Re: In the Trenches (Michelle Goldberg & Michelle Cottle)
Regarding biological clocks and the child/no-child divide, I can offer one data point. I had my children when I was 37 and 39, although I remember starting to really want kids of my own around age 33. Prior to that, I knew I wanted kids some day but had no strong urge to have them then. People decide to have kids for all sorts of reasons, and biological clocks are undoubtedly influenced to some degree by genetics, by marriage, by individual circumstance, and by culture. Some of my friends had theirs when they were 25, some had them when they were 30, some waited as long as I did. I am a big believer in waiting to have kids until you want to have kids. I also think that waiting to have kids until after one has had time to pursue one's own interests diminishes the sense of regret for lost opportunities that many younger parents, especially women, experience. I had plenty of time to establish my career and travel and do what I wanted to do prior to having kids, many of which things I would not have done if I had had kids when I was younger. And while I find being a mother to be infinitely rewarding, I wonder if I would feel so rewarded if having them had come at the expense of other things I have been able to have as a result of postponing motherhood. I also have lots of friends to whom I can turn for advice regarding my kids because their kids have already gone through whatever phase mine are going through. Best of all, I find that having kids in elementary school at my age is a great youth enhancer. It is impossible to feel and act like an old person when one has young kids. And most of my kids' friends' parents are younger than I, so my non-work life in general is a younger one than might otherwise be the case. Many of my friends with kids in college seem almost a generation older than I in their behaviors, attitudes, aspirations, life stage, etc.