T Nation

Women, why so difficult?

Fellas and especially women, please hear me out and offer me some advice. I just got in a huge fight with my longtime girlfriend over children. Background info: we are both 3rd year college students, have been dating for almost 4 years, and are planning on getting married. She wants to go to law school, but also has this insane obsession with having kids before she is 30? Fellas, your women ever say anything like this? Ladies, what are your thoughts on this? She is very upset that she won’t have all her children before she is thirty, and it is b/c of law school, her choice. She’s brought this up like five times, and tonight, I just sort of snapped. I basically point blank said to deal with it, and that she is making the choice. She is pushing child bearing age back a few years, not like 10. She got so upset, said I was insensitive and the like. I couldn’t help it. To me, there are much worse situations and predicaments in life than having some children after 30. Anyone have this same conversation. I really appreciate it. I need other people to vent this to. Thanks a lot.

I’m a lil young for the kids conversation… but in general I think the problem stems from this generalization: men logic, women emotion. And to make things tougher… you can’t argue with logic against emotion. You just can’t… if a woman is crying or upset your cold hard logic (which I love and depend on btw) isn’t going to do anything but make her more upset that “you don’t understand her” or that you are “insensetive”

Good luck

its a women thing to have child…its a good thing…child will bring joy into your life like you never thought…

How old is she now? If you’re in your early 20’s, why can’t she go to law school (3 years) and have kids before she’s 30? Are there other issues? Does she worry that you alone wouldn’t be able to support her and your kids? Maybe even while she’s in law school? I think she’s a little too focused on the number 30. Most people are, and I would assume women especially. This also makes her sound a little immature (i.e. “I’ll have a career as a prominent attorney and have a loving caring husband (who was my high school sweetheart) with 2.7 children by the time I’m 30, and life will work out wonderfully according to my plan.”). Maybe she’s having difficulty realizing that there are some tough choices in life, and that life does not always (read: almost never) work out in the way that you think it will. Also, if you went straight to college from high school, that means you started dating in high school. I highly envy those that can actually stick with someone from such a young age (you miss out on a lot of heartbreak along with periods of no action), but I imagine that it must be difficult. Best of luck.

I’ve had this conversation and even know others that have had this conversation. First of all, she is making the choice to attend law school. So this is going to delay her in having children. Now, if she is diligent in her studies, she can graduate with enough time to still have children before 30. And these days, it’s not that big of a deal for a woman to get pregnant at 30, 35 and even 40 years old thanks to the medical technologies. So don’t feel bad. You didn’t say or do anything wrong. She needs time to cool off and look at her choices. Just support her emotionally, and things should be okay.

Personally, I’m 27, and I’m on the “10-year plan” when it comes to marriage and kids. I already told my girlfriend about this. So she knows how I feel and agreed with me. Actually, after attending my friend’s son’s first birthday last weekend, I think I’m going to extend it to the “20-year plan,” as I’m in no hurry to get married or have children. Don’t get me wrong, I love children, and they tend to love me. Being short makes me more identifiable with children for some reason, and they enjoy hanging out with me. But I would rather play with someone else’s children rather than have my own right now. I have a dog, and that’s enough. He’s a big enough baby to take care of.

thanks guys, you have brought some relief to me. The huge thing is that her mom had her when she was 21 and she believes that the younger you are, the more of a friend you are going to be to your child=better relationship wtih them. I told her that I didn’t think this was true. She is worried as a female lawyer, that she will get no respect(good cases) if she keeps taking pregnancy leave. Her goal was to have all her children by the time she was 30. Basically I was like, 2 out 3 ain’t bad.

Fool, you get to make babies sooner!

Well i can see her point, i know i wouldnt want to have kids at 40, i mean think about it by the time your kids are grown up your practicaly a grandpa. your going to be 50 going to lil league games and playing ball with your kid. by the time their in college your collecting social security.lol. but me personally i have to financially stable be fore i even think about having kids. im almost 26, i want to have my house and all my toys, boat, harley, vette first becouse once you have kids there goes all your time and money. travel now and live it up while you can.

