It’s Okay If You Don’t Have Baby Fever! by Olga Khazan

It’s Okay If You Don’t Have Baby Fever! By Olga Khazan

The Atlantic is one of those sites that periodically publishes some material I agree with and enjoy, but ever since Trump was in (and now out of) office, they seem to go the other route and publish some bat sh*t insane leftist material.

The following article seems okay to me, though. But please don’t assume that if or when I share an article or editorial at The Atlantic that I always agree with all of their content.

(Link): It’s Okay If You Don’t Have Baby Fever – via The Atlantic


A deep, sudden longing for babies is certainly real, but it’s not a prerequisite for having kids.
By Olga Khazan

Dec 22, 2021

….But some people—research and, frankly, real life shows—will get pregnant this winter without getting baby fever, without even thinking about babies, and indeed without really meaning to at all.

And I’m here to tell you that’s also totally normal and fine.

Being a woman of what obstetricians charmingly call “advanced maternal age,” I have tried to detect the mysterious force that is baby fever, so far to no avail.

At first, I thought I’d get baby fever when I woke up on the first day of my 35th year, my body suddenly deciding that I would enjoy changing diapers more than watching TV. That didn’t occur…

…To be sure, baby fever is real. Both women and men get it, though women get it more frequently and more strongly.

The experience of baby fever varies from toying with the idea of having a child, to suddenly seeing babies everywhere, to “deep sorrow and acute longing,” says Anna Rotkirch, a research professor at the Population Research Institute, in Finland, who has studied the phenomenon.

…More surprisingly, the Brases [Kansas State University psychologist Gary Brase and his wife, Sandra] found that for women, baby fever peaks in one’s 20s and gradually declines with age.

Meanwhile, young men are less prone to baby fever, but their desire for babies grows more frequent as they age—such that in their 40s, men have, on average, more baby fever than women do.

….Men’s baby fever was also less likely to result in an actual baby than women’s was, suggesting that while a man might stage a clever baby lobbying campaign, ultimately the woman’s vote (and her uterus) is what really matters.

…Many women become mothers without ever experiencing baby fever. In 2006, Rotkirch asked readers of the Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat to write to her about their experiences related to baby fever —vauvakuume in Finnish.

…“‘Baby fever’ is not a universal part of our emotional repertoire, and one should not expect to feel it before having children,” Rotkirch said via email. “There is nothing ‘wrong’ in not having baby fever and deciding to have a child, or vice versa.”

….An underexamined and surprisingly common feeling in the lead-up to childbearing is ambivalence.

… The skimpiness of the American social safety net can add a ruthless practicality to pregnancy decisions: Many women say they want to get pregnant “at some point,” but not with their current partner, or not until they make more money, or not until they’ve bought a house. Baby fever might not creep in before a solid credit score does [says Laura Lindberg, the principal research scientist at the Guttmacher Institute, which supports abortion rights].

…In fact, some researchers think baby fever is a reaction to infertility struggles, not a ubiquitous maternal urge. Many women never experience baby fever, because they successfully get pregnant within a few months of going off contraception.

But if months go by without a pregnancy, “these kinds of yearnings are triggered because it’s something that you really want, and you have a blocked parenthood goal,” Boivin says.

The “broodiness”—as baby fever is called in the U.K.— “is not the cause of you wanting to have children. It’s a consequence of you wanting to have children and not being able to have them.”

Rackin suggested that binary notions of motherhood—either you want it or don’t; you either have baby fever or not—originated back when most women were expected to have kids. But now society has ratcheted up what it takes to be considered a “qualified” parent.

The norms of upper-middle-class life pressure people to have an education, a job, a car, a house, and a stable spouse before they even consider parenthood.

“It’s really hard to check all those boxes off and be able to say, ‘Now I’m going to try to have a baby,’” Rackin said. It’s less romantic and more daunting to turn 36, pass the bar exam, and get your IUD removed than it was to get pregnant on your honeymoon as a 21-year-old in 1957. Avoiding planning too hard or too purposefully is a way, for some people, to “not have to feel bad about not checking all those boxes before having a child,” Rackin said

In that way, baby fever can feel like another societal box to check, another thing about which to think, I don’t have it, so I must not be ready.

Related Posts:

(Link):  Marriage & Motherhood Are No Longer The Milestones Of Adulthood. Now What? by J. Filipovic

(Link): A Woman’s Fertility is Her Own Business, not Everyone Else’s by L. Bates

(Link):  Angry Husband Rapes Wife With Rolling Pin, Angry Because She Is Infertile, She Almost Died From This Attack

(Link):  WHO: Single People Who Struggle to Find A Partner To Be Considered “Infertile”

(Link): Women Are Having Fewer Babies Because They Have More Choices by Jill Filipovic

(Link): Sorry, but being a mother is not the most important job in the world by Catherine Deveny

(Link): Lies The Church Tells Single Women (by Sue Bohlin) (Re: About Marriage, Being Single, Being Childless / Childfree Vs Being a Mother)

(Link): Are Marriage and Family A Woman’s Highest Calling? by Marcia Wolf – and other links that address the Christian fallacy that a woman’s most godly or only proper role is as wife and mother

(Link): Praying for a Child – The Catholic Church makes life impossible for infertile women.

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