Whenever a debate rages in the press about women over 35 getting pregnant and giving birth, it’s like a few slack hacks and gobshites cut and paste the same knackered notion that a bunch of shoulder-padded women have deliberately and selfishly delayed motherhood.
The latest to erupt the wrath is actress Tina Malone (her off Shameless), who gave birth at 50 and announced on Loose Women recently that she plans to have another, now at the age of 53. As you can imagine, the comments section of the Daily Mail was teeming with readers keen to congratulate her and not in any way suggest she’s an egocentric trollop whose withered wrists should be hung in stocks. Likewise, when reports came out that Janet Jackson is pregnant with her first at 49, columnist Amanda Platell railed that the singer was “pedalling false hope” and encouraging career-driven women to defer their motherhood plans. And of course, regular older-mum basher, Kirstie Allsopp can’t seem to keep her trap shut on the matter, urging, without any sort of invitation, that women cram in as many babies as they can in their twenties. She even admitted that she would advise any daughter of her own to forfeit ideas of going to university, for motherhood. (So, yeah, Malala Yousafzai, Taliban-tackler, Nobel Laureate and activist for female education – wind your neck in!)
Of course, I would never dream of undermining cold, hard medical facts. But I do take exception to lazy, musty journalism and rent-a-gobs who spew ridiculous comment. And let’s be honest, no one appears to be putting the celeb dad likes of Simon Cowell and Rod Stewart (who had his eighth child in his late 60s), under the same mean, accusatory scrutiny.
I gave birth to my first when I was 39-years-old and second, at 41, so I’ll admit to having the small hump with reading the same recycled guff when it comes to matters of ‘more mature’ mums. So, I’d like to tackle some of these myths – and make a polite request that they now do one…