Feminism and Fertility: I Agree With Kirstie Allsopp


Yesterday Kirstie Allsopp was hit with a shitstorm. If you live under a rock (or, you know, you’re not on Twitter) and missed the showdown between everyone’s favourite property presenter and what seemed like women everywhere, Kirstie gave an interview with the Telegraph in which she suggested women should forget about working on their careers and settle down to have children much sooner in life:  

“At the moment, women have 15 years to go to university, get their career on track, try and buy a home and have a baby. That is a hell of a lot to ask someone. As a passionate feminist, I feel we have not been honest enough with women about this issue.”

The world went mad and Kirstie was lambasted for being ‘the world’s worst feminist’. The reaction she received was something I always consider to be the most negative side of twitter – she was attacked with vitriol and nastiness for sharing her opinion.

And you know what? As a feminist and a staunch career gal I kind of agree with her point of view. Let me explain.

I dropped out of Uni at 19 and immediately got a job in Telesales. I worked my butt off and progressed through a career in Recruitment to get to where I wanted to be, working in Digital Marketing. But from the age of 18 I had suffered from endometriosis, and having gone through operations and hormone therapy I was told that my fertility may be compromised.

Which is why, when I got married, I was keen to test out this womb of mine as quickly as I could.

When Elfie came along I wasn’t actively trying to get pregnant; turns out I’m about as fertile as Katy Price so don’t get your sperm anywhere near me thanks. A sneeze is literally all it takes and BOOM! I’m knocked up.

I was 24 when Elfie was born and 26 when Hux arrived. Yes I had to compromise my career in the early days when I had newborns to take care of, but look at me now! I’m doing what I want to do, making it work for both me and my young family. I’d never regret having children so young and I find it exciting that I get to be a younger mother (because I am, in general, at least 10 years younger than most of Elfie’s friends mums).

I’m so much more driven in my career than I used to be and I can hand-on-heart say my life is a hundred times more fulfilling. Not that yours isn’t if you aren’t a parent, but I used to waste my days, spending my them hungover doing nothing of note. Now I squeeze the most out of each and every day and my life is genuinely full of fun. I travel, I work hard, I read, I socialise. I am a much nicer person because I know the compromise and the love it takes to nurture young people and I enjoy every single day. I don’t exist, I live, and this is something that was missing from my life before I had kids.

You could argue that if I’d waited to start a family I might have found myself in a more stable relationship and consequently would not be bringing my children up in a single parent family. But we have no guarantees in life and I wasn’t willing to risk the fact I might not be able to have children. And if I’d waited I wouldn’t have my beautiful Elfie and Huxley… and the world would be a much darker place without their respective dress and bumblebee obsessions.

What’s your take on Kirstie’s opinion? Is she bringing shame on the world of feminism or do you think she possibly – maybe – has a teeny tiny point?

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  1. Mel Molloy wrote:

    I love you Alice! It’s like you speak my mind! I had my kids young, 22 and 25, aand I have spent a good portion of those years fretting and worrying about how people view me as someone who chose to take time out before I had really started in life if you like.
    But like you say, look at me now. I have the rest of my life to do it…I’m taking charge NOW and I don’t have to worry about taking time out for kids in the future. Im studying again, working part time and planning a career in nursing. I’ve also been able to give them precious time. ..had I been older I inevitably would not have been able to take time out of work to stay with them as there would of been much more risk involved. And its a bonus that im still just about able to bounce back after no sleep and fifteen laps of the park…
    I also think I am less selfish than I would of been had I enjoyed 10 years of having noone to think about but myself. . .ultimately though it depends on the individual.NeNearly everyone I knew at 22 and most of those I know of at 27 are so not mentally ready for children. And thats important to consider too. I’m juat glad I did it when I did.. .
    So incoherent when typed on a phone. Thanks for sharing this post!

