The Age of Pregnancy: Women VS Men

by Emery W.

Sooooo… When’re you having kids? 

 Photo Credit FX

Photo Credit FX

 

How often do women hear, “You don't have any kids yet? You should get on that before it’s too late.” Mostly by the age of 30-35, women are being pressured to have children before their baby-making bits “dry up”.

I remember my sister telling me that her obstetrician during her first pregnancy told her that she was “starting late” in terms of having kids. She was 28. Even my mother considered herself a late bloomer when she was pregnant with my sister at 25. Imagine how she felt being pregnant with me at 32. Her reasoning? All her friends got pregnant right out of high school.

In a world where teen pregnancy is continuously criticized, and couples who get married right out of high school are frowned upon because they’re simply too young to know any better, where is the line that says, “It’s ok to get married, and start a family,”?

 Photo Credit MTV

Photo Credit MTV

 

I bring the subject up because as a 25-year-old woman in a committed relationship with a 23-year-old, I have people ask me all of the time, “Do you have kids?” when I respond with no, the follow-up question tends to be, “Why not? Don’t you think it’s time?” Honestly, I would love to get married and start a family, but realistically, my boyfriend and I aren’t ready to take that major step yet. You see, people see me, and automatically think that the longer I wait, the less likely I am to have children. They look at my boyfriend and think, he has so much time. Getting married and having kids would ruin the prime years of his life. There’s only a two-year difference between us. Is my prime time not as important as his?

Women reach menopause around the age of 50, give or take, which is when they reach the end of their child-bearing years. Also, the older the age of the mother when she’s pregnant, the higher the risk of developmental issues in the baby become. Men lose their ability to have children around…never. Sure, some risks get higher, but they never actually lose the ability to procreate. Is that why there’s such a double-standard on women feeling the need to have children before they reach middle-aged versus men?

 

Girls are told all the time that they mature faster than boys; both physically and mentally. While some females feel that they can handle settling down at 25, society has placed the thought that being monogamous is a curse until they hit their mid to late 30s. What are we ladies supposed to do until then? Conform to the stigma that we only use men to reproduce? No way. If we’re all expected to attend school at the same time, graduate college, and have a career by our late 20s, then women don’t deserve to be shamed for not being able to get pregnant after a certain age.

Let it be known now that I no way, shape, or form, condone teenage pregnancy. Do I respect the young women who have had a baby, raised it, and morphed their life around their child? Fuck yes! Just as much as I support the young women that make the decision to give their child up for adoption. I also respect strong women like Janet Jackson who made the decision to put their career first before having a child. At the end of the day, we were the sex that God blessed with the ability to endure the transition and pain of childbirth. No matter how old or young the mother happens to be. Birth is a beautiful, natural thing. Not some process made to fit in a man-made timetable.

Emery Williams