There oughtta be a law against it

Oh yes, a law. God forbid that we should sit down and think an important decision through rationally. That would never do, so having done something remarkably silly that we now regret we should demand that the state protect us from ourselves. That’s partly so that nobody else makes the same mistake, but when it’s something really exceptional that very, very few other people are inclined to do in the first place I can’t help but wonder if people demanding a law actually want it to stop themselves. In case they try to do it again.

Susan Tollefsen became a mother after receiving IVF treatment at 57 from a Russian clinic in 2008, where she conceived daughter Freya.
Many criticised her decision, saying she was too old to become a parent.

Not me. Personally I wouldn’t, but if someone’s decided to ignore nature’s subtle hints I’m inclined to trust that they’ve thought it through. All the way through. Of course I would be aware that that trust might be misplaced, but with nothing to contradict it I’d still give them the benefit of the doubt.

At the time, Mrs Tollefsen defended her choice and pointed out that her partner Nick Mayer was 11 years her junior – and would therefore be around to care for their daughter Freya during all of her childhood.

So she had thought it all the way thr… oh.

However, she says the couple have now split and concedes her critics were right as she encounters the difficulties of bringing up a three-year-old child alone at the age of 61.

Right, so apart from the ‘what if my partner’s not around’ point she thought it through.

“Every Saturday he wanted to go and watch them, either home or away, and some weekdays. I felt as if he didn’t want his life to change at all after Freya came along, even though mine had changed completely.”

Okay, okay, she didn’t really think it through far enough at all, and if he thought it wasn’t going to change his life much then I’d say he didn’t think it… ooooh, footie. In fairness to both of them it strikes me that this isn’t unique to people their age getting IVF – sadly there are plenty of children who were conceived naturally but whose conception was ill conceived, and whose parents love their offspring, sorta kinda, but miss the days they didn’t have this small person depending on them so much. Tough shit, folks. If you want your life to stay the same as it is now the obvious thing to do is not fucking change it.

“I never imagined it would work out this way,’ Mrs Tollefsen said. “I’ve never regretted having Freya but I’ve had to pay a heavy price for my dream of being a mother. In fact, it’s cost me my relationship. You think you’re madly in love with someone and you just don’t realise what they’re going to be like after you’ve had children.”

/ looks skyward with hands in pockets and begins to whistle

So now she’s decided as wonderful and precious as her daughter is to her it really wasn’t such a smart move after all, and that means – you guessed it – she wants there to be a law to stop the infinitesimally small number of people who want to become a new parent in their late 50s from doing the same thing.

Mrs Tollefsen, who is deaf in one ear and having a knee replaced, also agrees that, with hindsight, there should be an age limit of 50 for IVF treatment for women in this country.

Except she’s still not thinking things through properly, is she? Hello, Susan? You went … Susan? Susan? Hello? Oh, sorry, I’m on the side of your wooden ear. Hello, Susan, you went to Russia to get your IVF, remember? And if there’d been an age limit of 50 at the time, and remembering that the NHS won’t provide IVF to anyone 40 or over and even private clinics tend to balk at treating women over 50, exactly how would that have stopped you from doing what you did? Exactly how would bringing in such a law now prevent any other woman whose desire for a child has eclipsed everything else, including rational thought and taste and decency…

"Sperm! Sperm! Sperm! Sperm! Lovely sperm, wonderful sperm!" *

… from doing the same thing? Unless you want this law to ban women over 50 from getting on a plane as well you simply can’t prevent doing the same thing. Your own story is a cautionary tale and should put a few people off, but unless we want the already far too powerful nanny state to grow yet more powerful we must accept people ignoring advice and making short sighted decisions as being facts of life.

* Apologies to Monty Python for ruining one of their most famous skits. And if you don’t know what this joke refers to I suggest you either get (a) a large bucket of mind bleach or (b) drunk before you attempt to find out.

18 comments for “There oughtta be a law against it

  1. November 9, 2011 at 7:37 am

    She’s quite pretty for 61 years old, but otherwise, completely agreed with your post – she’s clearly a bit feeble minded.

    • November 9, 2011 at 9:46 am

      aha, the woman in the photo is not the women from the story. Presumably that relates to the Monty Python sketch.

