If You’re Anxious About The Ticking Of Your Biological Clock, Quit It — It’s Not That Big Of A Deal

According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of biological clock is “an inherent timing mechanism in a living system that is inferred to exist in order to explain the timing or periodicity of various behaviors and physiological states and processes.” Or, more accurately and in layman’s term, that societal pressure on women to procreate before — gasp! — it’s too late. Your ovaries can’t pump out eggs forever, and if you don’t listen to your biological clock, you’ll miss your window to have kids, and then where will you be? Childless? On a yacht somewhere off the coast of Southern France childless? The horrors!

Because society (and the occasional nagging mom) put so much emphasis on the importance of listening to your biological clock, it’s easy to get caught up in all that nonsense, but you really shouldn’t. That whole thing about your biological clock is a load of BS — here’s why you should stop worrying about it:

  1. It’s an illusion. Once upon a time, when women were confined to the trappings of marriage and motherhood, worrying about one’s biological clock made perfect sense. I mean, if you’re going to have five kids and be a stay-at-home mom while your husband works his 9-5 job, you might want to get to that baby-making ASAP just to get it out of the way. In past eras where not having children was an anomaly, the quicker you popped those things out, the better off you would have been.
  2. It’s extra stress you don’t need. You’re trying to pay your rent, remember when your phone bill is due, reach your deadlines, recall your nephew’s next birthday, and what the hell is the name of that hottie you met on Tinder that you’re meeting tonight for a drink? I don’t really think you need to add anything else to your plate at this moment in your life, especially something that is, historically, meant to induce stress by reminding you that your days of youth are numbered. Gross.
  3. You’ll start to come off as desperate. If you’re constantly thinking about your biological clock, to the point where you can practically hear the damn thing ticking in your ear 24/7, then there’s a very good chance that you’ll get desperate. Instead of having fun on dates, you’ll be asking the person across the table from you where they see this “relationship” going 10 minutes into a first date. And, tragically, your desperation won’t even allow you to see just how desperate you are, so when you never make it to a second date, you’ll end up perplexed and down on yourself.
  4. You don’t need to use your uterus to be a woman. Several years ago, I was interviewed about why I don’t want kids. Of the many negative comments that I received — mostly from white men in their 50s and 60s — the question that came up more than a couple times was how could I possibly call myself a woman if I didn’t use my uterus. I’m sorry, what?! No woman, ever, should feel like she’s somehow less just because she doesn’t get queue up to be the next woman in line to have a baby. And since the whole biological clock concept is pretty much restricted to just women, to worry about it is to basically agree that you need to do something with that uterus before you run out of time. Pfft. No way.
  5. There’s no hard time limit of when you can no longer become a parent. With the technology we have today, women are having babies later and later in life. While you may not want to be chasing around a toddler at the age of 55 because that’d be exhausting AF, it’s still an option. You can also adopt! There are thousands of babies in the world who would love to be scooped up and given a home with a woman who has her act together, a bunch of life experience under her belt, and a boatload of love to give. In other words, you have plenty of time.
  6. You’ll resent your hasty decisions. If you harp on that biological clock, not only will you be known around town as the desperate woman who never gets a second date, but you might even put yourself in a situation where you get pregnant simply out of fear that your fertile days are numbered. Suddenly, there you are with a baby that you may not have actually been ready for, all because you let society and their biological clock idea get the best of you.
  7. You’ll be angry with yourself later in life. We’re all guilty of wasting our time on stupidity. We waste our time on people who don’t deserve us, at jobs we hate, and on things we can’t change, but desperately wish we could. If you spend the majority of your good years obsessing over your biological clock, you’ll be pissed as hell at yourself later in life — whether or not you end up having a kid — because you wasted so much energy on something so trivial. Don’t waste your time on such ridiculousness; life is too short.
  8. Age really is just a number. Apparently, the “best” time to have a baby is between 20 and 35, at least by evolutionary standards in regards to having a healthy baby. But while that might be true, to box women into those 15 years is to assume that every 30-year-old woman is equal in financial stability or every 28-year-old is equal in emotional capability, or every 35-year-old is mentally ready to be a mom, which is so untrue. Your age is the number of years you’ve been on this planet and nothing more. It doesn’t guarantee that once you hit a certain age you will automatically achieve the necessary skills to be a mom — or anything else for that matter.
  9. Your life is pretty damn full as it is. Look at your life. Even on bad days, you can probably still find a silver lining. Since that’s the case, it makes more sense to relish in all the great stuff you have in your life now, like really revel in it and enjoy it, instead of worrying about what you think you “need” to do to make your life “complete.”
  10. You’ll end up settling. After too many years of worrying about that stupid biological clock, you’ll eventually get to a point where you’ll take whatever you can get just so you can get that clock to finally shut the hell up. Settling is, by far, the saddest thing anyone can do. You deserve so much more than to settle for something mediocre and lackluster. But if you let all that worrying interfere with what’s really important, settling is exactly what you’ll do. Then, my friend, you’ll be trapped. The only thing sadder than settling is being trapped in a life you could have avoided. Now you only have yourself to blame.
Amanda Chatel is a sexual health, mental health, and wellness journalist with more than a decade of experience. Her work has been featured in Shape, Glamour, SELF, Harper's Bazaar, The Atlantic, Forbes, Elle, Mic, Men's Health and Bustle, where she was a lifestyle writer for seven years. In 2019, The League included Amanda in their "15 Inspirational Feminists Every Single Person Should Follow on Twitter" list.

Amanda has a bachelor's degree in English and master's degree in Creative Writing from the University of New Hampshire. She divides her time between NYC, Paris, and Barcelona.

You can follow her on Instagram @la_chatel or on Twitter @angrychatel.