Sunday, 27 January 2013
Age Is Just a Number...
So today's blog post is going to come in the form of a bit of a rant to be honest. Only a few minutes ago I read today's article by Liz Jones. 99.9% of us are well aware who Liz Jones is I'm sure, but for those of you who don't, she is a rather outspoken columnist for the Daily Mail and Mail On Sunday who is constantly dividing opinions on otherwise less talked about topics.
Today's column was entitled "No, I don't hate ALL mums - just middle-class ones aged over 30". A pretty bold statement to say the least, and the more and more I read of this article, the more and more it angered me. I really just could not believe some of the words that she was writing. It was offensive, rude, and downright incorrect at some points. Now I completely agree that everyone is entitled to their own opinion, freedom of speech is something that was strived for for years, and I am not one to disagree that everyone has their own views on situations; but if like this column it is going to cause such upset and offense to many people then maybe it should be kept within the small minds of those who feel the need to express it.
She doesn't like Mum's. Fine. We all know that there are people in our lives that we don't like for not much of a reason other than the fact that they annoy us, so that statement - fine. However she goes on to say she has narrowed this dislike to those mothers who give birth to their first child in their 30's and 40's because "women who wait until their eggs have shrivelled to have a child are selfish." I'm not entirely sure where to begin with this one, other than it is factually incorrect. Yes the older you get then complications can occur in pregnancy, that is well known, but eggs do not just shrivel the day you hit your 30th birthday. And also she states it is only selfish if a woman gives birth to her first in her 30s/40s. So those who give birth to their 3rd, 4th or even 5th child at that age is fine!? This story is full of holes already.
However this is no where near the worst of it: "Older mums have children not because they love babies – if that were the case they would have taken the plunge in their early 20s – but because they want to use a baby as a pawn: to keep a man, to prevent themselves from being sacked, and to give them something to talk about." Yes you read that correctly. I cannot even begin to fathom how she has come to this conclusion. Using a baby as a pawn, or merely as a talking point! What about the much more likely reasons that they had fertility issues, or that they didn't meet the right man until their mid 30's, or the fact they simply couldnt afford to raise a child until they had been in a stable job for a few years and therefore had the means to provide for their child rather than living off of handouts from the government and tax payers money.
This column just angers me a ridiculous amount. My Mother had me at the age of 23 and my sister at 28, though after re-marrying two years ago at the age of 44 she has just given birth to my gorgeous sister Liberty. Now I think that she is just as much of an incredible mother now as she was 20 years ago, if anything better. Liberty was born into a loving relationship, a loving family that can afford to support her in all she wishes and to a mother who has had years of experience and knows exactly how to give her everything she needs in life. I cannot for the life of me see how this is 'selfish', in fact quite the opposite.
She then goes on to say "While young mums are nonchalant about giving birth, taking everything in their stride (my niece, who had her first child when she was 16, is the most level-headed mum I’ve ever met, and a stickler for discipline, too)" Now don't get me wrong here, I know several young girls who have had children at such a young age and are brilliant Mother's; but how can she encourage (for want of a better word)16 year old girls to have babies and not 30 year old women. My mind really just cannot digest this information.
People always say how age is just a number. It doesn't matter how old the person you fall in love with is because age is just a number. Yet this isn't the case when talking about pregnancy? As far as I am concerned if you are in a loving relationship, and a child is the next step in that relationship and you are financially and lovingly available to commit to a child then the age of the Mother or Father is irrelevant, to a point where serious health issues are an impact. Of course having a baby in late 50s/60s is going to take stress on the body and carry with it high risks of disability and damage to the baby, therefore I could understand that people may think this to be 'wrong' as such. However a 30 year old woman is barely even what we would describe as 'middle age'. She has her whole life ahead of her.
Age is just a number. Children are a blessing. End of.