Saturday, 17 August 2013

What age is the right age to have children?

I went away with my Mum this week to the Lake District (photos coming soon) and all week she was talking about babies. Everytime a child exclaimed 'Nanna!' when walking with their grandparent, or a child walked past with their parents, Mum would pointedly say 'Aawwww, Nanna, that's a child with their Grandma'. 

Now I know, it's a known thing that parents get desperate for Grandchildren as they grow older. But, is it really fair to put pressure on your children to make such an important life decision? Having children isn't something that anyone else should have any say in since it's your life they're ruining (I'm clearly not ready for kids!)

The problem is, my Mum had me at 39, so now she's 65 (I think), but I'm only 27. I'm no where near ready for kids, but she's getting to an age where she feels it's really important to have Grandchildren before she's too old to help with childcare. By rights, I should be able to wait till I'm 39 if I like but I know she'll be really disappointed if I do. 

I know a lot of you would agree that 39 is not a great age to have a child, and I very much doubt I would wait that long (assuming I'd have a choice in the matter). Am I right to want to wait till I'm at least 30 to have children though? Lots of people think your twenties are the right time to have a child. I can see their point too. My parents had children older, and I've already lost my father. Some of my friends' parents are turning 50, or 55, and my mother is much older than their parents. I would have given anything to have my father around for my wedding, or to see his grandchildren, and if I'd had younger parents he probably would have.

However, I know right now is not the time. Clearly I'm not so ruled by my mother that I'm going to get knocked up at the first opportunity. I just wish she'd leave me alone and stop the endless comments. I want to enjoy being in my twenties and early thirties with my boyfriend. I'm not even engaged, let alone married. I have my career to think about and I want to do lots of learning before I have no time. Having children is about committing all your free time to something. I see lots of mothers struggle to cope with a child, job, and more training and I don't want to be in that situation.

How old is the right age to have children?


duck in a dress said...

I think the only answer is that there is no answer - there's no one defining age that is the "right" age to have children.

It sounds really waffly but it's kinda true - it's just whatever you feel is the right age!

We were fairly traditional (and probably quite boring) as we waited until we'd got married, got a house and both had secure jobs before thinking about having kids.

In our case, all our plans didn't quite work out though as when I turned 29 we thought it was the right time. Almost 2 years later, I'm 31 in a few months and will probably be having IVF over Christmas!

Oh well, as they say, best laid plans and all that... :-) x

Lucinda Harrington said...

I'm sure it will happen for you soon! My fingers are crossed for you!

I would so the same - wait for a house and marriage before I try for a child. It's strange how when I tell my students that they think I'm mad, because the state will pay if you don't have the money. They have such different views to me, I feel awkward talking to them about it.

I want to wait till I'm really ready and know I could cope financially and emotionally.