The Kirsty Allsopp Debacle!

The Guardian has a very funny article leading on from Kirsty Allsopp's comments about motherhood.

To cut a long story short, Kirsty has said that she would advise her hypothetical daughter to bypass Uni & go straight into a job after school.  Not only that, but she would also help this hypothetical daughter find a flat and a husband so that she could have children by the age of 27.

Ms Allsopp has had to face a barrage of criticism following her comments, by people who assume that she's trying to tell us all how to live our lives.  My reading of it is that she's just laying out what she would do, if she had a daughter and she has a right to express her own opinion.

To be honest, I have often thought of advising my (non-hypothetical) daughters to do as Kirsty says.  Unless they're planning on being a doctor, engineer or lawyer then Uni is a luxury they might not be able to afford, let alone 'helping' them into a flat, but that's not the main issue here.

As someone who's working life is steeped in fertility, I chat daily to women aged 35+ who are trying to conceive and are facing difficulties, stress, anxiety, frustration, despair and the prospect of unwanted IVF cycles (with low chances of success).

Most of these 'older' women haven't (as some literature states) 'chosen to put their careers first'. Instead they either haven't felt ready, haven't found a partner, had an unwilling partner, had medical problems or any combination of a myriad reasons why they've found themselves ready to take on parenthood after 35.

I will be encouraging my daughters to have children in their 20's if that's what they want and I will educate them as thoroughly as I can on the difficulties that could arise later in life.  I will also encourage them to eat well, stay fit and be aware of their fertility so they are as healthy and informed as possible if they choose motherhood later in life, if at all.

There is no right or wrong here.  I see young women in their early 20's having problems with conceiving who are ignored by doctors as they're 'too young' and there are women in the 40's who are told they're too old.  All any of us can do is make the choices that seem right at the time and, hopefully, live without regrets.