Childrearing

Dear Jemima Kirke, Plenty Of 27-Year-Olds Are Capable Of Supporting Their Kids

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Jemima KirkeJemima Kirke, one of the stars of HBO’s Girls, showed off her pregnant belly in this month’s VICE. Kirke is eight months along with her second child. She posed in various states of undress, including one of the most unattractive topless photos I’ve ever seen. Not because I have any problem with boobs, because her face looks really odd. Along with prancing around in her underwear, the artist and actress also talked about her career, her family, and her style of parenting. There was one part of the interview that caught my attention though. While discussing how her sudden fame changed her life, Kirke had this to say:

“One of the best parts is that I can sufficiently support my kids. At my age that’s pretty hard to do without struggling or taking money from my parents, and I don’t have to do either. But it has taken a lot of time and energy away from my work as an artist.”

By the way, when Jemima Kirke says “At my age…” you should know that she’s talking about being 27 years old. She’s not a teenager. She’s not just out of college. She’s 27.

Not to mommyjack this post or anything, but my birthday is coming up. I’m going to be 27 years old in the very beginning of November. And I’m happy to report that I am capable of supporting my daughter without asking my parents for help. If I were to get pregnant with another child tomorrow, I would still be doing okay. We wouldn’t be eating caviar for dinner every night, because that wouldn’t be very healthy, but I wouldn’t have a problem providing for them, feeding them, clothing them and saving for their college tuition.

I hate to break Kirke out of her cozy little bubble, but there are plenty of people who take care of their own children at the age of 27, and the majority of them aren’t starring on shows for HBO. Sure, some of us had to re-prioritize our lives a little. We had to give up some things to afford the cost of raising children. That doesn’t mean we’re struggling, it means that we’ve realized what is important for us.

To cut Kirke a little slack, she does live in New York City. As everyone is aware, raising a family costs a lot more in New York. Not only is the cost of living higher, but people there tend to feel like they need to spend top dollar on absolutely everything for their children to be successful. Even if that does make the idea of raising two kids more expensive, it still means that Kirke fails to understand the majoriy of the population.  Not living in Tribeca or attending private school does not necessarily mean that someone is “struggling.”

I know I shouldn’t get so annoyed about one actress’s statement. The lack of awareness from one person in the entertainment industry shouldn’t even be that surprising. I feel like this sentiment is indicative of a changing trend in parenting though. As one of my friends said when I was complaining about the statement, “27 is the new 17.” She was joking, but she had a really good point.

A 27-year-old is an adult. We’re talking about a person who has been able to vote for over a decade, able to drink for six years. This is a person who could easily have one or two college degrees. If most 27-year-olds really aren’t capable of supporting their kids without struggling or asking for help, that would be a huge problem! I think it’s more likely that most 27-year-olds wouldn’t be able to pay for a child out of their current savings. They would have to rearrange their budget and possibly sacrifice some of their disposable income. That’s not an age issue. It’s a priorities issue.

(Photo: PNP/WENN.com)