Thursday, October 8, 2009

Pregnancy: Is Age Just A Number?

Hubby and I just watched Away We Go tonight. The movie itself was so so, but it got me thinking. In the movie the main characters are 33 and expecting their first child and they are portrayed as being really young and unprepared-just kids, possibly too irresponsible to have children.

Really? At 33?

I'm probably biased, but I don't think that 33 is too young to be a parent. If you just base it on numbers alone it doesn't make much sense. The life expectancy in America is 76-which would make 38 exactly middle age...at what point did people who are 5 years shy of the mid point of their lives become too young to have children?

I think this movie is representative of a bigger cultural shift. I was browsing US Vital Statistics the other day (yes, I do that a lot-but I've warned you before that I'm a giant nerd) and it seems that in the past decade the birth rate among women under 30 has been declining at a steady pace-while the birth rate among women over 30 is rapidly increasing.

In 2003 the birth rate of women aged 30-34 jumped four percent. The birth rate of women 35-39 jumped two percent in 2003 and another two percent in 2004. At the same time the birth rate of women 18-24 has dropped 8% since 2000, and the birth rate among women ages 25-29 dropped by just under two percent between 2003 and 2005.

As I was Googling this phenomenon, I came across a surprisingly large number of message boards, websites, and support groups for women trying to conceive at 40+ years old-many of them for the first time.

It makes me wonder-why have people decided to have children so late? Why do people who do not have children at all until later decide to wait so long? Why is it so taboo to have kids in your 20s these days-after all, you're an adult by then.

It does seem that, by popular demand, 40 is the new 20 and 20 year olds are treated like children-why is that I wonder?

Obviously there are no magical, defined answers to my questions. Everyone is going to have different opinions-but I think I'm still forming mine. So tell me......

What do you think is the perfect age to have children and why? Why do you think society has decided that "40 is the new 20"?

99 comments:

Vodka Logic said...

I haven't seen the movie but I agree. On age alone 33 is/should be plenty old enough.

All of us know 50 yo that are immature and 20 yo that are ageless..

Interesting facts...Ms Nerd... I must be one too. lol

Beth in NC said...

I can't believe anyone in their 30's would be considered too young. Ha. Now that is a new one on me. I am 42 and would still like another child, but that isn't by plan -- just because children didn't come in my 20's like I had hoped.

Very interesting. :o)

Beth

K said...

I live in the DC and I definitely see a lot of older moms in this area. There are advertisement for fertility clinics on the radio regularlly here.

I had my first at 27 and people acted like I was dumb high schooler who didn't know anything. I totally stick out in preschool meetings and mom club events as the "young mom".

The whole thing seems strange to me. I wanted to have my kids while I was young enough to chase after them and to be done raising before I want to retire.

I am really glad I started when I did.

Kirsty said...

It is indeed a cultural phenomenon and I have read many articles and heard many Dr's say that it is an unfortunate one, as women are most fertile and have the greatest chance of a healthy outcome in their early to mid 20's. The message that women can have it all, careers first, family later has been loud and clear, but Dr's are saying, the women aren't getting the full picture-that their fertility WILL be compromised with age and their chances of a healthy child go down. Woman have been misled. Yes a healthy outcome is possible, even probable at older ages but it is *not* "just the same or better" then childbearing at a younger age. Nature hasn't suddenly changed the rules to fit our society.

I had my first at 22 and 3 more every 2 years thereafter so I was the mom of 4 by 28 and even at that relatively tender age, I can tell you that the pregnancies definitely got harder, the labours longer and the recovery slower. I also got very bad post partum depression with my last child. So for me, all things being equal younger was better. I know I don't represent the experience of everyone. That's just my anecdotal input.

But more then anything, there was the rigours of sleep deprivation and toting a baby on my hip at all times. I am currently 33 and in better then average shape, but whenever I consider having another I shudder at the sleep deprivation and the exhaustion of hauling around that baby carrier or having a baby semi-permanently on my hip from 6months to 2 years old. I am SO much less tolerant to that sort of thing then I used to be.

