Kate Spencer, mother of two, offers some pretty spectacular advice: if you’re unsure about having kids, don’t.
[t]he pressure on women to nail down this mothering thing is relentless. Despite being encouraged to lean every which way, we are still told by society that only kids will make us truly #blessed, and are constantly reminded that 35 years old is considered “later in life” for having children. Not to mention, we have to do it in a country with exorbitant childcare costs and no guaranteed paid maternity leave, two factors that make the decision to have kids even more complicated. And yet, it’s as if the world is walking around with a bullhorn in our face, screaming, “Figure it out!”….
If you are truly undecided, torn, sitting squarely on the fence not knowing what the fuck to do — don’t have kids. At least, not yet. Wait until you feel confident that these sacrifices and life changes are ones you can embrace not just because you feel like you should or because the world around you is telling you it’s time. Do it because you can’t imagine your life moving forward without them, feces and all.
Kate’s reasoning is based on the traditional one-sided model, where the decision to have kids is based on how it will affect the parent. But if we consider it from a Fair Start modelperspective, where the would-be child and parents’ community become part of the thinking, then Kate’s advice to hold off becomes more urgent. What will the child’s life be like? How will they interact with the community? Is there a way to work with other parents to assure the best outcome for all?
Know before you jump, and don’t do it alone.