Hey, there! Log in / Register

Advice from the Globe: Gals, forget that career, get barefoot and pregnant now

Ad:

Comments

"The good news is that psychology research shows you will gain more happiness anyway by finding a partner than by having a good job."

Yeah, because I would feel very happy being completely dependent on my partner for financial security.

What a bunch of useless fear mongering. What is more dangerous? Needing to get some help from modern medical technology to get pregnant or rushing into a relationship and getting pregnant before you feel fully mature, financially stable, or even really sure you WANT a baby?

I'm in my 20's, married, and already have a kid, but I sure as hell know that my choices wouldn't work for everyone.

(I also didn't like the implication that pregnancy is dangerous and can only be handled by uber-fit 20-somethings. Pregnancy is not a disease.)

up
Voting closed 0

It doesn't mention that married men have longer life expectancies than unmarried men who live alone, BUT UNmarried women who live alone live longer than married women!

This gem takes the cake:

If you don't want to exert control over your life by searching for a husband, how about saving some good eggs?

Oh, yeah. Of course, this "you should take control of your life" business presumes that 1) you HAVE to have children or you'll be sorry and 2) you HAVE to get a husband first.

I had plenty of role models for women who called b.s. on both counts, even though I did marry young and reproduce at 28.

up
Voting closed 0

has a habit of writing (or trying to write) articles that are provocative. At least she's syndicated and not actually a Globe employee, though I don't think the piece was worth running.

What a bunch of crap. I'm already imagining where I could save my eggs. In a jar by the tartar sauce in the 'fridge? Geez.

up
Voting closed 0

I could see this in the Globe Magazine or maybe Living/Arts, but what is it doing in the Sunday Careers (help-wanted ads) section? On the front page, even.

Also: Brown eggs are local eggs, and local eggs are fresh.

up
Voting closed 0

My father's parents had a farm in Illinois -- and kept Rhode Island Reds. So brown eggs have always been the official (hen's) eggs in my family. These are much harder to find in the stores in the mid-west than they are in stores here in Boston.

up
Voting closed 0

This is the CAREERS section. You have no time for this section!
"If you are past your early twenties (emph. mine), and you're single and want to have children, you need to find a partner now."
She cites a lot of statistics. What happens when that partner you grabbed in a blind panic goes on his (haha) way? There's a 1 in 2 chance of that, if that old chestnut of a divorce stat is current...
Perhaps that's when you start your career.
Not much of a plug for her so-called Brazen Careerist blog. Though I suppose, as Caroline speculated, this could be a brazen attempt at landing herself on the talk-show circuit.

up
Voting closed 0

The fact that a woman's fertility decreases in her 30s is not new and most women are quite aware of this. They don't need yet another lecture on it.

She also says to freeze your eggs but then says the technology is both unproven and expensive. Because of course it's "easily affordable" to career women, who have tons of extra money lying around. Uh, no.

Mainly it just reads like an ad for infertility labs.

up
Voting closed 0

Whoa. Take. A. Breath.

Seriously, Single Girl. The author, a woman herself, isn't telling you to get dinner on the table and the kids cleaned up and ready to greet your darling husband who worked hard all day while you sat on the couch and ate bon bons.

She is saying that if you want to have kids, you can't wait forever. If you want to have some time together as a childless married couple before you start having kids then there is a timeline you should place yourself on. If you are off a year or two it isn't the end of the world. You aren't a bad person. There are just biological limits, thats all shes saying.

There isn't a good time to leave your career for the sake of having kids, but there is a bad time to get pregnant. No one is suggesting you iron and vacuum in your heels and pearls. Don't read more into this than what she says.

up
Voting closed 0

It's just the same old "don't wait forever!" article that appears in just about every women's magazine.

up
Voting closed 0

It's actually 2006. That's when the author, Penelope Trunk, first published the column on her blog.

blog.penelopetrunk.com...get-married-first-then-focus-on-career

up
Voting closed 0

Snort.

That's kind of cool, actually: I didn't realize you could turn two-year-old blog posts into 1,200-word articles that you get paid for.

up
Voting closed 0

and if so, does anyone want to tell them?

up
Voting closed 0

Your future is all behind you.

up
Voting closed 0

My first thought upon reading this piece: Somebody should have sat my ignorant ass down, along with the rest of my Smith graduating class ('98 in the house!) and given us a taste of this kind of biological realpolitik.

I caught a lucky break. I almost had an ovary out two years ago when I got hospitalized with severe endometriosis I didn't know I had. It's extremely common, incurable, progresses with age and tends to be worse in women who have never been on birth control.