Of course not every woman has the choice and I am *so* glad that there are fertility options for women who had no choice but to start their families later (or couldn't fall pregnant for years), but as a cultural shift, I think it is a negative one. Lots can be said about how "mature" parents make better parents, more financially stable etc but I think you can be mature and fiscally responsible in your early 20's. I know we were. And a heck of a lot more energetic, enthusiastic and patient for the type of things babies and toddlers require then we would be now.

We did not have a lot of money but we still don't really (even though we make a lot more-kids get exponentially more expensive as they grow) and I honestly feel that our kids are no worse off for this and in fact I am sure that their characters have developed for the better for not always having everything they wanted.

Younger parents also have the added advantage of being that much closer to the generation their children are growing up in and understanding it that much better.I didn't use to think that would be a factor but as my kids get closer to puberty I discover that it is.

There are tons of advantages to being a younger parent. I truly don't think I would have done a better job with my kids if I was just starting off now. The older I get, and the older my kids get the more grateful I am that I had the opportunity to be a young mom.

Scrappy Girl said...

We had Manga Dork when we were 20 and the little ones came to us at 30 and 31...I was SO much more prepared at 30. I can't imagine just starting to have kids at 40! I want to have some adult fun after my kids are raised! I don't want to be 60 or older when they graduate!

Kathi. said...

I'm almost 27 years old. I always thought I would have had 2 children by now and be done. I did get married at 23. So why no children yet. My husband and I decided to originally wait five years before we started trying. We wanted to be with each other and get to know what it was like living with each other first. We've been traveling and have a dog. The older I get, the more scared I get to have children, becoming content with just us and the dog. I'm not tons sure why people wait so long. I hope to not be in my 30's by the time we have our first. I think a lot has to do with women now a days really going to school continuing and finding a career and becoming settled in to that career, going into business and what not. Not sure, but I suppose that's what I've noticed. More and more women become more concerned about finding a career more than having a family...

Samantha said...

One of the things that annoyed me most when I was pregnant was the sympathetic, look-at-that-poor-child-carrying-a-baby, look. I was 19 years old and having a baby. They thought I was incapable, and Lord willing they refused to believe that my marriage would even last. Just because I was 19 years old. I can laugh at these people now, because I am going to be 38 years old when Bree goes off to college. I will have already raised her and sent her on her way...and it'll just be me and the hubby again. AT AGE 38!! Who wouldn't want that? Why would you want to be 40-ish & trying to have a baby. That puts you at 60-ish when they go off to college.

I have young parents, and I enjoy it. They just turned 45. Paul's Dad is knocking at 60.

The Crazy Baby Mama said...

it's so interesting that you posted on this because i've been grappling with this very issue.

when i got pregnant at 26, i was the very first of my peer group (college educated, from a large city, secular jewish) to be starting a family.

it seems like the 20's have become a sort of delayed adolescence for many of us -- several of my friends are back at grad school and living at home. this is a huge departure from how it was done in our parents day (my parents were different, and i was born when they were in their 40's -- first and only child.)

anyway, i'm rambling. i think that kids are struggling so hard to be 'grown up' as teenagers that when they finish college, they feel the need to take a long-ass break well into their 30's. but maybe i'm wrong. or hormonal. or both.

Kekibird said...

I know, in my family, college only became an option in my generation. Neither of my parents went to college. Instead, they got married and had the three of us right away while working for the family business. All my uncles did the same and my aunts married right out of high school, too.

When high school was ending for me, college was an option and it was also encouraged. By the time I was done with college, I was ready for my career. If that plan had followed through, I would have been closer to 30 as I began to start my family. As chance would have it, I had my son at 25 instead, still 3 years older than my mom when she had me.

I think the cultural shift is in women wanting to have a career/life outside of the home, first and also the fact that college is more encouraged these days than it has been in generations before. Getting college and a career under their belts before settling down. In that case, many women aren't marrying till their later 20's, early 30's and then having kids even later still.

Whether someone becomes a parent in their 20's or 30's, a first time parent is always a first time parent. So I think you can be a young parent at 30. It all depends on your experiences before hand and how you view yourself.

I consider my mom's age when she had me to to be very young. And I think, for me, my age was just right. My sister will be having kids even at an older age than either of us, but for each of us, it's just right.

