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Women who don't marry "early"--unhappy as biological clock ticking. Studies to support?


38carrots
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I think there's some truth in that. I have no doubt that men find young women most attractive, but there are plenty of men who don't settle down until they're older and are happy to find a wife of 30-35 years. It would be crazy to rush to get married young so that you don't feel rushed when you're older! But if the opportunity presents itself to you to marry a good man in your 20s, and you want children, I think purposely waiting until your fertility has declined to even consider it would be silly, too.

 

 

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I'm really curious about a couple things:

 

1. What was the original question this late-40s family member asked a 15 year old girl that her answer would be she wants to have a career, then he proceeds to go off on some weird rant.

 

2. Does this guy have a daughter himself who he's married off at 18 to quickly produce babies? 

 

 

Without sounding too cruel, as this is a family member, he doesn't seem like a nice guy and I'd not be spending time voluntarily with him - certainly not try to debate with him for an hour. 

 

 

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I don't even know this guy and I want to smack him.

 

oh let's just have fun and question his manhood . . . .guys (age is irrelevant) who'd dump a wife for a younger model are acting like adolescents.  guys who prefer very young girls - are usually creeps who want someone shallow.

attack his ego . . . . it's more  effective too.

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Is there any evidence to support the claim that women who marry in their mid-to-late teens suffer a higher rate of domestic abuse than women who marry older? I tried a Google search but only found information about child marriage (defined as girls <15), which I don't believe anyone on this thread is advocating for.

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I don't think I'd bother presenting studies to BIL. I think I'd just tell him to knock it off with the unwarranted and unwanted advice.

 

As far as what to say to your daughter, I think looking at studies of happiness in marriage correlated to age at marriage might be interesting. I have read that teen marriages are more strongly correlated to future poverty than marriages that take place later, and more likely to end in divorce than marriages that take place later. And I've read that level of education positively correlates with the success of the marriage (success simply being defined as not ending in divorce). But at the moment I cannot remember where I read most of those. The age and divorce rate correlation I do remember, because I was just talking about it in another thread. https://ifstudies.org/blog/want-to-avoid-divorce-wait-to-get-married-but-not-too-long/ I'll post the others if I'm able to find them again.

 

But I would also pose another more general question: are married women happier than single women? I started looking into that question myself when my daughter said she doesn't think she will ever get married. She's only 17 and I realize there's a good chance she'll change her mind. But I want her to be happy, either happy married or happy single doesn't matter to me. But which is more likely to make her happy?

 

Well, according to the social psychologist Bella DePaulo, the research proclaiming that married people are happier is profoundly flawed, basically designed from the start to prove that married people are happier, and even so only shows a miniscule difference. For example: https://blogs.psychcentral.com/single-at-heart/2013/03/every-time-you-hear-that-getting-married-will-make-you-happier-read-this/

 

I think our society really pushes this notion that marriage and children equal "happily ever after" and that single people are simply those who have failed to attract a mate. But I believe that some people are "wired" to be single, and will be happier single (and I could definitely see my daughter being one of those people). I am happily married myself so I'm not saying anything bad about marriage! I'm just saying that I question the underlying assumption of your BIL's weird rant that marriage is necessary for your dauhter's happiness. So I'm just throwing this out there for your consideration. :-)

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There is evidence that individuals have a baseline level of happiness and that while life events can temporarily increase or decrease happiness, people quickly return to their baseline levels. I have found this to be true in my own life.

 

So it's the wrong question to be asking whether people are happier single vs. married because if there IS a correlation, it would be because people with a higher happiness baseline have different odds of marrying than those with a lower happiness baseline.

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I agree with all of the above. Also, not everyone who marries late does so because of a career. Although I did have a career, what kept me from marrying was not having met the right person. I met dh late in life, and though we started trying to conceive right away, it took until I was 41 to actually get pregnant. By then we had given up and it was a complete surprise. 

 

If I had not been able to have a child, I would have always wished I could have, but it wouldn't have made me unhappy in general. 

 

This is my story too.

 

When my husband and I got married, we knew we might not ever have children. I had always assumed I would never marry, so I was prepared for a single life, and was fine. I was surprised to find myself in a good relationship.  But I almost broke up with him because I am older than he, and I didn't want him to be deprived of children if I couldn't have any.  He did remind me that he knew how old I was, and he was prepared for the consequences.  And, of course, he knew that some percentage of couples simply can't have children for various reasons, so how was I so sure that if would be my "fault" if we never could have kids, and/or that if we broke up he'd find someone else to have kids with anyway?

 

We know several couples who married in their twenties, wanted children, but never had them. Some discovered the cause of the infertility, but some didn't bother. They knew they could be happy whether they had kids or not.  And, they are content to be aunts and uncles, or dear friends.  

 

People who say "I am going to marry by age x and have y number of kids..." make me very nervous.  So often they are setting themselves up for disappointment. 

 

ETA:  I also resent it when people imply that I waited too long to marry and have kids.  Yeah, I waited because I didn't want to marry someone I wasn't sure about, and I wasn't prepared to be a single mom on purpose.  (That's nothing against people who are single moms on purpose - it's just not for me.)   I waited because there was no one for me to marry and have kids with.  

Edited by marbel
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Though I'd love to see studies that don't support this, tbh.

 

Just spent an hour arguing with a male family member in his late 40s, which, frankly, was draining. His argument was that when women wait to establish their carreers, and then start looking for a partner when they are 30-35 years old, they are all unhappy, because they are under so much pressure to have a baby and all the men in their age group are attracted to 20 somethings. This was all initially spoken to our 15yo DD, as "food for thought," in reply to her saying that she'd rather marry late because she wants to have a career. :ack2:

 

But what bugged me was that I actually couldn't come up with good counter arguments. This just *feels* wrong to me. Feels horrible. Outdated. Irrelevant. Disgusting. But am I overreacting because I married young (though didn't have children until early 30s) and I wish I waited until I was in my 30s? For all I know I would've been one of those unhappy unmarried women with my biological clock ticking?

 

This family member kept saying that this is just a lie that women tell ourselves, but in reality men are not interested in women in their thirties and fourties because they are out of reproductive age, and thus those women just can't be happy because they feel rushed into finding a partner. He tried to cite studies. Mentioned Freud. At least I *could* laugh at his face for mentioning FREUD!

 

But seriously. What do you tell your daughters? I tell mine that they can be whatever they want to be--they can marry early and have a family (or not); they can marry late and have a family (or not). That you can't really plan to predict and plan for this, and that they need to live their lives to the fullest and do what they love doing, and that having a life partner can't be the primary goal, especially with certain ages in mind.

 

But with everything I say and with everything how I raise them, DD ended up quite shaken. She's never thought about marriage in great details. She's assumed that one day she will get married, and this will be closer to her 30s than to her 20s. I think that's pretty typical for a 15 year old not to be too focused on when she'd get married! According to this relative, she should be thinking about getting married in 3 years!!! This was horrifying to her.

 

Is this a prevalent opinion and I'm just being sheltered? How to counter-act? How to argue against? He laughed at me for being delusional for thinking that men are attracted to women who are approaching the end of their child-bearing age, which in his mind is 30-34, because after that there's a higher incidence of chromosomal defects / Down Syndrom.

 

As a 42 year old woman, with some education, but no career, past my prime as a child bearing vessel, I felt easily dismissed. I hated feeling this way. I was taken aback by his attitude, shocked. But I also kept wondering that maybe he is right, and this is really what men and women are about, and the society is about.

 

I'd love to hear all perspectives. Not a JAWM. Thank you.

 

It sounds like this guy was being very universal in his assessment.  Clearly it isn't true that ALL women feel the same way about anything.  It's also obviously not the case that ALL men are not interested in women in their 30's or above.

 

However, I think there is some truth in his statements and it is something that women need to think about carefully.  Women who assume the workability/desirability of the model of the sucessful career women who waits until she has established her career to find a long-term partner and has kids may find themselves feeling cheated or disappointed. 

 

It can be a real problem, and women need to think about the implications of waiting.  Biologically, the 20s are better for having kids than the 30s.  Some women really see their fertility go down in their 30s, especially if it wasn't great to begin with.  Some find it takes longer to find someone than they expected.

 

I think that what it comes down to is that the timeline and values of the capitalist workplace are built on what is good for the capitalist workplace - not on what is good for women, for families, or even the community. That includes both the aspects of actual pregnancy and birth as well as child-rearing.

 

 What this means is that families, and maybe especially women, are going to have to try to make an educated guess and a value judgement about how much they want, or are willing, to give to the demands of the workplace, and what they will give to other personal goals including family life.

