I’m jealous of men.
There, I said it. It’s out. In public. For everyone to see. I’m jealous of men. Not for the typical reasons of them being able to stand up to pee or because they frequently make more money than women. No, I’m jealous of men because they can start a family (read: have children) whenever they want.
Take, for example, my husband’s friend, who is happily single and recently got a vasectomy. This is ultimately a responsible decision as he knows he does not want children, but as he told my husband, “If I meet a woman in twenty years and she wants to have kids, I can still have them.” Say, what?! Twenty years? You’ll be in your 50s! Oh, that’s right. You’re a man, so, yep, you could decide to start a family then.
Look at celebrities. Alec Baldwin has eight children—his oldest is twenty-seven, and his second oldest is nine. Alec literally took a break from having children for eighteen years and then had seven more. Now, I’m not wishing to divorce my husband and start a new family (I love the one I’ve got!), but I would love to have another child. And my age—the ripe old age of thirty-seven when we started trying for another one—is stopping me.
By the time I have another child, I will be in my 40s and labeled an “older mother.” A dad having children in his 40s? Just a dad having children. I know MANY fathers who didn’t have their first until after forty, and no one batted an eye. You can then see why I’m jealous of men.
I know I can’t control biology, and my husband accuses me of being ageist about this subject (and maybe I am), but it seems like more should be done to support women who want to become mothers in their 40s (or 50s).
Side note: Are you cringing about a woman becoming a mother in her 50s?! Be honest. You are, aren’t you?
Additional side note: My own mother once said to me recently about Hilary Swank, “Who would want to become a mother at forty-eight? Think of the energy!” Well, Mom and everybody else in society, have you ever asked that question about a man?
Back to not controlling biology. I know I can’t change it. So, what about health insurance paying for a woman to preserve her eggs in her 20s? Then she can have the freedom to have a family when she’s ready and not when her body forces her to be. Or what about more companies paying for infertility treatment or more states mandating coverage of this treatment? Something to equalize the playing field.
Until then, I’ll be here, being jealous of men.