Remember Susan Patton, whose public letter to female students urged them to snag a husband while at Princeton. Well, Princeton Mom back—this time dishing on babies.
In an open letter in the New York Post, Patton stresses that women should not fritter away their prime childbearing years in favour of a glamorous career.
"Busy Miss Important can’t take time away from her glamorous career to have a child?" writes Patton. "... Smarten up, ladies! You may live longer and look younger than your foremothers, but your fertility remains exactly as it’s always been. In terms of your reproductive system, forty is not the new thirty."
Her tone may seem patronizing and antifeminist. Women are reminded that their most prized accomplishment will ultimately be their children, not their careers. "Babies aren’t speed bumps on the highway to corporate superstardom, for most women they are their most joyous miracles."
In a sense, she's right. We spend our early years trying so hard NOT to get pregnant that we somehow lose sight of how the tables will suddenly, irreversibly turn.
She urges women not to be disappointed and anxious once their "best childbearing years [16 through 28] are over." But I know few women these days who are truly ready to have children at that point in their lives. I certainly wasn't, pre-30.
Patton makes the valid point about the costly gamble that are fertility treatments.
"If you know that motherhood is a crucial component of your life’s happiness, think about starting your family sooner rather than later, write Patton. "... Because simply, there is nothing that will fill the hole in the heart of a woman who learns that she has waited too long to bear the children that she has always dreamed of."
Is Princeton Mom voicing a hard truth, or is she stuck in a bygone era?