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(http://www NULL.achildafter40 NULL.com/mariah-makes-an-unscheduled-pregnancy-stop-at-41/mariah-carey-3/)The over-40 celebrity-mom bandwagon is creaking with impending collapse—on Thursday, 28th October, Mariah Carey appeared on the TV show Access Hollywood to announce she was pregnant at 41.
Ironically, on the very same day, I was participating in a CBC Radio 1 program, “The Current” (see link below) on the heels of Celine Dion giving birth at 42, and delivering rebuttals (http://www NULL.cbc NULL.ca/video/news/audioplayer NULL.html?clipid=1627203445) to the damning comments on “delayed motherhood” dished up by experts on a previous episode.
On the panel in support of women’s choice to begin a family when the time is right, whether later or sooner, was Vardit Ravitsky (http://umontreal NULL.academia NULL.edu/VarditRavitsky), a professor of bioethics for the University of Montreal—herself a mother over 40.
One expert had accused women over 40 as “scheduling” their pregnancies and viewing children as “commodities”.
They were also deemed as naïve about their own fertility—and perhaps there’s some validity in that.
But since when did a simplistic, broad-based judgment like “women are so narcissistic they are unwilling to consider the best interests of their future children” apply to anyone, let alone an older, and likely wiser, mom-to-be?
In fact, I’m willing to bet that, like me and many mothers who conceived after 40, it was important for Mariah Carey to have “the right guy.”
After all, she’d been married to Tommy Mottola for 5 years with no progeny—and who are we to know what went on behind closed doors in that marriage?
With age, comes the seasoning of hindsight along with the 20-20 vision that reveals to us the little transgressions in the selection of our husbands early in life.
Our youth has been characterized by passion, impulsivity and folly, by some of the wisest and most erudite thinkers throughout the centuries.
So where is the requisite helping of forgiveness with that?
I entered my first marriage at 26. If I’d had children with my first husband, I could underwrite the mortgage on our house with the assurance they’d have spewed forth from a miserable divorce like offspring from the head of Kronos (http://www NULL.google NULL.com/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=3&ved=0CEIQFjAC&url=http%3A%2F%2Fen NULL.wikipedia NULL.org%2Fwiki%2FCronus&rct=j&q=kronos&ei=W5HMTJ6jIIPCsAPthb3VDg&usg=AFQjCNGH6LeQELx2DuWer2YKV6JGMDD0vg&sig2=XXxuhcnjEuxFQ2kAbJB36w&cad=rja).
Yet even that point is moot. My first husband conveniently waited until after the honeymoon in France to inform me he wasn’t interested in producing heirs.
It took 4 years to end that chapter in my life and another 10 before I could be sure I had the right candidate for a lifetime commitment and a secure domestic environment for kids.
The last thing on my mind was “scheduling” and, far from being “commodities,” I viewed children as a colossal lifetime commitment—one to be embraced with the right partner, or not at all.
During the CBC Radio 1 interview, Vardit Ravitsky offered a refreshing support and perspective on the growing ranks of women having children after 40.
It is “dangerous,” she said, to make generalized moral judgments about whether or not women should have children later in life.
Pregnancy and motherhood after 40 is a complex issue and needs to be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
Ultimately—as Ravitsky took pains to point out—the journey to motherhood sooner or later in life is all about a woman’s choices.
When I divorced at 30, I began to realize how my choices had consequences. I learned that nothing in life is ever so perfect as we’d like it to be.
Ergo, the distinction between a joyful, fulfilling experience—as applied to motherhood and all aspects of our lives—and a sad, bereft one, rides on the wisdom of our choices.
Most women know when they’re with the right guy for raising a family, at whatever age. Now, I think Mariah Carey knows it too.
Notes for this blog:
CBC Radio 1, The Current:
http://www.cbc.ca/video/news/audioplayer.html?clipid=1627203445 (http://www NULL.cbc NULL.ca/video/news/audioplayer NULL.html?clipid=1627203445)
Mariah Carey’s interview with Access Hollywood:
http://www.accesshollywood.com/access-exclusive-mariah-carey-and-nick-cannon-we-are-pregnant_article_38934 (http://www NULL.accesshollywood NULL.com/access-exclusive-mariah-carey-and-nick-cannon-we-are-pregnant_article_38934)
Angel La Liberte is the founder of the websiteFlower Power Mom—The Truth About Motherhood After 40 (http://www NULL.achildafter40 NULL.com/)(www.flowerpowermom.com (http://www NULL.achildafter40 NULL.com/)), where she blogs regularly about later life motherhood. You can email her email@example.com (editor null@null flowerpowermom NULL.com).
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Angel on CNN(http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=WySnP2nnwXU)
CNN Mother's Day: "Mature Moms" (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=WySnP2nnwXU)(http://youtu NULL.be/atScMih4_d0) (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=sGRro4rHGeA)
AARP's "Inside E-Sreet" on PBS TV (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=sGRro4rHGeA)
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