Several weeks ago, Nathanael and I attended one of the happiest baby showers I had ever been to. The reason for being overjoyed was that many honestly felt this day would have never come for the guest of honor. The determination and health altering dedication of this well deserving couple, Kristine and Rob, helped them become pregnant and have a healthy baby girl, in their forties.
I was reminded of this wonderful day while speaking with Kim Lucey of WFSB-TV Channel 3 Eyewitness News, a week later, about women starting families past their average age expectancy in the United States. Kim told me that the average age, based on a 2014 report, was 26 years and 4 months and that Connecticut ranks higher along with New York, at 28 years of age. Well, I got that statistic beat by several years when I had Nathanael at 31!
I read on and spotted another interesting fact that when the government began to track this statistic, the average age for first-time moms was at 21 years old. This little tidbit ran right along side my parents having me at 20, in the 1970s!
Now, here’s where that fact makes sense, back then. Even though it was decades after the time of “women’s lib”, we were still expected to do the following after high school in the 70s; get married and have babies. And the kicker was, that due to the women’s movement you were also expected to get a job; a much lower paying job then your male college-attending counterparts, but still a job, nonetheless.
Decades after this time, we women have made it a point to continue our education to shatter those glass ceilings, but at the cost of putting our baby making, family time-frame, on hold. This is true with me. I went to college (unlike my mom) graduated and started my graphic design career, (also unlike my mom) before thinking of marriage and a family.
Am I glad I did? You bet I am! To now have a beautiful healthy family and a small business of my own is exactly where I want to be! It is also the direction of where a lot of moms-to-be are going in the future.
But it’s not all about waving the flag of women’s rights as the main reason we are focusing now on our careers. The higher cost of living in today’s society has also a huge contribution to this cause. Gone are the days of our grandfathers and fathers time when you could support your family on one single income. Many women have to go out into the workforce now (whether they like it or not) to pay for everything that costs double or even triple what it did a generation ago.
Another reason to others having a baby is simply their own personal choice. Period. My friends Christine and Mark can attest to that. They felt that now, being established professional people, was time for them to have a baby. With us living in this day and age of an excellent prenatal healthcare system, this decision can be achieved. Our past mentality of having ten babies to ensure several will survive to adulthood no longer applies, so people can be more selective in when and how many children they would like to have.
I really enjoyed the discussion I had with Kim Lucey and now looking back, even though that was a whirlwind of a day (bringing my son to school, cleaning like a mad women, having WFSB-TV Channel 3 Eyewitness News come in, get interviewed and leave all before my 1pm meeting with a client) further supports my case of us busy women and what we do to ensure our future and have babies in the process.
For those of you who would like to see the finished product, here is the news segment called “Women Waiting Longer To Have Their First Child” which aired that very evening (well done, Kim!) I shared it on Facebook when it first came out and got a great response from other women who had done the same thing with their lives. So, what’s your story? Please let us know, we would love to hear about it!