Going to university and getting the much desired professional degree is indeed a big achievement for the goal oriented women of today. Most of them nurture the desire of making it big in their careers and realizing their dreams and ambitions. Steeped in career progression, they do not have the inclination to consider motherhood, says a novel study.
A recent research conducted by scientists from The Centre for Longitudinal Studies at the Institute of Education in London has shown that almost one-third of British women who attend university put off motherhood till very late or simply chose to be childless. The study that followed the lives of 11,000 men and women born in 1970 studied the lives of 2000 women who were ambitious, professionally qualified and had answered this million dollar question in 2005 , when they had turned 35 years.
The research revealed that 40.1 % of the women graduates who were already 35 were still childless. They also showed a strong inclination to remain that way till they were 45, when it would be difficult to have a biological child. This finding stood out upon comparison with a 1958 finding by the same research team, where only 32.7 per cent were childless at 35, and only 23.6 per cent remained childless at 45. Researchers fear that if this trend continues, one-third of today's twenty year olds will prefer to be childless.
Prof Heather Joshi, head of the research team, had this to say about the ambitious 1970 lot: "They waited to establish their housing, their careers and sometimes to find the right man." Therefore women postpone the decision to have babies till it become too late to have them.
David Willets, the shadow education secretary, expressing his concerns over the low birth rate prevailing In England, is of the opinion that women are too caught up with their career goals and material desires, that motherhood takes a backseat. He said. "Are people having the kids that they would like to have? If this is simply women's choice, then so be it. If, however, there is evidence that people are not having as many children as they would expect or aspire to because social or economic policies are creating an environment which is less family-friendly, then that's a problem."
Being a mother and a career woman is a tough call. There is undoubtedly a huge responsibility attached to motherhood which the career women of today are apprehensive about. Yet, the joy of motherhood is ethereal and simply irreplaceable. It certainly outweighs the career success and material comforts which drive women to take the extreme step of delaying motherhood or avoiding it altogether.