The term biological clock often brings up the image of a ticking time bomb that is the female reproductive system. Women in modern culture seek travel, an education and a career. Often, we expect to meet our spouse in college. If that doesn’t happen, we may feel lost and as time goes on we may start to wonder if we will have a child or family of our own.
The biological clock is an active ongoing part of us, informing us about the state of our physical body. It is important to work with our biological clock rather than against it. Don’t limit the biological clock to only be about deadlines. Our biological clock is also about tapping into the natural flows of our body throughout our life.
The key to having children and the biological clock is to start working towards your goals as early as possible, not getting caught up in societal expectations but paying attention and discovering your deepest desires, staying open to all of the possibilities.
Below are a list of common signs that show up for people in the midst of a biological clock crisis.
Biological Clock Crisis Signs
- Feeling like time is running out. Generally feeling stuck, lost and scared that you will never be married or have children. You can’t shake the feeling that no time is left on your biological clock and there is something you need to do about it!
What to Do: First, acknowledge and accept the truth of time and where your body is at. Do not compare yourself to others. Do not judge yourself. But do take responsibility for your own emotions, asking “what do I need”? Be clear about your personal goals, yet, find a way to flow with the river of life. Panic will steer your course in very different directions than you intend. For me, meditation and dance assisted with steering my course in a fluid and direct way. By looking inside and shifting away from habitual patterns, my feet carried me gracefully to my current husband and daughter. If you have a favorite practice that gets you in the zone – do it! Rollerblade, dance, run, surf, garden, drum, walk…if you don’t have one or aren’t quite getting in the zone, explore new practices!
- Relationship status is frozen or nonexistent. You may be single, married to someone who does not want children or in a relationship that isn’t moving at the pace you feel it should be. You feel like your biological clock is not in sync with your relationship status.
What to Do: Release any expectations about what your relationship needs to look like in order for you to have children and a family. In my relationship with the father of my child, we were spiritually married within a week of meeting each other and got married legally after I became pregnant. My husband had two kids from a previous marriage. This is not what I expected but because I had worked to release expectations I was open to what was beautiful and real for me. Sometimes we need to leave a relationship or do specific things like travel before having a child with our significant other. The key is addressing the reality of the situation and taking action – the pace can speed up surprisingly fast if we are willing and open to what is in front of us.
- Your age is between the late twenties to over forty. Typically you will be in your late twenties to early forties with no children when you become aware of your biological clock. Also, older women may feel sad and grieve as the bodies’ reproductive system continues to shift.
What to Do (Age 40+): Consider the options, staying open to possibilities you had not considered. Remember, as long as the cycle is still cycling, it is still possible for you to have a child. I’ve met women in their 50s who have had a child. Weigh the pros, cons and risks with your heartfelt desires. Your values and how you feel about foster care and adoption can be considered at this time. Maybe you decide to move closer to your nieces and nephews to spend more time with them. There may be a creative project or an organization that you’d like to birth into being!
What to Do (Age 36-39): Rather than fight the beat of your biological clock you can work with the tempo of your biological clock. If you deeply desire having a child and are in a relationship, then it is time to move forward.
Generally, it is good for women to have their first child before they are in their 40s. Even if you will have your second child in your 40s that is okay! However, it is time to move on planning your first child. If you do not have a person to have a baby with, consider the options, staying open to possibilities you had not considered. Your values and how you feel about foster care, adoption and sperm donation can be considered at this time. Maybe there is a good friend you can have a child with or a relationship where you can be a step-parent. This is a time to choose how, who or what you mother.
Don’t panic but do focus. If you feel overwhelmed, seek help from someone who can assist you in planning and focusing your goals. We know from experience, there are possibilities that will open up if you work with the flow of your goals.
What to Do (Age 28-35): Know there is still time! Even if you are 35 and single, life has a way of happening if you are in the flow and moving with it! Stay open and focus on your heart’s desire.
- Experiencing body break down. The body may start acting up to get your attention. Maybe you experience a missed cycle like I did at age thirty-one. Sometimes the body is trying to wake us up by introducing changes, new pains and sensations.
What to Do: Pay attention to the body, the sensations of the body, sleep cycles, dreams, food that is eaten, water, supplements, and exercise. Get in tune with your biological clock. Use this expanded awareness to improve your your health and lifestyle. We may need to move differently, try a new exercise, see a chiropractor to get aligned and go to massage therapy. Before I had a baby I was going to physical therapy, chiropractic, acupuncture, dancing five times a week and changing my diet to exclude soy products to restore my fertility. It is not uncommon to start addressing old injuries and physically working to strengthen the body at this time. View this work as preparing the body for the future – possibly having a baby! The healthier and stronger our body is the better! Send the body gratitude for the wake-up call.
