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When to have kids?
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An_222952 posted:
I was watching a show a few weeks ago about women who decided to have kids later in life ... much later. A woman in New York had children in her 50s (via donor eggs) and another in the UK did the same. Then, of course, we've all heard about the women in India in their 70s that are doing this.

But more realistically, I see women on these message boards of all ages. Some are in their early 20s having children, some in their mid 30s, while a few are even in their early 40s. And I've heard varying opinions on when it's appropriate to have children.

So I'm curious: Do any of you have a strong view one way or another on when a woman should realistically start a family? Is there a such thing as "too young" or "too old?" Why?

Maybe this topic is a bit OT, but we all have 1-year-olds, and there are many different ages here. You're a good group to ask! LOL
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Emmyl responded:
Hmm, this could potentially be a hot topic. :) I'm 33, personally I'm very glad I waited until my 30's to have children. I don't think I was mature enough, or confident enough, in my 20's to have children, but that's just totally me. Some women are perfectly mature enough in their 20's to have kids. As far as how old is too old, I think that's a bit different. I understand a woman's strong need to have a child, but at some point you have to realize that it's unfair to the child and maybe even a little selfish of the parent. If you're 50 years old and having a child, think about how old you will be when that child is in high school, college? Is it fair for them to have to worry about an older parent, when they should be out making a life for themselves? I wouldn't mind having a baby if I were in my early, even mid 40s, but beyond that, no way. I don't want my child to have to take care of an aging parent, or even lose a parent so early in their life.
 
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Silver623 responded:
TRIGGS

I wish I had had my LOs about 5 years sooner and that they were about a year closer together in age, but I had miscarriages and other issues, so really I am just happy to have 2 healthy kids! I'm 32 and DS is 4 and DD is 17 months. I had young parents growing up. My mom was 21 when I was born and it was nice having young parents as a teen. I do think I have more patience now than I did in my 20s and I was also able to finish my schooling and get a good job. I certainly do not have as much energy as I did when I was in my 20s.

I wouldn't say there is a perfect age to have kids because it will vary by each individual. I know some 32 year olds who are too immature to have kids and some 22 year olds who are wonderful parents. Age is relative to a point. I agree with PP that it's not fair to force an 18 year old deal with the health or even death of an elderly parent. Also, I wish I was younger because as much as I love my kids, I do hope to have many nice relaxing days to enjoy once they are on their own. I also hope to have enough energy to keep up with grandkids some day. :)
 
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TyPatrick08 replied to Emmyl's response:
Personally for me Ideally I would of liked to have been a little older. I was 21 when I had my son. I was lucky though i had a really good job and a VERY supportive boy friend. I was mature enough for a child and could financially support a child also so that was no worry. I hate when I get "Your only 23 and have a "almost" 2 year old." It bugs me so much because to follow that comment is this look as If I can not support my child. When typically its a parent asking me how to raise their child... HMMM. I would of liked to been older because I could of got done school a little easier as you could imagaine its hard to go to school and raise a toddler. As far as "older" first time aprents... honestly at my work we are seeing more and more older parents TYPICALLY they have a harder time adjusting to life with a child. More worn out and tired! Like Emmyl said I would not want my kids graduating high school and having to worry about their "old-fart" parents to take care of!
Me (23) DF (25) Tyler born 11-19-08 7lb9oz 20 1/2 inc 18 month check up 26lb 33in
 
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An_222953 responded:
My views: diversity is the cornerstone of a healthy, vital society. Therefore, I think there is equally a place in this world for the younger parents as well as the older parents.

There are Pros and Cons on both sides.

As for younger parents, the opportunities for education in this country allow you to "do it all," albeit at a price. It is more challenging to try to go to school or work in a job you don't like while you're raising toddlers, if that's what you want to do. But it isn't out of the question.

Many (most?) older moms have already completed their educations and built careers, but may have the challenge of attaining pregnancy. Thankfully, we live in a time where medical technology can step in and take over in most cases.

As a result, we have a lot of parents at both ends of the spectrum. And I think in a lot of ways, children are being raised very differently. I mean this in a positive way. Most of us would agree that we're much different people in our early 20s than we are in our late 30s.

I live in a "place" where no one has children in their 20s. Big city, education, career-building come first. My friends and I are all in our 30s and we're just now having kids. I used to think it was crazy to have kids before college, grad school and a few years in Corporate America. However, through these boards, I have met a lot of younger moms who are quite amazing. (What an idiotic view that was.)

Regardless of which category you fall into (and I guess if you're somewhere between 27 and 34, you really fall into neither), there are clear benefits and clear challenges. And it's up to us to meet them and overcome them or decide to take a pass. There's no wrong answer.

I say kudos to anyone who wants to start a family at some manageable, realistic point in her life.
 