 

As far as this idea of men not wanting women past their prime childbearing years.  I don't think that is something to really worry about.  I think there is a level of biological truth there - it's probably why men as a group seem to find women of that age particularly attractive while the reverse isn't necessarily true - we know that other animals are often attracted to mates that give the best chance of reproductive success and we aren't somehow outside the pressures of evolution.  But in fact most men find all kinds of women attractive and look for other qualities in a partner too. 

 

What I think can surprise people sometimes though is they may discover that at a certain point, a lot of the men who are really interested in family life may already be married. 

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Well the short of it is, their is biological data that supports his argument but it is complicated. Women who delay marriage end up making more money but some studies point to women who marry earlier are happier over all, drink less, report less depression over a lifetime and...get this...report better sex lives with their husbands. Let's consider this though...some people who choose to get married earlier may just be different types of people and prone to some personalities more than others. Social Science is not an exact science by any stretch of the imagination. It is all correlational which can link just about anything. With that said, I will throw out the obligatory personal anecdote which means nothing. ;) I was married at 20, have 5 kids and went from undergraduate through a master's and PhD program while having kids. I am immensely happy with my life, my husband and all my kiddos. I have a friend who decided to not get married, not have kids and is now 40 years old, immensely happy and loving life too.

 

I think letting your daughter know that our heart is often called in areas that are different from others and we carve our own paths and face those choices good or bad. We cannot assume everyone will fall under a bell curve but should not shame those who do.

 

Men in their 30s and 40s marry women in their 30s and 40s all of the time. The bell curve though, does show men prefer younger women based on stacks of research. This doesn't make them shallow, it means they are following their biology. We cannot help who we are attracted to. Research also shows men are happier when marrying someone younger. Probably because men are by nature, caretakers of women. I know that rubs some the wrong way and again, it is just biology. Not everyone wants this from a man nor does every man feel the need to ride in on his trusty steed to rescue the damsel.

 

I happened to marry a guy who is both. He loves that I am educated and wanted a career but he also holds my door open, pulls out my chair and treats me in a way important to him. This works for us. Might not work for everyone.

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This is gonna sound ridiculous since it comes from my 10yo (who travels to her own drummer).  Miss 10yo is a planner extraordiaire.  For years, every time children were brought up (as in, "I hope you have a kid just like you" etc.), she would say, "I am NOT having kids.  They're too much work."  Recently she changed that to:  "OK.  I might have ONE kid ... IFF YOU promise to pay for his college ... and help with his math homework."

 

There is a point here.  I think we can help ease our daughters' stress if we can offer to help with their kids, or some other aspect of their lives, so that they don't have to sacrifice to the point of regretting choices that shouldn't be regretted.  In my case, I live in a place and a situation where I could help them with lodging and (hopefully) babysitting if they are trying to balance multiple things.  Of course my own health and stamina are not guaranteed, but right now, I think I would like to do that.  I have friends whose moms support them in many ways (with time and presence), and it makes such a difference.

 

I have friends from more traditional cultures where it is the norm for the parents to pursue their interests while leaving the kids with the grandparents during the day - or sometimes for months, even years at a time.  This is so foreign from the way I grew up, it took me some time to get comfortable with the idea.  But as an older person who has had many adventures of my own, I think I'd be happy to do that so my kids can enjoy their life while they can still move around.  :)

 

Interesting, as I've been pondering my teen's interest in firefighting and wondering (in my head, not aloud!) how that might impact her family choices.  I mostly want to be the kind of grandparent who facilitates the best of both worlds.  But I also kind of want to be the grandmother who plays bingo every night and watches her stories in her unchildproofed house every day, then takes the kids on roller coasters on the weekends!

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I can't remember where I read this, but there was a study in the news recently about older fathers and the incidence of birth defects. The conclusion of the study was that the age of the father is a more important factor than the age of the mother, because sperm quality deteriorates greatly as men near forty - and defective sperm, rather than defective eggs, is actually the cause of many birth defects.

 

The authors of the study concluded that if a woman in her forties has a baby with a male in his twenties, her odds of having a healthy baby are the same as a younger woman. But if a woman in her forties has a baby with a male in his forties, the odds of having a baby with a birth defect goes way up.

