With childcare and maternity leave being hot flush topics amongst politicians and the media right now, it is not surprising that another fiercely debated subject this week has been, when is the right age to have a baby? And it is our favourite ‘Rolling in the Deep’ singer, Adele, who has found herself at the placenta of this debate; 24 years of age and seven months pregnant.
Firstly, the very question of when we should be agreeing to our bodies becoming child bearing vessels is wrong on so many levels already. How can any one person say what age would be best for anyone else and decide what stage a person should be at in their decisions about the future. Surely, we are all different and this life choice really comes down to the individual.
No one complained when just two generations previous to mine, our grandmas were giving birth just a few years after leaving school, and, if their cake making abilities and overwhelming sense of love and protection is anything to go by, then I’d bet they didn’t make such a bad job of being mothers.
Okay, it was different then. Of course now we have to consider the costs of providing for a baby, childcare, a school that will not turn our precious ones into delinquents and that other disputed topic of, is it okay for a woman to return to work after giving birth? (I’ll save that one for another day…) Wow. So it is not easy. The point I am trying to make is that none of these concerns are related to age. If you possess the qualities to be a good mother and you are in a position in your life where you, and only you, believe you can fully care for a child, then why not have a baby.
Adele has a stable career (okay, way above average and does make me feel a little depressed when at the same age, I am only just about affording to live off baked beans and cereal). She has a loving relationship, and after watching her heart-warming and gratifying awards acceptance speeches, I am also pretty certain that her level of maturity is of a high level as well.
Everyone leads different lives and we cannot all profess to have the same priorities in life. For some, having a baby is a natural progression whereas for others, just the very thought of swapping a Mulberry handbag for a pram causes feelings of nausea and heart palpitations. Instead of judging someone for being ‘too young’ to have a child, I think it is time we all focused on the far more important issue of will this person be a capable mother who brings their child up to have respect for others and good morals; a question which I believe has much bigger implications on the future of our country.
Plus, imagine as a baby, having Adele sing you back to sleep…