Danny Rose wrote an article last week in "the Age" that explores the reasons why more and more Australian women are postponing having children.
In a survey of 1,000 men and women that focused on relationships and sexuality, 40 percent of women wanted to postpone having kids because of their career while 60 percent were concerned with the economic costs of childrearing.
Other concerns included not having the right partner, "loss of freedom," and what childbirth would do to their bodies.
The article itself is a mere summary of results that raise issues affecting not only women in Australia but many women in the United States as well. As women are faced with the difficult challenge of balancing their life as a parent and as a "career woman," and as the possibilities of having children later on in life have become more feasible, the narrative in which women give birth in their 20s is no longer mandatory. But what this survey points out is that there are other concerns that may affect a woman's decision to wait to have children - particularly in a time of economic crisis, and as the costs of raising children (even just paying for their education) increase, it seems no surprise that women would not feel ready to have children until later on in their lives.
I'm reminded of an article published in the Boston Globe last year by Penelope Trunk. Trunk argues that the notion of being career driven and focusing on one's career is not the way to go: instead, she notes, "If you are past your early twenties, and you're single and want to have children, you need to find a partner now. Take that career drive and direct it toward mating - your ovaries will not last longer than your career."
I can understand the point that there isn't necessarily a good time to put your career on hold in order to have a child.