3 Things to Tell Your Daughter About the Future While She’s Still Young Enough to Make Plans

In January, Kelsey turns 30—that life-defining age when many women begin to think about things they should have thought about years ago but didn’t because no one told them they should.

That’s because modern women are taught to forget about marriage, or to at least put it off indefinitely, and focus exclusively on their careers. There’s plenty of time to think about marriage later.

Is that a smart plan?

Just ask Kelsey.

With the 30-year mark approaching, I’ve been going through a multitude of changes of heart and thought. In order to explain those changes, I need to reveal some context.

From the ages of 16 to 24, I lived in New York City, where I was surrounded by adults and educators who force-fed a very “feminist” narrative, one I didn’t recognize as such at the time. It has only been recently that I’m beginning to see the impact of those surroundings and also to examine some of the choices I made along the way that have led me to my current predicament.

I moved to New York from Florida originally to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. My number-one focus and desire was to become a recording artist and to have a successful career in the industry, and I was surrounded by young women who were on similar paths. We were all very focused on getting ahead and having high-profile careers.

I never once considered marriage, family or what I would do if my chosen career path did not work out according to plan. I was raised in an environment where you were taught to “never depend on a man,” that marriages were likely to fail, and that having kids would destroy the prospect of a high-flying career. 

At the end of 2014, I moved back to Florida. I had become disenchanted with the music business and was burned out on the city, including the high cost of living. Around that same time, I became involved in a serious relationship and eventually moved in with my boyfriend. We started a music business together and have now been together 3.5 years. We’ve spent ample time with each other’s families and have completely intertwined our lives with a home and business.

When I turned 29, I started to have the very normal feelings of wanting to get married and potentially have a family. Problem was, we never discussed our viewpoints on marriage or kids early on in our relationship. I just assumed that because I felt a certain way at 25 I would feel the same way at 30.

Well, I am here to say that that is not at all true. My boyfriend and I are not on the same page—at all—when it comes to the future. ‘Playing house’ has been fun and much easier to maintain financially; but by doing so, my boyfriend is in no hurry to propose. By living together, I destroyed the incentive for him to make a commitment. Why would he want to marry me when I’m already a “wife”? He also isn’t sure he wants to have a family, which of course leaves me in limbo.

The thought of going back into the dating scene makes me nauseous, especially as the dating pool dwindles and my friends are settling down with weddings and new homes. I feel totally stuck, unprepared and unsure of what to do.

I know because of the narrative millennial women have been conditioned to believe via movies, television, and even by our own parents that I cannot be alone in this struggle. If I could go back in time, I would have pursued the same things; but I would have accepted the fact earlier on that I should also plan accordingly for the other things that make a well-rounded life—including marriage, family, career and a partner who’s on the same page.

Kelsey is far from alone. Women today are woefully unprepared for the reality of what their futures will be like. A job, or career, is merely one part of life—and not even the best part. The best part of life is finding someone to love who loves you back, and having a family of your own.

It’s also smart to put love first, for nothing will have more effect on your happiness and well-being than the state of your love life. A great marriage is life’s greatest blessing, but a bad one will make your life hell. Why, then, do we not prepare women for this critical juncture in their lives?

Why do we tell women to focus exclusively on work and ignore the part about marriage and babies? What are we afraid of?

Parents and educators have a responsibility to tell women what they need to know about their futures. Here are 3 things to tell your daughter about the future while she’s still young enough to make plans:

  1. What you think you want will change dramatically over time. At 20, your career is the most important thing. At 30, you will likely have marriage and babies on your mind. So plan accordingly and put at least as much (although I would suggest more) emphasis on finding a spouse as you do on building your career.
  2. Your body has a clock, and your boyfriend’s does not. Men can postpone marriage longer than you can because they can always move on if the relationship ends and marry a younger woman. You don’t have this luxury. Women are far more fertile between 28-35 than they are after 35. Plus being an older mother carries with it a host of problems, for everyone.
  3. The chances of your wanting to take care of your babies when the time comes is astronomically high. I know you know women who have babies and hire nannies or send them to daycare and simply appear to go about their business. What you don’t see is the behind-the-scenes reality of that life. There’s tremendous agony, chaos and disruption—to say nothing of the needs that aren’t getting met—that no one wants to talk about. You’re much better off assuming the opposite of what you do now: plan to not return to the workforce when your babies are born. The marketplace will always be there, but your children will not. There’s plenty of time to have what you want, but don’t plan on doing it all at once.

