Navigation Links
'Ready': UH prof. chronicles phenomenon of 'new later motherhood'
Date:1/10/2008

For many women, the ticking of the proverbial biological clock is not as loud as the sound of the open road or the ceremonial song of Pomp and Circumstance. At least, not right away.

The number of women who have delayed first-time motherhood until their mid-30s or beyond has grown tenfold over the past 30 years, coining the moniker: new later motherhood. Its the subject of a new book titled, Ready: Why Women Are Embracing the New Later Motherhood (Basic Books, 2008).

The women I spoke with told me that they had their kids when they felt ready, author Elizabeth Gregory, associate professor and director of the Womens Studies Program at the University of Houston, said. Most consistently, I heard that waiting offered them the chance to establish themselves, as individuals and in their work, to find the right partnersand to achieve a measure of financial stability. When they did have their kids, they felt ready to focus on their childrens development rather than their own.

A later mom herself, Gregory says she isnt advocating for women to wait to have children. Rather, she is presenting a snapshot of a current phenomenon, and citing reasons why some women make that choice. She spent two and a half years speaking to 113 new later moms who had their first child, by birth or adoption, after age 35. The womens ages at first birth range from 35 to 56 and they come from various backgrounds and professions. They are married, divorced, single, straight, gay, moms of one or of several kids. Most live in Houston and others come from cities across the nation.

Take Julie, for example (all the women who were interviewed are identified by pseudonyms to protect their privacy). A businesswoman who became a mom for the first time at age 39, she pursued an MBA before she married at 30, and together with her new husband pursued professional interests that included long hours and lots of traveling. When their first child came, Julie says she already knew herself.

Get yourself an education, establish a career and then get a family, Julie said. I think you need it not just for financial and security reasons, but you need it to get to know yourself, and to appreciate yourself and know who you are and what you can do.

New later motherhood can have its drawbacks, Gregory notes, as women who wait accept the possibility of fertility issues, lower energy levels, smaller families and less access to grandparents. But the overwhelming majority of the women Gregory spoke with viewed their later motherhood experience very positively. They cited an increased self-confidence based in experience, higher wages, and more stable marriages in which both partners participated actively in child rearing and in family decision making.

For many women, waiting allowed them to build valuable skill sets that provided clout when it came time to create new family schedules. Im one of maybe two people in the world actively employed (in what I do), so these guys arent going to tell me the doors closed, to come back later, said Leslie, a highly skilled professional who became a new later mom. Im not giving up anything when I spend time with (my child), and that was a big problem for my mother. She really felt her life was being sacrificed to spend time with me to be a mom.

Ready includes a chapter on the realities of fertility, countering the emergency mood that the media have fostered of late. It looks also at alternative routes to family (like adoption and egg donation). In 2006, 610,000 women 35 or older gave birth (thats one out of every seven American kids). About 4.4 percent of those births involved donor eggs.

Gregory notes that the phenomenon of new later motherhood shines the spotlight on employers and policies that are less than family friendly at a time when a growing number of families want better work/life balance. It is a challenge that, ultimately, may lead to change.

When a large group of women do this (delay first-time motherhood) it changes society, Gregory observed.


'/>"/>

Contact: Marisa Ramirez
mrcannon@uh.edu
713-743-8152
University of Houston
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. No need for reduced alcohol consumption in later life
2. Loma Linda University to Dedicate Proton Treatment Center to Cancer Therapy Pioneer James M. Slater, M.D.
3. Smaller babies more prone to depression, anxiety later on
4. Trauma earlier in life may affect response to stress years later
5. Fetal Heart Rate Points to Later Child Development
6. Fetal heart rate yields clues to childrens later development
7. Early Weight Gain Can Mean Heart Trouble Later in Life
8. Contamination from depleted uranium found in urine 20 years later
9. Dementia in More Educated Hits Later But Harder
10. AAAAI: Early Day Care Attendance May Protect Infants From Later Developing Asthma, From the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
11. Early treatment of children with bilateral amblyopia essential, according to multisite study
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/24/2016)... ... May 24, 2016 , ... PhysicianOne Urgent Care, advocators in helping their ... and how to avoid being bitten this spring. , The official tick season ... small spider-like insects, are known for attaching themselves to their prey while they feed ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... Design Concepts , a national ... Quinto Sol Wheel Park’ in Pueblo, Colorado. This park was designed working with ... for this often overlooked neighborhood. Located at 609 E. 6th Street, Pueblo’s newest ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... ... May 24, 2016 , ... ... imaging; multiplex immunoassays are widely used for cell and protein analysis. Keeping updated ... their quality and efficiency in these areas. , LabRoots introduces a new ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... ... May 24, 2016 , ... NutraPre today ... beverage for pregnant women to prevent morning sickness and promote overall heath. Engineered ... the look and taste of water. , “Imagine a pregnancy without morning sickness,” ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... NY (PRWEB) , ... May 23, 2016 , ... On ... Ferdico took the time to summarize the weight loss process: , New patients have ... Body Composition Analysis (BCA) to get accurately evaluated. , Body Composition Analysis, There are ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/23/2016)... May 23, 2016 Global Paclitaxel ... pages, profiles 12 companies and the Paclitaxel analysis in ... on the industry and its players. This ... in nature, details the current state of the industry ... definitions, classifications, applications and industry chain structure. The Paclitaxel ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... May 23, 2016 The World Health Organization (WHO) ... device to include adolescents aged 13 years, and above. Effective ... offered for adult and adolescent males in the 14 priority ... PrePex was the first male circumcision device to receive WHO ... Eddy Horowitz said: " The expanded ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... May 23, 2016   Purdue Pharma L.P. ... an agreement with Egalet Corporation and Acura Pharmaceuticals, ... part of the agreement the companies will exchange ... all three companies to develop and sell several ... "This agreement reflects the commitment of Purdue Pharma ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: