Wow, how nice would it be to be Kirstie Allsopp's daughter? It must be great to have a mum who's omnipotent - who knows without doubt when you'll go to university: 'Do it when you're 50!', how and when you'll get on the property ladder: 'I'll help you, let's get you into a flat', the sort of man you're going to spend your life with - 'nice', in case you're wondering - even the exact age you'll have a family: 'You can have a baby by the time you're 27.' As a daughter of mummy Allsopp, how reassuring to know that the fickle uncertainties of love, money, health and luck hold no truck with her.
Joking aside - feminists look away now - I do think Kirstie has a point. Strike a light, my 18 month-old daughter is probably burning my bra as I write. Step away from the matches, darling, I do think Kirstie might be onto something when she says 'Nature isn't a feminist.'
Yes we can try our best with medical science, yoga, positive thinking and the latest fertility diets to buy ourselves more time, but all we're really doing is delaying the inevitable. Multi-tasking, yes, wrinkle-delaying, no probs, but when it comes to stopping time altogether, even women struggle. It's simple; if we want to have babies, we've got a limited window in which to have them. The rest is details.
At least for the current generation of twentysomethings, arguing otherwise is misleading and wastes time in my opinion. Yes it would be nice if having a career and having a child weren't mutually exclusive. Yes it would be nice if we could find a way to lessen the impact pregnancy has on women's careers and their employers. It would be nice if we could meet young families' needs and spread the financial, practical and emotional demands of having babies across a family-friendly society. It would be nice if we could engage an educated, experienced and dedicated work-force of women in flexible positions without compromising their ambition or the needs of their children, but until that happens, let's stop kidding ourselves. At the moment, having a baby involves making sacrifices. It's up to women and their families to decide what those sacrifices are going to be.
Besides, saying women shouldn't have to choose between a career and a family is another way of saying we can have it all, right? Don't get me started on that one. Women are constantly bombarded with messages that we can and should have it all; a dynamic career, a close family, a happy marriage, a fit bod and a beautiful home, all in the name of girl power. But rather than being uplifting, this ideal just puts women under more pressure. Cos the flipside of saying women can have it is all is the implication that if they don't they're missing out, letting themselves and their families down. It's ok not to tick all the boxes, all of the time.
But all this has been said before, many times. What's more interesting is Kirstie's point that fertility is not just a female issue. 'All I'm saying is women must have this debate and include young men in it,' she said, defending her viewpoint on Twitter. 'Men need to know, men need to be taught in school that there is a responsibility, that if you love someone, decide if you want to have a child with that person or not.'
Exactly! This is not about women choosing if or when they'll have children. Last time I checked it wasn't just down to them anyway. The take-away message here is that we need to educate the next generation - women and men - to be responsible and considerate when it comes to fertility. Couples with a female in their twenties or thirties need to talk babies ASAP; yes or no, how and when and the contingency plan if they do decide to put it off. I know it's cringe-worthy, I know it takes away from romance, spontaneity and the natural course of relationships. But nature is relentless; it sure as hell won't wait for you or your utopian baby-making ideal to fall into place. So in the name of Kirstie and all that's good and fertile, have the conversation! Then get out or get it on while you still can people!Suggest a correction