While I was on vacation at Hilton Head, SC last week I had the chance to read the last few months of People magazine. One article that really grabbed me was about Alexis Stewart, Martha Stewart’s daughter. At 41 she is feeling heartbroken because she’s not been able to get pregnant. I have had clients and friends who have suffered through this agony — a strong and appropriate word. I had my son when I was almost 38, after having one miscarriage. I had always wanted to be a mother so when I had that miscarriage I went into a terrible spin about what my life would be like if I weren’t able to fulfill my dream of being a mother. It was an awful, scary time. Thankfully I gave birth to my son not long after that, and I am grateful everyday for the opportunities I have to parent, play with and teach my son…a precocious and often head strong boy who is much like his Mom and Dad.
Alexis Stewart believed she could put her dream of motherhood on hold while her own mother went through her very personal and public trials. Alexis bought the myth that women are infinitely fertile — a myth that the celebrity press has been propagating for several years. A client of mine worked for months trying to convince her husband that they should get started on the baby making when she was 35 — her husband was sure she could continue with her career full court press and wait until she was 40 to have a baby. Thankfully she convinced him that she couldn’t wait — she needed to have that baby. Good thing they started working at it when they did because it took longer than they thought it would. Finally at 37 she has the baby she wanted. And her career options are opening up in new ways to suit their family life.
I appreciate Alexis Stewart coming forward with her story. Young women (and men) have high expectations for what they’ll achieve in their lives — the Super Mom of the 80’s has just morphed into the Super Mom of the new century — we expect to do and have everything. We need to be clear about what we want, and be clear with ourselves and our men, too. Putting those expectations and wants out there can be very powerful in attracting what we want. I’m sorry that Alexis didn’t take her own needs more seriously — her mom already has her daughter and her career. Alexis put her dream on hold — a selfless thing to do, but was it worth the risk?
Sometimes you have to say ‘It’s my turn’ and turn your attention in the direction of your dreams even if you get resistance. Our bodies don’t wait for our, or someone else’s, schedule to be ready. Know what you want and don’t be afraid to say it out loud. Go for it! We figure it all out as we go forward. Alexis will too — one way or another we can get what we want, but it may not look like what we expected.
For more on women and their biological clocks I highly recommend women, and men, read The Female Brain by Dr. Louann Brizendine. Knowledge is power and this book is highly empowering for both sexes.