Women's Health

The Mom Divide

For many women, it’s not love, marriage, or a baby carriage that comes first—it’s friendship. The average age when a woman has her first child is rising (it’s now 27, up from 25 in 2010, a drastic shift in less than a decade), and for the first time, women in their early thirties are having children at a higher rate than those in their twenties. “Now that most women spend the majority of their twenties—if not all of them—not married and not yet mothers, it creates a space to build emotionally intimate bonds in which their friends can truly feel like family,” says Andrea Bonior, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist in Bethesda, Maryland, and author of . That means a whole lot of years spent being each other’s plus-one at events, driving your best friend home after she gets her wisdom teeth pulled, and celebrating both of your promotions and big new jobs. It’s the type of relationship so all-encompassing that to classify it as a “friendship” feels thin—the roots run that deep.

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