August 23rd, 2008
Unless you’ve downshifted even more than I have this summer, you probably saw the U.S. Census Bureau report that more dames are having kids later — or not at all — than ever before. Maybe now your Aunt Rudy will stop asking when you’re going to get knocked up.
As for having kids sooner or later (if you choose to have ‘em at all) and how that affects the ole career, thanks, everyone, who shared your tales with me. I crammed as many as I could into an ABCNews.com column called Career Choice: Motherhood Now or Later. Here’s the top of it:
Maybe it’s just me, but sometimes it feels as if researchers are popping out press releases on motherhood and careers faster than women are actually birthing babies.
In July, researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, told us that Harvard grads who went on to get their MBAs became stay-at-home moms at a higher rate than grads who went on to become doctors or lawyers.
Earlier this month, Cornell University let us know that mothers were 90 percent more likely to ditch their careers if their husbands worked at least 60 hours a week but that, if the roles were reversed, the husbands would likely keep on working.
And just last week, Cambridge University informed us that in the U.S., the percentage of people in favor of moms working full time dropped to 38 percent in 2002, down from 51 percent in 1994. In other words, if you believe that “family life would not suffer” if a mom has a career, you’re in the minority.
Others — like “Why It’s Best to Marry in Your Twenties” and “Parents: Tell Your Adult Children, ‘Don’t Delay Childbearing!’” — are so hideous that you just want to throw a baby blanket over their heads.
It’s hardly a news flash that, on average, women who choose to have kids do so later in life than their own mothers did. Nor is it news that more often than not, today’s moms are balancing a career in the process.
So rather than judge the breeding and breadwinning decisions of others — or dwell on the fact that no one’s scrutinizing every move men make with anywhere near the intensity — let’s look at the factors real-life moms consider when they weigh how and when to blend motherhood with their careers.