    Posted 6.3.14 Reply
    • alice wrote:

      That’s brilliant – you sound like you’re getting it done! Like you I am just about managing to bounce back :) x

      Posted 6.5.14 Reply
  2. Laura wrote:

    I can’t stand that woman but I think she has a point. Haven’t read the article but there is a part of me that does think if I’ve had kids younger (I’m 36) and not spend time farting about with a ‘career’ that never went anywhere anyway then things might be different. My mother was 20 when she had me and has gone on to have an incredibly successful career now we’ve all left home. I do feel my generation was lied to when we were told we can have it all – you can try but it’s not easy when society is not set up to give us the support we need. To each woman her own choice – and choice is the issue here. Choice to get an education, choice to have kids early or to pursue a career. Let Kirsty have her opinion and let’s not attack her or each other for it.

    Posted 6.3.14 Reply
    • Mel Molloy wrote:

      Exactly. Feminism should be the right to choose to do things the way you want to…and not be lambasted for your choice.

      Posted 6.3.14 Reply
    • alice wrote:

      I quite agree – that’s what it’s all about. Being aware of our choices.

      Posted 6.5.14 Reply
  3. Milena wrote:

    Hi Alice,

    I completely agree with Kirstie. I had my boy when I was 23 and am about 10-15 years younger than the other mums in his nursery. Shortly after I had my boy ( he was 7 months) i started my MSc part time, my CIPD and returned to work. This universal believe that your life is over after you have kids is nonsens.

    Also what is stable nowadays. It is not that if you have a certain amount of experience at work you will get the flexible working you request. And when has society changed so dramatically that habving a child at the age at 23 is considered young. My mum and most of my friends mothers had all their kids by the time they were 30 AND they were able to build a career whilst raising kids. So where does this believe that one cannot juggle a successful career and a family as a young person come from?

    Posted 6.3.14 Reply
  4. @ampertastic wrote:

    What I like about Kirstie’s comments are that it brings attention to the fact that many women aren’t considering their fertility when they’re prioritising the things they want from their life. The whole buying a house young topic is a bit ridiculous as it’s really not that easy (unless you have a Baron for a father maybe!). But the part I think is valid is bringing up the topic of women’s fertility and that women (and men) aren’t even considering it in until it’s often too late. And you don’t need to have bought a house to have a child. Some people just rent and never buy- because their priorities are different, maybe as they’ve considered the alternative- which is not being in a position they deem ‘acceptable’ to have a child until it’s too late. Is there ever a good time to have a baby?! Probably not, so why leave it so late and run the risk of not being able to have one at all. It’s an interesting one because I feel women are made to feel like there is never a good time- don’t own their own house, can’t take a break from their career etc. etc. but plenty of people do get by in those circumstances. It’s about prioritising- if your career is more important than having a family, then that’s fine- but are people making informed decisions about what is important to them or are they just not aware of how age and fertility can bear a massive impact on their ability to do things in the order they are led to believe is right?

    To be honest, if I hadn’t been told I’m about as fertile as a plank of wood at the age of 22, I’d probably be one of those career women who hadn’t even considered fertility as an issue that might scupper my plan to leave it as late as possible and concentrate on my career first without a care in the world. But with that information I had to completely reevaluate my priorities in life as I knew if I wanted to stand any kind of chance of having a family (be it through IVF or adoption) I was going to have to go against that new grain of putting everything else before children and shuffle the order and priorities around a bit. I really hope that Kirstie’s comments have made at least a few women (and men!) sit and think about fertility and actually how important it is for them to have a family. Because I know from my own experience I didn’t realise how important it was to me until I thought about the alternative and maybe having that decision taken away from me. Sadly I haven’t been able to have a baby yet. and maybe I never will but at least I know I did everything I could as soon as I could to try and make it happen. I can’t imagine how awful it is to be the other side of the fertility window and find out you left it too late, I know I’d really struggle if I felt I’d got my priorities wrong because I hadn’t considered earlier in my life all the eventualities that come with trying to conceive. It’s that classic thing of being young and feeling invincible- we spend so long as young adults trying to stop ourselves from getting pregnant I can imagine for some the concept of fertility hasn’t even crossed their minds.

    Posted 6.3.14 Reply
  5. Zoe wrote:

    I don’t agree with Kirstie, but I don’t agree with being prescriptive about how anyone should live their lives. The fact is that everyone should have a choice. I don’t think kids need to define everyone’s lives or make them more meaningful – or those who don’t have them are living any less of a life than anyone else. Great if you want kids and have them, great if you don’t have kids and don’t want them. Nothing is right or wrong.

