In last week’s blog, When Does Settling Down Become Simply Settling, I discussed how many of my girlfriends are getting engaged and marrying men after only dating for a few months. Not seeming as enamored by many of these men, they were usually not even on the same level (financially, educationally, etc). I believe one of the main reasons these women have decided to go this route is because their biological clocks are ticking and they want to have children. Growing up in religious households most of us have been taught to have children within the institution of marriage. But what do we do as the years continue to go by and we haven’t met our “soulmate?” As a single woman we are faced with 3 options:
1. Keep looking: Hoping we’ll find “the one” during our child bearing years.
2. Get married: Find a man who will be a good husband and provider even if we may not love him, at least we will have our children the “right” way.
3. Find a sperm donor: Enroll either a male friend or ex-boyfriend into having a baby with us or purchase sperm from a sperm bank. This choice will most likely create a single parent household, but at lease we’d have our own biological children.
Reading an article entitled, “My Fertility Crisis” in the Wall Street Journal last weekend reminded me of how fragile a woman’s fertility really is. A healthy woman’s chances of getting pregnant naturally are 20% to 25% in her 20s, 10% to 15% in her 30s, and 5% in her 40s. As my friends enter their 30s, their carefree days of believing they have nothing but time have now been replaced with a sense of urgency to get married and have children. They are deciding to leave the romance in the movies and books and approach their love lives logically. The phrase “I’m in love” has been replaced with “He’s a good man.”
Of course there’s always adoption and even freezing or purchasing donor eggs if we really want to be mothers but that comes at a high price and most of us have grown up wanting to have biological children of our own the traditional way. From the time we played with our first baby doll, we knew one day we’d have a real child of our own to nurture. Now as we begin to realize how limited that fertility window of opportunity is, the choice becomes ours to determine our fate.
Ladies- Do you feel pressured by a ticking biological clock? If so, how have you chosen to handle it?
Guys- Do you also feel pressured to have children due to age, societal or family pressures? Have you ever been approached by an ex-girlfriend or female friend to assist her in having children?
Photo Credit: Davhor/Flickr