- All I can think about is Baby, Baby, Baby! Thoughts of becoming pregnant consume you, influencing your actions. If you are in a relationship, you may worry you are pushing your significant other too much. If you are single, it is common to focus more on whether people you meet want children (and ignore other important traits).
What to Do: Practice Patience. Find ways to focus the mind inward and keep it clear (singing, chanting, prayer, meditation). When negative thoughts percolate up, accept them and use a mantra or visualization to release them. We won’t achieve our goals by annoying others or scaring them with baby talk at inappropriate times. By keeping your clarity, while not ignoring the biological clock and a desire to have a baby, you can stay focused on your goal without undermining yourself.
- In a relationship but the baby conversation is not happening. Even if we find epic love sometimes, for a variety of reasons, the conversation about children doesn’t seem to get off the ground. There are a lot of fears around having children, societal and personal expectations for individuals and certainly pressures for families.
What to Do: Figure out what is needed so that the conversation can take place. Maybe your significant other has a goal that isn’t met yet or is still working through an issue from a previous relationship. Depending on your age you will need to set a time for when this conversation needs to happen by. If the conversation doesn’t occur, then consider your options and choose to stay in the relationship or move on.
- Energy and emotions are all over the place. When our needs are not being met it is common for emotions such as fear, anger and sadness to enter the scene. We may also experience less energy, lethargy and hopelessness as we increase our awareness of our biological clock.
What to Do: Seek an energy practice such as Qigong or Reiki that will help you balance your energy and emotions. Find an acupuncturist that you like and test them. If you have good results with your energy/emotions becoming more balanced, continue going. I went to acupuncture before and throughout my pregnancy and found it tremendously helpful in balancing my energy and emotions. Energy practices will allow you to flow with your biological clock and your emotions so that you are not working against yourself.
- Can’t seem to get past family issues. Any issues we have with our family will arise, if not now, then certainly when we do have children. Familial and ancestral issues are important to befriend and work with as they arise.
What to Do: Possibly seek a counselor who specializes in family and ancestral work. A shamanic teacher or practitioner can assist with ancestral healing work. We can help you synchronize your current life against these outside expectations of family issues.
- It feels like I’m forcing things. If being in a relationship or having a child is not coming together naturally it may be time to regroup. Forcing a relationship can lead to bad outcomes, not to mention a bad relationship. Forcing children can lead to body stress and relationship stress. Forcing life, in general, is not as fun or fulfilling as following the flow of life.
What to Do: Don’t force yourself into a relationship. Follow your nose and ensure that there is good chemistry in your relationship. The smell test is a good test. If your significant other (without cologne/perfume or other added scents) smells good to you and you to them – that is a good sign that you two will be good mates. (Chemistry of Love) Of course, listen to your body and biological clock in other ways, gut instincts, intuition and follow life one step at a time. Don’t think yourself silly. Find ways to relax and restore the body, heart and mind. Consider going on a retreat, we offer many personal classes to help you pace yourself. Practice following the flow of life and look for synchronicities or signs that let you know if you are on or off your path.
- Thinking “I don’t understand why I’m not a mother yet”. If you find yourself thinking you should be somewhere you are not, your Ego is likely leading you astray. Creating your own family may require getting out of your own way and letting life happen!
What to Do: Find a spiritual practice and give the mind a break. Meditate. Chant. Pray. Dance. Sing. Find a way to bring the ego into check so you can see the reality of your situation more clearly. Find ways to connect to your body, heart and mind. In this way, you will soon realize what actions will be required to move forward gracefully.
- The phrase “Your Biological Clock is Ticking” pisses you off or makes you feel uncomfortable.
- Don’t judge yourself or compare yourself to others
- Release expectations and fears
- Be prepared no matter what the outcome
- Don’t force it, let life happen
- Open to possibilities beyond your imagination
- Stay healthy physically, emotionally and energetically
- Befriend any issues (don’t ignore them)
- Consider spiritual practices
- Double check chemistry
- Don’t be afraid to set dates and create personal goals
- Keep negativity in check
- Visualize the life you desire
- Honor yourself and take time for you
- Move forward one step at a time, staying grounded and focused
Help for a Biological Clock Crisis
We offer guidance for people experiencing a biological clock crisis or seeking to avoid one.