      • November 9, 2011 at 10:03 am

        The woman in the photo is self confessed serial semen thief and Daily Mail columnist Liz Jones, who wrote about helping herself to the contents of freshly used condoms after shagging men who didn’t want children, and which is why I’ll refer to her as Jizz Loans from now on. She’s another woman who’s allowed a perfectly natural desire for a child to get a bit out of hand and become an unhealthy obsession. Sperm, sperm, sperm, sperm, sausage and sperm. 😮

        ETA: And Jizz Loans is in her early 50s I think.

        • Andy Nicholas
          November 9, 2011 at 11:52 am


          • Tattyfalarr
            November 10, 2011 at 1:15 am

            “Jizz Loans”

            Out-frickin-standing !

            *performs a sort of standing ovation and mexican wave-type worship dance* 🙂

  2. November 9, 2011 at 7:51 am

    There are certain things which don’t work, no matter how romantic the scene is – huge age differences [and the half plus 7 rule is basically right here] plus extremes at either end – teen mothers or those who are going to be 70 years plus when the daughter really needs her as a mother.

    The only one of those which can work in an undesirable way is the context of father figure or sugardaddy to the much younger woman and even that only works up to a point and only if the woman herself is of a certain age. For example, 70 and 40 can work under certain circumstances – 18 and 48 is pretty well doomed. If the boy is 18 and the woman 48, no hope whatever.

    This woman above is selfish, caring little about the child’s needs, which is not to say that the government should have anything to do with it whatever – quite the opposite.

    • November 9, 2011 at 10:09 am

      At the risk of being cynical it can work okay if it’s a rich wrinkly and a young gold digger. But still, yuck and the kid’s probably screwing the pool attendant anyway, so ‘work’ deserves quote marks around it.

      • nisakiman
        November 9, 2011 at 3:38 pm


        Excuse me, but I am 62 and my wife is 40, and it has been working very well indeed for the last six years, and at this moment in time looks as though it has a rosy future.

        Mind you, no kids involved – I had a vasectomy 23 years ago after my last daughter was born. (I figured that having sired four, I’d call it a day. :shock:)

        • November 10, 2011 at 1:53 am

          Within James’ rule of thumb of half plus seven years so no reason why it wouldn’t. I think the point there is that you have more in common with your 22 year age gap than you would if one of you were 40 and the other 22 years younger.

  3. November 9, 2011 at 8:37 am

    I second the mind bleach warning – I ran across that article when researching something else at the DM and I’ve been fervently wishing I hadn’t.

    I suppose it’s the ultimate manifestation of ‘Because I’m worth it’; if you’ve never denied yourself designer shoes or the latest handbag, you may well see a baby in the same light.

    Incidentally, I’ve taught the offspring of women like these and found some of them prone to behavioural and eating disorders; not surprising if they are materially over-indulged and cursed with the constant fussing and unrealistic expectations of an obsessive mother.

    • November 9, 2011 at 10:10 am

      I saw The Daily Mash first and googled. And then wished I hadn’t.

  4. jk
    November 9, 2011 at 10:01 am

    Why the picture of Daily Mail columnist Liz Jones? I know she’s as mad as a bag of frogs but…

    • November 9, 2011 at 11:00 am

      I saw similarities between being so obsessed with parenthood that getting IVF at nearly 60 seemed like a good idea with Jizz Loans’ second career in spermburglary.

  5. Lord T
    November 9, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    Men marry women expecting them not to change and they do.
    Women marry men expecting them to change and they don’t.

    It’s and old saying and this dozy cow obviously though that it didn’t apply to her.

  6. November 9, 2011 at 10:06 pm

    Her desire for motherhood outweighed the needs of her child.

    Similar to women who are more interested in their wedding than the marriage.

    She is too old to have such priorities out of whack.

  7. Tattyfalarr
    November 10, 2011 at 1:20 am

    Seems to me Susan Tollesfen didn’t particularly want to be a mother but actually wanted a family. There is a hell of a difference and it’s too bad …both for her and the child….that she’s having to learn this the hard way. 🙁

  8. Ian
    November 10, 2011 at 4:24 am

    Daughter brings her first boyfriend home to meet her aged mum.

    Mum – “Who are you?”
    Boyfriend – “I’m her boyfriend”
    Mum – “I wasn’t talking to you”

    • November 10, 2011 at 7:19 am

      And that’s assuming she doesn’t need to be introduced via a medium.

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