 

The funny thing was that there were so many irate comments from men in the comments section. They just absolutely did not want to hear that their sperm has an expiration date. I guess it is a blow to their egos to find out that they have a biological clock, too.  :001_rolleyes:  

I guess I am lucky my husband's contributions aren't defective. He was close to forty with our first together. He was close to 50 and I close to 40 when our last was born. No defective ones in the bunch! :) 

 

I do wrestle with these thoughts from OP a bit with my girls. But I don't talk to my girls too much about it. Our focus is on college and careers. We do talk about jobs and realities of  them with children though. My thoughts are more on finding flexible jobs that can bring in income and satisfaction while still allowing them to be home and homeschool if they want to.  It is something to think about. If this is how they grew up and how they want to raise their kids, they need to plan that in advance with their dh when they get married.   We do assume they will get married, but I am sure that isn't always true either.   I am one of 4 girls all close in age. One was never able to have kids. One had disabilities and never married or had kids. One is gay and adopted one.  And none of them were ever as desperate as I was to have them. It was never something I could have done without. It is all I ever planned on or wanted. So I get that everyone will have their own motivations and choices, and who know what the future has in store for mine. I just want them to not limit choices and to be happy. 

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There is evidence that individuals have a baseline level of happiness and that while life events can temporarily increase or decrease happiness, people quickly return to their baseline levels. I have found this to be true in my own life.

 

So it's the wrong question to be asking whether people are happier single vs. married because if there IS a correlation, it would be because people with a higher happiness baseline have different odds of marrying than those with a lower happiness baseline.

Yes, the article that I linked said that there is a brief honeymoon period after a wedding where happiness increases, but then it returns to what it was before the marriage, the baseline level just like you mentioned. I agree with you wholeheartedly, and I have found it to be true in my own life: when either happy or unhappy events occur, I adjust, and end up feeling pretty much the same as I did before.

 

I still think the question is worth asking, though, given that our society insists that marriage makes people happier. It's worth looking into whether there's any veracity to that claim or not. And what's really funny is that the myth is so pervasive, that even psychologists like Dan Gilbert, who has popularized the research that you linked to showing that winning the lottery doesn't make you happy, even he promoted the myth that marriage makes you happy!

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I think women who marry because they think they should be married by a certain time, rather than marry because they have found the right partner are destined to be unhappy.

 

Sidenote: I have a college classmate who is a practicing pediatrician with 6 DC. She knew who she was going to marry before she graduated high school. She followed him to a public ivy, where he had started the year before. She accelerated her studies in biology so she could finish in three years. After 2 years they married. They graduated together the next year while she was pregnant with 1st dc. They then moved to where he attended law school, she got her master's in math and had 2d dc. After he finished law school, they moved for her to attend med school. During med school and residency she had 4 more dc. During that time I kept looking at the alumni updates in our alumni magazine to see what what new achievement the girl with the heavy Applachian accent from my physics class had attained. She clearly was driven to try to have it all. I didn't keep up with her enough to find out if she really felt she had it all.

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Yes, the article that I linked said that there is a brief honeymoon period after a wedding where happiness increases, but then it returns to what it was before the marriage, the baseline level just like you mentioned. I agree with you wholeheartedly, and I have found it to be true in my own life: when either happy or unhappy events occur, I adjust, and end up feeling pretty much the same as I did before.

 

I still think the question is worth asking, though, given that our society insists that marriage makes people happier. It's worth looking into whether there's any veracity to that claim or not. And what's really funny is that the myth is so pervasive, that even psychologists like Dan Gilbert, who has popularized the research that you linked to showing that winning the lottery doesn't make you happy, even he promoted the myth that marriage makes you happy!

 

I think marriage makes men happier but not women. I've seen that reported several times. 

 

A quick google gets me:

 

http://www.businessinsider.com/society-should-stop-pretending-marriage-makes-women-so-happy-2017-1 (no sources)

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2016/03/14/marriage-is-more-beneficial-for-men-than-women-study-shows/

 

http://www.today.com/health/single-ladies-you-might-be-healthier-happier-married-friends-t101511

 

I married young and had children young. It worked out well for me and I know I was lucky. I would highly discourage it in my daughters however.

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I think marriage makes men happier but not women. I've seen that reported several times.

