Woman explains what she was told about having children when she was young

Man teaching woman proper marksmanship
Man teaching woman proper marksmanship

This article is by Ellie Bufkin, writing for the The Federalist. I always had a suspicion that women were being told not to marry too early, and not to have kids too early, but to instead enjoy their freedom. (With all that that entails) In some cases, it was their own mothers telling them this. Here is the story of one woman who was told to follow her dreams – as long as they didn’t involve marriage and children.

Excerpt:

Since I was young, I’ve heard a non-stop stream of encouragement for me, as a “modern woman,” to take charge of my own life, live independently, and chase my dreams. This seems like the obvious advice we should give children, except that many people spent so much time chasing their dreams and creating their bespoke lives that they forgot to have children.

While growing up in the suburbs, my post-scholastic dream did not consist of finding a partner and having babies. I wanted to see the world, experience many cultures, and live without having to worry about caring for anyone else. I ended up in a fast-paced career with a propensity for hard partying, late hours, and a taste for travel and luxury.

As years ticked by, I assumed my perfect life would simply fall into place when I was ready, my career would steadily improve, and I would be swept off my feet by a perfect man. I had many friends with the exact same expectations for their lives, and today, we are pretty much all still single and childless.

We set our expectations so high that we never achieved them. We dated people with the same hope for impossibly perfect lives and moved from city to city, hoping we could achieve a greatness that was not to be.

[…]Liberal feminists widely consider it to be morally wrong to have children in your twenties, or to have more than two children, or to continue any unplanned pregnancy. As a species, shouldn’t we want to reproduce? If we continue to reinforce the idea that having kids is a taboo choice, how long will it be before there are no children?

Many of the women I went to primary and high school with never left our little hometown, and now have their own children in the exact suburb I couldn’t wait to get away from. In my twenties, I pitied them. How could they be so uncurious as to never leave home? Weren’t we all raised to believe that women had choices now?

The next thing I want to do is to give you some facts about infertility, and whether women have accurate beliefs about infertility.

Dina sent me this UK Daily Mail article a while back, but I held onto it until I could find something to pair it with.

It says:

One of Britain’s top NHS fertility specialists last night issued a stark warning to women: Start trying for a baby before you’re 30 – or risk never having children.

In a strongly worded letter to Education Secretary Nicky Morgan, consultant gynaecologist Professor Geeta Nargund has also demanded that teenagers are taught about the dangers of delaying parenthood, because of the spiralling cost to the taxpayer of IVF for women in their late 30s and 40s.

[…]Prof Nargund said last night: ‘Ideally, if a woman is ready for a child, she should start trying by the time she is 30. She should consider having a child early because as a woman gets older, her fertility declines sharply.’

If a woman started trying early enough, doctors would still have time to diagnose problems and take action before it was too late, she said.

Her comments were endorsed by Professor Allan Pacey, outgoing chair of the British Fertility Society.

‘You need to be trying by 30 because if there is a problem and you need surgery, hormones or IVF, then you’ve got five years to sort it out,’ he said. ‘If a woman starts trying at 35, doctors have got to sort it out when she is already on a slippery fertility slope’.

My friend Drew found a study reported on by ABC News, that explained why the age of 30 is so important.

Excerpt:

By the time a woman hits 30, nearly all of her ovarian eggs are gone for good, according a new study that says women who put off childbearing for too long could have difficulty ever conceiving.

The study published by the University of St. Andrews and Edinburgh University in Scotland found that women have lost 90 percent of their eggs by the time they are 30 years old, and only have about 3 percent remaining by the time they are 40.

Now, do most women know what the experts say about infertility?

Consider this article from Aeon magazine.

It says:

Many studies show that women are not only woefully ignorant when it comes to fertility, conception and the efficacy of assisted reproductive technologies (ART) – but they overestimate their knowledge about the subject. For instance, a 2011 study in Fertility and Sterility surveyed 3,345 childless women in Canada between the ages of 20 and 50; despite the fact that the women initially assessed their own fertility knowledge as high, the researchers found only half of them answered six of the 16 questions correctly. 72.9 per cent of women thought that: ‘For women over 30, overall health and fitness level is a better indicator of fertility than age.’ (False.) And 90.9 per cent felt that: ‘Prior to menopause, assisted reproductive technologies (such as IVF) can help most women to have a baby using their own eggs.’ (Also false.) Many falsely believed that by not smoking and not being obese they could improve their fertility, rather than the fact that those factors simply negatively affect fertility.

