Monday, October 24, 2005

Independant strong female seeks man.....part deux

I caught some flack from the ladies about my last post and some of you thought that I think that career and family are mutually exclusive!They are not!It can be done as I will show you below.But more on the issues at hand.

Whether or not a woman's youth and fertility are her most valuable assets, they are inarguably expiring assets. They are like a $200 voucher for a private eating establishment that declines by $10 every month you don't use it. If you don't ever want to eat at that place, fine, let the voucher expire.

But if one of your life's goals is to fully experience that eating establishment, use your voucher early.

There are women I know personally who do "have it all," in both my and their opinion. In all cases, these women married and had their children early, i.e. youngest child born when the mother was 25 or younger. Once all the children were in school, these women entered the work force or furthered their education, at least part-time. When the kids were old enough to start looking out for themselves, i.e. in college or at least driving, the mothers became serious about a career.

In one case, the woman went to law school and is now a successful lawyer. Because she had her kids early, her body recovered easily, and at age 49 she has two grandchildren and looks like one of those hot 30-year-old woman lawyers on a TV series. Getting her law degree at a later age didn't hurt her skill level or ability to find work.

Another woman had her first child at age 19 and then twins two or three years later. When the kids were all in school, she started working part-time. At one point she worked in a export company, and felt the owner was making some bad business decisions. At around age 45, with the kids out of college, she opened her own export company. Now, a little over a decade later, she's making almost $200,000 a year and looks great.I could go on but I think ya'll will start thinking I have a Mbugua kinda thing goin so Im going to shut up.

Which of the career paths listed below makes more sense?:

1. Focus on career right out of school, have recreational sex aka hanya with pleasant male companions your own age, be on the success track for 10-15 years, then panic when you realize you want children but you don't want to derail your career, your looks are starting to fade compared to the twentysomethings, there aren't any men that seem interested in marrying you, and in any event, you're running out of time,

or

2. After secondary school or during college, focus on finding a man about 10 years older who has established himself in the last decade and who wants a family. Use your youth, looks, and fertility to find the best possible man for the role of Husband and Father. Have children at a young age, soon after you finish your schooling, while you have lots of energy and your body will recover quickly. Be there for the kids when they need you, and let your husband do the financial lifting. Be good to both the kids and your husband, and be thinking about what your career dreams are while caring for your family. Talk to your husband about these dreams. Tell him you don't want to just sit around the house at age 40-45. Then go after your dream, once the kids are of majority age. You've still got a few good decades left, plenty of time for career success.

Many women who pursue careers find they don't like it nearly as much as they expected. Far fewer women have children and then wish they hadn't. Why not do the kid thing first, while your body is primed for it, and start a career later in life?

You can start a new business at any age eg A 65-year-old man living on Social Security with a used car and a love of cooking drove around the Southeast United States in the 1950s, cooking samples of food to persuade restaurant owners to buy his special blend of seasonings. When he made enough money from spice sales and found a financial backer, he opened his own little restaurant, selling one kind of food made with his blend of seasonings. It was successful, so he licensed others to open similar establishments. When he died 25 years later at age 90, Colonel Harlan Sanders left behind his legacy: Kentucky Fried Chicken, now KFC.

A man who wants a family can't have it without a woman. He would prefer a young, fertile one. She will have the energy to keep up with kids, and her body will recover quickly from pregnancy and childbirth. Men know that a woman's sex drive and looks decline. We'd like to start with one where the decline hasn't already gone on for a couple of years or decades.

A woman who wants both a career and children faces a number of problems if she gets on the career track first, and intends to marry and have kids later. First, since men are good at earning money, we don't much care about your income level--that old comparative advantage thing. We want your youth, looks, and fertility--we've already got the money thing covered. Get to be 35 and still single and you'll find that the men who want to get married want to do so because they want to have kids. Thus, they want someone in the peak of her reproductive years, not the end of them. Second, if you do find a husband, becoming a mother around age 40 means being an old woman for most of your children's adult life. When your kids grow up, wouldn't it be nice to be young enough to still do active things with them for a decade or two? And what if after 12-15 years of the career track, you realize you're burnt out? Now what? Quit work to get married? What sane man wants a 35-year-old woman who has decided she doesn't like working?

Last of all, if you marry a man 10-15 years older, and start your career after the kids are grown or at least minimum responsibility, your husband is likely to be very supportive of your dreams. Men are very loyal to those who are good to us. If you've been a great wife and mother, we are going to applaud your wanting to get out of the house and bring in some income. We're going to be thrilled if you replace some or all of the family savings that were drained when the tuition bills for university came due. We're going to be proud of you making a financial success of yourself, so that you now truly "have it all." We'd love to retire and play golf or whatever, and admire your success.

And if you decide the career track isn't for you after a few years (or a decade), we won't be upset. You can quit at age 45 or 50 and do something part-time and your husband will never have any complaints. You let him have a wonderful family, were a great wife, and a wonderful mother to his children.

It's obviously an uphill task and almost too late for any childless career women out there in their 30s. The people that need to understand are today's secondary school- and college-age women who want a career and a family.

