Category Archives: babies

And Baby Makes Three

In the 1950’s, it was all hunky dory for women to quit their jobs, move to a house in the ‘burbs, don an apron and dedicate themselves to being a full-time housewife. But after The Feminist Mystique, burning bras, birth control and Gloria Steinem’s “I can’t breed in captivity” quote when discussing whether or not she could have children while married, Gen Y women face an entire world of opportunities and choices. We can have it all. We can be the high powered attorney and the soccer mom. But do we necessarily really want it all?

In a 2006 poll done by The New York Times, more than 60% of the female undergrads attending Yale polled that they’d quit their jobs in order to raise kids. Are these women throwing away the decades of toil their foremothers went through in order to earn the luxury and freedom to even be able to have it all?

Gen Y women suffer from extreme pressure to create a life that reflects the choices we have in today’s society. We’re expected to go to college, earn that MBA, work tireless hours to afford designer shoes and handbags and haircuts. We need to marry the perfect dapper gentleman and move into a stylish flat in the city and have beautiful bouncy babies. We then take a week off for maternity leave, kiss our newborn on the head and then merrily skip back to our jobs to begin the process of juggling career, baby and social life.

In a world where both parents are expected to work, is there any room for stay-at-home moms? If the Gen Y woman does decide to quit her job to stay at home with the children, can the family even afford to live off of only the husband’s income?

The true question is, has feminism hurt Gen Y women? The benefits we have received by being born into a post third wave feminism world are countless. Glass ceilings are gone, the intricate female anatomy is now no longer a secret to men and more women now than ever are pursuing higher education.

The backlash is that there is no longer any room for the women who do want to stay at home and have babies. The price of living has increased dramatically and we no longer have the luxury of being able to live comfortably in a one-income household.

So what do we do? Do we downsize, move into a cheap apartment and sell the second car in order to be able to afford staying at home while our hubby or civil partner or girlfriend works? Do we work part time so we can still be with our kids?

It’s odd how far we’ve come only to be stuck again.

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To baby or not to baby? (And why I understand how some animals can eat their young)

AX034842I am now entering that phase of my life where people are expecting that I have already bred or that I will breed soon. Co-workers, friends, etc. always ask me if I a.) have a kid and b.) do I want children. My answer to both is no.

This past Sunday I attended the baby-shower of one of my oldest friends. And while she looked gorgeous and glowing in all of her pregnant glory and while her husband is awesome and supportive and everybody knows the baby is going to be beautiful, I still had my reservations about people I know procreating. I think it’s because of the outdated idea of if more and more people around you are doing it, well, why aren’t you?

I had stopped at Target a couple of days before the shower to stock up on presents for the mommy-to-be. One of the items I picked up was this dancing monkey that made crude noises every time you pressed its belly. I, unfortunately, did not know this and while strolling up and down the aisles at Target, I kept hearing this odd sing-songy jungle noise. People started looking in my direction and it wasn’t until that I got to the checkout counter that I realized it was that stupid dancing monkey, stuck underneath my armpit and an armful of other baby accessories. 

At the shower, I surrounded myself with the only other single, non-parents in the entire house. The general topics of discussion were vasectomies, freedom, and safe sex, all of which we thought were totally appropriate things to talk about at a baby-shower. 

There is one event that happened there that I think is important to write about. It was a discreet display of disgust, one that only the trained eye could detect. There was a young couple in attendance, and as the expecting parents were opening up their gifts, I sensed a rift starting to happen between this couple. With every new duck themed butt-wipe or pink, cupcake shirt unwrapped, the girl became more and more excited. She was literally beside herself with joy, cooing into her boyfriend’s ear and nuzzling his neck. He looked like he was on the verge of fight or flight, this sheer terror blooming in his eyes. After the sixth or so present was opened, he suddenly and violently excused himself to go get a beer, leaving his poor girlfriend by herself. 

I only bring this up because it seems that it’s only the women who get excited over strollers and swollen ankles. Men tend to try and avoid the subject of babies at all costs. They’d rather shave their legs then enter the doors of a Babies R Us. Does my “dude” mentality about the subject of kids make me an outcast amongst my peers? Are the working girls of the world, the ones who would rather focus more on their career than cribs, social tabus? Have our friends replaced the need for us to get married and have families of our own? 

My maternal clock has not started ticking yet. The idea of spit-up on my shoulder, constant crying at 3am, and no alcohol for nine months scares me. Maybe I am meant to be a dog mom. Maybe I’m just not ready for the sacrifice. Maybe I haven’t met the right guy yet. Regardless of the reason, babies disturb me. Dancing monkeys disturb me even more.