I know, I know! The Daily Mail and Allison Pearson in the Telegraph are pretty upset actually. The Daily Mail notes that while the sextuplets have managed six tattoos and three engagements by the age of 30 none of them have become mothers. Which isn't so odd considering the average age of a woman giving birth for the first time has crept up steadily over the years. When Janet Walton gave birth at 31 to her daughters in 1983 the average age of a first time mother was 26, in 2012 the average age for a first time mother was 28.1.
Brushing aside the matter that none of the sextuplets might want kids, Allison Pearson scolds them and their fellow sisters in their generation: "What strikes me is that not one of the girls is married, or has children, although three are engaged and all have careers. Their mother, Janet, now 61, is desperate for grandchildren, but her daughters are in no hurry to oblige." Selfish bitches! Baby machines have baby machines have baby machines all to oblige the baby machine that went before. Understand? Never mind picking a co-parent or finances or whether or not you want a baby. It's nice! By the way that sound you can hear are your ovaries shrivelling as every second goes by. Tick tock!
No, seriously guys, Ms Pearson is concerned the girls seem: "...unbothered by a family history of fertility problems, think they can take a more leisurely attitude. The Waltons may or may not be deluded, but they are bang on-trend for their generation." Their generation, which is deluded. Remember, says Pearson, "Mother Nature does not share the views of Germaine Greer."
We really need to let go of this idea that all women will regret not having kids
The offence displayed on behalf of Janet and Graham Walton who may or may not become grandparents is, frankly, peculiar. Those women who don't are seen as failing, if not themselves, then other people and somehow become 'unwomen'. We know life doesn't always go the way you'd like, so why when it comes to bringing a new life to potentially go wrong into the world to we get so uppity and prescriptive?
Jody Day, founder of Gateway Women for the childfree, wrote: "women are separating into two tribes: the mothers and the childfree, and we are struggling to find common ground...So, if a fifth of women are child-free, why do we feel so peripheral, so shut out? Perhaps - despite decades of feminism - it's because there's an assumption that the only truly worthwhile job a woman can do is to raise children."
It's interesting that the Walton sextuplets all survived. It's interesting that one of them lives at home, increasingly typical in the current financial climate. It's interesting that they have forged friendships in a crowded sisterhood. It is not interesting that they aren't married and it's none of our business that they haven't had children.