When IS a good time to have children? Apple and Facebook says…

SO the recent Apple and Facebook decision offering women the chance to freeze their eggs instead of dipping out of their careers primetime and using them the old fashioned way understandably provoked opinions. The corporation interfering with mother nature, the ‘punching in’ of work strictures impressing itself on the steady unstoppable movement of body time may seem like a perk, a brilliant board room benevolence gifted to talented women wanting careers as well as children but surely after the initial exhilaration of the ‘great idea’  no one actually left that table [or bouncy castle – you know what these cool tech workplaces are like] still thinking that it was a revolutionary solution to the ever present problem of women, work and childbearing/caring.  What it’s saying is actually you know what now you have no excuse not to have that career you always wanted. There. You can freeze you eggs and then have them later. Later? How much later. Exactly. We’ve all heard case of women having children in their 50’s, 60’s, older even but as a 42 year old mother of a 3 and half year old and 6 month old I tell you it’s not easy been an ‘older mum’. As a filmmaker, writer and now teacher of these practices I have first hand experience of how for many people and perhaps particularly women, confidence and success coming at the same time as our peak reproduction period. I wasn’t sure I even wanted children until I was in my early thirties.  My husband and I fell pregnant quickly but we suffered 3 miscarriages and other complications so it wasn’t  it took until I was 39 that I gave birth to my first and 42 for my second [April this year]. It’s been hard work. I’m older than I’d like to be truth be told and I highly recommend having children younger to anyone I can. The physical side of it all takes it’s toll – even when things are going smoothly. It’s all very well saying do it later. Just because we have the tech to do it doesn’t mean that we should right? This may work for some women, but I suspect it will not for most. Finding the right time to unfreeze and go through the complications and worries that so many pregnancies throw up regardless of fertilization would be incredibly hard. Hopefully there were some women in the room when this brainchild first took breath. If only she’d said, ‘What women really need is flexible working hours and better childcare provision.’ Now that would be a revolutionary idea. Something to really take us forward and future looking into the 21st century.

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mother of two

It’s been a while. two months in fact, but here’s blogging at you … mother of two is where i’m at. nothing remarkable about that in the scheme of things but to me it is nigh on miraculous. a unexpected adventure and my greatest challenge. saying that i’m still getting used to the new routine is an understatement – and of course with children that routine is always changing. My youngest is a dream. Happy go lucky and now a good sleeper – no possible reasons for complaint there. It’s just my life and my head. How do I fit it all in. By ‘it’ I mean everything they need – my 3 and half year olds’ social calendar alone requires an experience PA to do it justice – everything our house needs [housework -laundry, cooking, cleaning etc.], everything my husband needs [mostly just dinner] and oh yes everything I need….I have had to become better at something I was always bad at. Time management. I’m not going to be writing a best seller about this subject any time soon – but it’s time manage or sink as far as I can see… and that means making time for not doing. Which I am not doing at the moment. I am a firm believer in the restorative power of mind over matter and for me this means time alone with your thoughts. Otherwise it’s easy to forget who you are.  And the question of what kind of mother I should be  – cf this blogs’ title with the word ‘person’ now subsumed [forever?] into the word ‘mother’ – will not be one I recognise or can happily live with. More on this anon.

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