She may not know it, but she has a point. At least, biologically. Sorry, Nate Dogg, but a lot of women are finding out (a little too late) that it can be a big deal to try and have children after 30. Firtility drops quite a bit. It’s a choice that each woman has to make… if she pursues her career early, she may not be able to have her own children. If children are really the most impt thing to your girlfriend, then she should get her degree, have children, and then go to law school.

Not to be blunt but …

“she believes that the younger you are, the more of a friend you are going to be to your child=better relationship wtih them”

You may want to remind her that children need parents, not friends. It’s not your job to be a “friend” to your child. It’s your job to raise them right and provide for them until they can do so for themselves. The track she’s on right now will accomplish that, not prevent it.


I just broke up with my gf who was hung up on her whole “I have a plan for everything and if you don’t match it 100% you’re a terrible boyfriend and ruining my life”. It was a hard thing to do, but it was making me unhappy. Plus, she needs to get out and see that it just doesn’t work that way.
Not that I’m saying it applies to you, just wishing you good luck.

Okay, I had my first child at 38 (my wife is a bit younger). We’re talking about a second, which would come after I’m 40. My parents were 34 when I was born, and I was the last of 4 (that survived). My parents were the oldest of all my friends parents, but it was never an issue with activities. If you’re living a good, active life, there’s no reason that throwing the ball with junior is going be a challenge when you’re 50+.

Harmon, I just had to respond because: 1) I am a woman, 2) I am a lawyer, 3) the hubby and I made an affirmative decision together not to have children at all. First, you need to keep in mind that men and women do communicate in different ways. Men want to problem solve; women want to vent and relate. But your honey has to decide what she wants to do: go to law school or start raising a family. Each of these is pretty much a full-time gig. Naturally we all know of career women who have both a demanding job and a family. My experience is that either that woman has an exceptional husband who truly carries half the load (in which case, you’re going to have to communicate intensely with each other) or that woman is short-changing one job–often it’s the family. We’ve all seen those disfunctional homes where mom and dad make a lot of money and spoil the kids rotten, but the family environment is emotionally bankrupt. With those thoughts in mind, my hubby and I had many long talks about our goals in life, the realities of children (finanical realities, emotional realities, and the heavy responsibilities), plus the timelines involved in raising a family. Frankly, we love our time working out together, we enjoy our discretionary income and being able to afford pretty darned anything within reason when we want it, I love my work and don’t want to take time off to have a family and finally, we just enjoy our relationship as lovers and partners too much to transition to “mom” and “dad” roles. I am passionately in love with my husband. If we’re busy doing that romantic boogaloo, I do not want to put on my clothes so I can wipe a nose or break up a squabble. Bottom line: take some time to talk this over with your girlfriend again. Give her the space and time to vent, relate and verbalize her issues…then move on to problem solving. Good luck to the both of you and tell her she has a lot of tests ahead of her in law school. :smiley:

Women are designed to have kids fairly early on in life. It’s biological and biology can’t be negotiated with. Women that wait, even to 30, to have kids have higher risks for ovarian, uterine, and breast cancer…not fun things to get.


Sure they can get pregnant older than 30, and they aren’t doing their potential kids any favors either. The closer you get to 40 the more likely the kid will have problems. You can tell because any woman over about 35 usually has “High Risk Pregnancy” stamped on their medical record sheets.
A friend of mine decided to roll those dice. Her daughter was slow to talk, and has a few other subtle things about her that she may grow out of or may not. Sometimes when they say family first they mean it. Good luck.

My wife and I just had our first kid at age 31. Both of our careers are going very well and at one point we considered not having kids – now I can’t imagine living my life w/o the joy of being a parent.
Not to burst your gf’s bubble, but no matter how carefully she plans, life can and will throw her some curve balls. Long term plans and goals are invaluable, but I’ve learned that you can’t allow them to handcuff you and limit your ability to adapt to the opportunities presented. Being a parent can very quickly expose the “illusion of control” we have over our lives.
Finally, I think she’ll find that the workplace is surprisingly accommodating to working moms. In my wife’s case the only limits to her career as a working mom are self imposed. Simply, she’s not willing to put the 80+ hrs/wk required to be on the fast track.
Good luck!

