The news that Meghan Markle – the Duchess of Sussex – is expecting her first child at age 37 has sparked a conversation on late motherhood.
More than ever, women are choosing to have children in their 30s and 40s, while many frown upon that. It’s either not pleasing the in laws or the problem of fertility. But we’re here to say that it’s all okay.
There is no doubt that we are the generation who reap the benefits of pills, feminism and equality. This has enabled many women to have better lives than their mothers did. Young women want to achieve different goals, however having a child might force them to put certain wishes on hold (for at least a while). The fact that we still need feminism and a #metoo movement means we have yet to achieve equality, and that men can still pursue their careers while women stay at home to take care of the family. Of course, it wouldn’t be fair to put all men into the same basket, however they are not the ones who have to carry a baby bump around for nine months. So why not opt for later?
It is okay because having child(ren) later in life means you have already had the chance to do the things that you want to do and that you needed to do. You no longer fear that you might regret not having done something before your bundle of joy arrives. You have experienced many things that helped you grow and prepare you for the responsibilities of parenthood.
It is okay because being older and wiser means you had extra time to prepare financially before your child arrives, giving them the best life and education a parent can give. Financial stability is certainly power to women everywhere, to give them and their family the most comfortable life.
It is okay because you will know that you are having your child because you are ready, and not because of a maternity impulse that we all have at some point in our young lives (like when we see a cute baby). Being prepared is an important part of motherhood because it can prevent postpartum depression and save you from pulling out your hair from stress.
It is okay because science catches up. There are plenty of ways that doctors can help couples conceive, and it is now completely safe to give birth later in life. You no longer need to rush because of fertility or health issues. How late is too late some might ask? We say it’s never too late.
Words: Ngoc Minh Thu Le | Subbing: Lucija Duzel