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sarahann1978 responded:
This is just my opinion, but I think I had my DS at the right age, I was 29 when we conceived and 30 when he delivered. I got to go to college and be a "kid" myself there and find out who I was and had way a lot of fun! I was able to finish that chapter of my life and can quite honestly say that while I look back with fond memories I never want to live like that again and will never have to ask myself "what if?" I am so happy to be a wife and Mother now. I love that we have total financial stability with hardly any debt and really if I chose to I could be a SAHM, I just enjoy my career too and am working part time. I feel for those who have no choice but to work full time and those that are going to school on top of it, kuddos to you.

On the flip side I do feel like pregnancy was hard on my body though, more so than it would have been if I was in my early 20's, but I am willing to do it one more time so my DS will have a sibling. I do not wish to have one after 35 though because the risks scare me. Well that and I'm sure it's not going to get easier on my body.

I guess to those who say they don't wish to burden their children with health issues, yes it is more likely if you are older, but anyone can be stricken with a terminal illness at any age. My MIL's Mother died from cancer when she was a teenager and her Mother was like only 54 at the time. You just can't always plan for those things, life happens. My parents were on the older side when they had me, Mom was 37 and Dad 40, because I was kind of a late in life oops, but I still have my Mom who is in good shape and will be 70 next year and I lost my Dad in 2008 when I was 28, so really I did have him for relatively long time and I was an adult when he got sick. I am sad that my DS will not know him, but like I said it could happen to someone who is young too.
Sarah (31), DH(29), DS (Jan. 09) sarahaburger.blogspot.com
 
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ad1978 replied to sarahann1978's response:
For some reason, I used to think that I would have 2 kids by the time I was 30 (around 28 and then 30).

I was married at 25, but we agreed to take our time and enjoy a few years as just a twosome. Then, it took a little longer to conceive than I thought.

I ended up having my first at age 30 (almost 31), and since then we haven't wanted a 2nd (maybe one day, but no desire right now). I am 32 now.

It's just funny that we all have some "ideal" age, but then life happens any way--we can't really control everything. So it's a little silly to try to pick the "ideal" time.
 
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bgabert responded:
I can see how this might be a hot button issue for some.. but I think it all depends where you are in life.

I grew up in a small town, have known my now-DH for over 10 years and been married for over 3. I knew that I wanted to start a family early in our marriage as DH is 4 years older than me and didn't want to be too old to enjoy his kids growing up. He wanted to be able to take them swimming and play baseball and hockey and all that stuff he didn't think he'd be able to do later in life. So we had our first child when I was 22 and DH was 26. Our 2nd is due in Feb and I'll be 24 and Dh will be 28.
For us, this was a perfect time. We both have great jobs, we bought a house, have two cars, typical family stuff so the natural thing was to create a bigger family!

I like knowing that my kids will be moved out by the time I am 45, lol! :sillygrin:
Bri (24), DH Jarrod (28), DD Emery (6/15/2009), Baby 2 EDD 2/13/2011
 
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magsnemma responded:
To me, the when should a woman have a baby is more dependent on when they're ready, rather than age. I live in a weird little world, my DH is military and most of those friends had kids fairly early on, in their early to mid- 20's, and have more than one child. But I work in a corporate environment where people have kids in their mid to late 30's, or even 40's, and usually only have one.

We were lucky that we were able to have a child when we planned and wanted to. In my early 20's, I was pretty "young" for my age, hot temper, impatient, and sort of angry. That would not have been the right time for me. I'm mellower now, I have lived and traveled around the world without kids, and my job is stable and pays well. My relationship is in a good place and I know more about what I want for me and for my family.

But again, this is for me, not for everyone. A lot of people were ready earlier, it would have made my life easier if I was too, but I'm glad that it's happened the way it has.
Me (32), DH (32), DD (born Nov 2008)
 
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NicoleCoy01 responded:
I had time goals set in my life. I always wanted to get married at 25 and have my first baby by 28 and my second by about 30. I was 25 when I got married (a month shy of my 26th birthday) and I got pregnant with Savana when I was 26 and had her when I was 27. I am now 28 (wow sad I can't believe I am this old already, I feel like it was just my 21st birthday) and feel like we had her at the perfect time. We dont want to go out every night, we don't want to go on solo vacations, we don't want to live the lifestyle we lived when we were younger and that made it easier to adjust to "having a baby" lifestyle. I don't think being pregnant at 26 was very hard on my body but it just sucked in general. I was uncomfortable from day 1. We are currently trying for #2 and I will be done. I just to want 3-4 kids but its hard to have just 1. I'm very glad that we are financially stable, DH owns a business and 2 days a week I go in and help out, but I didn't until Savana was 16 months old. I loved our mom and daughter time we had but its nice to interact with other adults, plus I bring her with me. I see how my life is and I am very blessed and thankful then I think about my cousin. She was just 16 when she got pregnant with twins (boy and girl) and 17 when she had them. She of course dropped out of school and has struggled since. Her kids are 9 now and my cousin is a supervisor at Burger King. She struggles financially every single day, has a hard time buying the kids just the basics (clothes and shoes) forget Christmas time but she makes it. Her kids will never get "to much" for Christmas. I can't help but wonder what if she waited to have kids would things be different? I dunno but in the end she somehow makes it all work. I guess their is no realistic age to start a family, you just make it work. My mom had my sister at 16 and me at 22, we struggled at first but my mom went back to school and got her nursing degree at 32 and then we were golden. So yeah when it happens it happens, luckily for me it happened at the right time.
Me-Nicole (27) Hubby-David (28) Our little beauty Savana (15.5 months born 02-03-09)
 
