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And while her boyfriend sees the work of child-rearing as a meaningful benefit, Jennifer worries it will consume her.“I have a strong instinct to be the caretaker for so much, even though I know that [my boyfriend] is certainly wanting to be in it,” she said.Plus, there’s the inherent chaos a child brings into anyone’s life.“I guess I’ve always been someone who wanted to try and map out life stages before arriving at them,” she explained.We saw our moms do it.” The work of raising children also comes with virtually no support.American mothers aren’t guaranteed paid maternity leave or paid sick leave and are offered virtually no help in affording the exorbitant cost of child care.(On the other hand, more women reported seeking independence in their relationships, personal space, interests, and hobbies.) A different poll from 2013 echoed those findings, with more than 80 percent of men saying they’d always wanted to be a father or at least thought they would be someday. Today’s young women have more of a choice about their fertility than their grandmothers did, and perhaps clearer eyes about the challenges of child-rearing than their mothers.For these women’s grandparents, having children wasn’t a question, it was a given.
Then she had what she called a “pregnancy scare.” “The fact that this was the term that came to mind is very telling,” she said.
Jason is willing to move somewhere more convenient, but only if they can agree that children are in the future. They nearly broke up over the dilemma last summer, but it’s hard to stay apart: After all, they love each other.
“He wants me to have what I want, and I want him to have what he wants,” she said.
They also face widespread discrimination and a hit to their incomes just for becoming a mom.
The women interviewed for this story didn’t always think their male partners would let them down.