    Everyone should just do what makes them happy, as long as it doesn’t bother anyone else – who cares?

    Posted 6.3.14 Reply
  6. MrsB wrote:

    The trouble with this article is the “should”. No one “should” do anything before they feel they are ready but I do think it would be easier for women if they could study or work while having little kids. Affordable childcare is non existent in England though and people have very high expectations as to what they NEED to have before the kiddos come along. I envy anyone who lives in a Scandinavian country. Or Germany. (These are the countres I have experience with and see women having kids in mid 20’s, then get master’s degrees, etc. while living in a perfectly comfortable and adequate apartment, not a house)

    Scaring women with possible infertility doesn’t work. I have been through it but if anyone had told me earlier that I might have trouble getting or staying pregnant, I still would not have started trying earlier. I think women will have kids when they feel they are ready (being influenced by various social & economic factors).

    Posted 6.3.14 Reply
    • Gemma wrote:

      Just wanted to add that when you said if you were told you would have trouble conceiving it wouldn’t have influenced your decision on when to start trying to have a baby, it may not have, but it would have given you more information enabling you to make a much more informed choice about your future and to consider whats important to you in life. Surely that’s a good thing and what it’s all about? People being able to consider all possibilities and strive to make the best informed decisions they can in regards to when to start trying to having children, if at all?

      Posted 6.3.14 Reply
  7. I LOVE that this is getting everyone talking. I blogged about this earlier today and have had lots of lengthy comments from women who all have a different view on it – much like you have here.

    It’s great that we can all discuss Kirstie’s interview and thoughts, and debate the issue. It’s so important that we talk about fertility and choice. My ‘story’ is really different to yours (met now-husband at 20 but didn’t want kids til I was 31) and I wouldn’t change a thing. That doesn’t make me right and you wrong, we’re all just very different.

    Posted 6.3.14 Reply
  8. Gemma wrote:

    I don’t have twitter so I missed most of the commenting but of course I’ve heard the story.

    I’m 24 and due my first child in August. I don’t consider this to be particularly young but to be honest, I wanted to be at least starting to have children before I got to 26/27 years old, so there I’ve got my wish.

    I agree with Kirstie completely in that women really need to be educated so that they in turn can make the decisions best based on their circumstances and priorities. I grew up assuming that when I was ready I’d try for a baby, bang I’d get pregnant and everything would be great. Many people share this same idea I would think that they have all the time in the world and when they want it to happen, it will.

    The thing is that doesn’t happen for many people. Mainly through lots of blog reading, I’ve stumbled across many people who were unaware of their ‘unexplained’ fertility or problems in conceiving until they decided to try. As a result, someone I know in particular tried for a long time and have now been through rounds of IVF and IUI with no success. Having decided to start having children in her mid thirties she is now faced with the fact that she is over 40 and not getting any younger. It’s heartbreaking for these women who are so desperate for children and perhaps didn’t make the right informed choice for them due to a lack of education.

    I also see lots of comments about people who are saying they had their children young and have still gone back to work to have a career, which is brilliant for them of course if that’s their choice. It’s always important to remind people that feminism is making your own choices. I trained as a hairdresser through my early twenties and so have qualifications and a ‘career’ should I choose. But all I’ve ever wanted to do is be a stay at home mum and raise my children and look after my husband. It’s ironic that had I not fallen pregnant by accident I would still be working and living with my partner and having a ‘single’ life. If I had waited until I hit my thirties and discovered I couldn’t have children I would be devastated and feel like I had made the wrong choice for me perhaps through lack of education.

    Posted 6.3.14 Reply
    • Infertility is an awful, painful thing, but it’s worth pointing out, it really isn’t the norm. Since we hear so much about it, I think people overestimate how common it is – most people in their 30s don’t have a problem.

      And the issue with Kirsty Allsopp’s advice is that she’s ignoring the financial reasons why many women *have* to wait – that they’re living paycheck to paycheck. The best way to change this isn’t just to talk about infertility, but also to champion better daycare centre for students and more flexible working arrangements. It’s not that nature isn’t a feminist, it’s that capitalism isn’t!

