Summary of Creating a Life

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Rating

8

Qualities

  • Innovative

Recommendation

Women everywhere are talking about Creating A Life, which exploded into the US media with a controversial and disturbing message: Career women are waiting too long to have children! Despite the uproar it has caused, Sylvia Ann Hewlett’s analysis of the situation is actually quite evenhanded, even if she is prone to overgeneralization. Hewlett does not attack childless women – as many have accused – rather, she logically assesses the reasons that so many highly successful women do not have kids. Her prescriptions for the problem of high-achiever childlessness might not win her any friends in feminist camps, but nevertheless, getAbstract highly recommends that all professional women (and their husbands or potential husbands) read this book and decide for themselves.

About the Author

Sylvia Ann Hewlett is an economist and author of several books, including When the Bough Breaks, winner of a Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Book Prize, and The War Against Parents, co-written with Cornel West. She is the founder and chair of the National Parenting Association. She was inspired to write the book due to her own problems with several miscarriages and a late-in-life birth of a daughter when she was 51.

 

Summary

Successful and Childless

This analysis is based on interviews with women approaching the age of 50, who were part of the generation that broke through gender barriers and became successful in fields dominated by men.

Many of the women interviewed were childless, but none had chosen not to have children. Rather, the opportunity to have children was crowded out of their lives by their high-powered careers and needy partners. This failure to have children is a widespread problem among successful women, who are finding it ever harder to balance a career and children today.

A woman who tries to have both a career and long-term loving relationship between the ages of 28 and 40 generally has little time to have a child. By the time women reach age 35 they often experience fertility problems, since their biological ability to have a child begins to diminish. Modern reproductive technologies have – for the most part – not solved this problem for women who are 40 or older.

The author of this work experienced such problems herself for many years, before finally having another child at age 51. In order to get pregnant at that age, she endured several miscarriages...


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