Wow … I was absolutely amazed by your post. I have always wanted to find a partner that thinks the way you do. Approaching issues like raising childbirth in a practical manner, weighing all the issues.


I have never been completely sure about wanting to have children. I can only hope that one day I’ll meet someone that will be open to either option, and able to talk in a rational manner about the issue. Your husband is a lucky man.

It was very refreshing to read Trialdog’s comments. Talk about getting the story straight from the “horse’s mouth”.

Hhhmm, where to begin… There are obviously pro’s and con’s to having children early (before you are financially and emotionally ready) as well as waiting too long (having all your toys but not being able to conceive). I had my child at 21. And while I love people thinking that I’m his older sister when I pick him up from school, it has cost me a lot of freedom that being a young, 20 something should entail.


Something that doesn’t make any sense to me is that what she wants is contradictory. She wants a high stress, high time commitment, high level of schooling, long time to “make it” to partner (or whatever it’s called) type of job but she ALSO wants to be a mommy? What kind of mom does she think she wants to be? A stay at home mom baking cookies, or a working mom that is home by 3pm every day to watch the kids play in the backyard as she makes dinner, or a harried working mom that makes her kids live off shit like Mac-n-cheese, or is grandma going to be the “mommy”, or are you going to be a stay at home dad? How does she see all this working out? How do you see it working out? What do YOU want? What good would it do her to get her law degree and then not practice law because she’s popping out pups? Or to be a half-assed lawyer because she’s taking all the time off for pregnancy visits, delivery, recovery, well-baby visits, etc and is constantly sleep-deprived and mentally stressing over kid issues? I’m not saying it is impossible to do that, but it’s damn hard and impractical. Who is going to watch the child when she works late on a case, or has to wine and dine a client, or do field research? Who’s going to take the time off work to attend all the extracurricular activtites? There are tons of careers that are much more parent-friendly than law. She’s choosing a career path that just does not jive well with a family life.


This situation actually reminds me of one of my friend’s life. He has wanted kids forever, just loves them, and waited for just the right girl to have them with. They dated for 3 years, married, planned to wait 5 years before trying to have kids. Well, the damn chick has been in school for 6 years now getting her BA (changed majors like underwear), finally graduated last May and can’t find a job with her bullshit degree that they are hundreds of thousands in debt over (wellness counselor or some such crap). Then she decided she’s going to have a child. She’s 34 and my friend is 38. She didn’t get pregnant the first few months and he’s been chomping at the bit to have his babies and now the bitch has gone and decided that she “can’t share her love between her man and a child” and isn’t going to have any kids. Do you want to be stuck in that position?

She’ll get over it…I don’t think you need to say anything else. Be an insensative bastard and stick to your guns…You start floundering your relationship will turn sour quick.

You said the right thing. She can't have it both ways. Kids are a huge responsibility and not to be taken lightly..That being the case the argument is pretty silly anyways, they show up when you least expect them too so arguing about timing is mute....Shit happens.

I was impressed by your post to Harmon. You tackled one of the points that I was going to make and stated it so well that I scratched that thought from the list.

And thank you for your kind words. It sounds like you’ve already put a lot of thought into the kind of relationship you want. Hang in there big guy, I just know your T-Vixen is out there. And no matter what your friends & family say–don’t settle for anything less than the kind of person you KNOW you deserve.

god damn Karma that is a nightmare. If that happened to me I’d freakin break apart (talking about the friend whose wife suddenly deceides she doesn’t want to have kids after the guy waited for her 6 years).

Wow waiting till you?re financially sound to have kids? I don?t know about any one else on this board but if my parents waited to be financially sound to have kids, I don?t think I would of ever of been born or the rest of my siblings. Thank god for humble homes