Today, we have a conflict for women between “career” and “family.” We have already determined that the natural time for a woman to have a family is when she is young and at the peak of her fertility. A woman that marries at age 18 might have a full set of children by age 25. This means that her youngest children will likely be out of the house by age 45. This leaves a good twenty years of time when a woman can get any necessary vocational training and have a productive career, without any conflict with family. In practice, a lot of women today instead take this “empty nest” period to become women of leisure; and this has not been a bad solution. But, a more ambitious and energetic woman might be bored with that.
Consider if a woman gets married around age 32, and has her first child around age 33. She finishes having children around age 40, and these children are out of the house around age 60. She has no time left over for a meaningful career, including any necessary training. Since the woman presumably has been supporting herself somehow until age 32, and probably has been juggling “relationships” and work through her twenties as well, this leaves a conflict between work and family that persists through her whole life. This is a problem not only for women, but also for husbands and children as well.
There will always be individual situations where a woman is simply destined for a certain career, perhaps at a young age. Some women just want to be doctors, or actresses, and why not let them? But, it would be best if the majority of women followed a pattern such as this: family first, and then career. Because, you can’t really do it the other way — career first, and childbearing after age 40. It seems that a lot of women want to try anyway, with failure a certainty.