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breezy_83255 responded:
I never really had a set age in my head. My only thing was I refused to go to college just to find a husband (happens A LOT around here). I knew that if the right guy happened along I wasn't opposed to a young marriage/family, but I wasn't actively looking for it. I graduated from college, did my student teaching in Scotland, and spent some time back east before returning to my home area. I met my DH immediatly. We got married 10 months later and were pregnant a month after our wedding. It wasn't planned that soon, but we were thrilled!! I was 26 when I had DD1, 28 with DD2 and I'll be 30 when this current bundle of joy comes along. I can totally see having a 4th, but it will be a "later in life" baby. I completely agree with everyone on here- calendar age doesn't really matter. It's more the stage of life and internal age that really matter.
 
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elegi23 responded:
I didn't really have an age in mind, but I knew I wanted to have children "younger." I know I'm a little more mature than some of the other people my age. I finished all my classes by age 16, then took college classes, but didn't walk across the stage and get my diploma till 17 though. I went to college from there, far away from home, but found that I didn't really belong there, so came home after one semester. I got my highschool job back, but then when I turned 18, I got the current job I have now... and have almost been here 5 years.

I would most probably own a house by now, but instead, got in with a horrible guy and he ended up being on drugs and ran up credit cards and personal loans in my name. Luckily, I left him (after 2 years), and ran into my DH one day, whom I've known since I was 13. It took off from there and long story short, we tried to get pregnant for a year, and finally had DD when I was 21.

Most people who run into me at work have no idea that I'm only 22, and when I had my 22nd birthday, someone thought I was really turning 30. They were like, you look really young for turning 30. Lol!

I honestly think it's where you are in your life that decides when you are ready to have kids. Personally, I know people that wait until they're older, and it works for them. I know people that had kids in highschool , or right out of highschool, and they should'nt have done that. They have 4 and 5 year old kids who are always dirty, they still live with their parents and can't even hold a steady job down, because they are high on drugs all the time. But then on the other hand I know people that have kids young and are great parents and older parents that are too involved in their own life to take good care of their children. I do not think age determines how good of a parent you are.
Me (22), DH(30) DD Eleora Marylin 07/23/09 TTC2 (since 05/10)
 
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earleyml1012 replied to elegi23's response:
I wanted to be kind of young before I had kids but I also wanted to be married for a little and satisfied with my job first. I was afraid if I got pregnant and didn't like my job, then I would dread coming back from maturnity leave when it would be hard enough leaving a new born. DH and I got married right out of college, so we were 21. After about 2 years of marriage we starting thinking about kids but I wasn't happy with my job. Once I found a job that I liked enough to come back after maturnity leave, we decided to start trying. So I met my "goals", I was still young (26), married for almost 5 years and had a job that I didn't mind coming back to. We wanted our kids to be between 2-3 years apart, so we're working on #2 now.
 
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mol13 responded:
I think that whenever you decide that you are ready to be a parent, including accepting a MAJOR lifestyle shift once you have a child, is when you should have a child. I've known/known of women who are 18 or 19 who have children and take great care of them and balance their lives appropriately. I've known women who are 25 or so who think that even though they have a kid, they should still get to go out and get drunk every night. And women in their late 30's or 40's who have kids and barely see them because they can't be bothered but thought that having kids was something they should do. And other women in every age group who do it well, and other women who don't.

I was 27 and 29 when I had each of my kids. If I have another it will be soon but I doubt it.

I'd say that if you're over 45, roughly, that's too old, because it isn't fair to your child. And if you're under...17, that's too young.
 
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Kaidsmama replied to mol13's response:
I had my son right before I turned 19. I wanted to have my kids young but this was way young. I have a great job, a great family, and an amazing husband to support me, so I knew everything would work out. When I was in highschool I remember girls that were 15 talking about getting pregnant I was like OMG I cant believe this! 15?!?! Thats still a baby yourself! The sad thing is most of them ended up pregnant and dropping out of school and giving up their kids. Thats why I think if your over 18 and have your life together it really just depends on what you have happening. I wanted to wait untill I was done with college to have kids but our little guy snuck in, which turned out perfect in the end anyway. And now were going to plan for number 2 soon!


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