Something I have been pondering a lot lately is this concept of a lost generation.
Thanks to effective birth control, like many women of my generation, I was able to avoid pregnancy young, as I had been urged by my mom and others. They advocated to put off having children as long as possible. “Don’t waste your potential,” they said. “Invest in yourself.” As a result I had my first child at age 33 and my second at age 40.
I was very fortunate both times that I had no trouble conceiving, but I know many friends of my generation who are unable to do so in their 30s even with expensive medical assistance.
I have a 25-year-old helper who works in my business. She’s a go-getter, very enthusiastic, and is not afraid of getting dirty or doing whatever it is that needs done.
Her mom is the same age as I am, but obviously started younger. The more time I spend with her the more I realize I easily could have grown children her age, if I had started having children younger. And how much I would enjoy it, if so.
When I ponder how much help she is to me and how much help a son her age might also be, I am not sure the advice to put off becoming a mom was so wise. Her young 20s energy is a great fit with my middle of the journey experiences.
Sure I enjoyed my 20’s, travelled, built my career, did things I maybe could not have done with little ones. And yet, was it worth it? Not really.
When I did finally become a mother I realized I actually enjoyed it quite a bit. Even pregnancy it was not the misery I was expecting it to be, and had been warned that it would be. Perhaps I got lucky there but I never felt so good in my life as when I was expecting my two children.
And don’t get me wrong, I love my kids a lot and they are a source of great joy and are getting more helpful with age. No regrets! Yet I could practically be their grandmother, versus their mother, no matter how young I may look or act for my age.
Although I did not notice it in my youth, I now notice the “missing generation” more with time. I wonder how many others have this same longing later in life, recognizing what could have been that will never be?
There are some who believe every child is a gift, a golden crown. Planned or unplanned, perfect timing or not. The older I get the more clearly I see this is true.
Do not fear or put off having children, would be my advice. Celebrate each and every one! Surround yourself (and your good man!) with them if you can, and raise them up in a happy intact home. Build your tribe!
Sure, you may have to put yourself aside, but the return on that investment simply cannot be matched. To enter midlife and the elder years surrounded by a supportive family unit that you have invested in is gold. Not that this alone as a reason to have a family, but it is a good one!
I feel for my friends who have put careers first and never married or had children and who are seriously regretting that now. They post pictures of their fur babies and try to make it look like everything’s good but I know the sorrow in their hearts. Maybe not all of them, but more that way than not. And by the time that realization came, the ship had sailed.
And of course on top of birth control, there’s a whole other lost generation, the generation lost to Choice. Millions and millions who would never be. Many developed countries are grappling with this loss now.
Perhaps it’s all the unrest we have experienced over the past few months that brings this front and center. I find myself reevaluating what’s important, and looking back on what was important, and what was folly.
As I have written in the past when you were young it feels like life offers many chances. But with age you see every choice is a door opened or closed and there is rarely the opportunity to go back on the path and make different choices. We are all progressing along a linear line that is our life time.
Choose wisely so it adds up to a life well-lived!
What do you think? Please share in the comments!
(p.s. speaking of comments, while there are many worthy topics of discussion today, please try to stay on the topic this blog is about! Thank you!)