Ann Helps One Woman Figure Out Her Parenthood Wish in Article

article inews motherhood parenthood resources stephanie takyi Aug 19, 2020

The pandemic left this British-Ghanaian travel writer with a lot of time to “dwell on the things I’ve been putting off, like my personal stance on becoming a mother.”

So, at 34, she decided to contact me to help her figure out whether or not she wanted to be a mom.

Read about her journey below.

The motherhood question:
how at 34 I’m working out if I really want a child
By Stephanie Takyi

Since my early twenties, the question of motherhood and whether it’s for me is one I haven’t fully considered. Like most of the big decisions in my life, I’ve avoided tackling it by shoving it to the bottom of my to-do list.

I’ve just turned 34, which, according to some fertility experts, means I supposedly have only one year until my biological clock starts plummeting into an oblivion of dwindling eggs and eventually menopause.

My school education didn’t really prepare girls for one of the biggest, life-defining decisions they’ll make as a woman. Instead, we were taught how to avoid becoming pregnant, which I have to admit is a refreshing change from the days when women were taught our sole purpose was to be a housewife.

However, we’re still continually being sold the millennial dream of women being able to have it all – a successful career, marriage and kids – but the reality has left me feeling disillusioned. My knight in shining armour has come in the form of endless Tinder and Hinge dates, who are mostly not ready for commitment, or say they are, but then leave me on read or just vanish. Then the price of London living is hefty – especially when you’re doing it on your own, and don’t have the high-flying salary to match.

Culturally, I feel like a British-Ghanaian spinster, as back in Ghana a woman is really expected to be married with kids by the age of 25 – a complete juxtaposition from my life here. Despite all of my glittering achievements, my dear sweet grandmother’s favourite topic to discuss with me on the phone is “when are you going to have a baby?” This is what she views as the real fulfillment of womanhood – especially as she has had 12 children.

All this and more has left me riddled with anxiety about how I can even contemplate becoming a mother in this climate, and it seems I’m not the only one who feels this way. Figures from the Office for National Statistics show women under 30 are having babies at a record low and the only age group in which births are increasing is the over-40s.

For those without children like myself, these findings give some assurance that I’m not the only one still trying to decide on parenthood. But within my own personal circle, gradually more friends are hopping off the young, free and single bus and switching to married with kids and a mortgage.

Seeing some of my die-hard party compadres transform into doting mothers has been a joy to watch, and has left me playing the role of the cool auntie travelling all over the globe. However, my life has changed since the Covid-19 pandemic. I can no longer jet from country to country or distract myself with endless schmoozing at London’s finest soirées. I’ve been homebound and will remain so for a while, which leaves me with the time to dwell on the things I’ve been putting off, like my personal stance on becoming a mother. Having this opportunity to explore this has led me to looking into options that could potentially buy me more time, or just less mental stress. (Click to continue reading.)