My surgeon told me (at age 29!) that I'd better get cracking, and that I'd probably never get pregnant without in-vitro anyway (about $10K a pop). I am pleased to report that five months ago I proved him wrong. Kind of had to skip that whole getting married step, but what the hell. First things first.

The advice about freezing your eggs is probably crap, but she's dead right about the rest of it. Bonus advice: if you're not on the Pill, you might want to consider it, even if you don't, er, need it. Cuts down on general wear and tear.

up
Voting closed 0

It's always nice to prove a surgeon wrong :-).

up
Voting closed 0

I couldn't agree more.

Next step: proving all my amateur career counselors wrong.

up
Voting closed 0

...who needs enemies?

It may indeed be excellent advice.

It has no place leading the jobs section of the paper.

I go there, if I go there, for career advice. Not for reproductive advice.

- Wellesley '89

up
Voting closed 0

Good luck to you separating them, then.

Most of my worries about this kid have to do with my career. I went on my first visibly-pregnant job interview a couple weeks ago. I seriously wanted to leave my belly in the coat closet, but no dice.

up
Voting closed 0

I wouldn't expect a reproductive counselor to send me--and all other women--home to work on my career before I had children, either.

up
Voting closed 0

I sort of wish this kind of thinking had been on my radar when I married my husband at age 25. We thought we'd have loads of time to start a family. Now, at 30, I've *just* been diagnosed with fertility issues. I sort of wish we'd started trying earlier so I could have been diagnosed earlier.

The upside is that we've chosen to adopt our first child, which has really been the most amazing thing we've ever undertaken.

I definitely balk at the article's suggesting that women in their late 20's/early 30's should find a partner and make some babies before OMG it's too late, but then again, keeping tabs on ferility early might have provided me with more options, you know?

up
Voting closed 0

The article procedes from the idea of an action or actions which must be undertaken or else there will be consequences most dire. In the process, the assumptions of "husband MUST come before children" and "women WILL regret not having children" and "children = genetic children" wander in. It also, quite perversely, ends up in a section about employment.

Instead, it could have been written to inform women about their reproductive anatomy and health in order to foster sound choices about reproductive and family planning. It could have trusted the reader to "take control of her life" in a way that was consistent with her own values and aspirations, with full factual knowledge of reproductive aging.

This means it would have been completely removed from the "employment" section, where it didn't belong, of course.

up
Voting closed 0

Yes, Swirly, husbands really should come before having children. There's overwhelming evidence that children with two married parents are better off economically, emotionally and medically than children of single parents or even unmarried parents. This was understood until about 20 years ago. Back two generations or so, pretty much everyone got married before they had children. It's something we need to relearn. Children are demonstrably better off in stable households with married parents. Ask any teacher. Whether you think it's retrograde or not, it's true, and it has impacts for everyone in our society.

up
Voting closed 0

That would include gay parents too.

I'd like some citations about your "lots of evidence". Most studies I've seen have put "mom and dad married" in one category and "every thing else, including drug commune and wolf pack" in the other to "prove" that non-heteronormative and non-married couples and single parents are sooo bad.

Oh yeah, it was also "generally understood until about 20 years ago" that wage levels should support the purchase of a home and support of 5 people on a single income.

But, hey, it ain't 20 years ago, ya know? Even in Boston. My husband worked as a teacher, and doesn't see it your way either. Two uninvolved and/or anti-learning parents mean difficulty, one involved parent, partnered or no, means higher accountability.

Sorry, but your "truth" whithers in the face of the facts - just like DARE and abstinence education. Lots of sentimental hope for a past that never was ain't the same as lots of truth or reality.

up
Voting closed 0

Nope, the truth that two married parents are better for the child won't wither. Virutally every religon and society recognizes it. We'll just figure it out again. It's been the norm for a few thousand years, and there are many good reasons for that.

For sources, read Kay Hymowitz, who's written a lot on the "marriage gap" as explaining the persistence of an economic underclass. She's published several articles at City Journal. Barbara White Defoe also has written a lot on the benefits of marriage for children and women.

Were your parents married or not? Often, children of married parents underestimate the advantages they had being raised in a stable, two-parent household.

up
Voting closed 0

Pregnant gay, here. And I was raised by an awesome single mom. I don't see anything wrong with assuming that most people who want kids want to have some flavor of stable relationship lined up first. All else being equal, I probably wouldn't have chosen to go into this ass-backwards. I doubt my Ma would have, either.

up
Voting closed 0

I don't speak for gays, I was pointing out that her screed demanding that breeders "must have husband first" meant that "two parents" probably wasn't inclusive!

