The female Peter Pans

One woman laments being duped out of motherhood:

What went wrong? How is it that the age-old business of having babies has suddenly become fraught with so many difficulties. An important clue can be found back in the late 1970s when I was in my teens. I was part of the generation of schoolgirls who, instead of being propelled towards childbirth by cultural and religious expectations, could balance motherhood against a career and good times.

The result is that my childless contemporaries and I are the fallout generation from the sexual revolution, the real-life Bridget Jones’s who spend their evenings getting drunk instead of reading bedtime stories. We were told we could have it all, but in reality we were sold a pipe dream. The reality is that we forgot that we are helpless in the face of our biological clocks. And now it is simply too late for a lot of us….

Looking back, I think I was suffering from delayed maturity syndrome. I was so used to acting like I was 27 that I had convinced myself I was in the prime of my life.

Delayed maturity is precisely how I’d diagnose these women. The thing that I have found most striking about the career women I know is how emotionally and developmentally immature they all are. They make me think of female Peter Pans, blithely assuming that they will have plenty of time to [fill in the blank] whenever they feel like getting around to it, when the reality is that the window of opportunity for anything, be it a job, an entrepeneurial opportunity or a chance at a happy marriage, is finite and often brief.

And the rage with which some of them react when they find out how “unfair” it is that men don’t value their pieces of paper, that they can’t compete with an uneducated yoga instructor and that there isn’t a husband and 2.4 children waiting to be summoned at the snap of their well-manicured fingers is simply infantile.

Unfortunately, men and women alike are very bad at thinking beyond tomorrow, much less knowing what they will want in ten years. About half of the stay-at-home mothers I know once vowed that they would NEVER want children and wouldn’t even dream of giving up their careers in the extremely unlikely event that they happened to have one. Of course, once out of college and realizing that the glamorous world of the office is actually a hellish stew of busy work, bad coffee, petty power struggles, ugly business-casual attire and hours of meaningless mind-numbing meetings, they not only were happy to get pregnant, but phoned their boss and quit about five seconds after seeing the plus sign.