Children first, then career

Says a career woman, via Alpha Game.

It's not the front end that's really the problem with late child birth (well, apart from the higher risk of chromosomal abnormality and complicated pregnancy).

It's the back end that's the problem, when you start doing the math and realizing you will not be a very energetic grandparent, and you may not survive to be a grandparent if your child waits around like you did.

50 is not the new 40, and 40 is not the new 30 is not the new 20, and never will be.


Anonymous said…
Yes, but children how? That is how should they be conceived? Sperm donors? Lifetime monogamous marriage at a young age to Joe Average? This seems to be the critical issue that doesn't get examined in these discussions. After all, having kids per se isn't the issue for most people interested in this topic. Any woman can go down to the sperm bank and "have kids" if she really wants to. Most people are interested in what the social and cultural arrangements concerning conception and child rearing are and should be.

This discussion presumes monogamous, lifetime marriage because that's what's prevailed culturally in the past until quite recently, but that was in a world in which there was no notion of "female careers." In that world, the utter dependence of women on men - their fathers, brothers, husbands, etc. - was taken as a given. But obviously in a world in which there are "female careers", there is no such dependence.

It's not clear to me that in a world of "female careers" arrangements such as "traditional marriage" i.e. lifetime, monogamous marriage can persist or are very robust.
The modern world is not set up for a lot of traditional things. Hence my argument that the Church should focus on aiding Christians in building a traditional, Church-centered life.

One travesty I've seen is families having to withdraw their children from the parish school because the tuition was too high.
Aaron said…
To put another way, you have the rest of your life to read books but only a brief window to raise children.

We're all a bunch of uncle Ricos wishing we had time machines.
Northern Refugee said…
The Mormons do it right. I am an engineer by trade and have worked with a surprisingly large number of Mormons. The would typically marry their high school/college sweatheart and start having kids almost immediately following graduation. By the time there were in their mid 20s, they would have 2 or 3, while their peers were still sleeping around and acting like juveniles (I can't judge too harshly; I spent my 20s in the military, wallowing in east Asian fleshpots). This sort of family formation is almost unheard of in the West, especially among the educated. The Mormons pull it off by offering an incredible support structure. Other Mormons will volunteer to take young mothers to the OB/GYN if the husband is busy at work. They will help young couples cook and clean, they will babysit, etc. The mainstream sects should try to emulate this sense of community, but I see no evidence of it taking hold. And absent that, I have little faith in the survival of most mainstream sects.