Who would have thought my week would have involved a metaphorical high-five to one of the Kardashian sisters for their relatable outlook? Certainly not me – but indeed it did!
Because no woman, nowhere, should ever feel pressured into having a baby. Never.
For the non-Kardashian fans out there, 28-year-old Kendall is the only one of her famous siblings – Kourtney, Khloe, Kim, Rob and Kylie – not to have a child. And that seems like something Kris would like to change.
During the latest episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians, Kris mentioned that she had dreamt Kendall had a baby and then quizzed her daughter as to whether she’d ever like a little one, one day.
‘I know we’re all different, but me personally, I would love to see Kendall have a baby,’ said Kris to the camera. ‘And she’d be such a good mommy.’
I’ve got no reason to think she wouldn’t – but for goodness sake, leave that decision up to her!
Thankfully, Kendall didn’t rise to her mum’s bait.
‘I swear I got this, and I will give you a grandkid when the time is right and when it all makes sense perfectly,’ the supermodel replied smoothly.
What a perfect answer – and way to shut Kris down (and up).
The thing is, so many women feel pressure to have children – from themselves, partners, the people around, even society.
It’s a life milestone that still apparently (yawn) shows that you’re ‘winning’, isn’t it? Even in the 21st century, when women should be free to follow whatever life path they wish to, having a baby still remains some kind of symbol of success. Something to tick off your list.
I certainly felt that societal squeeze when first my sister, then my best friend had their babies.
My sister had met her now-husband at the age of 17. They bought a house in their early 20s and she fell pregnant not long later.
Meanwhile I was living in London, renting an eye-wateringly expensive flat with my best friend and in the midst of a messy break-up that I – rather dramatically, admittedly – never believed I would get over.
Everyone around me was suddenly growing up and settling down
I was beyond excited to become an aunt but when I jumped on a train to travel 300 miles to meet my new niece, I had never felt further away from having children.
At the time, it didn’t bother me too much. Even though my sister was two years younger than me.
But it felt different when she fell pregnant for the second time two and a half years later – at the same time my best friend announced she was expecting her first.
When they gave birth, it suddenly struck me. Everyone around me was suddenly growing up and settling down, while I was no closer to creating a family of my own. And I was turning 30 the following month.
Looking back now, it sounds like nothing – but given that 35-year-olds were historically referred to as ‘geriatric mums’, I became increasingly conscious of my age, my relationship status, my physical ability to conceive and carry a baby… Things I’d never given that much thought to in the past.
As it turned out, I gave birth three and a half years later to my son, Theo, and again, two years after that, to my little girl, Immy.
For me, that was the right time. I had met my now-husband, Tom. After moving in together, we discovered we actually were right for each other. We had bought a flat together and were sorted financially.
Obviously, money isn’t something Kendall needs to sort and, on paper, she appears to be ready to have a baby. Like the rest of the Kardashians, she’s a multi-millionaire and could provide for a whole brood of children in the practical and financial sense.
But, as she pointed out, having children isn’t just about being materially ready – it’s about mentally prepared too.
‘I just think about my life and the freedom that I have right now and like the ease in just picking up and going somewhere,’ she explained to Kris on the show. ‘I just like that right now.’
Anyone who has had children can relate to that sentiment – because babies turn your world upside down and change it in ways that are hard to imagine.
Pre-kids, Tom and I might have spent our weekends slobbed out on the sofa, watching three films in a row. Or going out for a mooch around town before stopping off in a pub for dinner and a drink. Or maybe even jumping on a train to Bath for a night away.
Nowadays, our days off are spent ferrying Immy to her ballet lesson, before taking Theo to his piano class and then usually going to a party or a play date in the afternoon.
Don’t get me wrong, I love our family life together and I wouldn’t change it for the world – but it is a huge change and one I’m only content with because I entered parenthood at the right time for me.
So go you, Kendall! You have children when – indeed, if – the time is right for you. Don’t bow to any pressure from anyone.
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