'View' Host Nails Why We Should Stop Putting Pressure On Women To Have Kids

by Meredith Bland
Originally Published: 
Image via Santiago Felipe/Getty Images

Haines is expecting her second child at age 40

In an essay for Glamour, The View co-host Sara Haines talks openly about her life, which didn’t follow the timeline most people expect. Married at 37 and now pregnant with her second child at 40, Haines reminds us that life “never looks the way you thought it would, but you gotta know what you won’t settle for.”

Like it or not, whether you want to attribute it to the pressures of biology or society or both, there’s still a timeline that many women feel bound to when it comes to getting married and having children. Women who veer from that timeline still get asked a lot of questions, and assumptions are made about why they “chose” to wait or “chose” to do it all early (even though sometimes “choice” has nothing to do with it). Sara Haines is all too familiar with these issues, and she says that marriage and kids happened later for her because, “For me, it was never an option to settle, because my biggest mission in life is to evolve as far as I can to be the best I can be.”

Haines has been working in TV for over 15 years, having appeared everywhere from Good Morning, America to now co-hosting The View with Whoopie Goldberg, Sunny Hostin, and Joy Behar. During that time, she had two long-term boyfriends and did a lot of dating but never married, something she’s grateful for, now: “Looking back, I picked people that weren’t going to be the best partner for me. I don’t think I was the healthiest shopper at the time.”

She writes, “I got married when I was 37, and I’m having my second child at 40. People say I’m brave, but I say, ‘I’m not brave; I’m old!’ When I was 28, I’ll never forget meeting this woman who was carrying her child and saying to me, ‘If I could give you a piece of advice, it’s don’t wait.’ I looked at her and was like, ‘You think this is a choice?’ This is just how my life looks like right now. I remember thinking that kind of advice doesn’t help anyone.”

Anyone else out there giving this an amen?

Meeting the right person at the right time isn’t something we can plan, and, Haines says, we shouldn’t be pressuring anyone else to disrupt their own timeline to suit ours. “I remember thinking how frustrating it must be for someone to always hear ‘Do you want to get married? Do you want kids?'” said Haines. “We put so much pressure on people with ovaries. Like, the second you have a set, you’d better be using them. But as women, you just get tired of people asking. I knew it came from a good place, but it definitely made me more sensitive.”

I am one of three sisters, all in our forties. I am the only one with kids, and thank God for that. Why? Because one of my sisters doesn’t want kids. She has never wanted kids. It would be a tragedy if she had allowed herself to get pressured into having them because she would be miserable. My other sister didn’t meet her husband until she was 40. It would be a tragedy if she had pressured herself into marrying someone else and having kids with them. Both of my sisters have been brave enough to honor themselves by ignoring the timelines and doing what is right for them, and I deeply admire them for it.

We can’t live out fairytales — they aren’t real. Haines is sharing her story even though it’s not “romantic or fairy-tale-ish” to show that a happy life is what you make it, and many times that means waiting for what’s best for us, not just what’s there at the time. She met her husband through OKCupid, she says she never “just knew” and doesn’t believe there’s such as a thing as “The One.” They go to therapy, they’re still attracted to other people, she had postpartum depression and says that the early years “[weren’t] my strongest years in mothering,” and guess what?

That’s all okay.

In fact, it’s better than okay — it’s honest. So many times we shame ourselves or allow others to shame us into doing things we don’t really want to do because we think we’re the only ones in our boat. As Sara says, “Even with all the uncertainty and difficulties, I’m loving my life.”

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