Tuesday, July 09, 2013

A Woman's Merciless Math

I'll let you read the whole article for the "oh, yea" background. Yes, I know it is in Cosmo, but how many milblogs link to Cosmo?

Here's the setup;
I began to feel like it was taking forever for him to propose, but I knew he'd do it when he was ready. We'd discussed marriage, but we were young, in our 20s. I felt sure it would happen by 30.
Finally, on a trip to Mexico in 2008, some seven years after we had begun our relationship, he finally said the words I had waited so long to hear. We'd been swimming with dolphins, eating fresh seafood, having an amazing time. Over dinner on our last night, he started out slowly, saying, "I've been thinking about my life, what I want." I felt like finishing the sentence for him. Then he said, "I wanted to ask if you would marry me."

I remember feeling overwhelmed with joy and also thinking: finally. I was almost 30.
We discussed our future plans, agreeing that we both wanted children. I felt grounded in the knowledge that he wanted kids. Family is very important to me.
... and here's the fall;
A year later, he canceled the wedding, throwing me into a tailspin. Up to that point, everything I'd ever wanted, I had achieved through hard work and sheer determination. When I couldn't get answers from Jason on what had gone wrong, I questioned myself and what I could have done better or differently. I should have been questioning him, but I didn't think to do so at all. In the years that followed, I dated other men, I built up my business, I had a full life. But when it came to Jason, deep sadness and confusion remained.
Today, I am 35 years old and dating. I have a great life. I train pro athletes and high school kids, and I work at athletic camps with at-risk children. I'm writing a book that I hope will help other women. I froze my eggs last week as a backup plan. It's an empowering option, something I had been planning to do for some time. I realized recently that maybe I had put it off because there was some seed of hope that Jason might come back to me. It's hard to admit that. But I face up to issues—I run toward them one hundred miles an hour.

What I have learned is that my mistake was in thinking, "What did I do wrong?" I did nothing wrong. I was true to myself. I understand now that you can never truly know what's going on in the mind of another person, no matter how well you think you know them. But you do know yourself. Be your own cheerleader. Trust in yourself.
OK, well you probably needed a friend to tell you the following truth - something my mother and grandmother would tell you, and something Mrs. Salamander had my girls understand before they were in Jr. High School. I'm not a friend - but I'll put it out there for you as it seems no one else close to you has.

Biology does not wait. You cannot have it all. If you want kids (as in more than one), you need to have your first one no later than age 30. Wait longer, the less luck you will have - and you may not get past two unless you have very lucky genes.

Have a kid when you are 40? That ain't easy on the body, even if you are lucky in your health.

You cannot show up on your 30th birthday and say, "I want to have three kids." and expect to have your first one before your next birthday. A woman in her 20s can "short cycle" and have a new child every 24-months for awhile if she wants a lot easier than a woman in her mid-30s who has never had children before. 

If you have had and "interesting life" up to that point and required a few trips to the doctor for the beggar-weeds that come along with that "interesting life," you will probably have additional problems conceiving - if ever.

At age 35 you cannot just put your eggs away in a freezer and hope that in 5 years you can simply put one in the oven and expect all will do well. Biology just isn't a fair player.

Especially our female Shipmates. Want a full, successful active duty career and have 2-3 kids? Better have real good luck and a husband who is willing to be a full time dad ... either that or plan to outsource your children's upbringing to someone else. You cannot have it all either - regardless what the childless and/or unmarried CAPT that mentored you said.

Also - if you find yourself at age 30 and have been dating someone for 7-yrs, don't be shocked if the wedding never takes place. After about age 25, if you have been dating for 24-months and you don't have a ring on your finger and a date set before month-30, you need to move on and find another man. The clock is ticking and the better fish are rapidly being pulled from the sea.

More rough news - by age 28 ladies, many to most of the "good" men are taken. You might get a retread from your age up to 45 who married poorly the first time around, but that is risky too. Your male peers? They are looking at the 22-25 age bracket. You missed your first look; the crunch is on.

I feel sorry for Carolyn and I am glad that she has taken ownership of her decisions. I wish her well and hope that she finds the right man soon.

I think one of the best things she has done is to tell a cautious story to other young women out there who want as part of their life the experience of being a wife and mother. Fair or not - there is a very small window if you want to do it right, and it is a time in your life where there are a lot of distractions and options.

Choose your decisions carefully. In some things, there aren't do-overs.

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