I remember when we were dating and had “the talk” about children. Honestly I was in the middle. I could see myself happy with or without them and at 26 I could see being happy without them even more. But the husband thought having kids was part of being married and uttered the words “whose going to take care of us when we are older?”, with a smile.
At that time he was 27 and I was 26 and a year later we were married. I was still working on my Bachelor’s degree at the time and just being a newly wed. We would occasionally talk about children, dream or see other people with children and say “when we have kids we aren’t going to do that or let this happen” and we would both nod our heads. As the years went on and I approached the big “30”, I started thinking more about having children. The maternal clock started having a slight ticking sound. Although it was a faint tick I could hear it but choose to ignore it most of the time.
Then over the next 2 years something happened that MEN will never understand. They say they understand but they don’t. Just like women will never understand the pressures that only MEN seem to feel. Their pressures have a profound effect on the choices they make in work, love and life.
I like to call it the “baby interrogation”
See women measure or compare their own love, sex, marriage and family based on what other women are doing in their placement group. What is a woman’s placement group? It’s a group of women who are currently floating around the same event timeline as you are. They are married, in their career, around your age and are planning on getting pregnant soon, are currently pregnant or have had their first child. These women consist of coworkers, friends, friends of friends, acquaintances at social events and family members especially sisters, mothers and mothers-in-law.
Now I’m sure men have a placement group and experience this to some degree, but the difference is their placement group is much smaller and it usually consist of very well known members, meaning not friends of friends, coworkers or acquaintances.
When a women gets married, it activates the “placement group”. All of the sudden women start coming out of the wood work. Let the baby interrogation begin! Women that you don’t know or rarely spoke to you at work before, start asking you the 2 questions.
#1Q “So are you all wanting to have children?”
#2Q “Are you going to try to get pregnant right away or wait?”
And it doesn’t stop there. Based on your answers for #1 & #2, another 2-3 questions will follow. It’s like a mathematical equation that is programmed in every women and they instinctively know when to use it. It’s mind blowing!
The only acceptable answer to 1 is “yes”, otherwise you are given the “look”. The “look” is something we’ve all experienced. It’s the look we give progressive art that we’re pretty sure is NOT art. It’s the look of “something doesn’t fit”.
When a woman gets the “look”, she starts measuring her life based on all the other women in her group. And what’s sad is, I’ve done it to other women!
An amazing article was written tackling this baby pressure called; “How Long Can You Wait to Have a Baby?” Jean Twenge. She talks about the true statistics of fertility after 30, and the numbers are not lining up with what all women have been told. It’s definitely worth checking out.