My biological clock is ticking – but having children seems an unaffordable luxury | Arwa Mahdawi | Opinion | The Guardian

Kids have always been expensive, but insecure housing and jobs markets have made becoming a parent more financially challenging than ever

Forget Rolexes, designer handbags or fancy holidays – the ultimate status symbol these days is a child. Or, more accurately, a bunch of children. (What is the collective noun for children? An ingratitude? A cacophony? An expense?) It seems to have become de rigueur for the rich and famous to have an enormous number of offspring. Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsay and Boris Johnson are all part of the Five Kids Club, for example. Madonna has six. Kim Kardashian recently announced a fourth, called Psalm, which she had via a surrogate. Unusual names are another status symbol, of course: if you can name your kids after fruit, cardinal directions or religious verse without worrying they will be beaten up at school, then you are truly rock-star rich.

Anyway, I have been thinking about kids (and the cost thereof) a lot recently, because I am now at the age where my biological clock is ticking so loudly that even the neighbours can hear it. It is incredible how much unsolicited advice about your reproductive choices you get from random strangers when you are a woman in your 30s. Even if you are not particularly desperate to procreate, people keep telling you that you should be – that you had better hurry up and have children before it is too late and your value as a woman goes up in smoke.

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