If you have multiple goals, and achieving one of them requires that you do it before a certain expiration date, work on that one first.Duh!
I can hear some mortars in the air so time for me to take cover!

16 comments:

Jay said...

Eh I won't lie. In the first post, you made a very compelling argument (CA) but this time... chauvinism showing through kabisa.

First off, its almost impossible to follow your No 2 suggestion. That sh*t doesn't work. The truth is in today's world, everyone's gotta go out there and work after college. there's no two ways about that. And I really don't like that idea of a chick focusing all her energies into looking for a husband. What about her own development? Ama she should put everything on hold while she raises the kids and builds the home? BS.

I do think however that it is possible to do both. You can raise kids AND have a fulfilling career. There are MANY examples of this. But the woman must have a husband who is also at home raising the kids and not just signing cheques for high school.

Once a couple decides to have kids, I believe it is paramount for them to sit down and honestly discuss their career plans, options. Cos, and this is not about feminism at all, I expect my husband to be spening quality time with his kids as well. So, both partners must discuss their career plans and critically examine how each person's career will impact on family life and then they can make adjustments.

Lakini I do agree with you on one thing, women can't put off having families indefinitely and that's the honest truth. Then again, these days alot of career women are choosing to go the single parent route. And you know, it seems to work okey. I know lots of women for whom being a single mum has given them impetus to rise in their careers. Go figure!

Wacha I stop there cos I know I'll need the rest of my ammo for later.

Jay said...

I meant signing cheques for school fees obviously.

Acolyte said...

@ ms K
strong words!I am not saying that a woman should sit home and wait to get married no!but if she wants to have kids then she should put marriage first and jobo second.Plus i dont think that the dad should be a checkbook but when it comes to raising kids the mum's input is more critical then the dad's esp at the early stage.
I do not think that you can raise kids well and have a spectacular career.Unless you can clone yourself.We men have known that for years and that is why we marry women who are good home-makers.Having a sterling career takes alot of time and hard work and so does raising a good family.face it you cant be superwoman!More so as a single mum.Yes you can choose that route but like it or not kids are meant to have a male influence on their lives.Like it or not.-Next!-

mutumia said...

Oh no he didn't- he did not say Next! Tsk tsk tsk... You knew I'd be back didn't you?

Let me tell you what I know. In an ideal world, you'd meet jamaaz when you're launching said career and have tois simulteneouly. But! It doesn't work like that. You meet someone who likes you as much as you like him when you meet him. Somtimes it's right off college, sometimes it ain't.

And the bitch about this is the more you get ($$, status etc.) the more you outgrow your old cut-buddies/ BF's and motley crew you were hanging out with in primo, then seco, then under-grad. And ditto for the man. Why oh why are you insisting that 30-somethings are damn-near-barren (c2A, 2005)?

Plus the suggestion that a jamaa I choose, will look at me as nothing more than a brood mare is- well, implausible. That's part of it I concede but it's all that and more. Do I make him cheka? Is he happeier with me than he is without me? Does he call me out on my BS and me the same (anon, 2005)? Are we good together- that stuff- the rest (state of the ovary address) follows naturally.
To summarize, yaani Aco, when was the last time you dated a sqeeze for her fecundity? It's prolly her looks/ allure/ intelligence/ rassa/ moral support/ belief in you etc.etc. To reduce me to 2 micro-inches of my anatomy is just wrong!!

*Still got love for you though- but you're making it hard. urrgghhhh*

mutumia said...

And ms. K you done did said it- and you ain't lying!

Acolyte said...

@ mutumia
Hey hun!I will admit that some of what I say is less then perfect same goes for what you have to say.In a perfect world a jamaa would look past your age and all other issues.But i will be honest there are chics who i look at and i see them as marriage material but not simply walking uteruses.thing is with dudes is that at times the chics we hang with and the ones we want to marry/long term are totally different.but thats a post for another day.Good to have your feedback nonetheless!-NEXT!-

Jay said...

NO YOU DIDN'T!!!!

Auuuuuuiiiiii if you were somewhere near here you would be gasping for air!

Now where do I start?! First off that belief that women are more important than men during the first years of a kid's life is a tall tale propagated by a generation of men who wanted to go out to bars and drink while their wives stayed at home and brought up their kids.

Ask anyone who's always had a good relationship with their dad. It doesn't start the day you turn 12 and suddenly your dad decides you're big anough for him to carry to the bar. The foundations for healthy relationships with parents, father or mother, are laid right from the beginning. If not then there's a lot of catch up going on and for something as important as parent-child relationship, i don't know why anyone would want to jeopardize it.

And if you don't believe that NEXT!!!!

Oh and you can be a great parent and have a fabulous career.

acolyte said...

@ Ms K
-putting on armour of ego and self righteousness!-
I dont think that the dad should be absent when the kid is born but I do think that the mum should be there from 100% then on a reducing basis at which point the dad's presence and participation should be increasing.Hope I make sense.Well you can be a good parent and an office superstar but it is very very very hard.I have seen many parents try and fail, also depends on what kind of job you do.There are some jobs that exert less pressure and can let one raise their kids well esp if they are not tied to the corporate market place and stock portfolios.I personally heard the former MD of Coke EA speak about the toll that his career took on his family life and to make things worse his wife was also a hi flier.For the good of his family life he left Coke and his wife took a less stressful job so they could raise the kids.It isnt impossible as I said but it takes a whole lot!But you are free to have your own opinions you know!