[…]According to a 2011 study in Human Reproduction, which surveyed 410 undergraduate students, most overestimated a women’s chances of spontaneous pregnancy in all age groups, but particularly after receiving IVF beyond age 40. Only 11 per cent of the students knew that genetic motherhood is unlikely to be achieved from the mid-40s onward, unless using oocytes or egg cells frozen in advance. ‘This can be explained by technological “hype” and favourable media coverage of very late pregnancies,’ the authors concluded.

So, I guess now I’ll issue my advice to women in their 20s on how to avoid being single and childless at 35.

Money gives men confidence to pull the trigger on marriage, so you should focus your efforts on men with a solid balance sheet and a gap-less resume. Beware of men who paint a rosy picture of their finances in the future that makes you feel good, but who have not demonstrated their ability to earn or save. It’s much better to focus your time on a man who can marry you right now. The best way to tell if a man is capable of marriage is not by listening to confident words, it’s by looking to see how he has prepared to perform his roles, one of which is provider.

Be debt free. Study STEM in school, update your resume, and get a job that pays well. Jobs are not meant to be fun or fulfilling. You need to be preparing financially for marriage, and that means a normal 8-4:30 job in an office with 3% annual raises and 401K matching. The more you save to help your man with the down payment on your house, the better. Pursuing fun and spending money on frivolous things like travel makes you addicted to fun, which is unsuitable for the hard work and responsibilities in marriage. Working a hard job is a good way to break down your selfishness, and prepare you to take your obligations to others seriously. Don’t live in the moment,  do sacrifice for the future. Believe me: a woman’s debt is a serious damper on a man’s willingness to marry her.

If you went to college, chances are that you absorbed a lot of feminism. Feminism emphasizes being free of constraints, feeling happy, having fun, career over family, and independence from the needs of men and children. You need to renew your mind in order to undo the cultural denigration of marriage and children. Get yourself a marriage mentor, ask for book recommendations that will educate you about the challenges and rewards of marriage. A good marriage mentor will explain to you why marriage is a better plan than the feminist plan, and will emphasize self-denial, self-sacrifice, self-control and serving others. It’s only by getting specific about marriage and parenting that your heart will change to want to work on marriage rather than work on the things that the feminist culture prefers. I recommend Dr. Laura’s book on husbands, and lectures by Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse.

This talk of infertility made me think of a woman I know who just turned 30. She spent most of her 20s in relationships with huge, tall burly men. Race car drivers, etc. She liked to travel, especially to the beach. She liked ride around with in boats with buff guys. Now, at 30, she is very jaded about men and struggling to even get a date. In my experience, men are most open to marrying a woman who is young, athletic, and doesn’t have baggage from fun-seeking with hot bad boys. Sexual baggage usually builds impatience, mistrust and controlling behavior in a woman. Men prefer to marry virgins who are calm, stable and not addicted to alcohol or drugs. The less experience the better. The time to focus on serious marriage-minded providers and leaders is when you have what they want to marry.

9 thoughts on “Woman explains what she was told about having children when she was young”

  1. I think I’m lucky I went to college and was already anti-feminist, and then was able to find a good man there, marry at 20, and we started our life together (with everyone against it, including our parents!).

    But yes, I always heard this advice, even from my own parents who were supposed to be more anti-feminist considering that they raised me to want marriage and children.

    Looking back, we are both so glad we married when we did, and then had children when we probably weren’t truly “ready,” by society’s standards. It was hard at the time, but it was definitely worth any struggle. The rewards… just even knowing that we’ll be married 11 years soon and be so young, are incredible!

    It’s very strange… I’ll be having our last (4th baby) at the exact same age that my mother chose to have her 1st baby (me)… I started that much younger.

    “A good marriage mentor will explain to you why marriage is a better plan than the feminist plan, and will emphasize self-denial, self-sacrifice, self-control and serving others. It’s only by getting specific about marriage and parenting that your heart will change to want to work on marriage rather than work on the things that the feminist culture prefers.”

    ^^Yes :) this is so true.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Sadly,I get opposite comments…”why did you marry so young and have children young” And, now that I’ve been single for a while (not my Choice), numerous immediate and extended family and my childhood community PUSH me to be a “modern woman” They’ve been brainwashed and now say, “You need to get outta here, move on, Date around ALOT, get a life, etc. etc. ad nauseum. And, all I ever wanted was to be a wife & mother! Why do so many not understand that as long as the man is a Christ Follower and is on his knees in prayer for guidance as the Leader…then, I can be wife to most any man…I’m so TIRED of hearing…”find the perfect one!”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love Dr. Morse’s work. I’ve listened to many of her interviews! Professsor Mark Regnerus is another good one, he focuses a lot on young marriage.

