If you’ve read my blog for longer than a minute, you know that I seldom watch or listen to any program featuring giving birth after 35 or 40. Most of them seem to have one agenda: show that women who give birth in their 40s are selfish, too career-focused, put themselves and unborn children at risk.
As founder/editor/writer of InSeason Mom, , I have met countless first time moms over 35 and 40. I have not met one who intentionally waited to have a baby until she was over 35. How absurd for the media to encourage the misconception that older women were so obsessed with their careers that they lost track of time and ignored their personal lives. I do not know any woman who suddenly woke up to exclaim, “Wow, I’m over 35 and forgot to have a baby!”
Not every woman magically finds “Mr. Right” in her 20s. Also, there are many women who tried for years to conceive and natural conception did not occur until after age 35.
Researcher Kristy Budds of the University of Huddersfield (UK) found that delayed motherhood is more a matter of circumstance rather than choice as portrayed by the media. In a paper presented to the British Psychology Society at St. Andrew’s University, the UK psychologist stated, “I don’t like the term ‘delayed’ because it implies choice. It implies that women who have babies later on are putting something off or waiting for something.
I question whether it is actually a choice. When women give birth in their late thirties or in their forties, it is not necessarily the result of a lifestyle choice — putting off motherhood for career reasons or from a desire to ‘have it all’. Nor should they be accused of selfishness or taking undue health risks. For a lot of women, it isn’t a selfish choice but is based around careful decisions, careful negotiations and life circumstances.”
I believe education is one of the key components in erasing ignorance about a people, a thing or an idea. I welcome more objective (updated) research on first time moms in their late thirties or in their forties. And to Researcher Kristy Budds, thanks for your contribution to educating others about first time moms over 35 and women who will become moms in their late 30s and 40s. You expressed what we first time moms over 35 knew all along!