 

A quick google gets me:

 

http://www.businessinsider.com/society-should-stop-pretending-marriage-makes-women-so-happy-2017-1 (no sources)

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2016/03/14/marriage-is-more-beneficial-for-men-than-women-study-shows/

 

http://www.today.com/health/single-ladies-you-might-be-healthier-happier-married-friends-t101511

 

I married young and had children young. It worked out well for me and I know I was lucky. I would highly discourage it in my daughters however.

Very interesting. Thank you for sharing these.

 

I fell in love at 18, got married at 23, had my daughter at 25. I feel the same way you do: it worked out very well for me and I am happy, but I have discouraged my daughter from dating so young. (Which was fine since she didn't want to anyway!)

 

 

 

Edited for typo

Edited by Greta
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Very interesting. Thank you for sharing these.

 

I fell in love at 18, got married at 23, had my daughter at 25. I feel the same way you do: it worked out very well for me and I am happy, but I have discpuraged my daughter from dating so young. (Which was fine since she didn't want to anyway!)

 

I married at 19 and we've been happily married over 30 years.  No regrets.  I don't think I would discourage my dd from marrying early, but I would want her to be educated and able to support herself financially.  

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My perspective on this is a little strange. I wanted marriage and kids when I was young. I had the opportunity to marry right out of college and choose to work on my career instead. By the time I was 28, I regretted not marrying after college and now really wanted that husband and kids. At 32, I met the man I married, and we had a few months of fertility issues including an Ectopic pregnancy that almost killed me. I did finally have my one and only child at 36. A few years after she was born, I realized I had married just to be married and have a child. My husband and I mutually agreed that we weren't really in love, and that we both had married for the same reason. We aren't together anymore, but we are friends and raising our daughter together. I am now in a relationship with someone else I met almost a year ago, shortly after I turned 50. I am in love with this person, and I will say that our relationship has been awesome partly due to the fact that we don't want something else out of it. We are happy with each other. This person was worth waiting for, but I wouldn't trade my daughter for anything. :Life is complicated and rarely goes according to plan.

Edited by leeannpal
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I married at 19 and we've been happily married over 30 years.  No regrets.  I don't think I would discourage my dd from marrying early, but I would want her to be educated and able to support herself financially.  

 

this.

I also married young -  dh was older and done with school and working on a house when we got engaged.  I have no regrets - it was 'right'.  dh dated a lot of women (I've met some), and he really did want to get married - but none of them felt "right".  we've been married 35 years.

 

with my girls there was an expectation they'd marry one day (for the "right" reasons) - but - their self-worth was never wrapped up in being married or not.  if you haven't met the right person - you haven't met the right person.  that's out of our control - for guys too.

 

I also strongly urged them to get an education that allows gainful employment to support a family (because death, unemployment, disability, and divorce are all real possibilities).  and even if you want to marry - there's no guarantee you'll meet the right guy.

and until then (assuming they meet the right one) - they have a very comfortable life-style as opposed to scrapping by and needing some guy to rescue them financially.

 

(and 'cause I'm a snob.  I want my grandchildren to have an educated mother. :leaving: )

 

1dd really thought she'd be married by now.  (she's frustrated being single). but, she is financially independent, owns her own home, has a job that is intellectually stimulating and has many opportunities,  and she's having fun.

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I think that this sort of thinking can cause a lot of issues for women.

 

I was raised in conservative evangelical circles. The idea in the 80s and 90s was very, very pro marriage and family (still is, but it's a little more balanced I N my circles now). There was a lot of talk about wife and motherhood being a woman's highest calling and ultimate vocation.

 

Because of that, by age 18, I was willing to think about marriage. I was from a family that couldn't support me, though, and I had scholarships, so I went to college. Definitely as a place holder until my "real life" began, with marriage and motherhood.

 

I ended up getting married at 26, then had infertility, and a first baby at 31.

 

I wish that I hadn't spent so much time sizing ip every man to see if he was the one. So much time worried about having a baby. I mean, 26 and 31 aren't that old. But I wasted too much energy on pursuing it.

 

I will tell my daughter to allow it to happen in the timing that it happens in. If that means that infertility has won, she can choose to become a mother in a different way. But hopefully she will live her life to the fullest, even if the clock is ticking

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Oh my! That video has achieved the impossible... condescending and offensive on all levels *to both men and women*!!.

