I swear this is a new trend. All over the country, women just like me, early 30s, educated and formerly over-employed have found themselves unemployed and are getting pregnant. It makes sense. While in the throws of a high powered career, who has time to think about making babies? I know I would worry about pregnancy then because I would have to work even more than I already did to be able to afford a decent nanny. I was already working from morning till the middle of the night, long past when normal people had tucked themselves into bed. When would I have time to work more? Not to mention the two weeks I would have to take off after the kid was born to lose the baby weight and also lose my touch on what was going on in The Industry while I was away. I hadn’t taken more than four work days off in a row in 6 years. Two weeks was going to kill me.
Alas, I find myself just like others women who were in my situation, unemployed and cooking a baby. I haven’t seen any numbers on this trend but I’ve seen it with my own two eyes. Well-dressed thirtysomethings are filling the waiting rooms of the low end hospitals and clinics, crowding out the pimple-faced 18 year olds who are clinging to the hands of sheepish young men. The women I see have all the trappings of their former lives, two year old designer bags, $500 highlights stylishly grown long. They park their Beemers and Audis in the parking lot and read The Huffington Post on their two year old iPhones while waiting for their free ultrasounds and give each other knowing glances. We all know what we used to be and what we have become. I can no longer afford to spend $7 on a pint of creme fraiche, so I’ve started making it at home (it’s super easy by the way) and I would bet they are doing the same thing. Dusting off their All Clad stainless cookware and their KitchenAid stand mixers, they too, are probably now making the delicacies they have been accustomed to buying at Whole Foods but find it embarrassing to use food stamps for.
I think this is for the best though. If not now, when? When were we suppose to have children? When we are 40? 45? Where we suppose to put off having children until we could only do it with invasive medical procedures.
I know it hasn’t been popular to have children or even to admit that you want children in the past, but I think that is now ending. So many women have found their jobs outsized, downsized and merged that they are now on the unemployment roles. After you have signed up for food stamps, WIC doesn’t seem so frightening. Let me tell you, it isn’t bad at all. The offices are much less crowded and there are many less crazy homeless people there. But, that is neither here nor there. Why not use the nearly 2 years of unemployment benefits to start the raising of a child? In five years, our economy will be recovered and the kids born now will be ready or nearly ready to start school so the shame of having taken time off to raise a family will also coincide with the worst financial disaster this country has experience since maybe The Great Depression.
I may be the first person to have noticed this trend in thinking or maybe not. Either way, it’s real and I think it’s great.