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Why Women Are Embracing the New Later Motherhood

Over the past three decades, skyrocketing numbers of women have chosen to start their families in their late thirties and early forties. Women now have the option to define for themselves when they are ready for a family, rather than sticking to a schedule set by social convention. In Ready, Elizabeth Gregory tracks the burgeoning trend of new later motherhood and demonstrates that waiting to have children has made many women better mothers thanks to increased self-awareness, greater financial power, and an ability to focus more on their families. Drawing on statistical evidence and in-depth interviews with more than 100 moms, Ready shatters the alarmist myths surrounding later motherhood. Without ignoring the complexities older women may face in their quest to have children, Gregory delivers surprising and welcome news that revolutionizes the way we think about motherhood.
The 2012 paperback adds a new Preface bringing the data and analysis up to the moment: encompassing discussion of the recessionary birth rate drop among younger women and its longterm effect on the later motherhood trend, the intersections between the War on Women’s Reproductive Choice and the US’s family-unfriendly policies with the trend to delaying kids, the dynamics of fertility scaremongering, and the competing pro-natalist and anti-natalist pressures on American women today. The Preface also introduces new data from a range of researchers on the positive effects of delay on women’s wages, long-term happiness, and political clout. This book examines the full range of pressures shaping women’s fertility decisions today, and begins from the assumption that women’s choices make sense, for them and for their families.
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Genre: Nonfiction / Family & Relationships / Parenting

On Sale: August 7th 2012

Price: $12.99 / $16.99 (CAD)

Page Count: 336

ISBN-13: 9780465033041

What's Inside

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Reader Reviews


"A book that focuses on the positive effects of women's decisions about their working and family lives deserves a rousing welcome... lively, accessible and lucid."—
Elizabeth Gregory has discovered the real truth behind all the false alarms over delayed motherhood: that older mothers tend to be very happy with their decision to have children later in life. A positive, optimistic message for women: you can wait until you are ready to be a good parent."—Ann Crittenden, author of The Price of Motherhood and If You've Raised Kids, You Can Manage Anything
"Gregory ... has a serious point, and she marshals both anecdotal and statistical evidence to make it. Today's 40-year-old first-time mother not only has plenty of company; she also possesses confidence, professional experience and occupational clout that translate into either leverage on the job market or a happier time out of it, whichever choice that mother makes."—Washington Post Book World
"Elizabeth Gregory sheds light on an aspect of the contemporary family experience that has not been examined in great detail until now: the new later motherhood phenomenon. Many of the families Elizabeth Gregory examines are formed the old-fashioned way, but a growing number are the result of adoption and reproductive technologies. Finally, we have a wonderful book that provides us with a thoughtful and thorough examination of motherhood and family life in the 21st century."—Adam Pertman, author of Adoption Nation
"With clarity, compassion, and common sense, Elizabeth Gregory takes us on a captivating tour of the changing landscape of 21st-century motherhood. She offers a forceful and compelling challenge to those who view contemporary motherhood in ferociously negative terms, as an unholy blend of smother love, over-parenting, and unremitting anxiety and guilt. An insightful and extraordinarily informative look at how today's highly accomplished women balance the conflicting demands of prolonged professional training, high-pressure careers, and the yearning to raise children."—Steven Mintz, author of Huck's Raft: A History of American Childhood
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