I was a young woman in the revolutionary 70s. Everywhere, there were changes, new concepts coming in and old concepts ringing out.
There were so many concepts going out of fashion that we wondered whether in the end we would end up deciding that the sky needed a different color and the earth was not as hard as we would like it to be. With such revolutions in our every day, another aspect that we quickly found out was feminism.
Now, I do not hold feminism in bad light in anyway, but some ultra feminists back then decided not to marry, or at least not to get into the yoke of motherhood so soon in their lives. I being very much married and already having a child underway was in no mood to be part of their idea.
Most of them kept to their promises and had quite satisfying, entertaining lives till the age of thirty or thirty five. As they grew old, they felt the pangs of loneliness and felt the need to have children.
Most of them experienced motherhood after thirty. Since I was their coffee mate during those dreary days when James is off on some quaint business meeting and Martha and Roy have some ‘stuff’ as they put it, to take care of at the far end of town, I had an interesting insight into the lives of these forty something recent mothers.
Taking apart the reason why they became moms so late in life and adding the fertility drugs, the troubles of trying to get pregnant on the long run, the pregnancy depression that gets tougher with age, the fact that the hormones react differently and turn the maternal experience in a challenge, the reason why women decide to be older mothers seems a bit unclear.
Also the psychological impact of heaving to deal with a generation of children so far from the patterns they had as a child is quite big. And seriously, if I had not kept up with the times, which I had a lot of time to do because my children had already grown up as the times were changing, even I would not know that the ten year old child was chatting with her boyfriend in school about eloping!
Now a few decades ago, this conversation would have all of us in peals of laughter. With the changing of times, the peals of laughter have been changed into shivers of fright.
I also found my friends straining for almost everything. Motherhood takes its toll on all women, be it a single child or two, or even three. The toll is there for all to see. But motherhood after thirty did have some devastating effects on my friends.
Women tend to do it all, want to have it all, tend to obsess in being perfect moms, perfect employees, and perfect chairman of the board.
All these and so many more added became a huge amount of stress and that stress tends to overwhelm the joy of motherhood.
We all think it is better to work hard before we become parents so we can offer everything to out kids. But is this really a good idea?
Basically, it seemed like the case of taking painkillers to relieve the pain, but never looking at what actually causes the pain, and then the pain goes up one fine day just when it’s your big day in life. I would definitely suggest taking another close look at life for anyone who is looking at motherhood after thirty as an option.
For some it may be good, for some it may be just a challenge but oh…that challenge can be sometimes much more than was bargained for.