Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Career women cannot 'have it all'

Baby or career: young women cannot have it both ways

Good article that points out how difficult it is for a career woman to have a family too, and how its unwise for women to put off having children beyond 35. However, I think it misses out on several points:

(1) Its not just harder for women over 35 to naturally conceive a healthy child, its also the case that they will have less energy to spend with a young child.

(2) Its the very existance of career women that has driven the increasing cost of living in Western countries. Double the size of the workforce and employers can offer less pay to their workers, plus people selling houses and the like can push prices right up as there are now 'duel-income' couples wanting to buy them.

(3) Many people, including myself, see it as morally and socially 'problematic'/questionable to have a baby, then palm it off on a childcarer for 90% of the time.

(4) Having a baby in early 20s is probably not so hard for a women as the author makes out. For example, most career/business-people spend their 20s just treading water/marking time within an organisation before building up enough experience to get seriously promoted in their 30s. Not all ambitious people in their 20s work extremely long hours. A case in point is the fact that many young women go on a 'gap year' of travel after university. If they can find the time to take a whole year out, bumming around Thailand, why can't they find the time to have a baby in their 20s? If women had a baby between 19 and 25 (for example), then by the time they were in their 30s, and ready for proper promotion and larger work responsibilities, then the child would be of school age and the pressure would be off a little in terms of time and energy needed to care for them. I suspect the REAL source of why young women don't want babies at a young age is so they can fit in another decade of partying and sleeping around before they settle down to the responsibility of childcare. Men are always talked about as being the feckless and irresponsible ones, but many young women are too.

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