There is nothing wrong with having a partner to raise kids. I'm straight, married, and have kids myself. However, the fearmongering about single parents and boatloads of pseudofactual nonsense generated to trump up the Ozzie and Harriet model as the ONE TRUE AND ONLY WAY forever is spurious. I'm sure people who live in extended family compounds world wide would be sad and sorry for all our neglected children living in nuclear families - surely they MUST have problems!

If you want or have a partner, fine. Two people really do make it easier to raise kids. Specifying that a family = hetero couple plus kids (in that order) is bogus. Specifying that one of that couple be male and work outside the home while the other be female and stay at home is bogus. Just because something is culturally normative (or romantically held to) does not make it equal to the truth. This dreamworld has to be challenged, because orthodoxy often has real consequences for real people leading actual (but not "approved") lives.

up
Voting closed 0

Wouldn't it have been a better - and more beneficial - effort to focus on the WHY of the infertility issues?

Could there be a corollation between widespread infertility and the use of hormones and other chemicals in our food? Our generation is the first to be inundated with chemically treated food from the moment we first had solids. That's the horrific part.

FWIW: my sister - closing in on 36 years - just had her second this past November. She had no trouble conceiving. In fact, both of them happened a little quicker than she expected....

up
Voting closed 0

Who is this lunatic telling women to freeze their eggs? Anyone who has spoken to a REAL fertility expert will tell you that this is crap. You probably better chance of conceiving naturally after 40 than taking your eggs out of the freezer. She definitely used this hot-button issue to get attention for herself.

up
Voting closed 0

risk of autism, down syndrome and other genetic birth defects increase (some drastically) with a mother's age (especially over 35). All of these conditions are on the rise (as more moms are waiting). And not to sound like a total *ss, but wouldn't an autistic, down's or mentally retarded child do a lot more to derail a mom's career than a normal healthy baby 10 years earlier?

up
Voting closed 0

Weebs, Down Syndrome increases because that is survivable. Most other genetic issues related to maternal age result in miscarriages because they are incompatible with life. Thus older moms will have more miscarriages - not fun, but not the same as having a child with disabilities.

Most children born with Down Syndrome are born to younger mothers - partly because of screening and termination of pregnancies in older moms, mostly because far more infants overall are born to younger mothers.

up
Voting closed 0

My momma had me when she was 40 and I went to an Ivy League school. My sister had a baby when she was 23 and he's autistic. Even with statistics, fertility and genetics are a total crapshoot.

The rest of my feelings on the column are here: http://missmp.livejournal.com/371461.html

up
Voting closed 0

The Missus lays into her.

She also explains why a woman whining about other women in the Washington Post is another dumbass bitch.

up
Voting closed 0

Penelope Trunk was a happy elephant. She was the happiest elephant at the zoo. One day, Rory Lion asked her to play. Jackie Jackal wanted to play too.

up
Voting closed 0

How old are Trunk's kids and at what point in her career did she have them?

up
Voting closed 0

The answer is in this 2003 blog post, in which she discusses, again, the perils of putting off babies:

"I know because I planned my first pregnancy around my high-powered career."

She was 35 and the World Trade Center had just collapsed, putting her out of a job and making it difficult to get a new job because nobody would hire a preggo. And so she and her husband had sex. Or something like that.

up
Voting closed 0

People have already hit on most of the reasons why the article sucks, but it further sucks because it's written with the assumptions that 1) all female-bodied people want to or are expected to get married, 2) all of these marriages will be or should be to male-bodied people, and 3) giving birth to a child personally is the only valid way to build a family.

Gah.

up
Voting closed 0

it further sucks because it's written with the assumptions that 3) giving birth to a child personally is the only valid way to build a family.

As a young, married woman who wants children, and who doesn't particularly care if my children are genetically attached to me or not, this was the most insulting part of the column tome.

up
Voting closed 0

1) Most (not all) women I know do want to get married. Most men want to get married too. I don't find that assumption crazy.
2) Most marriages are in fact between heterosexuals. "Heteronormative" really is the norm in the animal world. This can't be a surprise. Homosexuals are a small percentage of the population, and the percentage of homosexuals who want to be married is smaller still. Homosexual couples will never have their own biological offspring, their children have to be adopted or have donor sperm. Obviously even lesbians who want to get pregnant have to pay attention to their biological clock.
3) While many people want to adopt children, pretty much all people at least attempt to conceive and bear their own children before adopting. There's a biological drive going on here. Surely that is not hard to understand? Nowhere does Trunk say that adopting children is not a valid way to have a family.

It's a little weird to see people so outraged at what they perceive that Trunk has said. She has obviously touched a nerve here, simply by stating the obvious. Any woman who wants to have children should be aware of the biological limitations and plan for that, as best she can. And having a spouse before having children is a great way to avoid poverty and provide the best upbringing for the kids.

up
Voting closed 0