Tee J said...

Acolyte, you do have good points in these two posts.

I personally would have liked to have been done with the whole child bearing thing by the time I was 25 but its not that easy. Someone can't just go out there and marry anyone that asks you to and have kids with them just coz they've shown interest. I also have to feel that this is the guy I want to spend the rest of my life with and smile at his little idiosyncrasies rather than frown upon them. Untill that happens I'm afraid I'll remain childless and single and continue working my ass off. (Ofcourse looking for that person at the same time.)
When husi and kids come, then I will work fewer hrs a week so that I can be there 100% for all of them.


@ Ms K: Call me traditional, but I think a child needs both parents. The women raising kids by themselves with the "I don't need a man" attitude need to realise they are thinking only of themselves and not how this will affect their child later in life.

light said...

@ Acolyte you obviously hit a sensitive note...unfortunately you do have some solid points. However, I think these points are relative to the location and probably only make sense in America.

I say that coz I see it every day...Im one of two unmarried women WITHOUT kids in my department of 45 people...now, I have a choice, to keep on hustling in corporate USA or to sacrifise independence in the name of family...

if you read my blog you'll find that Im all over the place and not ready settle down...so if what you say is true...I guess I'll be one of em old mamas in carni at the bar with wrinkled skin and chapped lips smoking Embassy Kings as I hate on the young chicks before I leave in my maybach to my lonely mansion ; )

acolyte said...

Yes some of the points I have brought up work best huku in stato.But what to do?Sometimes sacrifices have to be made.Or are there any ladies out there who will take me as a stay at home hubby?I can stay home and take care of the kids while you work.Any takers out there?

Ms K said...

By the way Aco, I'm ready to get hitched. Si you hook a sister up!!! I'm still way under 30 so the way I see it, he has two years to get to know me ant then we get hitched and immediately start popping those offspring!

Spread the word!!

Ps/ And when are you going to do the blogs that irritate you post? Yes I might be among them but I still want you to do it!

Milonare said...

i like the NEXT!!! parts

I want to be there to see my kid learn how to walk talk etc

I cant imagine missing out on those things...

My Dad was there for me and so i want to do the same for my kids

Wwwuuuii

Watching from the sidelines with popcorn

Anonymous said...

I have just read this post and feel the need to put in my two cents worth.

I am a Kenyan woman and I grew up with the kind of mother who is always there for you, you know the kind you run to when you scrape your knees as you are playing kati or whatever and you know she will be there to bandage your knees and make your life better.

Two years ago I began to mess around with the idea of getting married but then certain thoughts crossed my mind. I have gigantic career goals. Want to own and run my own business by the time I am 45 and I do not mean a kiosk kind of thing. Also want to run for public office and I dont intend to be the type of MP who gets seen on tv passing a whole load of gas. Already have drawn up plans as to how I plan to improve my chosen constituency.

You can therefore understand why after much thought and consideration I finally arrived at the fact that children are not for me. And should I get hitched, the man should either wish to remain childless or be a widower who already has grown up kids that do not need mothering. Not to say that I do not love kids but isnt there almost always opportunity cost in each situation. My fiancee was not of the same school of thought so we parted ways.

I hear so many people tell me I will live to regret my decision but you know what, I am about as sure as I can get that had I made any other choice, I would have been unable to live with me.

Needless to say, you do make some classic points in your arguement but as usual you flow with the assumption that most women are like my mother. Loving parenthood and woe be unto thee that you should remain single or childless. But you know what, majority of women make lousy mothers. And it rare that you turn up on a treasure that is my mother. Even more so, the one's who get hitched early do so by mistake and while they should be in the house raising their teenage daughters, they are trying to recapture their lost youth. So do allow me to stand by living first, and getting on with the rest of it all laters.

And while thinking about how to lay out this comment something else crossed my mind-what is it about men and marrying young heifers whom you know are just in it for the money? You know,heifer's whom you know for sure that were your fortunes to take a turn for the worse, the same fool would be out the door faster than an El Nino downpour. Please do blog on this. Would love to understand that psych.

acolyte said...

@ Anon
thanks for commenting.Yes I do agree with alot of what you said even tho my post is far from water tight in many aspects.If you feel that career and other goals mean more to you then marriage and kids then by all means go for it!But you will meet many ppl who will not understand or approve of your choice ie your ex but that is the price of goals and dreams.As for wazees who go for young gals thinking they are in love that post is in the works and will come up soon stay tuned!

Irena said...

How is it impossible to be 30+,start a family then, have a supportive man/husband, have a soaring career and at the same time still maintain the figure and look 18? Why all these timelines plus if a 6o some yr old can mother some offspring ,who is to say at 40 one cannot,if that is what they so desire. Some women/men do not always conform to the norm, perhaps you need to add that scenario in part 3 of this analysis