Kim Kardashian, 31, recently admitted to feeling like she had a limited amount of time to find love and start a family, expressing a sentiment perhaps held by many women keeping tabs on their biological clock.
During the season finale of "Kim and Kourtney Take New York," Kardashian, who was married for 72 days, cried to her older sister about feeling like a failure for not being married or having children.
"You don't think I feel bad? At 30 years old I thought I'd be married with kids and I'm not," Kim cried to her sister. "I failed at this and you think that I don't feel bad? People change their mind people make mistakes."
Kardashian also spoke about having a family by the age of 30 at another point in the episode.
"I just feel like I always had this vision of what my life would be like," Kardashian said. "I wanted babies and this fairytale. I wanted to be married by 30 and everything I envisioned my life to be is not really the fairytale I wanted it to be."
After enduring public scrutiny for her short-lived marriage to NBA player Kris Humphries, Kardashian has admitted to one of her insecurities. However, the 31-year-old reality television star is not alone in her desire to reach marital and motherhood status by the age of 30.
Kenneth Ryan, Ph.D., author of Finding Your Prince in a Sea of Toads: How to Find a Quality Guy Without Getting Your Heart Shredded, told The Christian Post that many women are insecure with their age and lack of family. However, Ryan said that the viewpoint may be an unhealthy one.
"Since most women are acutely aware of their biological clock and have a deep seeded desire to have a family, they may have a hope or goal that they would be married by 30," Ryan said. "It is unhealthy for any woman to rate herself a success or failure based on many factors that are entirely out of her control. Our culture may contribute to the problem when single women are called "old maids" or joked about not being desirable enough to attract a man."
Throughout the years, various polls and studies have reflected people's desire to be married at an ideal age. A 1946 Gallup Poll found that most men's ideal age of marriage was 25, while women desired to be married at 21.
In 2006, a Gallup Poll of 500 adults reflected a desire for women to be married by the age of 25 and men to be married at 27.
Paul Serwinek, Ph.D. a Steering Committee member of the Christian Sociology Society, said a lot of pressure to create a family at a certain age may come from familiar people.
"The more closely knit a community is the more pressure is exerted," Serwinek said. "Living closely to family, school friends and neighbors will have an influence on a woman's perspective on having kids. She is a product of her family, career, friends, whether she realizes it or not."
On their reality television show, Kim's younger sister Khloe is married while their older sister Kourtney is pregnant with her second child.
Serwinek said that this pressure could result in feelings of failure for a 31-year-old with a career and no family of her own.
However, Ryan said he did not think the influence of Kardashian's sisters were her biggest issues.
"I'm afraid Kim's feelings of failure are more a result of her empty life than her marital or motherhood status," the Christian relationship expert said. "I suspect that she was poorly prepared for the difficult adjustments of marriage. Marriage can be great but it takes a lot of work and self sacrifice."
While Ryan stressed the importance of taking marriage seriously, Serwinek spoke about women recognizing what it means to become mothers instead of focusing on it happening at an ideal age.
"Being a sociologist, I know how central to the fulfillment of the belonging need in humans family can be," Serwinek said. "I'd like to see the importance of motherhood and family highlighted more prominently. We need to stress, though, motherhood is not having babies, and it is a grave responsibility that is not for every woman."
Still, Ryan said Christian women could avoid the pressures and pitfalls of taking on a new family around the age of 30.
"Part of the stress women feel is because they have an ideal timetable for their life and their ideal may not happen. The only time to get married is when you have the mutual love and commitment of man," Ryan said. "The only time to start having children is after you are married. For a Christian woman, the ideal time is whenever God tells you."