Wednesday, October 19, 2011
If you talk to an IVF specialist, the majority of whom are men you will always get the same story. Women are delaying pregnancy too long and increasing their chances of being infertile. But you’ve also got to remember that these professionals reason for existing is solely to assist the barren breed. They only see women who are desperate and in some cases, remorseful about not being able to have children unassisted or at all.
But perhaps a sociologist would see the situation differently. Women may be becoming increasingly fussy about who they shack up with, for good reason. Marriage is traditionally an economic transaction. Women offer their ability to produce an heir for a man and in return they are fed and sheltered.
Things have changed significantly since the bad old days when women who “lived without the protection of a man” were branded as witches. With economic independence has come choice. Many women genuinely choose to save their pennies, over rushing into an unsuitable coupling. Is independence such a bad thing?
With independence also comes the choice to reproduce or not. While the IVF specialists see the ones who may have regrets over that choice, or who may have been ignorant about underlying fertility issues (the over prescribing of the contraceptive pill at the first signs of any menstrual irregularities often cheats women from making choices around common conditions like PCOS and endometriosis) there are more females not fronting up at the clinics and are quietly going uncounted.
Being fussy but happy is not a headline clincher. Some women in their late 30s/early 40s actually choose to be in an equal relationship, with someone they are genuinely compatible with, over becoming a mother. Our woeful divorce and de facto separation rates belie the consequences of settling for less in a partner. Instead of settling for less, perhaps women would be better off setting their standards higher in the first place?
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Why then is it looked upon as being wrong by many in society?
Most people I meet whom I have chosen to share details with such as this go quiet and don’t say much. I would love to know their honest thoughts?
For those who do say something and there was one instance of that this past week gone where it was remarked that “you are still young enough to have children yet.” I just laugh and wonder what drives them to be so righteous regards procreation?
Is it a desire to pass on their bloodline, is it that it is just accepted to breed, are they lonely in their relationship and need another mouth around…I don’t get it?
My blood pressure rises slightly sometimes and I think about getting political and questioning their thoughts on population and our management of the planet thus far...but I don't.
But, on to our situation. I met my partner years ago, in our late 20’s to be more precise. We were meant for each other and to this day love and respect each other completely. As for not having children…well, that just sort of happened. There wasn’t any earnest discussion, we just woke up one day and one of us mentioned it and the other agreed…voila, the matter was settled.
The girly has pretty much always stated that she doesn’t feel maternal and I respect that decision completely. As for me, I could go either way, but having experienced life without children thus far I am pretty happy with the decision not to breed.
As for our families, well…both have been pretty quiet on the issue and no one has really dared to question our choice thus far but we have received our fair share of silent scorn for choosing not to breed and carry on the lineage. Especially from my side of the family although we live on opposite sides of the country so distance has been a wonderful cure to that ailment. One of my brothers has questioned the choice and stated that we might find ourselves lonely when we are old with no one to care for us. Fair point, but I don’t agree because there is no guarantee your children will actually give a stuff about you when you get old and crusty.
Life though has a funny way of serving you up the next course and for whatever reason we found ourselves with a fur-family instead. Let me take this opportunity now to make it clear that we didn’t choose one over the other…it just happened so very naturally.
First came a Siamese and Tonkinese cat, both of whom had our hearts the first night they were ours. Then came a snooty Burmese male cat and his little partner in crime another seal point Siamese. Unfortunately his desire to be wild was too much for us to keep close and he got out and was mauled by a stray dog. We still have his ashes on top of the wardrobe and have not as yet chosen to spread them somewhere but the day will come when we put him to rest finally upon the earth.
Next were Dachshunds, a boy and a girl both from the same litter who have equal love and scorn for each other. They are wonderful companions to be with in this life and yeah the house is a bit doggy smelling but the payoffs are worth it. Case in point, every day I come home from work they are there at the door jumping up and down happy to see me. That is a magnificent feeling and makes me happy instantly no matter what sort of day I have had. Then when the girly gets home we all rush out to the garage to meet her which also puts a smile on her face.
Has not having kids affected us in any way thus far? No. We still have bills to pay and mortgages to service just as anyone does so no, there isn’t any real change. I have taken to SPOILING my niece and nephew with presents on their birthdays and at Christmas in the hope that they come to understand the gift of giving. That and an occasional phone call to reinforce that we love them and will be there for them come rain, hail or shine is also the message I make sure to impart before hanging up.
My youngest brother is getting married in early 2012 and I would expect that they will be expecting children before the year is out as they have had their fun traveling etc, thus I will expect a phone call sooner or later.
The small act of giving and being an Uncle who cares makes me feel good and I look forward to conversation with either brother's children if they choose to question our choice later on down the track.
They will be answered honestly and given an answer that reflects the whole argument, not just parts of it. From there it will be up to them.
p.s. Thanks to Another Outspoken Female for the invitation to write about something we think very important. Might drop another post on you IDC.
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
WOMEN who delay getting pregnant until after their late 30s are unfairly burdening their offspring with geriatric parents, a leading obstetric physician has said.
Barry Walters, of King Edward Memorial Hospital in Perth, said women who planned to get pregnant after that age were ''selfish and self-centred''.
Quoted in today's The Age
Good to see it’s not just the barren copping a serve in the media for their selfishness. These days mothers, or at least the growing demographic of “older” ones, are also earning the moniker.
But Barry Walters is strangely silent on the selfishness of “geriatric” fathers. As a silvertail himself, he makes no mention as to the impact being a dad over the age of 36yo would have on the fragile lives of their offspring.
''The medical side is only part of it. It is selfish and self-centred of older women to have babies because they are not just babies - they are babies for a little while and they become people.
'They are starting out in life, having a family, working, getting mortgages and have to deal with geriatric parents. It's just not fair,'' he said.
Which seems very odd considering that women are still usually younger than the men who father their children. Given the amount of men, not just in their 40's but 50 and beyond, that are pushing the pram these days, the geriatric parenting demographic seems to have a higher percentage of testosterone than oestrogen.
Barry also seems oddly quiet about the increased risk of abnormalities including autism, bipolar disorder and even dwarfism in children fathered by men over the age of 40.
Barren or not, unless you conform to the outdated norm of dutifully popping out children at a young age (but not too young, I’m sure Barry has a thought or two on teenage mothers), women remain easy targets for the unquestioning media and old men like Barry. Reproduction is a choice. Whatever you decide.