Girls need to hear that if they choose to marry late, they won't find anyone eligible because all men want younger women? Women are born rich and become poor? men are born poor and become rich? I hope she's speaking in metaphors..

 

I don't get why the sender of this video is so invested in your daughters future marriage/late marriage? Very bizarre..

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I really appreciate everyone's perpspectives. I don't even know why I engaged with this conversation for so long, I guess I was taken aback.

 

DD and I got this in our emails today:

Sexual market value?!

 

"Dear jackass, you've made your point and now I am going to make mine. This topic is now closed to you. Do not email or discuss this with dd again. I also have no interest in continuing this conversation. I believe our relationship can only benefit from this boundary, so I will be enforcing it."

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Wow.  I'm pretty conservative, but WTH with that video.  Who is that woman ... she's too young to know how women feel when they're "past their prime" and single, and too old to be the poster child for young marriage ... (I didn't notice a ring on her finger, but I could have missed it).

 

And ... single motherhood is a death sentence ... HA HA HA ... excuse me while I go get my hanky to cry into ....

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And yes, Uncle Creep is acting like a perv sending your daughter that sort of thing.  If he doesn't stop, I'd threaten to report him for exchanging sexually-charged emails with a person under the age of consent.  :/

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Interesting, as I've been pondering my teen's interest in firefighting and wondering (in my head, not aloud!) how that might impact her family choices. I mostly want to be the kind of grandparent who facilitates the best of both worlds. But I also kind of want to be the grandmother who plays bingo every night and watches her stories in her unchildproofed house every day, then takes the kids on roller coasters on the weekends!

Emergency services careers can work well because they allow for night shifts or different hours that mean someone is always home for the kids

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Your family member sounds like a proponent of The Red Pill.  If you're prepared for some awful misogyny, you could take a look at the Reddit forum called "TheRedPill" and see a lot of similar thoughts.  I hope your daughter learns to spot this sort of attitude right away and stay away from guys who would think of her in terms of "sexual market value".   :ack2:

 

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Emergency services careers can work well because they allow for night shifts or different hours that mean someone is always home for the kids

 

Well, sure, but that's a big lifestyle choice, too.

Like many places, paid firefighting is incredibly difficult to get into and promoted around here (meaning up to 2 hours away.) Being female in and of itself will make it challenging, never mind limited duty for pregnancy.  I won't for one second discourage her, and I completely resent that it could be an issue in any occupation, but these are real factors that will come into play if she goes that route.

 

I could say the same things for her sister, who currently wants to be a medevac paramedic.  My youngest son also wants to be a firefighter, but he's 6, so I don't give it as much thought, lol. (My 18yo is a music major and my 10yo insists he's going to live with us forever.)

 

Sheesh. When I had 5 kids, I didn't think about the possibility of needing a daycare license to grandma.  :lol:

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Well, sure, but that's a big lifestyle choice, too.

Like many places, paid firefighting is incredibly difficult to get into and promoted around here (meaning up to 2 hours away.) Being female in and of itself will make it challenging, never mind limited duty for pregnancy. I won't for one second discourage her, and I completely resent that it could be an issue in any occupation, but these are real factors that will come into play if she goes that route.

 

I could say the same things for her sister, who currently wants to be a medevac paramedic. My youngest son also wants to be a firefighter, but he's 6, so I don't give it as much thought, lol. (My 18yo is a music major and my 10yo insists he's going to live with us forever.)

 

Sheesh. When I had 5 kids, I didn't think about the possibility of needing a daycare license to grandma. :lol:

Yeah true I didn't think about the pregnancy aspect just thinking of a couple of families I know in a related field how it works.

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Well, sure, but that's a big lifestyle choice, too.

Like many places, paid firefighting is incredibly difficult to get into and promoted around here (meaning up to 2 hours away.) Being female in and of itself will make it challenging, never mind limited duty for pregnancy. I won't for one second discourage her, and I completely resent that it could be an issue in any occupation, but these are real factors that will come into play if she goes that route.

 

I could say the same things for her sister, who currently wants to be a medevac paramedic. My youngest son also wants to be a firefighter, but he's 6, so I don't give it as much thought, lol. (My 18yo is a music major and my 10yo insists he's going to live with us forever.)