Being armed with information like this will go a long way toward helping women avoid the predicament Kelsey now faces. There’s no reason for women to end up in her boat—it’s completely avoidable. The only reason so many women do wind up like Kelsey is because they were surrounded by feminists or by adults who were afraid to counter feminist thought.

It is feminists who are single-handedly responsible for suppressing the truth about what most women’s lives will be like down the road.

Why on earth would you want to be part of that?

Suzanne Venker

Suzanne Venker is an author, speaker and cultural critic known as “The Feminist Fixer.” She has authored several books to help women win with men in life and in love. Her most recent, The Alpha Female’s Guide to Men & Marriage, was published in February 2017.

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. But you always have an option to be a single parent by choice. Many women in the 35-40 age range are choosing to be mothers via artificial insemination without having a partner.

    • Yes, there are many options we can “choose” in life that are unethical—and this is certainly one of them. Purposefully depriving a child of a father is a terrible thing to do. So is encouraging women to do so.

      • There has been ample research done on the negative effect of the “single-mom” phenomenon peddled by the feminists. Further, the mentality of having a child “for you … because your time is running out” is a selfish motive, the exact opposite of what is required for the job of motherING. If a woman cannot see clear to offer sacrifice to another adult in a marriage/relationship, there’s evidence that she won’t for a child either. Conceiving and birthing isn’t mothering — it’s breeding.

    • Sadly, many women will not research the IVF industry and think of the possible ramifications before they spend their thousands of dollars. What do you do with your frozen eggs/embryos? How many times is a sperm donor allowed to give sperm and does that mean your child has a bunch of half siblings running around? Also what about sex selection and embryo reduction? Is it ok to create babies just to eliminate some of them? I could go on and on. Many of these problems could be eliminated if women would make use of their fertile ovaries in their early twenties!!

  2. Great article. Unfortunately, more and more men are becoming more self-centered because there is no financial upside to marriage for men. A man can bust his butt to create wealth for his wife and kids only to be told by the wife years down the road she wants a divorce. She gets monthly payments, the house and car and the guy is left alone and broke. Many women look at men as ATM’s and guys are waking up to that fact.

    • Not self-centered, but aware of the risk they run and how the law can be biased against the men in regards to child support, alimony, and division of assets….. In short, it’s a bad risk game, and men have seen how it affects others around them… and opted not to participate.

      That’s not self-centered – that’s self-preservation… and before you say all women are not like that… They have the opportunity because of the laws to be like that..

  3. unfortunately Kelsey’s story is mine. Everything minus the live in boyfriend. I really wish that someone advised me to consider marriage from high school. Instead I, (like many other women ) was bombarded and seduced by the idea of a successful career with the presumption that I could get married later. Like I could snap my fingers and a man would appear when I’m ready. What a tragic lie I fell for.

  4. For men in today’s world, marriage has become a game of Russian Roulette. You stick the barrel in your mouth, and pray the hammer falls on the one empty cylinder.

    No man wants to buy a car that everyone else in town has driven for free. Marriage is gone, and women killed it…

  5. This is my story except I’m a few years older than this woman. One of the biggest issues is I feel a lot of women in the millennial generation were raised in divorced families or by single parents. Because of this, many are afraid of commitment and don’t want to end up like their parents. Also without an emphasis on “family values” there isn’t pressure to settle down so peers aren’t getting married or those that do make it sound so awful that people want to avoid it. People have unrealistic expectations due to media and lack of real life role models.

Trackbacks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: