Whether you know you want children, desire to remain child-free, or are completely conflicted, we're going to dig into all the hesitations, fears, and realities of the decision to have kids with Kate Kennedy. We discuss how #momlife culture plays into the perceptions of parenthood, the paradox of being ready later in life, and why it's perfectly OK to be unsure about this major life decision.
TW: This episode discusses miscarriages
Follow Kate @bethereinfive and @bethereinfivepodcast. Listen to Be There in Five on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or your favorite podcast player.
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S13E17: The Decision to Have Kids (or Not) w/ Kate Kennedy
00:00:01 - 00:05:05
The Dateable podcast is an insider's look into modern dating that the Huffington post calls one of the top ten podcast about love and sex. On each episode, we'll talk to real daters about. From sex parties to sex droughts, date fails a diaper fetishes and first moves to first loves. I'm your host Yue Xu, former dating coach turned dating sociologists. You also hear from my co host and producer Julie Krafchick as we explored this crazy dateable world.
What's up everyone? Welcome to another episode of the dateable podcast where we dive into modern dating and try to help you explain why people do the shit that they do and say the things that they do while we're all trying to navigate modern dating ourselves. That is true. And then one of the things that is always lingering with modern dating is the future, right? To get married to have children. All the stuff that cubs after day. And you know, we've heard a lot of people even say there's a lot of pressure in dating because I know I want to have kids. Or I don't want to have kids or I'm not sure if I want to have kids that how do I fight someone that's all the same page. It's one of those things that feels like you're really putting the car to guide to the horse, but in reality that it is a necessity to think about because it is so essential to lifestyle and future and ultimate compatibility, I think. You get to a certain age where I don't know for me, all of a sudden woke up one day and was like, oh my God, this is a real thing. I really got to think about if I want kids or not, you know, in my early 20s, it was just like, yeah, in the future, I'll think about it, I'm sure I'll have them. It'll just be a given, but I think I don't know, let me think. When I hit 35, was probably when it got real because that's kind of like the last year that you should freeze your eggs. If you wanted to, and then really having that conversation with your partner, do we want to have kids? We do. We probably should start trying now. And now at 40, it's like, I'm almost at the stage of like, if it happens it happens and if it doesn't, it's interesting because I've actually I went into talk about freezing my eggs like I went in for a consult and up 38. So yes, it's obviously the better the earlier you do it, the better in general, but they always obviously try to push people to do it to some degree, but it's like then 40 is that sliding scale and all of the pieces and I will say it is so overwhelming and I think that's why I avoided it for so long because I think part of it was I was unsure and I still am not a 100%. I've kind of on your boat. I feel like if I don't have kids, I don't feel like I'll live like a meaningless life. I feel very fulfilled in life. So I'm not feeling that way, but there are sides of I'm like obviously I'm an aunt now and I have a lot of Friends with kids and you start to see just how nice it can be to be more of a family unit. And I think honestly before my current partner, I really couldn't picture myself having kids with any of my past partners, whether they just didn't want them themselves or they weren't in the place to have them. There was a lot of reasons why it just wasn't something that I was top of mind for me. And I think because it wasn't like a huge urge with it myself and then it wasn't coming to light with other partners. I kind of just was like, this is a lot to deal with. I'm just not going to. Kind of avoided it in a way. And I will say this, when I went in for the consult, I was like, I don't know anything about my body. We talk about this with our guests today. Kate, who has a phenomenal podcast be there at 5 and I heard her do this episode all about being a childless millennial and really pondering the things that I feel like a lot of people are afraid to say kind of like the decision that happens and I was like you way we need to get Kate on our podcast to talk about this. And I'm so glad we did. This is such an honest and emotional conversation that we're about to have. Trigger warning though for people, we do talk about miscarriages. If there's any one that, you know, this is triggering to you decide if this is something you want to listen to. We totally get it. If you need to skip it for whatever reason, want to call that out now. But I think for anyone that you know is on the edge and unsure or even if you are sure and you don't have that partner yet, I think that this is a great episode to listen to, or even if you're sure that you don't want to have kids. There's a lot of validation inserted reluctances that we have. And for men too, I think it's a great episode for everyone to listen to because you get to hear the decision process and also like the shit that we have to go through to you can get pregnant is ridiculous and that the shit that we have to go through after we get pregnant is equally as ridiculous. So I think it's just, I don't know, creates more empathy, but you get to hear more transparently. The emotional and the physical battles that we have when it comes to fertility. But we'll save that conversation for this episode because that is a much heavier topic.
00:05:05 - 00:10:01
On a lighter note, I don't know Julie V can tell half my face is not moving because half my face is numb, and this is just such a cute story of you and your college girlfriends get together. You know, like once a year, right? Like for a big thing. And we had our big thing in my college girlfriends and we hadn't done in two years, so we're like, let's just go all out. We got this beautiful, sweet in Malibu. This hotel gorgeous hotel at Malibu. Then we booked reservations at nobu Malibu, which is like the sea and be seen kind of place. So we're super excited. We get there. It's supposed to be such a cute fancy dinner. And in the middle of it all, my fucking crown falls off, and it's not the first time this has happened to me, but the first time has ever happened to me at a fine dining establishment. So I don't want to say anything. I don't want to interrupt the dinner and I just pop it back in with my tongue. Thinking that maybe it's just like a flu. When you're not a dentist, you just make up shit in your mind like, you know what? Maybe just it just came off this once, but it's fine. It'll go back. It will never come out again. Of course, after dinner, all the subsequent meals, my crown falls off. Time and time again. So I had an emergency dental appointment this morning to get my crown put back on and half my face is numb. And this is what happens when you are 40 and you're trying to have a nice girls night out and you're fucking crown comes out. I be bringing this back to kids remember where the best thing was to have the tooth fairy cup. Like it was in a college where to lose it too. Thank you for your 40 without kids. It's just bad karma. I don't know. It's just AJ. But did you ever have the tooth fairy comic I bet bra, I used to get like a dollar under my pillow? Do you want me to be your tooth fairy UA? I'll leave you a dollar. Yeah, yeah, except can you leave me $5000? 'cause that's how much is gonna be to get my implant. You know when someone left a dollar for me, I'd be like, fuck you. You know how much my teeth are worth right now. It's like my teeth are worth a BMW at this point. Yeah. You know, I think that to tie it into our episode too. I feel like there are so many things that are just so much easier as a child. I spent the weekend at Tahoe and it was so nice and unfortunately did not snow. I'm not a big skier or snowboarder. So it wasn't a huge deal for me, but I think my boyfriend and my friend were a little disappointed and we spent the week at the weekend at my friend's house and she has a one year old who was very, very adorable. And I do enjoy spending more time with kids. There is a lot of cuteness and seeing just how easily entertain they are. Her son wasn't even plagued with toys. He was like taking a measure a cup which is bringing the Spanish cup around to everyone. And he kept giving it to me like he was doing this grand gesture every time. And I would give it back to him. And I was like, it's so funny that you don't even have to invest it like crazy toys to keep the veteran. But then I will say my boyfriend really does want to have kids and the child that we stayed with was started to scream around. I don't know. I would say 8 a.m. and I turned to him and I was like, this is the side of having kids. Yeah. Fucking adorable and fucking annoying. There was this what? I don't know what it was. It was like this book could press on it. There were different songs that played. He kept playing it. Yeah, it was like old McDonald, 20 different variations. We got out of the car to leave. And my other friend was like, don't know if I could have taken another day of that music. It just plays. Dodds stop it. We're like, do you think their parents are just tuned it out by now? We were like, absolutely. Yeah. Oh, yeah. You're just so sleep deprived. None of us even matters anymore. Things change. You're tolerance changes after you have kids. And you're so right. You have to spend the night with the kids to get the full effects. Just a few hours, of course you're like, this kid is adorable. My God real well behaved kid. Until they become an asshole. Oh, I've definitely been afraid's houses, but they start the temper tantrum, but I go home to my house all by myself and I am thrilled. There is a lot of cuteness that comes with them, and I think just seeing the world through a child's eye, just like the innocence that comes with it. We'll say that you could learn so much. You know, I think we've said this before. There's like articles that are like people with children, probably experience, the higher highs, the lower lows, where people without children, it's more consistent. And I could totally see that. I think my life right now feels very stressful for the most part. The responsibility of another human is clearly going to be very rewarding, but there's stress that comes with that, of course. Of course. And one of the many topics that we discuss on this episode.
00:10:01 - 00:15:06
Let's get to our question because it is related and we've gotten this question from both men and women who've said, I know I want to have kids. So how soon should I bring it up when it comes to dating? How early on in a relationship or in dating, do you all have the kids conversation? I've seen people put it on their dating profiles, want to get married want to have kids and I've seen people say open to kids or no kids. How soon should you bring it up? If you know absolutely you want to have kids. I don't see any reason why it's a problem to put in your daily profile. I think a lot of data gaps to it's not like you're putting it in your bio. You know, there is somewhat I've ever we did a Clubhouse event. And it was a Clubhouse. It was this other version of the fishbowl. Yes, they were trying to be snarky and it was like my eggs are getting younger and we were like, no, don't put that. Like something that was just like over the top. And I forget it was even or than that. I think I just like downplayed it. Completely. I can't even recall, but I remember listening and I was horrified. I was like, don't ever put that in your profile. But I think it's okay to mark the box, like I want to have kids or even subtly putting it at your profile like one day I want to have a family or something like that. If you really know you want to, I don't see any harm in doing it for me because I was unsure. I opted to uncheck the box. I was actually talking with my boyfriend about this and he was like, I can't remember if you had it or didn't have it. I'm like, I know I did not have it because I consciously did not check it and I did not want to say unsure. I just didn't want to put anything. But I remember he had it in his that he wanted kids. It wasn't like deference for me. I just did it one necessarily rule out people that didn't either because I wasn't sure. So I think it really comes down to yourself and how much you want it and you know I'm going off of hinge just 'cause that was the app that I use the most, but I'm pretty sure bumble OkCupid match. I don't know about Tinder, that one might not, but I think all the ones that are more like relationship oriented have fields that you could basically check. So you don't have to be super blatant about it, but you can still get the need across, right? That you do desire this. Yeah. I think in early dating, I've had people ask, what are your absolute deal breakers on a first date? And then they go down the list and they would ask the questions like married kids. Are these deal breakers? And I thought that was a good way to gauge if someone's so definitive about something 'cause when you absolutely want kids, all you're trying to do is filter out for the people who absolutely do not want to have kids. You can still talk to the people who are unsure, but it's the people who are like, I absolutely do not, you know, I talked to the guy that he was like, I'm divorced. I don't want kids. We got divorced because I didn't want to have kids, so I just want to make sure that you know that. And so you want to filter out for those people. So I think on these first dates, it's always good to get people's like definitive opinions and decisions that they've already made that are separate from you. Yeah, I do think that, but I think that being said, we've talked about this in sounding board events and stuff. And I think if someone doesn't put it on their profile or doesn't say it on date one, it doesn't mean that it's a hard no either. We've seen people swing kind of too far that they'll only go for people that say this and of course that's got a better the odds if that really is something that you want. But you also could be missing out on someone that could go either way or you know the right situation like I said it took me a little while even to come to terms with the idea with my current partner at the beginning I was still more maybe leaving the other way or a little unsure. I wasn't considering even doing egg freezing back then. But time has made that more something I can see in my life at some point. So I think sometimes we want to jump the gun on stuff, but we have to remember, do I even like this person in the first place? Some people date to find a partner to have kids with. So I should say no one does, but if you're really looking for like a life partner and someone that you're truly in love with, I think the first step is say do I even like this person before maybe rotting down the laundry list of things you want and don't want. I would say by date two or three though, maybe three, if things are on a good path, then you do want to have that convo, just so it does it. If there's a hard no in the way, you can at least know and then decide what to do. I wouldn't want to say, get a 6 months in, it never have this conversation. But I think the first state it's totally okay just to go in and be like, do I even like this person? Do I even have a good time with them? Because it almost doesn't matter if they want to have kids if you would like them, right? If you lead with kids, if that's something that's so important to you, you do it's a self selection process. You do get a specific type of person who's also just looking for kids and not necessarily a partner.
00:15:07 - 00:20:17
This again, I'm throwing this back to the person who originally asked this question is prioritizing are you looking for a partner first? Are you looking for kids first? 'cause you can also have kids without a partner, right? So that maybe that doesn't even play into dating. Maybe you just have this mindset. I'm gonna have kids regardless whether I have a partner or not. So yeah, prioritize all of that. But I believe and you'll hear it in this episode that keeping an open mind and everything's up for discussion is always the best way to approach anything. I think my partner and I started dating and we were both like I don't know and now we're like leaning more towards like we're more 60, 70%, yes. And then maybe we'll shift out of that, but it's a constant indecision that we just have to accept and you'll never be completely be ready for kids. They all say that. Yes. You ate I both watched away for this episode being like, this was such a powerful episode. I think because it is something that is very top about for both of us and it probably is for many of you out there as well. Whether you're dating someone seriously or not, I think it could be top of mind. And it was really assuring to just be like, it's okay if you don't know right now or things can change. I think sometimes we feel like if we've committed to being the no kids type, it's like going back on it. One of my best Friends, you know, she never really wanted kids and her husband really did. And she wasn't a hard no, obviously. She wouldn't have had them, but it wasn't a top thing. Like being a CEO and being successful at her career was always more of a driver for her. And she has just embraced parenthood so much. So I think it's just sometimes life styles change. I even think about it. You know, there was a period of my life that I didn't even desire relationship at all. And then one day, something switched, and I think that's okay. That's just natural progression. We're all evolving. So UA, before we get into adults with, I do want to get your thoughts on what they, though, as well. What's going on this? So we were just talking about it, right? Just brought something up for me. You and I know plenty of people that have got into a certain age, and they say, you know, I just need a husband to have kids with and have a family or vice versa. What are your thoughts? Do you think that that can work? Let's say you really are the type of person and we may have listed us out there like this. I don't want to generalize everyone. Maybe we have a listener out there that's like, I want to date as a means to an end to find a partner. From your opinion, do you think that can work? I think it can absolutely work if you can set the right expectations. My mom personally has a few friends like this who've been married before who did the whole love thing. Those did not work out. And now they're approaching their 60s and 70s and they've told me I just want a partner companion. I don't need to be in love. I just need to know that I'm not alone. And their relationships have worked. They're almost platonic, but they keep each other safe. They are emotionally supportive of each other, and they fulfill these needs for each other. But the expectations are even set. They've said to me, not looking for love, looking for purely companionship. That kind of reminds me of Bernice, actually, a few episodes back, how she was saying the episode that we did, the pressure to settle down, she was talking about how her parents had this pressure for her and themselves too, and once they relinquished that and they were like, okay, we're actually getting older and we're really not going to find another partner. We might as well enjoy each other's company. That's what they started to really do a lot of stuff. And she saw that followed laugh again and be happy. So I always feel like it's sometimes your expectations just could be wildly off too. That this person is going to be your everything, and I don't know. I mean, I think I want to believe, I'm definitely a romantic, as I learned from Logan's quiz. And I want to believe that your personal can be your everything, but maybe the people that hold out longer to find someone are on that boat and then other people kind of are more realistic. I don't know. And maybe I should change this. You need to know what's best for you. And if you're chasing a Hollywood dream of a RomCom, we all know that's not the real deal. So what are you looking for when it comes to having a relationship and having a partnership? For some people, it is a very practical reason. For others, it's a completely romantic. And that's okay. All of it is right. You just gotta do you, ultimately. Yep, and find someone that's also on the same page. Yeah, I think that's the hardest part. That's why we're here. Right. Yeah, it's always finding someone who was on the same page and willing to try and make an effort to make it work. What brought this up, a discussion happen or did you watch a movie that was just from the question of the day? What I would say are the first date, you know, if you don't even like the person versus kind of interviewing them for this one role, but I think if you're, I don't know.
00:20:17 - 00:25:01
I don't wanna say the one role because I think even the people that we know that have definitely maybe it's been a little more paired that they've picked a partner to have kids. I'm sure there was other things too. It wasn't just your filling a role. That's all so horrible. When you put it that way. But I think it was just from the question of what to prioritize and what to ask it. I think so much of it comes down to what is the priority for you? Yeah, I mean, some people might have more of a pragmatic view on relationships and others might be more in the romantic side. So maybe that really just depends on the individual as well. That's why we see so many nontraditional relationships that have popped up. You know, you have the polyamorous open relationships, but also look at the Will & Grace relationship, too. We have heard of those. You're in a platonic friendship with someone. You support them and prioritize them, and then you seek sexual pleasure elsewhere. That to me almost makes so much more sense. Yeah. We need to get someone like that on the podcast. That's a good guess. Anybody out there in a Will & Grace situation? For anyone to date of all, we always say you do you. It's almost like the luxury that we have in today's day and age that we don't have to be in relationships for financial reasons or to bear children. It's hard to sometimes step back and look at modern dating in a way that is advantageous. I think so many of us have stereotypes that are more on the negative side, but there are a lot of benefits and I think with data we really see that you create the relationship you want, ultimately it's about being happy at finding what works for you, whether that's with a partner with Mehdi partners with no partner, you do you. A great, okay, adults with this week. I think this is a good episode to share with a friend. If you have a friend that's debating, whether to have children or not. It's a big ass decision. I think this is the episode to share. This is such a great look into all the things that are going on for women out there and especially even share it with your male friends. It's really important to know the other side of the equation because ultimately this is a decision for everyone. So definitely share it with a friend Ed. You know, if you love us, leave us a 5 star review. We really it really makes our breaks this podcast and it keeps us going. It keeps us delivering great gas like we have today for you. So that would be our maybe our holiday gift. How to just end it, but Christmas is around the corner. Our holiday gift is to leave us a 5 star review. Thank you. Please do. And if you want to just check out where we're up to, you can always find us on social media at data podcast. Awesome, let's do a few quick messages from our sponsors. This episode is brought to you by first leaf. I love to explore new wines, but I'm not always sure what to get. And I really don't want to be disappointed. That's why I love first leaf wine club. They remove all the guesswork, doing all the hard work to discover great wines, so I can just enjoy them. First leaf believes wine is personal. They create a custom wine print for each member and maps their vast portfolio of wines to each person's unique taste preferences once you take their 5 minute quiz and then the more wine you rate, the more each shipment is personalized to your taste. That is why my recent shipment of pinotage from South Africa is so on point, but I would have never picked it out myself. Celebrate your special first and the moments that count with firstly, the wine club designed to help you discover new wines you'll love personalized your taste and deliver to your door. Join today and you'll get 6 bottles of wine for 29 95 with free shipping. Go to try first leave dot com slash dateable. That's first leaf dot com slash dateable for 6 bottles of wine for 29 95 with free shipping. Here's a toast to first make you enjoy them with the people you love from the first sip to the last try first leaf dot com slash D ATE ABL E this episode is brought to you by story worth. This holiday season, I want to give a gift to my loved ones that makes them feel special and unique, just like the relationship we share. That's why I'm giving them story worth, which is an online service that helps you and your loved ones preserve precious memories and stories for years to come. Every week, story worth emails your loved one, a thought provoking question of your choice from their vast pool of possible options. The prompts are super unique like if you could see into the future. What would you want to find out? I wonder how my parents would answer that one. And after one year, story worth will compile all the stories and photos into a beautiful keepsake book. I'm looking forward to looking through the books every year as a holiday tradition.
00:25:02 - 00:30:05
With story worth, I'm giving those I love most a thoughtful, personal gift from the heart and preserving their memories and stories for years to come. Go to story worth dot com slash dateable and save $10 on your first purchase. That's story worth dot com slash D ATE ABL E to save $10 on your first purchase. Okay, let's hear it from Kate. All about the decision to have kids or not. The big question is, wanting kids, yes or no, how do we get to that decision, how should we even think about that question and we're so honored to have Kate Kennedy with us for this episode? Who is someone who has talked about this topic before? So we'll get into that, but she's 34 years old. She lives in Chicago originally from Richmond, Virginia. She is married. A pop culture commentator, author and podcast host of the show called be there in 5. Hi Kate. Hi, thanks for having me. Of course. Thanks for being here. And yeah, that kind of segues to it, but I heard your deep dive on your podcast, be there in 5, it's called childless millennial. And I feel like it just gave so many opinions about just motherhood and all the things that are kind of going through a lot of our minds that we don't always know how to verbalize because I think more than ever women are deciding if motherhood is for them where in the past it was kind of expected. So we're really excited to have this conversation with you where we go into it all and then we also heard your most recent episode around the miscarriage. A lot of friends of mine I know have gone through that and it's something that's just never talked about. So I think it's really important to share that out there. And I'm glad that you were able to do that on your podcast and just in a way like normalize that this is a part of the whole process of pregnancy. Yeah, absolutely. I think that when I first ventured out and doing childless millennial it was kind of like, it was kind of unplanned, but it was like a lot of bottled up feelings about people asking me constantly if and when I wanted kids and then I had so many confusing thoughts about it. I kind of put it all out there in a very inconclusive way of all my intersecting thoughts because it's almost encouraged people like some things don't have resolve, and some things are really complicated decisions and highly personal and beyond that, I wanted to create a space where women at any stage of the process can have a voice. I think you feel very shut down when you're speaking to women that are certain, one way or the other. And I think it's valid to be able to communicate your complicated feelings at any stage. I mean, it's important that people have a voice and are able to share in every phase of it, I think. Yeah, and that's so important to hear, too, because sometimes we feel like that decision is being made for us, especially for some of its culturally, sometimes it's based on societal expectations. So it's important for us to have this conversation and I think men and women alike will find this to be insightful and eye opening even if someone's unable to bear children themselves. So can you take us back to October 2020 in the middle of COVID when you release this two part series? What was going on in your life at that time? I actually started as it usually does. The most superficial places where I'm scrolling through content that kind of triggers something and I kind of choose to look at the deeper meaning. I often refer to my podcast as meaningful discussions about meaningless topics. I was literally going through tiktoks that I found really sexist that were popular at the time where men would play pranks on their wives and be like, okay, I called a babysitter. We're gonna go to Starbucks, and then we're gonna go to target and then we're gonna go get a peach smoothie and then the women the moms would get like orgasmic excited over very basic trips brands. I actually think I know that TikTok you're referring to. Yeah, I was gonna say YouTube probably have a lot in common. I'm totally seeing that one. And comments. And everyone was like, oh my gosh, yes, queen. Get out of the house. Have the best day and I'm like, on what planet are we working men for covering off our basic needs to suburban fast casual restaurants like I shouldn't you be able to go regardless? And so we became a trend and women seemed like trapped and needlessly excited and I just was like, and then I said on Instagram, I don't even want to get in trouble for saying this, but as a person who is not sure how they feel about kids, social media makes motherhood look incredibly daunting. Yes, yes. You have no time to yourself. You'll never have sex again, you're so tired of this and that. And that might be true, but there's a level of absorption that's hard on my end because I don't get to experience the joy that offsets that of a person who really wants it and is experiencing the upsides. So if you're anxious about it, hearing about all the downsides, it kind of makes you spiral in a way that I wasn't sure it was allowing me to make a fair decision based on what it would actually be like for me, but it was kind of being projected onto it.
00:30:05 - 00:35:00
And the reason I was nervous and you can't really say that is because it is hard. And I want people to be able to share and find community. They shouldn't have to alter their content for me, but I just wanted to be allowed to say I find this to be incredibly terrifying. So have you always been kind of on the fence if you want children or what has been kind of your relationship with the idea? I actually would say more so than anything I've always wanted them. Okay. But I kind of either expected to wake up with this all knowing feeling of like now is the time. Yeah. Or I would say, you know, eventually I'll get there. And I think what happened last year is that I realized I'm at an age where I need to maybe start to figure this out. And I just became very overwhelmed that my crutch for indecision was time, but now time is my enemy as it relates to having the choice. And I kind of feel like there's a weird inverse relationship for people that aren't totally sure and that they need more time, but yeah, more time can affect fertility. And it just, I don't know. I think that I've always wanted them, it's just when I got to an age where it would be appropriate. I was kind of surprised that I'd never had this epiphany that you hear people talk about. That's fascinating because you've always wanted kids and you are looking for that final sign to say yes, now you're ready. I feel like I've been the opposite. I've always been unsure about kids and never really wanting them. And I've been looking for that wake up one morning and being like, yes, I fucking want kids. And all my Friends have told me that that day will never come. So maybe we can go through some of the thought processes that we've had around having kids, what made you decide that you did want to have kids eventually Kate? The biggest thing for me was having nephews and niece related to me. I do not, I'm not a super maternal or kid friendly person by nature. But when kids are related to for me my experience was a bit different and I really enjoyed kind of re experiencing the world through their lens and I love them so much. And it's always kind of been a joke in my family that I'm not in maternal like I went to my sister's kindergarten class and she told me to ask the kids to back up and I told them to consolidate their belongings. I just don't know how to talk to children. So is it confusing thing where I actually even have trouble disseminating how I always one of them or do it? I always think I would have them, which are technically totally different things. So I would say the biggest turning point in or nudge of me being like, yeah, I could really do this with having kids related to me. But then the older I got the less interested I was because it completely intersects like the peak of your career intersects with when you need to kind of start thinking about it at least in my case. And I was like, wait, so I have to drop everything. I spent my entire life trying to get these ducks in a row and then now I'm just supposed to like I said in the episode, do a cannonball into these ducks and act like none of them matter. Because women tell me, well, nothing else matters. You'll love it. You'll never look back. And I'm like, but I want this stuff to matter. I worked my ass off for this stuff. Yeah. I mean, I think that is my biggest fear for sure. And I think some of it is that I like my life currently. And I'm afraid that it will drastically change in maybe not for the better, because I think the highs are high with children, but the lows can also be really low. And I think some of it's what you said Kate about just the way mom life is like portrayed on social media that you don't see the benefits, but you just see what it does to your lifestyle. And I definitely have fears on that. And I think it's been interesting as my current partner really wants children and we've been talking about it more. And I definitely see the benefits and want to have the family that comes with children and I think the other fear is are you going to regret it in a couple years? If you don't make that time because as women, we feel like we have this time window almost. So I think there's a fear for me on the other side too. And I'm definitely flip flop a lot in my mind. Yeah, I feel the exact same way and I feel like I always assumed like what you said Kate that I would have kids. I just never pause to think do I want kids? Just like when I'm in middle school and thinking, I will eventually get married and have kids. That wasn't a decision I made back then. You assume that your life just goes in that path. And now it's a real moment for us that we have to make these decisions and make these what I call sacrifices to be quite blunt all the friends I have in my life. It is absolutely more burden on the woman. Even if the man steps in and does a lot of the work, the woman still does predominantly most of it. And no matter how much we try to create an equal partnership, when it comes to raising kids, it's not equal. And that's something that I have a hard time facing is that is a lot to take on. It really, yeah, it absolutely is. One of the most groundbreaking things I learned when I was researching more about the decision to have kids is there's a term for the physical change as your body goes through when you have a kid that's comparable to adolescence. It's called matrescence.
00:35:01 - 00:40:02
And it's like the actual chemical and physical overhaul going on in your body that is a comparable level of changed adolescence, but when you're going through puberty, people are like LOL, this is awkward. It's fine. But motherhood, you feel like you need to kind of angelically float through and be great for these immense changes, your body and mental health and your time and schedule are going through. And I think that that's an added thing is so much of the mental load and invisible labor one, but also this incredible change going on that society doesn't even acknowledge for the difficulty it is. You feel like pressure to love every minute of it. And that's that would be confusing for me. And then if you do complain about it, you feel ungrateful because a lot of people have to fertility issues, right? Yes. It is. I think the point you bring up too about this weird paradox almost that by the time you're more ready to have kids, whether that's your more financially stable or your career is in a place that's taking off, then it also makes it more complicated because your fertility is declining especially for women. But even for men, I feel like we never talk about that for men too, the older we get, it becomes more difficult. What are kind of like some of your thoughts or how have you come to terms with some of that? I don't know that I have. I think that it's almost confusing to me how I obsessively will be like, do I have enough money? Do I have enough time? Do I have family nearby? I think about all these things I would need to feel comfortable to move forward. And then you see people a variety of circumstances. Right. Just doing it. Move forward. They don't need to have anything in place. They figure it out as they go. And I think biggest thing for me is like, I don't have any answers. I still feel all the same anxieties. I have all the same concerns. I kind of just felt like it snuck up on me that I was working and building up toward this career. And then realistically, when I realized that I would completely have to halt and I'd have to completely move things around to make parenting work in this finite period of time when I feel like there's I don't know it could go on on. But I still feel that way and I never quite been able to solve it other than I just am hoping that everything else figured out as I went. And I also am trying to be realistic about you can want to be a parent, but doesn't mean you have to like being pregnant. It doesn't mean you have to enjoy the process of those are kind of different things too. So I think that the pregnancy piece I'm a little hung up on too, just in terms of my friends are all so sick. How the hell am I supposed to work? And also just an identity change. It's a physical mental identity change. I've had so many friends tell me I used to be a runner. I used to be this successful businesswoman and now my identity is just mom. You know, that's it. And all the other facets of my life have disappeared. Now that I put all my attention on this child. So what do you think is, I know there are no answers, but what is the right way to think about this? Do we just say, just go with it? Just see what happens. Go with the flow, and then deal with it as it comes. I think that a couple of things. One, to your point about the identity piece. I think that's a really fascinating element of social media too, was in everyone's bio. It's like wife, mom. There's this interesting thing for women where our identity, the older we get, is kind of almost a function of who we are to other people. Not who we are as ourselves and like, yeah, interesting. I'm a wife, but that's not the first way identify. Should it be? And yeah, I think that that's definitely a shift. I see with motherhood. I mean, I might experience that shift. I don't know. You might see faith family of all my bio tomorrow. But to answer your question, I think, well, I guess I can only speak from me now who is since experienced miscarriage or rather ectopic pregnancy, which was kind of a unique medical outlier of a situation that was quite emotionally and physically painful. The decision is one piece, but then your decision is to start trying, not that you'll be able to have them. Right. We forget that a lot. A whole other, I don't know if I can curse. That's a whole other mind. In a sense, of like, I was a little on the fence about the right timing, knowing that I wanted children, specifically I wanted to have my husband's children. And this is something we both went together and didn't happen for, I don't know, 8 or 9 months, and then it did happen. And then it was unexpected loss. It was an interesting thing where I guess I share that because at every stage, I think there is going to be a lot of discomfort and pain. There's just no there are no guaranteed outcomes and the reason I keep saying I don't have a solution or what do we do is because I think that there's really nothing you can do besides make the best decision for you and your family and the time you're in and hope for the best and be honest with yourself along the way. And that's kind of what I chose to do. I told everyone I wasn't sure that I told everybody when I changed my mind and was devastated. I don't think we have to be these fixed products that we label ourselves as a mom or a person who always wants kids or person that will do anything and everything to try to have them.
00:40:02 - 00:45:07
I wanted to be an example of a personal allowed to change their mind allowed to weather through ups and downs and to just evolve as a person. And I've warmed up to the idea a lot more since trying because I think it helped me feel some gaps in my level of desire when I realized it wasn't something that was necessarily my choice, even if I had made that decision. So yeah, I guess I can only speak from experience, but I think that the biggest turning point was after doing that episode and letting it all out. I felt worlds better about moving forward because I didn't know until that point until that was well received that I could be a person, especially in this space that was allowed to not be so rosy all the time about motherhood. And I was like, if I can do this my way with my own kids, and it'll be fine. My fear was doing it their way, and now they are portraying motherhood with their kids. And I think just finding some empowerment and us all being different and having different desires and that being perfectly okay. I think the pressure we put on ourselves is largely a function of stereotypes put on women, expectations, but on women and it's like benevolent sexism toward us that we're supposed to have all fulfillment through it. Okay, let's pause right there for a few messages. This episode is sponsored by better help. We attainable are huge fans of therapy and better help can match you with your own licensed therapist and connect you in a safe and private online environment. Me, for example, I was able to start communicating with my therapist in less than 48 hours. It was so quick. Now better help is committed to facilitating great therapeutic matches. And it's more affordable than traditional offline counseling. 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That's Zee DOC dot com slash D ATE ABL E there was actually a post in our Facebook group around you know this feeling of I actually like waking up on a Saturday and not having responsibility kind of going through a lot of the stuff that we were talking about earlier about what you see portrayed on social media. And then there was another comment that was from a mom, and she said, by all due respect, I think the post is a little stereotypical. And I've made the life I want with a family. We travel all the time. We move to a place in Europe that we would have to play college tuition and all that stuff. So it's more about we can build the life that we want to build. How do you think people can start breaking out of this mold of what social media and culture describes as the mom life and kind of go to what you were just saying of? It's your decision to do it how you want to do it. I think that's a really good question. I think that the first step if you have a partner is to be so incredibly honest and upfront with how you feel and to not feel ashamed for a lack of certainty or a discomfort with the idea or not being ready. I think that the best chance you have at more equally devised labor is from the get go, I think, to be like, we're in this together. This is going to be very high burden on me and my body specifically, and it's not that I resent that, but I want to be realistic about how I view our roles as parents. And I just see a lot of situations that bum me out where I feel like people say, oh, dad's babysitting tonight. I'm like, basic, right? Yeah. That's his job. Oh fucking kid. Right, it's not as strong. That's his life. Yes. The women that wrote in to for the second episode of childless money, by and large what they said was the reason they're experienced as a parent feels different than what they see on social media with a lot of their friends is because from the very beginning their partner knew that they weren't messing around with equally dividing up what is dividable divisible rather.
00:45:07 - 00:50:09
And I think that honesty is really important. I just think in a lot of pockets of the world there's a lot of shame around not taking to motherhood swimmingly or taking some divine fulfillment from it. Doesn't mean you'll be a bad mom. And beyond that, I think, like anything with social media, we can't control the content people are sharing, and everyone's entitled to reach their own audiences with their own thing, but you kind of have to tune it out. It's kind of up to us to consume less of the stuff that's triggering. And it doesn't help that women are aggressively targeted by apps like Facebook and Instagram because they use age and gender demographics. But I even took their settings and Instagram and Facebook like show me less content related to parenting. So I'll do things like that or I don't know. I think that for me, it was like, I just need to stop consuming this, 'cause it's getting in my head and it's not going to be my reality. I have choices. I have autonomy in this situation. I can do it the way I want. So I'd say like honesty and being more selective about what you consume and what influences you, because we can't do a lot about it being shared. And there's value to people sharing that stuff because they need community too. That's a great tip. I'm so sick of this idea of being the ultimate powerful Superwoman. You can do it all and being a mom is always a component of that if you like. So and so is the CEO of this company and she's a mom. You know, and it feels like your income. If you don't yeah, can you believe she can balance all that and an asshole husband? So it's crazy. Yeah. Yeah, she's got two babies. One of them is her husband. So isn't it incredible that it boggles my mind that the mom piece has to be part of that basically say, the more responsibilities women take on, the more perfect they are, which is just crock of shit, but I want to go back to when we were talking about you can make the decision to have kids and then there's the act of trying to have kids and a lot of women experience fertility issues along the way. So can you take us back to June of this year when you did experience your miscarriage or you had another term for it and take us through what was happening then yeah, so I guess after childless money off through June, we had been trying and it wasn't happening and it's just that's kind of a thing that I think is just alarming because especially growing up like my public school just wanted me to think I was gonna get pregnant so easily. I didn't even understand how hard it is. There's like two days a month you can get pregnant. I know nothing. You know, you're just trying not to for so long then you try and you think it's gonna just be easy and that it's not. And then it becomes almost weirdly unromantic process where you're counting days and getting on sticks and I think that's a whole other layer of somebody who's a little more reluctant when you have to put in so much effort into trying you almost wish you had the magic of it being accidental or you know what I'm done. And so I think that it's been actually good and helpful for me to learn more about my body and to go through that process of having fertility issues just to even understand what goes on. It made me less I think it made me less scared of it maybe as a result of exposure therapy, I don't know. But yeah, in June, I was 6 weeks pregnant and I mean without going into too much detail not feeling well and experience a lot of complications and I went to ER and it turned out to be an ectopic pregnancy, which is tuple so it means it's a viable pregnancy in an unviable location. Like an embryo can't survive in a fallopian tube. So you have to resolve it. And that is kind of a thing that depends on the person, but the issue is that at the point of 6 weeks where I was, it could rupture because it won't survive there. And then you internally bleed and it can be very dangerous. It's I think the most fatal thing that can happen in your first trimester if not caught. So you have to resolve it through surgery or this basically chemotherapy drug. And I don't know how much detail you want to go to. But I say this because I think it's important women know this is possible because you could think you were having a heavy period at 6 weeks if you didn't know. This was something that could happen. And yeah, so I was very surprised. I was in the ER. On the spot or we need to remove your fallopian tube. And I was like, well, sorry. I don't understand. You're kind of grieving emotionally. And then there's this physical component of like, you have to take care of your own self and your own life first, because this is really threatening for the mother. And I was really freaked out and went through this, I don't know. It was kind of a confusing situation and ultimately tried the less invasive method, which is are these injections that take their brutal. And I was in a weird situation where after that, it takes about four to 6 weeks for the pregnancy to resolve, they say, so did not have any pregnancy hormones. So I knew I wasn't going to be pregnant after 6, but I ended up having pregnancy hormones for about 12 or 6 of those. I knew I was waiting for like the tissue to resolve and pass. So it's a very confusing thing where the baby can not survive and you have to choose how to miscarry it. Damn. Which is the level of darkness I have trouble even talking about because it's like a walking tomb. Yeah, so that's what happened. It's a little different than a typical 6 week miscarriage, and I did not know anything about that. So yeah, and then the day after I got on the mic and talked about it because I was like, oh my God, I'm miserable and I'm in physical pain.
00:50:09 - 00:55:12
I'm bleeding all these things and most companies don't have bereavement for miscarriages. I was like, I could never hidden. It's like hidden under a rush. No one ever talks about it. Right. And I think my friends and family that I was crazy for doing that raw in episode, but I was like, look, every woman has to show up to work after. This is me showing up to work. My work is a podcast. So let me tell you how I'm feeling on this work day. And why we should be arguing for how women should not be at work the day after they have a mysterious. So how is this kind of changed your perspective about kids and pregnancy? Has it changed it at all? Yeah, it's less about how do I definitively feel about being a mom or not. It's that it's the acceptance of that we're perpetually navigating the terms. They're going to be really different for everybody and I think that now will want to realize how little I knew about my own body. When they told me, I did get a fallopian tube out. I was like, panicked because I was like, how does that affect fertility? And the next 5 minutes I can't Google this from a hospital bed. But then I talked to women after the episode. They're like, you know, they're like windshield wipers, right? Or like those wavy guys at a car dealership, if you don't have one tube, the other one can swing around and pick up from either ovary. I was like, what? How did that happen? And that's true. How did I not know that? This is embarrassing. I didn't know that when people said they were 6 weeks pregnant, it means they really only have known for two, because they're miss period would be the fourth weekend it counts from the day of your last period. There's like, I just didn't think I was so anxious about it. I knew nothing and I wish I was more empowered with information, so I could have been a better health advocate for myself, so would tell women if you're going to have kids and you're like me and thought it would be like Willy nilly magical. Being informed about your own body and your options and what can happen before you get into a medical circumstance is so important because people weren't hand holding. It was just like no bedside manner triage. What do you want to do about this thing? You know nothing about. And I just think it's really important for women to be their own advocates for their own pain for things not going right. I was told to wait a few weeks for an appointment when I first called in with symptoms. A few weeks it would have burst and I would have right. So you know what I mean? So I think that there's that the whole medical piece of it that I was like, man, I really in being so anxious did not educate myself at all about how this process worked that I would encourage people to do. And I think it just has to be okay to not know what's certainly going to happen. It has to be okay to go through hard things. It has to be okay to be allowed to change your mind and do articulate your truth at that time. And I'm not embarrassed that I wasn't sure if I wanted them. I'm not embarrassed that I was sad then when I couldn't. I'm not embarrassed that I'll still probably move forward slightly reluctantly and maybe resentfully I just think the exhaustion is having is forcing yourself to have to feel a certain way about something all the time. And so just weathering it experientially as you are. That pressure, I totally get it. I mean like in my 20s, people would ask, do you want kids in a very optimistic way? And now at 40, people ask in a way of like, do you want kids 'cause you better fucking have kids now? You should have started yesterday. And it comes with an expectation of an answer. And I used to feel guilty about answering with I don't know. And now I completely and confidently embrace that because that is the truth I completely just do not know and this point in time in my life. So thank you for empowering us with that story. And the information you just gave us, your episodes, garnered quite a response from women from all phases of pregnancy. What were some of the things that you learned from these women who were DMing you? I think that honestly, the biggest one is what I mentioned earlier in that people just reminding you that you like your life, how it is because you built it and comparably you can build your life as a mother. You have a lot of choice in the way this is handled and the pressure put on women in the first place as a result of these stereotypes and tropes and expectations that with this awareness of knowing yourself, you can separate yourself from. There's something empowering about being like, I don't fit into this. And this doesn't look desirable for me. Then, okay, so don't do it. And I was kind of feeling the disconnect of feeling like, oh, I need to get there. But that kind of empowered me hearing from women that were more like me that were like, you don't need to get anywhere. You've come far far enough as it is. But also, I heard from a lot of women that said, it's okay if you don't love being pregnant. If you don't even connect with an infant, some women said it took them time till the baby was more of a person and had a little bit more of a personality or grew up and became a little bit more self sufficient. I think that it's just not that simple that you are going to love and embrace and be perfect in every moment. I heard women be like, I'm the best effing mom of a 5 year old. I was like not the best with toddlers. Yeah. And you know, and when I think about it, I'm like, yeah, we're growing up and aging and evolving as our kids do. And just to abandon expectation from how you should feel during the process, I think was helpful for me because you don't need the Attica added anxiety of doing it and then being like, this is like am I good at this? Is this bad that I'm not having fun? Is this bad that I mad at my changes in my body or like, I don't know, it's just like, women need to be allowed to exist without the quest to constantly self improve.
00:55:13 - 01:00:00
And I just am trying to approach the pending difficulty of motherhood if it happens as not a way to be the best and to measure myself against some outside metric, but to just approach it the way I already am. And that's what a lot of women shared with me. I think that's so powerful because I feel like we've talked about this at the start of this episode, this feeling of when you're ready. And some people say, you know, you're never ready and you just do it. And I almost wonder because I feel like our parents generations and generations of women before didn't overthink it as much. And I think some of it is a blessing that we have the choice that a lot of us are in a privileged state now as women that can financially support ourselves that we don't need to necessarily get married and have children anymore. And that isn't always the path that you have to take. But I do almost wonder if it just makes us overthink the whole thing. Like we've been going around today is that sometimes just there aren't answers to some things. I love both of your thoughts on if you think this is like a good thing that we have this thought and choice or do you think it's almost like allowing us just overthink and not make any decisions? Overthinking, I think can be positive and negative. Well, I think the negative part is what we were talking about with when you try to approach it formulaically or like gamify it, only to realize you ultimately don't have the choice, it makes all the planning and anxiety completely useless. Right. So I think that's like the hardest part. I think for me, is just, you know, you want if you're feeling anxious, you want to feel in control. And then you try to develop a controlled perspective on how you can do this manageably only to realize you have no control. And I think I might have been better off for relinquishing that from the beginning. Yeah. That's interesting. I'm just thinking back to what you're saying, Julie with maybe our parents generation or our grandparents generation. And I think for I can only speak from my personal experience, but my parents grew up in communist China where you are expected to have a kid and only one kid. So their entire life after they got married was to prepare them for a child. So even at my mom's work, they're given one month a year to get pregnant, okay? So every year, if your last name starts with this letter or whatever. This is your month and you either get pregnant that month or you have to wait till the next year to do. So the first month, my mom was eligible to have a kid. She got pregnant with me. And then, boom, she was, you know, a year after they got married. Boom, boom, boom. So to me, I feel like my parents grew up in an environment where you prep your life for kids. I feel like I personally grew up in an environment where I press my life for myself. And I've chosen a life for myself. So now this word sacrifice comes to mind a lot more because I certainly did not child prove my home. I'm not prepping my life for it. So to your question, Julie, I don't know if it's necessarily better or worse. I definitely feel I'm more independent and I feel more privileged than my parents, but at the same time, it's that paradox of choice is do I have this choice now that I can not make a decision on? I was going to say it like it's kind of like modern dating that we hear in the olden days that people just did the thing that they thought they were going to do. There was one decision and they didn't overthink it, but the benefits of modern dating is you can create the relationship you want. You have so many options, so many ways to form it, but then that can be completely overwhelming for some people because there's not a clear linear path. I mean, I think all of a sudden done having the options is always a benefit. But I do think for the over thinkers and I think I definitely fall into this category, which is why I flip flops so much. I was with a partner at one point that did not want kids. It was a hard no for him. And I didn't like that either. I wanted the option, but I'm also feeling like I'm not ready right now, but I'm like, am I ever gonna feel that? Yeah. Right, right. I think we're better off embracing we can contain multitudes and change our minds. And I think that when yeah, it's an interesting point about older generations. And I actually think are you guys millennials? Yeah. Yep. I'm on the cusp. The whole reason I say this is because not to overly typecast millennials, but I think we grew up in a different world than exists now. And I think I grew up preparing for a world that's kind of like first comes love then comes marriage. Traditional carrots, like traditional stuff was what I thought my life would look like. And then as we grew up, I had more options. I could focus on myself and my career non traditional path. And I'm forever trying to close the gap between where I thought my life would be there to actually is.
01:00:01 - 01:05:05
And that's why I said earlier when you said, do I want kids and I answered, I've always have and I now I'm just like, wow, I've never really thought about I really don't know if I always just thought I'd have really do want them, but I will say I wanted them more when I couldn't have them that was a big turning point. But I also think that yes, choices are always a really good thing. But I think that our generation specifically was spoken to in a way where we're conditioned to assume that's what you're supposed to do. And I just think it makes it a little bit more complicated when you're resisting that. And I just am curious if people being raised today with more options like our young women still being spoken to, like, well, when you get married and have kids say, you know? Yeah. We've always been this weird cusp generation that we can remember like life before Internet computers and Gen Z just never had that. That was just their life. What you said about we kind of straddle the traditional and the non traditional. So it is like this everlasting conflict. And I think that's where a lot of the indecision comes from, because on one side, I think, yeah, it'd be great to have a family and to have that love in my life and all the things that come with raising children. But then on the other side, it's like the current life and all the things that I could miss out on or, you know, that kind of the loss of freedom and some of the stuff that I actually do benefit today. So it's very conflicting all the time. No, absolutely. And I mean, the same I mean, you obviously, you guys are experts in talking about dating. It's like, even just the conversation of like, well, when you get married or when you find a partner and the way people talk about your future when you're a young woman is just like assuming these things are given to you. Some of these things happen by default. It is so hard to find a great partner. If somebody single, it's not for lack of trying, oftentimes, I did their choice, or I mean, how incredible is it that you can choose the right partner for you and not marry the wrong person? There's no shame in holding out for the right one and I feel like there's just so many layers to the things that we expect to be fixed about our lives that actually are products of really complicated decisions and circumstances that makes it really hard to ever feel like you are making progress or a successful and I think there's just a weirdness about how you can mark our progress through the yardstick being school or grades. And then you get a job and you get promoted and there are all these ways you can feel about yourself and how you're doing. And then at a certain age, it kind of becomes all people ask you about it your milestones. You asked me about my career ever. They're like, it was like, when are you getting engaged? And I got married, and it was like, what do you have in kids? And it's just a funny thing of like, I don't know if that's how we're trying to relate to each other, but I do think it intensifies not to change the subject, but when you go to other people's milestones, how people incessantly ask you about yours as if they're an entire function of your choice. Always. Right. Yeah, no, I think that's such a good point that this is not your choice ultimately. But I guess what could be your choice is there's always adoption. There's always other past. We've talked to people before of there's a difference between having a family and having children. What is, I guess your thoughts, like if there is a world that things just don't fall into place, like what do you think this could look like for you? I honestly don't know. I do not know. That's what's a little tricky as I almost can't to our point of over thinking. I almost can't overthink it. Yeah. I'm trying to find a little bit more peace in the process because I could not have done more analysis to the tune of 6 hours of podcasting and ultimately it turned out in no way I ever thought it would, right? But I felt a lot more empowered to be honest about it. And I feel like I was able to heal a bit better than somebody would have felt a great deal of shame or I did something wrong. And I think going forward, I almost can't just based on who I am and my own anxieties. I almost have to kind of roll with the punches. And I know that's not helpful advice for anybody. But I kind of think that I spent a lot of my life looking 5, ten years ahead and trying to live life formulaically and you oftentimes just can't and there's freedom in just acknowledging that in the first place. So we'll keep trying, but I don't know, I don't know what will happen. I guess people are kind of along for the ride on my podcast. But I have no doubt I'd be a great mom. I just don't know what it will look like and how ultimately get there. I think that's great advice. I think that is the ultimate piece of advice here is to not know and to just take a step by step. I mean, I've certainly said if I can't have my own children I want to adopt. It's much easier said than done, because when I finally do start those adoption papers, am I really going to go through with it? What are the feelings that are going to come up for me? So it's okay to say in the future I can see this happening, but I don't know how it's going to be once I get there. I think that's a good segue to takeaways, but I think my biggest takeaway from this conversation is it's okay to have it all figured out. I think so many times we beat ourselves up that we don't know either way that if it's a yes or a dough, but I think what I'm gathering is that things change in life all the time. I even remember I'm thinking about when I was did not have any desire for a relationship to when I wanted a committed partner.
01:05:05 - 01:10:02
It just changed. And I think this is the same. It's okay if things you go through different stages or it's also okay that you kind of just decide that you're just gonna roll with it and you aren't a 100% ready because you've acknowledged that you're never gonna be a 100% ready. And I think also the other maybe this is a little counter takeaway. But I think it's also okay to overthink this because it is a big decision. I think having children is the one decision that's not reversible. And I think it's okay to think about the different pros and cons and really weigh and come to a decision for yourself. And again, that decision could change, but feeling like you have that you're in power to make that call. We shouldn't just fall into things either. Like having that ability is not necessarily a bad thing either. Totally. And those conversations become very hard to have with people because I actually think that it's good to represent the people that don't know or a little like on the fence because there are people with really strong opinions on this topic either way to everybody choice or that have always wanted kids or have kids. And when you're kind of like wishy washy, I've noticed that people almost take it as they take my reluctance as commentary on their choices. You know, like in almost defender angle, the conversation against what their life looks like. And kind of always pressuring you to find resolve and I just don't think it's that simple. So yeah, it's a huge, huge decision, and I envy people that have more clarity, but it's also being unsure having a level of reluctance. I have no feelings to anyone else's choices. Yeah. I think everyone just needs to do what's best for them, but I've noticed my uncertainty makes other people uncomfortable. Yeah, it doesn't mean that you're going to be a bad parent or bother or just beads that you are inserted at this period of time. Right, right. I try to I try to be flexible. Like I always think about how grateful I am that 19 year old me couldn't make permanent choices for 34 years old. And I don't know. I'm just trying to not let 34 year old me projector make choices for a later version of me that has a better opinion on the matter. I feel like this conversation my some of my main takeaways are there's a major disconnect with education. We spend most of our teenage years trying not to get pregnant and talking about abstinence and then all of a sudden we're expected to make a choice about whether we want to have kids or not. Without knowing what it's like to be pregnant and also how to get pregnant. I think you said before Kate, before you just think, oh, you just get pregnant. If you don't use contraception, you just get pregnant. It's not that easy. You have to ovulate. And you have to be certain days of the month. My friend gave me ovulation sticks because she's like, you know, just in case you're ready, I'm like, yeah, I'm ready to know what days I can't have sex. Now I know. When I was years they told me to get pregnant in a hot tub. That was bullshit. She had never happened. So there's an education gap there and also we're just not having the conversation as openly as I would love to have this conversation. Even I put this on myself too with my girlfriends who have gotten pregnant in our mothers. The conversations was either. How's your pregnancy and how's motherhood? But there's kind of an in between conversation I'm missing and I don't ask about that. It's like, what's a transformation you're feeling or what are some of your fears anxieties? We don't talk about that. It's always like, oh, my God, you're glowing. You're pregnant. Or oh my God, you're a mother. And I just had this crazy idea for all of these diaper companies who have commercials always from the POV of the mother, seeing the kid transform as an important transform. What if there was a commercial POV of the kid looking at the mother as she transforms? Because we never see that side of the story. So I think we're just missing so much and this can be helped with just open communication. I'm so thankful for this conversation because it's also a great way to know that these are things to talk about with your partner if you do have a partner in your life and you're making these decisions. A lot of times women feel so lonely in their decision that I have to make the decision for myself. But I think getting the partner involved in it all will really be helpful too. I think that's so dead on of like, why can't we be more vocal about the fears? We are in other parts of life. We talk about the fears of career and even in data get relationships, but there's something that feels so shameful and judgmental with children. I think a lot of women that know they don't want children feel like a sense of judgment in all of that coming down. So I feel like hopefully this could become an area that's just more out in the open conversation where it's okay to say that stuff out loud because I think hearing from UK on your episodes and even the one where you showed up the next day after what you went through. That puts it out in the open for people that are going through something similar, opposed just like hiding it as something that no one experiences.
01:10:03 - 01:15:02
Yeah, I think so many of the issues we've talked about today have to do with the burden placed on women in a lot of the invisible labor that goes on that they perform in the household and the pressure of what looking toward that even feels like even when you're not in this situation and I just feel like the smallest way you can combat those fears and to offset and then small way the inequities women face is to make yourself less invisible. The way you feel and being your own health advocate and asking other people how they're feeling without projecting onto them how they should feel, I think that being vocal and open is a small place to start and making sure women's issues are talked about at any point in the process. I think the very last takeaway I have is to find role models of people that are living out of the box lifestyles that don't necessarily correlate to the stereotypes that you see. I know for me that's been really helpful to really see my Friends lifestyles and especially the ones that are more extreme. I don't know if I would travel across Europe with kids, but I love that my friend can do that. And it shows me that anything is possible and you are the one ultimately in your control. Like for me, I have a fear that my life is just going to be a 100% kid talk and I'm never going to be able to have other conversations like I do now because I have seen a lot of people just fall into that trap of that's the only thing they converse about. But that's my decision. I can control if that happens or not. Exactly. You can't control like the big picture, but you can control the day to day of what it looks like. And I think that in and of itself is empowering. And I'm with you. A lot of people don't like when people, I love a breezy mom on a Parisian trip with three little ones, a lot of my mom friends are like, that's so unrealistic. It's such a problem. But I'm like, I like seeing breezy mom content. It's helpful to me. I want to exist in the delusion that I'll be eating macarons. I will die with my young children. It doesn't sound so bad, right? Before we wrap this up, I'm just curious from YouTube. What do you think about baby moons and push gifts? What are your opinions on those? I don't even know what a push gift is. You get a gift from your husband after you push the baby out. Oh. I think I don't know. Well, okay, I'm gonna say this. Or like we're both like. Well if I'm being honest about baby moons, the idea is always bumming me out 'cause you can't drink and stuff. And I don't wanna go to Mexico before I'm pregnant and have margaritas and fun. So I don't want the idea of a vacation where I don't feel great and or can't partake in what I want to. But that's fun for other people. That's great. Again, the sentiment of like, well, it's all downhill from here. It's a bit daunting to me. I think that's what I dislike about it but it kind of reminds me of like a bachelorette party, your last hurrah with your Friends. And I think what it's known for, but at the same time, I know I bought a bachelorette party because I think it would be fun and to celebrate and it doesn't mean I'm never gonna have a girls trip after I get married. So I guess in the baby moon, I kind of look at it in the same realm that I don't like what it stands for, but I think if you want to do it and I probably would use it as an excuse to take a trip with my partner and just celebrate life, then I think it's good in that case. That is a brilliant comparison because I felt the same way about so many things with weddings and bachelorette parties and everyone else did it and I had some hot takes. And then when it came my time, I just made it mine and I had a great time and I did all the things, but I chose what it meant to me. The overarching theoretical concept of what something means doesn't have anything to do with how you do it in practice. And you can see how partake in those milestones without having them be cheesy or have weird intentions. And yeah, I'll probably you'll probably hear from me next and I'll be on baby moon. I'm a little bit I'll just cop it on the push gift I've never even heard of this before, but I do not like that at all. I feel like it feels very sexist to me. You gave me something, so I'm giving you a gift. Good job. I don't like that. I would not want to push gift ever. I agree. It's like, in theory, it sounds nice. But that's what I mean by benevolent sexism. It's like these things that sound nice. Build women up on the surface, but kind of mean something a little like condescending or not kind of sitting. Yeah. It's like you got a promotion. Yeah, good job. I think of it as like you gave me something from your body, so I'm giving you something in return. And I just don't like that. You know, because as a push gift, like the guy cuts off something from his body to give back to you. Like, that's my kid. That's when we bring me like a plate of sushi and that's a good push gift. Or like a lifetime of support and equally divided. There you go. It's been pushing. I just 3D printed a human and I get a party, love bracelet. Yeah. Perfect way to wrap up this episode.
01:15:05 - 01:18:26
Kate, where can people find your podcast be there in 5 I'm guessing on all the platforms? Yep, all the usual suspects, and on Instagram at be there in 5, it's FIV, not the number 5. And yeah, it comes out every week. It's a long form, single hosted podcast on purpose. The goal to keep people company and we talk about pop culture and millennial things and apparently our motherhood, which is news as of the last year. We can contain multitudes, right? I love your podcast, so definitely recommend it to all of us. Thank you guys. You're so nice to have me on, and I apologize if I'm speaking in a roundabout way. But this is a very recent and raw and I'm still kind of figuring it out. So yeah, you're hearing from me in real time, but sometimes it's better than hearing from the Rosie retrospect if someone has it figured out so hopefully your listeners can relate in some way. No, I think that's the invaluable perspective, right? That is, I think that is the takeaway. That is the big takeaways that we do not have to have it all figured out. Rather, have raw than Rosie any day. That's my takeaway. There are 5 of it all. So little behind. I'll get there. Okay, well, for anybody who is enjoying our podcast and enjoying this conversation, we also enjoy it when you leave us 5 stars in Apple podcasts and give us a nice little review. Just show us some love because we're showing you some love as well and we're gonna wrap up this episode now. Stay big. The dateable podcast is part of the frolic podcast network, find more podcasts you'll love at frolic media slash podcasts. Want to continue the conversation? First, follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter with the handle at dateable podcast. Tagas in any post with a hashtag stay dateable and trust us. We look at all those pose. Then head over to our website dateable podcast dot com. There you'll find all the episodes as well as articles, videos, and our coaching service with vetted industry experts. You can also find our premium Y series where we dissect analyze and offer solutions to some of the most common dating conundrums. We're also downloadable for free on Spotify, Apple podcasts, Google Play, overcast, stitcher radio, and other podcast platforms. Your feedback is valuable to us, so don't forget to leave us a review. And most importantly, remember to stay dateable. What can you do if you wake up rested? Never wake up hot or tired again with chili sleep, powered by innovative app controlled cooling technology, visit chili sleep dot com slash try to fall asleep faster and wake up rested. Billy anxiety about traveling. Then check out treat. A travel health and wellness brand that offers planning, retail health and wellness services pre during and post travel. The treat mobile app is free to use, but the treat membership offers annual benefits like a complimentary rapid PCR test in health wallet. Plus, unlimited access to on demand chat care. Download the treat care mobile app and get a free three month membership using the code treat 2021. Return to holiday travel safely and responsibly with treat dot com, with treatment membership, you'll be covered all year and have access to care, records, content, and retail, all in one place, download the treat care mobile app, available in Apple and Google Play app stores and being will on your way.