A hot topic with most 30-somethings I know is motherhood—to have kids or not, and the guilt and pressures associated with either decision. Self-inflicted or otherwise.
When I read this article in last weekend's NY Times Magazine called 'Motherhood Experiment,' it got me thinking. The gist is that many industrialized countries like ours are partially at fault for women putting off child bearing (if having them at all), because having both successful careers and children doesn't seem possible. The author bases this assumption on inadequate childcare and part time work options available to women in our societies.
I think the author may be right. From my childless viewpoint, it seems you have to give up something in order to have either: career ascension or being home when your kids get off the bus. If our country made childcare affordable and good for our children; allowed longer maternity leaves ensuring women wouldn't lose their place on the corporate ladder; and offered reduced hours or job sharing without career limitations—motherhood would definitely sound more attractive. And frankly easier to pull off in a society that demands dual-income households.
With all of that out of the way, the last things standing between me and motherhood would be pain of childbirth and no longer sleeping in on weekends... still not an easy sell.