Journalist Kate Silverton has spoken about the pressure ‘the modern couple’ faces when it comes to balancing work and family – and how it is leading to older mums who struggle to see beyond their career
Mum to Clemency, three, and Wilbur, four months, the newsreader spoke to London’s Evening Standard about the need for a debate about how to help couples – particularly women – balance a career and motherhood, in a bid to reduce the number of older mums who may regret ‘leaving it too late’.
Kate, 43, who gave birth to both her children natural after fertility struggles, is fascinated by the subjects of when to have children and how society treats parents.
‘Someone said to me you can have it all just not all at the same time and that is probably true,’ she said.
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‘There is a huge amount of pressure for the modern couple. You are going to have it even tougher because you will see what has happened with women who delay having children because we have been working so hard or haven’t found the right partner that you will think, “hang on a minute, is it better to have my children older or younger?” There is no easy answer.’
An older mum herself, she said, ‘A lot of women I know are having huge difficulty trying to conceive and many are losing out by virtue of the fact that they can’t see beyond their career, yet when they do come to a point where they are ready to start a family it is potentially too late.’
‘In my thirties I was able to establish my career so now I am able to step back and fit work around my children. I know not everyone has that luxury — in the future we might look back on that and think it was terribly sad, I’m not sure we got it right,’ she said.
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Kate is not the first high-profile woman to suggest that women should consider having children earlier.
Earlier this year, Location, Location, Location presenter Kirstie Allsopp faced a wave of criticism when she said that women should have babies first – and a career later.
The TV personality spoke out about her belief that women are not fully aware that fertility ‘falls off a cliff when you’re 35’ and has herself seen the pain friends have gone through trying to have a child￼.
‘At the moment, women have 15 years to go to university, get their career on track, try and buy a home and have a baby￼. That is a hell of a lot to ask someone. As a passionate feminist, I feel we have not been honest enough with women about this issue,’ she said.
READ: KIRSTIE ALLSOPP: WOMEN SHOULD HAVE BABIES FIRST, CAREERS LATER
‘I don’t want the next generation of women to go through the heartache that my generation has. At the moment we are changing the natural order of things, with grandparents being much older and everyone squeezed in the middle,’ she added.