      Posted 6.4.14 Reply
  9. I’m with you, I think she has got a point. For me feminism is about giving women choices and all Kirstie is saying is that actually, there might be another way. That’s only ever a good thing! I was a younger mum and it was absolutely the right thing for me. We’re all different of course but I’m so glad I had my babies in my twenties.

    Posted 6.3.14 Reply
  10. Great post, Alice! Echoing what lots of people are saying above, it’s of course, about choice, and I don’t think think that people who choose not to have children necessarily feel unfulfilled, I guess it’s all down to the individual.

    You and I sound quite similar in that I too feel much more fulfilled, happier and driven SINCE having my children at just turned 27 and 28 (annoyingly so sometimes, since time is now more limited to do STUFF!). Prior to their births I was quite a party girl, and spent far to much wasted time hungover or bumbling about. Now my two are 3 and 2, I’ve started my own business and like you said, squeeze the most into my life- I love that I’ve calmed down (a bit!) and have focus. I think that if i’d had children when I was older, I’d still be bumbling about now (and probably still be perpetually hungover). I feel I have the rest of my life now to build a great business/career/study because I have had my family and can now work everything around them and our family. Can be hard at times but it will get easier once my youngest starts preschool in the New Year.

    Most of my ‘Mum’ friends are in their late 30s now, and whilst they are higher up in their careers, they’ve found they’ve had to make serious compromises – either by having to work 4/5 day weeks still to maintain their positions and to pay the bigger mortgages they took out that several years ago that relied on 2 salaries and no kids to pay for, when they really want to be at home. Or they’ve had to essentially quit the career they had because the urge to stay at home was too strong and they can’t go part time. Thus leaving some of them to start all over again job/career-wise at a slightly older age.

    However, I don’t think people should rush into having children in unstable situations just because they’re worried that time is ‘running out’. Tis a tricky one! What I think IS terrible is that Kirstie is being given grief because she dared have an opinion. True feminism should be about having choices AND supporting others choices.

    Posted 6.3.14 Reply
  11. Zoelee wrote:

    Who cares when you do it as long as it feels right for you! I’m due to turn 37 next week and have no children. I’ve never been ready and I may never be (being a nanny for 14 years may play a large part in that). I feel very strongly that I’d be a much better parent now than I would have been in my 20s. Everyone is different and life without children is great for me right now!

    Posted 6.3.14 Reply
  12. Smidge wrote:

    I think its great that we are even having the discussion at all. We’ve actually moved on from the fact that we as women were expected to be home-makers and mothers – with no choice to have a career. Now we can choose (hopefully, not counting problems having children) when we do it.

    I’m 36, my career wasn’t the defining reason why I am still childless but instead that I never felt ready or mature enough to care for a child. Now I am now having problems staying pregnant, this may be due to the choices I’ve made in leaving it ‘late’, but if i start down that road of regretting them, well there there darkness lies!

    Posted 6.3.14 Reply
  13. Merry wrote:

    I was surprised by the uproar Kirstie’s article caused. I don’t think she actually told all women to go out and have kids, what she did say is that women really need to think about what they want and the advice she would give her own daughters. The fact is she is right as women our fertility window is narrow. I am about to turn 30, I’m still relatively new in my career but I know that having a family is important to Boyo and I so we have a choice, wait until we have more career stability, more savings, more things ticked off or seriously think about starting a family in the near future – if we want more than 1 child then we really have to think about it. And even though I am only 30 my fertility isn’t guaranteed, it could take a long time and even then if it didn’t work out all other options to have a family including adoption also take a long time. So Kirstie is right it is time for an honest discussion!

    Posted 6.3.14 Reply
  14. I agree with Kirsty. I was 27 when I had Matilda and I love being a younger mum, my mum was younger than all my friend’s mums and knew a lot more about what was going on in the world. I actually think I’m more ambitious about my career now than five years ago. I dropped out of uni at 19 as well but now I have much more of an incentive to make something of myself and my career to show Matilda all the options there are out there.

    Posted 6.3.14 Reply
  15. Sarah Kelly wrote:

    I too have Endometriosis and work in digital marketing!

