Noah Berlatsky at The Atlantic comments critically on a number of pieces that have come out recently by women who write that they wished they’d had kids earlier in life.
The tendency to see death, and therefore life, as impediments that can be removed through more optimal strategizing—that’s not feminism, per se. It’s late capitalism, or modernity, or the post-enlightenment, or whatever you want to call where it is we live now. The obsession with empowerment requires us to see our lives as things we tinker with and recalibrate and drive beneath us towards some perfect, ever-expanding nirvana of utility. From this perspective, the most real part of us becomes not who we love, nor even who we are, but rather what we have “sacrificed”. If only I hadn’t had kids, I could have gotten that job; if only I hadn’t taken this job, I could have had kids; if only I’d slept around; or married and settled down; or started a family earlier, or later. We spend all our time mourning the stronger, brighter, better selves we could have been, if we had only more fully maximized our choices.