Conservatives and feminists must unite against technocratic effacement.
Assuming that you can schedule having children on your terms is folly.
First of all, none of you are required to become parents. Some people should never, ever be parents. The shrieking ogres bawling and fainting in front of the Supreme Court recently look like they’d make terrible mothers. Gals, on this we can agree—you are not fit to raise a baby. Without resorting to infanticide, please do what you can to avoid inflicting yourself on a small child!
But for the rest of humanity, the normal people, parenthood is something that beckons like a shimmering far away shore as you exit your teenage years. “One day,” we think, “I’ll get to have my own baby! That’ll be pretty cool!”
Planned Parenthood is the greatest branding triumph in the modern world. When I was growing up as a pro-choice, proto-feminist teen, I would argue with my conservative, pro-life mother about Planned Parenthood. Based on its name alone, I considered it a force for good in the world. “What’s wrong with planning parenthood, Mom? They’re just trying to help people plan. Isn’t planning a good thing?”
Fortunately for both of us, I never became a Planned Parenthood
Planning your future parenthood is fine. Sure, you should definitely do some planning. The best plan you can make is to wait until you are married to a good and decent person who is committed to supporting you and any children you create together. That’s a solid plan, write that down!
Waiting until conditions are perfect, however, is a bad idea. It’s a trap that will leave you high and dried up. Life tip: You will never have a big enough house, enough money, the perfect amount of maternity leave, the ideal and affordable childcare situation lined up, the will, the energy, and the stamina to do what will be required of you as a new or repeat parent.
What you do in life echoes in eternity. If you wait too long, hem and haw, ponder, and plan for too long, your turn on the fertility merry-go-round will come to a shuddering end and you will have missed your chance to exit with child.
You will never be totally ready for a baby. You will never be able to time things just right. Too much planning and you are going to plan yourself right out of existence. The best laid plans often end in total disaster. Many times I’ve heard a newly engaged person tell me their adorable little plans: “We’re getting married in two or three years. Then we’ll spend at least three to five years working and traveling. Then we’ll start trying to have a baby!”
Trust the Plan
Girl, it just don’t work like that. Miscarriages are more common than clueless young couples realize. One miscarriage can set you back six months or a year. Repeat miscarriages, and other tragic pregnancy pitfalls, happen. It takes the average couple one year to conceive. Sometimes longer. Sometimes it takes years. And once you make the decision to “start trying,” I can tell you that you want to become pregnant that second. Every month you fail to conceive brings its own heartache. It’s a frustrating slog that requires patience, good timing, and the ability to somehow set aside your stress and spark romance when you may not be feeling so romantic.
One of the secrets of life is that a lot of the best things that happen to you are the unplanned things. The unplanned meeting of your future soul mate. The unplanned friendship with a future best friend you strike up on an airplane, or on vacation. The unplanned encounter with a future employer. And yes, the unplanned pregnancies and parenthoods so many of us are products of.
I planned on becoming a parent soon after I got married. I didn’t plan on a traumatic miscarriage soon after. I didn’t plan to get pregnant when I was still nursing a demanding six-month old. I certainly didn’t plan to have a baby in my mid-forties. If my plans for my forties had gone as planned, I might have been robbed of the most splendid young baby ever to draw breath, a child conjured out of fairy dust and cosmic light, who certainly was sent down from heaven on a glittering silken chariot powered by feathery angel wings and God’s holy grace. He had a Plan; I did not. Trust the Plan!
Planned Parenthood has triumphantly rebranded parenting as a shameful activity, something only backwards medieval peasants enjoy. You, young feminist, can escape that oppressive fate, with our help! Instead of planning parenthood, the culture at large pans parenthood, denigrating and mocking those of us who embrace it as a calling.
The overturning of Roe v Wade will certainly, hopefully, force some Planned Parenthoods to close their doors.
But their work here is already done. By making parenthood itself a taboo, the market for abortions will eventually dry up. By pushing delayed parenthood, or never-parenthood, on generations of young women, they have already set in motion the population collapse that Margaret Sanger could only dream of.
The American Mind presents a range of perspectives. Views are writers’ own and do not necessarily represent those of The Claremont Institute.
The American Mind is a publication of the Claremont Institute, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, dedicated to restoring the principles of the American Founding to their rightful, preeminent authority in our national life. Interested in supporting our work? Gifts to the Claremont Institute are tax-deductible.