of their Femail page – I am constantly bombarded by stories about lonely women living with regret because they didn’t have children when they had the chance, or how wonderful motherhood is and how tragic those women who don’t experience it must be. The agenda is loud and bloody clear – have children quick before your ovaries give up and you are left alone to a life with nothing more exciting than tv dinners and rewatching your Bridget Jones dvd. It is starting to really piss me off.

Today we have a story about how women who delay having children, choosing to concentrate on their careers instead, are more likely to suffer from postnatal depression. The article uses terms such as ‘scientists have found’ and ‘research suggests’ which implies that it is actually credible and not agenda driven bullshit. It is soon apparent though that only 12 women were interviewed. How fantastically valid, representative and reliable then. Oh wait.

The researcher found that ‘you can’t control a baby; on the contrary, you have to be extremely flexible. ‘Several of the women I interviewed said themselves that this contributed to the huge feeling of letdown when things did not turn out as they had planned.’ Well what a fucking shocker – I think that is true of any age and relevant to any number of situations that don’t go the way you wanted them to. The fact that they are peddling yet another statistic and doom and gloom story about women and fertility is scary stuff. We already have it pretty bloody tough; the pay gap between men and women is showing little sign of pissing off, with women still earning considerably less with no reason other than we have a fucking vagina. We are under represented in a multitude of areas, most noticeably politics and media ownership where it really bloody matters, and we are part of the generation that is doomed to rent forever as accessible and affordable mortgages drift further and further out of reach. We really don’t need to add another bad egg to our pretty shit basket and yet here we are.

Women today have it hard. I don’t care what the media tells us about feminism and it’c ‘comeback’ (when did it leave by the way? Did I miss that?; Company and Cosmo can run all the feminism friendly crap they want; it’s marketing, pure and simple. They want to be seen as ‘doing something,’ as cashing in on a trend. They subject women to insane amounts of pressure, reinforce gender role stereotypes and allow the continued objectification of women so they can fuck off if they think we will overlook 40 years of shit in exchange for one badly worded article on the importance of feminism in society today.

Articles like this one add pressure to women that they don’t need. I know I am fertile and at my peak; my body tells me that, thanks. I also don’t need a Daily Mail reporter to tell me on a daily basis that I would regret ending life childless. What I do need is a society where having children is supported and encouraged in more ways than just through sloppy journalism and agenda riddled reporting. Better maternity conditions, cheaper child care options, family friendly workplaces, businesses seeing pregnant women as essential for the future and not a hindrence to success.. That would be a start. If the government are so keen for us to reproduce then they need to start by making a life with a child in it more of an appealing option. I get to the end of the month with just enough money for a can of coke and I earn well above the national average. How on earth am I supposed to afford the insane cost of raising a child? It is impossible. Telling me how much I will regret not having a child right now does not help the situation; I can’t afford a baby. All articles like this do to women is scare them, make them angry and resentful and worried. Paranoid and afraid of their own bodies that could betray them by not allowing them to create a baby when they can afford it. Articles like this tell us that we are wrong for wanting to work and provide for our children’s futures, our futures. Our identities. Wrong to consider working once mini me comes along. Wrong to consider waiting until we own a house or have enough money coming in to afford nappies and baby food. I see it as responsible and considerate to be honest but hey, what do I know?

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2117552/Women-delay-baby-theyve-established-career-vulnerable-postnatal-depression.html#ixzz1pgC0pElJ

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Category: Discussion, Feminism, My Thoughts
  • Sophia Ford

    I’m so glad you wrote this.

    I’ve been brought up in a traditional Cypriot family and it was expected of me to have children, and many of them, at a young age. By my 20th birthday my mum was in despair, why hadn’t I given her grandchildren yet?

    As I hit my 20s I became adamant that it would be career first, then children. I shouted from the rooftops how I wouldn’t have children until I was at least 35. Now I’m about to turn 26 and after years of being broody as hell, I want children sooner rather than later.

    But the cost of having a child terrifies me, it’s something we just can’t afford right now and so it’s put to the back of my mind until it’s a less daunting option. That in itself saddens me, as motherhood shouldn’t be so scary for the sheer fact of money.

    I constantly feel like the media are screaming at me to put a bun in the oven. For reasons you covered, because my eggs aren’t going to be there forever. But mostly? The media makes me feel as if I would be a complete failure as a mother, if I leave it any longer. It’s scary.

    I am lucky to be in a position where all those worries aside, I can have children. There are many not so lucky, who I feel would be far more negatively affected by the way media approaches motherhood than I – and each time a story is printed guilt tripping us for not having a dozen children at our ankles, I can’t help but wonder how psychologically damaging those stories are on those who have no choice.