CASTIGLIA: I married young because I knew I wanted to get married and I wanted to have a family. In marrying so young, I made a choice that didn’t work out and I’m now divorced, but I have a beautiful daughter. It seems that often women are cornered in these ways: wait to find someone you feel truly compatible with and enter a marriage you feel as certain as possible will last but then deal with potential fertility issues, or marry young and take your chances when you’re still quite fertile. Not that it’s always an either/or situation, but still. Based on the way things have played out for you, what advice would you give to younger women when it comes to love/marriage/babies? I mentioned on Facebook a while back that women should take the time they need to try to find a truly healthy love relationship, but that if they don’t find a great partner by their mid-30′s, they should just have a baby alone.
KLEIN: I really hope that in the future egg-freezing becomes standard procedure, and then everyone can make better choices.
In a way, I am jealous of you that you were so certain you wanted to be a mother and you knew that so young. I didn’t. I wasn’t born with the “maternal gene” and had to come to it a long way after. I went into therapy at 35 (late!) to figure out if I wanted to have children or if I didn’t (either would be okay). The one thing I didn’t want to do was wake up at 44 and say, “I was just afraid, I wish I would have done it.”
If I could do it all over again, I’d have partied in my 20s, realizing I wasn’t interested in settling down, so to stop pretending. I would have dated and figured out what kind of guy I’d want to settle down with. I’d start dating seriously at the end of my 20s, early 30s, have kids by 35. Ha ha, can anyone really plan their life like that?
I honestly think it’s all okay: marrying young, not marrying, having children later, not having children at all. It’s so hard to remember that each one of us was put on this planet to live out our own particular journeys, and there’s no one way to get there!