Today I found this article on the New York Times web. The headline is "Delaying marriage and child rearing leads to more stressful lives." Um, No shit?
Today’s parents are screwed. As girls in the 70′s, we were told we could do anything. ANYTHING. What nobody realized is that someone still needs to care for the kids. Yes, I was screwed over with this too. I decided to go with my love of science. For years I fought off the taunts of "4-eyes" and "geek" and "brainiac" and "ewww who wants to date HER?". Yet, I stuck to my goal.
I married at the ripe old age of 26 after dating for 5 years and delaying until we had both graduated and had semi-stable jobs. We didn’t start trying for children until our job became more stable after our telescope launched and actually worked (I get so upset when a project fails to launch or gets dumped in the ocean.) Then, we ran into infertility. After a long time, I became a mother at 31.
Is parenting stressful? Yes. Does delaying marriage and child rearing actually add to the stress? I don’t know. Think about it. Most of the women I know who delayed children did so after first establishing their career and secondly had fertility issues. If I went through all of my teens and my 20s establishing myself in my field, why would I not go back to work? But then the work and raising children is difficult. (And the first person who comments "why have children if you just send them to daycare" will get a black eye since my kids don’t sleep, so yes, I had plenty of nights to raise them!).
But what is the alternative? Having children younger is easier? No way! I refuse to believe that. There still needs to be a caregiver. There still needs to be a breadwinner.However, more and more women and men share these roles. Even younger women and men.
In modern society, I suspect we have more sharing of duties going on. At least that is the case at my house! We share kids and adult stuff. We work when we need to at home and not when we don’t. I have scheduled girl events or dealt with the school at my office and have been on telecons in at the playground.
What do you think about this?