When I wrote about not being sure if I even wanted kids (which I totally accept seems a totally out of context post for a blog devoted to freezing eggs, although as egg freezing is about choice, I could probably argue that it’s fine to choose not to do something rather than to do something) I did start to wonder if I’d just spent too long thinking about the whole thing.
Which is ironic. Because when I was in a relationship with my university boyfriend who wasn’t sure he wanted kids, I accused him of overthinking it. Because I’m not sure, as I think I’ve said before, that anyone ever gets to the point where they have done everything they wanted to do before having children, where they’re exactly where they want to be in their lives/careers/relationships and they think “OK, now’s the right time.” Most people just sort of think “If we’re going to do this, we should probably do this now.” (Or, in some cases, “Ooops. Oh well….”)
I guess it’s like anything. You never really know you can do it until you try – I suppose the difference is that with going for a job that you’re not sure you’re qualified for, taking a driving test, attempting to run a marathon, or whatever, the consequences aren’t a real live human being that you have to take responsibility for for the rest of your life. Apart from that though, y’know it’s almost the same.
Anyway, given that I’ve indirectly cited children as a way of giving purpose to my life, and loads of people have this whole thing about “Who’s going to look after you when you’re old?” – which, by the way I think is utter bollocks, because I’m looking after me right now, and if I don’t spend the estimated £225,000 on having a child, that’s an awful lot of private nursing I can pay for – I was really interested in a perspective that my lovely friend, O, the person who really egged me on to write this blog in the first place gave me. He’s a psychiatrist who specialises in older people, and he sent me this…
I have enjoyed your last few egg posts. I must give my gerontological view on children one day. ie: that I am unsure of any correlation between having kids and being happy in later life. Or maybe it is a skewed perspective and there are masses of happy older adults with adult children that I never see. I also have a sociological view that low fertility rate countries (Italy, Japan, Denmark) treat their elders best. My declaration of interest is that find all this reassuring as a childless gay man!!
Which I loved. But also got me thinking that maybe I should look into any research that there might be in this area. Not because I’m necessarily going to make life decisions based on PubMed (although actually, given that I’m all for evidence-based policy and decision-making would be the sensible thing to do) but because I thought it might be interesting – but that’s for another day…
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