    My mother tried to force feminism ideals down my throat, which was why I went to college in the first place. The deal was I couldn’t get married if I didn’t go to college. So I got enough credits to just about have a 2-year degree and got married just after I turned 18. She wasn’t happy, but I have fulfilled most of what she had asked so she let it go.

    Ended up right after we got married that I got a nice scholarship to a bigger university (I had done community college prior to that). I was four weeks pregnant the first time I stepped foot campus and didn’t know for another few days. I was overjoyed, I had wanted a big family to stay at home with and take care of but had been told it was an unlikely possibility for me. My mother had highly discouraged it because I needed to be an “independent woman” and “nobody should need a man.”

    As the semester went on, I inevitably had to tell my classmates because of morning sickness and my growing belly. One classmate, a male, was happy for me. All of the females thought I was nuts! Not only that, but some tried to physically assault me so I would miscarry. The campus doctor tried to pressure me into an abortion due to my age. I wasn’t having any of it. So I dealt with their disgust and hatred towards my unborn child and tried my best to finish out the semester.

    One on of the last class days, one of the girls who had been so awful to me this whole time asked me in wide-eyed wonder if I could feel my baby moving at that point. She said, “You are so lucky to be married with a baby and getting out of here.” Then, realizing she had admitted to jealousy, she blushed and walked away.

    I went home to my husband and our child and never returned to college life. They expected to be single for several more years to finish degrees and establish careers, at which point it will be too late. I felt and continue to feel bad for them, they have no idea what they are missing.

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  4. Wintery, I always appreciate your candor and good advice. I agree that men should be financially prepared. In my opinion you narrow in on this one criteria to the exclusion of other more important factors.

    The New York attourney general could provide well financially, but certainly wasn’t a good candidate for marriage. The same money that allows a man to provide makes him attractive to many women and opens many dating opportunites for him.

    It may be more useful to focus on men who strongly want to get married. And who give strong evidence that they can be communicative and faithful for the duration of the marriage.

    This is totally anecdotal but all the men I know who have a strong desire to get married are at least one of the following: highly religious, abstain from sex until marriage, are generally undesirable and would happily exchange commitment for sex.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have to ask this, What makes you think the majority of women out there are marriage material??????
    Very bad business proposition, a man getting married today!!!

    Like

  6. The Boomers (and I am one of them) have ruined everything for the young. Bald face lying to the young women (and men) about what is important in life, stealing their future families, wealth and livelihoods.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am a “boomer” and I taught my daughters morals and respect!
      Those insipid’s that said I was too strict a father, were told to go take a hike!
      They were taught work ethic and how to deal with people and elders!
      Parenting is not some magical feat!!!
      They to went college and worked part time to pay for their extras.
      We told them about family life and not to wait too long to figure out if they wanted it! They are both doing very well, as well as their families…

      Liked by 1 person

  7. My friend Drew found a study reported on by ABC News, that explained why the age of 30 is so important.

    Excerpt:

    By the time a woman hits 30, nearly all of her ovarian eggs are gone for good, according a new study that says women who put off childbearing for too long could have difficulty ever conceiving.

    The study published by the University of St. Andrews and Edinburgh University in Scotland found that women have lost 90 percent of their eggs by the time they are 30 years old, and only have about 3 percent remaining by the time they are 40.

    Source: https://abcnews.go.com/GMA/OnCall/women-fertility-falls-lose-90-percent-eggs-30/story?id=9693015

    Like

  8. In addition to the health risks of geriatric pregnancies and fertility rates declining with age:

    A Christian friend of mine told me about an unscripted talk show interview, where the interviewer had three moms who were in their late 40’s / right around 50.

    One of the moms had her children in her mid 20’s (and so she was an empty nester),
    The second mom had her child/children in her early 30’s (believing she wanted to develop her career a bit and be financially stable),
    And the third mom had her child just after 40 (believing she needed to be on top of her career and accomplished as much for her career as possible before having kids). I don’t recall if the third needed IVF or not. IVF is another big ball of yarn.

    In comparing experiences:
    – the first mom felt like she had the most energy for her kids. (The older moms were TIRED.)
    – all of them felt like they were able to progress in their careers although the timing was different (!!)

    The first mom wasn’t able to work on her career with young children, but as the children were in school, she was able to do more with work. She was able to do even more once her kids were in college. They did struggle a bit financially when they were younger — but they had to adjust their expectations.

    My now retired senior pastor has often made the observation that people want to get (whatever life, education, career, finances) right before getting married, and instead, he offered that instead that two heads are better than one (you make better decisions with your spouse), if both of you are trying to glorify God and are intentionally seeking Him, you will be an encouragement to each other, support each other, provide accountability to each other, etc.

    Of course this also assumes Christians will try to do their best to obey God.

    Liked by 1 person

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