 

Sheesh. When I had 5 kids, I didn't think about the possibility of needing a daycare license to grandma. :lol:

Almost all fire departments and medevac helicopters are still utilizing 24 hour shifts. It generally works out to two a week, give or take(majority are either two scheduled days a week, or 24 on/72 off). Most ambulance services have gone to 12s, though in my area 24s are still common. I work 24 hour shifts, two a week. The females I know have all done various things: not gotten into the job until their kids were older, utilized day care during the day and husband/partner home at night, and, yes, lots and lots of grandma care. I married a firefighter-paramedic who also works 24s, and we are senior enough in our careers that we have really good schedules and work opposite each other. Still, it would be impossible for me to do it without the assistance of both grandmothers. You aren't just considering the 24 hours of working, but often I need to sleep the next morning. When I was working 12s it was still as complicated because I worked three back to back. I'd come home ready to drop, and between commute, eating and sleep, I did nothing for three straight days but work and sleep and eat and drive. That's primarily why a lot of us really prefer 24s.

 

Your daughters can PM me if they want to talk to a female paramedic who is a former firefighter. :)

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My grandmother (father's mother) had 3 sisters, so 4 girls.  They got married at ages 24, 28, 30, and 42, all but all first marriages.

 

My great aunt (father's father's sister) got married at 53, for the first time.

 

My mother was 29 and I was 29.

 

Nothing wrong with waiting for the right person.  

 

My kids were born when I was 32, 33, and 37.

 

We have all been reasonably happy.

 

 

Edited by DawnM
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Though I'd love to see studies that don't support this, tbh.

 

Just spent an hour arguing with a male family member in his late 40s, which, frankly, was draining. His argument was that when women wait to establish their carreers, and then start looking for a partner when they are 30-35 years old, they are all unhappy, because they are under so much pressure to have a baby and all the men in their age group are attracted to 20 somethings. This was all initially spoken to our 15yo DD, as "food for thought," in reply to her saying that she'd rather marry late because she wants to have a career. :ack2:

 

But what bugged me was that I actually couldn't come up with good counter arguments. This just *feels* wrong to me. Feels horrible. Outdated. Irrelevant. Disgusting. But am I overreacting because I married young (though didn't have children until early 30s) and I wish I waited until I was in my 30s? For all I know I would've been one of those unhappy unmarried women with my biological clock ticking?

 

This family member kept saying that this is just a lie that women tell ourselves, but in reality men are not interested in women in their thirties and fourties because they are out of reproductive age, and thus those women just can't be happy because they feel rushed into finding a partner. He tried to cite studies. Mentioned Freud. At least I *could* laugh at his face for mentioning FREUD!

 

But seriously. What do you tell your daughters? I tell mine that they can be whatever they want to be--they can marry early and have a family (or not); they can marry late and have a family (or not). That you can't really plan to predict and plan for this, and that they need to live their lives to the fullest and do what they love doing, and that having a life partner can't be the primary goal, especially with certain ages in mind.

 

But with everything I say and with everything how I raise them, DD ended up quite shaken. She's never thought about marriage in great details. She's assumed that one day she will get married, and this will be closer to her 30s than to her 20s. I think that's pretty typical for a 15 year old not to be too focused on when she'd get married! According to this relative, she should be thinking about getting married in 3 years!!! This was horrifying to her.

 

Is this a prevalent opinion and I'm just being sheltered? How to counter-act? How to argue against? He laughed at me for being delusional for thinking that men are attracted to women who are approaching the end of their child-bearing age, which in his mind is 30-34, because after that there's a higher incidence of chromosomal defects / Down Syndrom.

 

As a 42 year old woman, with some education, but no career, past my prime as a child bearing vessel, I felt easily dismissed. I hated feeling this way. I was taken aback by his attitude, shocked. But I also kept wondering that maybe he is right, and this is really what men and women are about, and the society is about.

 

I'd love to hear all perspectives. Not a JAWM. Thank you.

I didn't read replies yet. My thinking is there is a big span between 18 and 34. Somethng in the middle makes much more sense to me. People are free to make their own life choices but I can't imagine why someone who wants a husband and children would put that off until her 30s. Well actually that applies to men also, although obviously they can be a bit older.

 

I am much more interested in a maturity level than a to do list checked off. Can you support yourself if need be? Do you understand yourself. Do you understand what you want in a mate? Have you learned to recognize players and dishonest people?

 

Finally, life at this point, is short. We can not have it all.