    I never really wanted children but finding out that I may have the tiniest chance to have them really made me reassess my life and what I wanted from it. If I did want children, I know for a fact I would have had them there and then because having the very small chance tempted me. It’s one thing to not want something, another thing entirely to be told you can’t have it at-all (or soon won’t).

    Eventually, I chose my career. Not because I’m a better feminist and not because I felt I’d be giving in by having children but because it was what I thought was best for me at the time. It was a seriously tough decision and it made me realise how few women do consider the fact that fertility isn’t something to be underestimated! It’s not anti-feminist to tell people to keep an eye on their biological clock and remember that in your 30s, it’s not as easy to conceive as it is in your 20s. It’s not sexist or rude- it’s fact!!

    the final thing is, I feel like nobody read her article. I don’t think she was saying we ought to, I think she was saying it’s something that needs to be very seriously considered and she was right. At the end of the day it comes down to choice. I know that the more ‘radical’ feminists on twitter hate ‘choice’ feminism but I love it and embrace it wherever possible. Women should be supporting each other through their life decisions whilst remaining realistic and I think Kirstie Allsopp did that pretty well.

    Posted 6.3.14 Reply
  16. Alex wrote:

    I’m not frustrated at Kirstie – I think she’s entitled to an opinion, and I see there is some sense in what she says. I would have had children earlier when I had more energy, and then maybe I’d have more than one by now (jury’s still out) – but I didn’t meet Ash until I was 28, and had Ramona just after I turned 30, so pretty quickly. I also knew I had PCOS and was hyper aware of possible fertility problems but, as it turns out, I’m one of those sneeze-and-it’ll-happen women too – luckily for me.

    However, I do have huge issues with the way the debate is being played out by media channels. There are lots of conversations that it would be useful for women to have – whether or not later-in-life fertility is a realistic possibility, what the pros and cons are of being a parent younger or older etc – but they all need to be had in the context of a world where 9 times out of 10 it’s women that have to be the ones making the choice between career and parenthood; not just because they carry the babies but because they’re still expected to be the ones to sacrifice years to raising them. It’s not a shared goal yet, despite increasing numbers of involved dads, and it’s still an issue when it comes to recruiting women (what Kirstie didn’t really go into that not all jobs require a degree etc, and breaking into the market for the first time at 28 is going to be very hard against a number of 19 years olds who themselves can’t find work so easily – she is speaking from a position of massive privilege).

    We need to be having these discussions in tandem with discussions about paid parental leave, increasing respect for the role of parenthood and child-rearing, making flexible working a possibility for more people (parents and non-parents alike) etc.

    Posted 6.3.14 Reply
  17. I’m a bit confused at all the victriol. In the article I read, Kirstie Allsopp wasn’t saying women shouldn’t go to university or have careers. She was opening a debate about whether the issue of fertility. From where I’m standing, you can’t argue with the facts. Fertility DOES decrease as you get older, as do the percentage of risks during pregnancy. Do I think all women should go out and pop babies out before they’re 30? Of course not. Many aren’t emotionally ready for children, in the right relationship (or any relationship) or financially secure enough to think about motherhood in their 20s. But, to me, there’s a difference between not being ready and waiting for the “perfect time”. That said – I think most women are intelligent enough to know the biological risk of leaving it later. I became a mum, by choice, at 26. Now I’m 30 and pregnant with my 2nd baby. That was a conscious decision on our part, because I knew I had met the right partner, was in a position with my career to take a break, and it just felt right. Of course it doesn’t mean that’s the case for everyone though.

    Posted 6.3.14 Reply
    • Sorry – writing on phone. I meant fertility decreases but risks increase. And Kirstie Allsopp wasn’t saying have kids instead of having a career or going to uni – which seems to be how some people have read it. My one mother in law didn’t get her degree and masters until her early 40s and then went onto have a fantastically successful career – all post-babies!

      Posted 6.3.14 Reply
  18. Rebecca U wrote:

    I agree. with you. Very happy with my decision to have kids in my twenties. My life is completely different than before but so much good has happened because I have kids. I have a career that works around a family which I never would have got into if I hadn’t had kids and stuck with my straight-out-of-Uni career. I know having kids isn’t for everyone but if you want them, do it young!

