Congratulations Sonia, Stop the judgement people.
By Allicia Tucker, The Sista Code
This week, Sonia Kruger announced her pregnancy and shared in the media her choice to be an older mum. A big congratulations to you Sonia! She shared her story with Leila McKinnon in a TV interview on Channel 9 Monday night and, among other details, mentioned some of the judgement she has faced making the decision to have a baby as an ‘older’ women (in pregnancy terms, 48 is considered an ‘advanced age pregnancy’).
Sonia’s story did make me consider the pressure all women feel, whether young or old, to make the ‘right’ choices, in life, career and motherhood. Whatever those right choices are, we often feel the pressure to ‘have it all’ and to do it perfectly.
As a young 21 year old woman, the issue of when to have kids and how to live my life when life doesn’t go as planned has made me think, what choices will I make? If I was to raise a child and have a baby now, I would probably be judged for being too serious, too young and wasting my life, especially if I didn’t have a partner, or marriage or a steady career. Some of these issues are important to consider and sometimes I feel they’re expectations about ‘what we should do.’
Many women, like Sonia, have chosen to have a child at a later age after settling into their career and, unfortunately, are now faced with being judged for being ‘too old.” Stories like these are making me have to face and consider my own choices. Get my life together and have a career, have a child or be a superwoman and juggle both. Either way the choice isn’t easy and definitely overwhelming.
Out of many of the Australian celebrities out there, I think Sonia is someone who would be a great mum. She is now in a time in her life where she has the resources and space to provide for a child. The opportunity for her to raise a family may not have surfaced earlier in her life. Sonia has now made the choice and has a wonderful friend who donated and harvested her egg, so Sonia can be a mother. I’m sure it wouldn’t have been an easy or quick choice for Sonia or her friend. Hormone treatments for harvesting eggs, would be no easy ride. Think of being on continual PMS times a thousand!
Every choice we face in life has pros, cons and stresses to it. Sadly, not every woman gets the life they want or knows which choices to choose, which is why our judging comments can be so hurtful. Especially when life has thrown a curveball and those choices didn’t really feel like choices.
Sadly I’ve been guilty of making judging remarks or have had a case of foot-in-mouth disease and let my opinions fly out my mouth not realising their effects until too late. I’ve also had people do the same to me offering unwanted opinions about my life. The one thing we all have in common is the pressure and stress that life throws at us, no one’s better or worse, we’re all in the same boat trying to survive life. Maybe we just need to choose to support each other instead? It has helped me to remember that everyone has a choice and a different path. The judgemental comments, the hate and tongue lashings- are they really necessary?
Surely we’ve all looked back and realised the choices we made could have been done better. Or we look back and realise we would have made a different choice if we had a second chance.
As someone in my prime childbearing years, there is no way I’m ready to help a child enter this world and to even raise one. Sure, I may be able to pop one out physically and it may be easier than if I was older, but am I really giving a child a great life when I’ve barely lived my own life? There’s no easy answer and no perfect timing for anything in life, so why are we judging those faced with different choices?
In this day and age, I’m so glad to have a lot more choice in how to live my life than women from previous generations. But these choices are also not black and white, there’s a ton of grey areas. Personally, I’m not in a position to raise a child now, but I may think differently in a few years. I’m not completely sure of the choices I will make, because I’m not sure what life will throw at me next.
Some women have been able to be amazing young mums and wouldn’t have it any other way. Some women wait a little longer. Some women can’t experience having a biological child, but can have children through adoption or surrogacy. Some choose to never have a child. No one woman fits a mold or a box and there’s no one right way to live life, just like there’s no one right diet for every body.
We each have a different path and a different journey, no two people are alike. Next time the issue comes up, I would love to challenge you to listen to why the women in your world have made the choices they have. Some choices may have been chosen for them.Some may have amazing reasons for why its worked for them.
It’s made me think that instead of judging others for their choices, maybe I should listen to their story? If I don’t want to be negatively judged for my choices maybe I shouldn’t judge others. Or better yet, lend an ear and helping hand to mum’s and women just trying to do the best they can.
In the meantime, here’s cheers to you and your beautiful daughter Sonia!
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Photographer, philanthropist, adventurer, blogger, avid permitter and social changer, Melissa Histon is a woman on a mission to make a real difference to the lives of women globally. Melissa spent 10 years working in the corporate world before leaving to establish a successful photography business. After experiencing a number of life-altering events, Melissa created The Sista Code in May 2014 with a dream to see women empowered, happy and connected. Whether it's building a house for the homeless in Nepal, interviewing inspiring women from around the globe, or creating events and campaigns to support sistas escaping domestic violence, Melissa knows that true change can only happen when we all stand together and boost each other.