Saturday, September 04, 2010

Parenting at Any Age

Guest post by Alexis Bonari

My husband and I were trying to figure out what age is best when it comes to having children. We came to the conclusion that our early 30s seemed like the perfect time to start trying, but the more we talked about it, the more we wondered if we should have started earlier. There are pros and cons to having kids at any age, but some decades are obviously better than others. Here’s what we came up with:

20s -- You are SO young but feel SO mature! You have broken free of your parents’ protective grasp and are learning how to fly on your own. You really are just out of your teens, and although you survived puberty, you haven’t experienced much life. On the other hand, you still have energy! You are most likely used to staying up all day and night, so having a baby won’t be a problem. You will also be able to relate to your child better, and you’ll only be in your late 30s when they graduate from high school.

30s -- More women are having babies in their 30s than ever! You have had the chance to settle into life. You’ve sowed your wild oats (well, most people have), and you are likely secure in your job and have learned how to “live” Although you are no longer at your peak when it comes to that endless stamina that you had in your 20s, you’ve still got some pep in your step, making the early 30s seem like prime time to have kids.

40s -- Yes, more couples are deciding to have children in their 40s, but personally I think it’s starting to get a little late to conceive. You are likely financially secure and have life figured out, but you have to start thinking about how long you’ll be around when your kids are in their teens and 20s. Not to mention, in your twenties, the risk of babies born with chromosomal abnormalities like Down Syndrome is 1 in 1,400 and increases to 1 in 100 at the age of forty (Source: WebMD). On the flip side, if you are healthy and have the undeniable urge to have children, it’s not unheard of.

50s -- I’m just gonna come out and say it: For me, this is way too old to start having kids. Yes, it has been done, but that doesn’t make it right. It can be difficult to get pregnant this late in life without fertility treatments, and the chances of having a baby with genetic disorders has increased significantly since your 20s, according to my obstetrician. You’ll also be in your 70s when your child graduates high school! If I had to list the pros, you are undoubtedly wiser and more patient. And what better motivation is there to stay healthy than having kids?!?

Food for thought: Do you agree or disagree with Alexis? What age do you think is ideal for becoming a parent?

Bio: Alexis Bonari is a freelance writer and blog junkie. She is currently a resident blogger at the First in Education site, researching areas of accredited online degrees. In her spare time, she enjoys square-foot gardening, swimming, and avoiding her laptop.

1 comment:

  1. I had my first child at 21 and though I probably would wait a little longer if I did it again I am glad I had the other two in my late twenties. I had more energy and patience back then but I wasn't clear on everything I wanted from life yet. I am really looking forward to the fact that they will all be adults soon and I will have freedom at an age where I know what I want and am not too old to do it! I also ended up with health issues that would have prevented me from having them if I had waited.
    I advise my girls that between 25 and 35 may be the best bet.

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