I was extremely disappointed to read a highly judgmental and cruel column on later motherhood by Sandra Chapman in your paper, ‘Motherhood cannot be left to chance’ (September 10).
In her piece discussing The One Show’s Alex Jones expecting her first child at 39, Chapman saw fit to make a sweeping comment about how Jones’ prior uncertainty about her ability to conceive should be “a lesson to other career women who think that time is always on their side”.
As far as I am aware, Chapman is not a fertility specialist and therefore unqualified to give general advice on the right time to try to conceive.
This column could have been an opportunity to offer reassurance and compassion to women attempting to conceive after 35.
It is a shame that Chapman chose to write a column that heaps a rather outdated disapproval on them instead.
The implication at the end of the column was that women who wait to have children until their late thirties are ignorant – it is far more likely that they simply want to achieve financial stability and establish a career first in order to give their children the best possible upbringing.
Whatever the reason behind their choice, it is not a matter for others to be passing judgment on.
I do not recall seeing any such column looking down on men for becoming first-time fathers at 39.
Also, can we leave the phrase ‘career women’ in the 1970s where it belongs?
I do not think that I need to explain the irony of a successful female columnist using that term to belittle another woman.
Rachel Watters, Belfast