    Posted 6.3.14 Reply
  19. Fritha wrote:

    I read this article through a friend on FB yesterday and all the comments I could see on FB were about how she was wrong and shocking etc. When I read it however I (for the first time ever!!) found myself kind of agreeing with Kirstie Allsopp, which threw me for a start ;)
    I always wanted to have children young (ish) as I wanted a larger age gap between future children, and frankly I couldn’t wait to be a parent! I totally agree with what you said about how it has actually made you more driven, I certainly wouldn’t be working for myself had I not left my old job to become a mum & have never been more driven in my life. I did roll my eyes a lot at the assumption that people could buy a flat with the help of parents etc etc but I kind of agree with a lot of her points…and I was quite taken with the fact she hasn’t got married either (although that’s a different debate) xx

    Posted 6.3.14 Reply
  20. I agree too. Apparently our fertility reaches it’s peak at 21 which would suggest nature intended us to have children at a young age. My mum did it again in her 40’s and I know she really struggled with tiredness etc, I struggle sometimes and I’m only 29! I wasn’t ever particularly career driven and had no idea what I wanted to do with my life at 18 so I wasted a load of years drinking and partying. It was only after becoming a parent at the age of 25 I started to really grow in confidence and learn about myself and what I wanted from life. Now I have lots of plans for the future and I like knowing that my days of having babies are over before the age of 30 (which I turn next month!) x

    Posted 6.3.14 Reply
  21. Jenny wrote:

    You are amazing and inspiring and I think you are such an amazing mother. Young mother or not it doesn’t matter. You can’t say you might not be single if you had wait. My mother was a single mother from the time I was 3 and we had the best up bringing and were a great family. I foresee that for you too! You are so hard working and motivated you will go so far in life, I know it. Keep doing the great job you are doing, it shows in your beautiful children!!!!

    Posted 6.3.14 Reply
  22. Cydney (@CydneyHelsdown) wrote:

    i am absolutely loving this topic at the moment. as a young mum myself i always find myself defending other young mums too. and i completely agree with you and Kirstie Alsop.
    i’ve had many conversations about this with friends and i feel that there never really is a ‘right’ time. if you have children before 20 and 30 you’re supposedly not career driven or stable, any older and you have issues with fertility.
    all i can say is, being in my 20’s and having a son and a loving partner is the best thing that could’ve ever happened to me. like yourself i spent my days doing pretty much nothing, plodding along either hungover, searching for a job and making the most out of education, but having a son gives me purpose. it gave me confidence, and drive and passion. those things i lacked.
    i hope i can be an example of how having children/a child young does not necessarily end your life or your successful career path, but enriches it and gives you better opportunities.

    Cydney x

    Posted 6.3.14 Reply
  23. Stella wrote:

    I’m pleased that I had my children young, I’m 29 and had them at 24 and 28. Since having them I’ve completed my degree and teacher training. They have been a real motivation and I actually didn’t feel ready to commit to intense study or know what career path I wanted until my mid 20s. My best friend has her career and has absolutely no intentions of having children yet, we totally respect each other. I also have other friends in their thirties with children, some wish they’d had them slightly younger, whilst others feel that they have experienced a great deal of life in their twenties that helped them become a good parent in their thirties or later.
    The most important thing here is that in many cases we have choice with regards to education, career and fertility pending when we want our babies.

    Posted 6.3.14 Reply
  24. Holly wrote:

    I absolutely think she has a point and I definitely don’t think she deserved the reaction she got. She was just being honest!

    I wrote a blog post of my own on the way I interpreted her advice too: hollyinyourpocket.blogspot.co.uk

    Posted 6.4.14 Reply
  25. Lauranne wrote:

    I think you put across your side brilliantly, and I think that a lot of what you say is right. I am in a new crappy position of not yet being 30, but being unfulfilled in my current job, newly single but very aware that my clock is ticking. When I was with the ex we discussed having kids, but said we didn’t want them in the next 5 years. I wanted to have my career sorted first. Now I’m in the position of not knowing what to do for the best. Do I find someone, have kids and then go after my career or do I out my clock snooze (which as I have polycystic ovaries could lead to fertility issues further down the line) and pursue a new career now? I just don’t know!!