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:huh: :huh: :svengo: oh wait - he's already been married/divorced? hope things work for your sister - but imho he needs to grow up.

 

gloria steinem was quite well known for saying women didn't need to get married. in her 60s she met a guy she liked being with enough to marry him.

What exactly does this mean? Dude has already "done his time" in the military. If he's financially able to travel and enjoy life while he is still physically able and willing - what part of that, exactly, makes him immature or "not grown up".

 

IMHO, that's a pretty small box every adult aged person needs to fit in to to meet your standards of being "grown up". There's more to life than the picket fence and the whole nine yards.

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What exactly does this mean? Dude has already "done his time" in the military. If he's financially able to travel and enjoy life while he is still physically able and willing - what part of that, exactly, makes him immature or "not grown up".

 

IMHO, that's a pretty small box every adult aged person needs to fit in to to meet your standards of being "grown up". There's more to life than the picket fence and the whole nine yards.

 

so has my brother.  20 years in fact.  doens't mean squat about maturity. 

 

this isn't your sister - so why are your panties in a twist?

 

the fact he wants to go "travel around for 5 years" - and have his 31 yo gf (who reportedly wants to marry him) wait to get married/settle down/start a family/etc. - is an adolescent mentality, not a grown-up one.  if he wants to be single and travel - his choice. however in this case, his life choices affects someone else.  that changes things.

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so has my brother. 20 years in fact. doens't mean squat about maturity.

 

this isn't your sister - so why are your panties in a twist?

 

the fact he wants to go "travel around for 5 years" - and have his 31 yo gf (who reportedly wants to marry him) wait to get married/settle down/start a family/etc. - is an adolescent mentality, not a grown-up one. if he wants to be single and travel - his choice. however in this case, his life choices affects someone else. that changes things.

Wow, that got condescending quickly.

 

My panties are in a twist because these types of attitudes and expectations are not helpful to anyone. And my kids are growing up in a world where they are rampant. It's really no better than the OP's relative's opinion about when girls "need to grow up and make babies".

 

The 31 year old can decide if this guy is right for her, or not, and make her decisions based on her wants and needs, but he doesn't "need to grow up" just to meet her expectations of becoming a wife and mother. If they have different wants out of life, then maybe they are not perfect for each other. Maybe they'll find a compromise, but at the end of the day if it doesn't work out for them, it's not his "fault" for having an "adolescent mentality". It's called a choice and he's allowed to make it for himself.

Edited by fraidycat
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Interesting, as I've been pondering my teen's interest in firefighting and wondering (in my head, not aloud!) how that might impact her family choices.  I mostly want to be the kind of grandparent who facilitates the best of both worlds.  But I also kind of want to be the grandmother who plays bingo every night and watches her stories in her unchildproofed house every day, then takes the kids on roller coasters on the weekends!

 

 

Emergency services careers can work well because they allow for night shifts or different hours that mean someone is always home for the kids

 

I posted in the spinoff to this thread about dss and ddil both having careers in health care - he as a paramedic, she as a nurse. It's worked well for them so far and they've only rarely needed grandparents or an aunt (ddil's sister) to watch the kids.

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Wow, that got condescending quickly.

 

My panties are in a twist because these types of attitudes and expectations are not helpful to anyone. And my kids are growing up in a world where they are rampant. It's really no better than the OP's relative's opinion about when girls "need to grow up and make babies".

 

The 31 year old can decide if this guy is right for her, or not, and make her decisions based on her wants and needs, but he doesn't "need to grow up" just to meet her expectations of becoming a wife and mother. If they have different wants out of life, then maybe they are not perfect for each other. Maybe they'll find a compromise, but at the end of the day if it doesn't work out for them, it's not his "fault" for having an "adolescent mentality". It's called a choice and he's allowed to make it for himself.

 

 

he wants to travel -

she wants to have kids, and she feels her clock is ticking

 

he needs to decide which is more important to him - traveling, or her.

she needs to decide which is more important to her - him or having kids (and risk not being able to because she'd be 36 when his "five-year travel plan" was over.  and yeah, I never conceived in my 30s - but did when I started into perimenopause in my 40s and raging hormones.)

 

or they can figure out a compromise that works for both of them.   - that's what grown-ups do.  

 

and there are couples who do both - travel and have kids at the same time.

 

but this is all irrelevant because they aren't even engaged and who knows if they ever will be.

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