I, like many of my friends, am nearing 30 and single. I want to have kids and get married one day. People always say I am much too picky with men, though, and I was recently sent this article by Lori Gottlieb about how women should settle for any guy rather than being left on the shelf. I’d really love to hear RC’s thoughts on it! Picky
By nearing thirty, I’ll assume you’re still rocking your roaring 20s? Jeeze, good on you for thinking ahead. When I was your age I wasn’t even thinking about kids yet – I was throwing down beers at the pub and planning only for my next holiday. But this shows me that perhaps we’ve learnt a few lessons from Generation X (my gen, by the way). We dawdled, travelled, lived with our parents for far longer than was acceptable, thought we had pleeeeenty of time to do the family thing and generally dicked around. From this came a generation of women just like the writer of this article, Lori Gottlieb.
Women who reached the twilight of their child-bearing years and went, ‘Oh crap, I forgot to have kids’. As they grappled with the yearning to have a child many wondered if they should’ve gotten hitched to that sweet ex-boyfriend that didn’t quite set their world on fire but would have happily provided sperm and a stable bank account. I get it. Gottlieb’s simply saying if you have a goal of kids, hubby and a nuclear family, then for God’s sake, don’t muck about. Grab it while it’s on offer. Don’t look for something Hollywoody and rom-comy when you’ve got a perfectly good bloke ready for action. Because later on, pickings get a lot slimmer and you may have to settle for a turkey baster that doesn’t get up in the night or give you a foot rub when you’re nine months up the duff.
Do I think Gottlieb has a good point? Yes. Do I wholeheartedly agree with her theory of going for Mr Available? No.
Yesterday I went to a kid’s birthday party and there was a women there with three gorgeous baby boys that came from a donor. She had a custom-made three wheeler stroller, lots of helping hands and a great, relaxed attitude. Two of my friends have also had multiples via donor sperm, so I’ve had a bit of an insight into going it alone. It’s bloody tough work – no question. But are they lonely? Not so much. Are they unfullfilled? Far from it. If you ask them if they would’ve have preferred to have settled for that guy that was just okay to have kids with, I honestly think they’d say no. They made their choices, lived their lives. C’est la vie. One of these girlfriends actually confessed she thinks she’s got it easier than her married pals, because she doesn’t have to deal with the stress of partnership and all its bickering and different viewpoints. She simply gets on with it – her way. Good for her. That’s her choice and it has its positives and negatives just like any family set-up.
I’m not saying single motherhood is the best choice. Nor am I an advocate of ‘settling’ for the first guy that seems like good stock. I am saying there are so many models of families and motherhood that it’s really silly to say we all yearn for a Mum-Dad-baby-makes-three combination. Yes, women need to be realistic about their partnerships, be vocal about what they want (especially if family is a priority) and be aware of their limitations as reproductive beings. If there is a great guy right in front of your nose who also wants to start a family, then go for it. If not, then there’s so many options for motherhood that don’t involve choosing the wrong guy or squashing your romantic instincts and feelings.
Love, reality chick