    Posted 6.4.14 Reply
  26. I think she has a tiny bit of a point, fertility is an issue, however having a roof over your head, a career and a few pennies in your pocket are also an issue and a much more pressing one for a lot of us. I think there’s some merit to her comments, but is missing a hefty dose of reality – how could anyone possibly afford that approach these days? I don’t have wealthy parents to rely on, and my partner does not earn a great deal either. If I’d left going to university until my late twenties, it would have never happened full stop. Even if I’d had children a couple of years ago (as I had hoped before hormonal issues) then there is no way I would be running my own business now. I think it’s just unfortunate how she put across her views, she does have a point that we can’t expect to have it all and we have to accept that there is perhaps, for some of us, a trade off of career for fertility, but that’s a choice each of us have to make I guess, and mothers like you have shown that it is still possible to have both.

    Posted 6.4.14 Reply
  27. James wrote:

    Woman born with silver spoon in her mouth advises the masses of young women who are not born into such wealthy privilege to shun the one thing – a quality university education – which, on average far more than any other thing, can enable a woman to beat this country’s shameful social mobility odds.

    To put it politely, it seems Kirsty Allsopp’s reality is very different from that of most women in this country.

    Posted 6.5.14 Reply
  28. Lisa wrote:

    I agree. I prefer to be a young mum first. Then work on your career.

    L x

    Posted 6.5.14 Reply
  29. andrea wrote:

    Oh she’s right if kids are something on your radar. We women have been reconditioned in our generation to be ambitious to do it all…without the support that needs to go with it. It would be fine if the “it takes a village” community existed to help raise kids…but invariably it doesn’t so kids suffer, parents suffer and or careers and finances suffer.

    Posted 6.6.14 Reply
  30. Becca wrote:

    It’s a really difficult one. I’m a mummy with a big job. I spent years and years going to Uni and climbing the corporate ladder and trying to fit in life around the sides. I got married at 29 (just was weeks before my 30th) and had my first baby (and only so far) at 32. I was trying to find a ‘good time’ to take a maternity leave, there never is one! I look on with a little envy at the women who started early whilst I’m still trying to find a ‘good time’ for maternity leave number 2.

    But one thing that blogging and just growing up has taught me is that everyone is different and everyone has a different view – what might be right for Kirstie (and her family) isn’t necessarily right for someone else. And really who am I to criticise someone else’s opinion – this is a free society and differences make us interesting

    Posted 6.7.14 Reply
  31. Helz Bells wrote:

    I think Kirstie is perfectly entitled to have an opinion and has opened a worthwhile debate. I don’t think there can ever be a ‘one size fits all’ approach to something so deeply unique and personal.
    For example, careers can be hugely important to some and others just want a job. Some would like nothing more than to be a full time mummy but finances and having even had the opportunity to meet ‘The One’ are just not on that page.
    I have been really lucky – managed to get to where I want to be in my career, have a house and secure enough finances to then work part time. I couldn’t afford to be at home full time but would grow to miss my work if I did. It’s a balancing act and all about choices.
    Making informed decisions is perhaps the most important thing here – what works for you as an individual. The media are quick to criticise working mothers, stay-at-home mothers, demonise young mums and then warn if the perils of barren women in their 30s. Don’t listen. Decide what works for you and make it happen!

    Posted 6.8.14 Reply
  32. I think, for me, the point has been well made in the comments that surely feminism is about being able to make the choice and not be raked over the coals for it. One of the myths of womanhood is that we can do it all, have it all before we’re 40 plus 2.4 children, dinner on the table and perfect nail varnish too. When we sell ourselves this image of perfection we risk our sanity and that of everyone around us. The real point of Kirsty’s interview for me is around the lack of education about fertility. I feel a blog post coming on…. *runs off to type* (P.S. So sorry I didn’t get to meet you at britmumslive and I realise I’ve been crap at reading but not commenting lately. This will be rectified. x)

    Posted 6.25.14 Reply
  33. Helen wrote:

    The one thing that is missing from the comments so far is the role of men in all this.
    I would have love to have settled down earlier than I have but none of the guys that I met at uni or living in London were thinking about settling down in their 20s or even early 30s.
    It’s not just down to the women to decide the perfect time to have a baby, it takes two to do that…

    Posted 7.2.14 Reply