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With all of the critics carping on about women “delaying marriage” until their 40’s, it seems to me that something vital got lost in their consensus.
Are single men lining up around the block like homeless mendicants at a matrimonial soup kitchen, just begging for a trip to the altar?
Like Buddy Holly once said, “That’ll Be The Day.” (http://en NULL.wikipedia NULL.org/wiki/That%27ll_Be_the_Day)
As we all know, it takes two to tango—we should account for the contribution of men’s behavior to the trend towards later parenthood.
Let’s consider Monica Workens, a 44-year-old university graduate who works as an Administrator in Dallas, TX.
She’s attractive, educated, and successful—just the sort of woman you could argue has everything going for her in the marriage stakes. So,where’s Mr. Right?
You could say he made his exit—stage left.
Workens is currently on the road to motherhood—but she’s attempting to conceive as a single mother by choice, using a sperm donor.
You’ve got to ask, what’s wrong with this picture? Although my knowledge is anecdotal, I’m hearing from a growing number of women, just like Workens, who are taking the path of Jennifer Aniston in The Switch (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=EEYqgyXyk9A) and replacing the deadbeats with donors.
According to Workens, she’s attempting to conceive on her own because she’s not found Mr. Right and she’s tired of waiting.
Of course, you’ve got to ask the stock question: Was she being too choosy in her vibrant 20’s and 30’s? Workens argues it’s not that simple.
“Some of it was choosing the wrong guys and staying with them for too long–and my focus on my career turned a lot of guys off,” she says.
The going started to get tough once she hit her 30’s and she learned that men’s attitudes seem to have changed—many didn’t want to have kids.
“What I’ve found is that if men are not married around 30, it’s probably for a reason.”
“Usually it’s because they do not want responsibility or commitment.”
Workens has even come up with a special name for non-committers—she calls them the “Free Riders.” She believes that if they have not married by their 30’s, they are increasingly unlikely to.
The next group consists of the men who’ve been torched by a first marriage.
“Financially, they may have been badly burned and do not want to have any additional ‘burden’ with a second family,” she continues.
The third thread to the demise of Mr. Right, she suggests, stems from many men’s “failure to launch” from the nest.
“We have not done a great job in teaching our young men and women about life’s balance,” says Workens.
“Part of being successful and contributing to society is learning how to commit and deal effectively with all kinds of issues.”
So, where oh where did Mr. Right go?
According to Workens—having done her own informal ‘study’ by interviewing men in recent years—the fall-out is concerning.
“Many men in their late 30’s, 40’s and 50’s want companionship—especially the physical type—but not a traditional relationship,” she says.
With growing numbers of hitherto unconventional families—including single moms and dads by choice (or not), gay couple parenting and divorced parents with blended families—she feels it’s time to accept the new age of the family.
“Our medical community needs to be more open to single women in their 40’s conceiving and becoming mothers,” she adds.
“The government is going to have to start recognizing these trends and plan accordingly.”
Notes for this blog:
Angel La Liberte is the founder of the website Flower Power Mom—The Truth About Motherhood After 40 (www.flowerpowermom.com), a regular blog featuring commentary, real mom stories and expert advice about motherhood after 40. She gave birth to her children at 41 and 44 after conceiving naturally.
She also founded A Child After 40, a new online community to empower all women on the journey of motherhood after 40—via natural conception, IVF, ART, egg/sperm donation, surrogacy, adoption and parenting.https://achildafter40.com/a-child-after-40-online/
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