To each their own, I guess.

Mimi said...

I had my children "young". I had John in 1992 at 25 & Jack in 1995 at 28. This was at the height of women putting their careers first and having children later. I've gotta tell ya we could have had more money if we had waited longer, but I'm thrilled with the age that I had my kids.

I'm 42 & my son is a high school senior. I can't imagine being older.

The Royal Family said...

if 33 is too young then i'm in trouble I have two at 27

The Royal Family said...

p.s. Thanks for visiting me on my special sits day. I hope you had time to enter my giveaways!
See you soon, The Buzz Brandy

Helene said...

That's amazing that the movie considered 33 too young to have children. I had my first set of twins when I was 35 and my second set at 38. My file was labeled with AMA - advanced maternal age. I was an old fart in the medical staff's eyes.

But I'm kinda glad I waited as long as I did, even though it made it much more difficult for me to get pregnant...I'm at the right place where I should be. If I had had my children any younger, I think I would've had a more difficult time adjusting to the lack of freedom and independence.

Jenny said...

33? That is silly. I think that may be the case because more and more people are so selfish these days that they can't care for a child. Plus, aren't you high risk at 35 or have they changed that recently?

Kim said...

I'm visiting from SITS Sat. Sharefest. Obviously, being a "nerd" has the advantage of bringing up thoughtful blog topics. We had our 1st child when I was 29, hubby 31. We had been married almost 8 yrs. and were just busy working. Now, I kind of wish we had started earlier (we have 5 children, I had my last surprise right before I turned 39). I joke that what I lost in stamina, I've gained in wisdom.

Karen@StrictlySimpleStyle said...

I had my first at 25 and now see that a few extra years would have been a good thing, but more for financial reasons.

Stopping by via SITS.

j said...

33 is old enough but i think it was probably written and directed by people who also waited later in life to start families. i don't think there is a perfect age, but the shift to waiting longer is definitely the trend in big city living. thanks for the interesting data.
whatever is best for the individual and their children is the choice i root for. there is really no way to know how life would have turned out if the circumstances were different.

mub said...

I wonder if this is also a regional and cultural thing in the US? In Utah it seems like people start families relatively young, but elsewhere people wait quite a lot longer.

I've noticed a TON of older parents since I moved to The Netherlands... many women don't start until they're late into 30s or early 40s.

cat said...

I turned 40 last year and of course would love to think of 40 as the new 20, but more true is probably the new 30. I had my children late - at 36 and 38(twins), but it was solely due do circumstances. I only got married at 33 - some of us only meet our other half late in life. But the ideal age? I think at around late 20'3 early 30's.

Karen & Gerard Zemek said...

I can't don't about society but I can tell you my thoughts. I was happy single and didn't get married until 43 and found the though of having a baby frightening--being pregnant, the responsibility, and plus my husband wasn't one who particularly wanted children. So, that's just me.

Congrats on your SITS day!

Elizabeth said...

Hmm, this is a good phenomenon to talk about. When I got pregnant with my only munchkin thus far, I was 25. Been married for 2 years, and the people I worked with acted like it was taboo for me to be pregnant at my age. Keep in mind, my 25 was a lot more like most people's 35. I had been in my career for going on 6 years, was being promoted into a director-level position, and went and dared to get pregnant. I wanted to be younger when I had kids, because my mom was 40 when I was born. Not that she was a bad mom, she was just a lot more laissez-faire about things than I think I needed. Anyway, I don't think there's anything wrong with having kids in your 20's - I'm glad I did because I've got the energy to chase after my munchkin. Well, most days I do... :)

Mom of Three said...

First of all I love your blog and I'm now a follower (thanks SITS)!

Second, I feel like I really relate to this one. Early on I knew I wanted kids and I wanted them by 30. I pretty much stuck to that (although after a big gap I had number 3 at 35.)

I didn't want to be too old to enjoy my kids' childhood with them.

But I also really related to my peers, most of whom waited to have kids. We were educating ourselves, getting degrees and great jobs, and further degrees. And enjoying the control we had over our lives.

And I think that's the question 20-somethings are struggling with. When do I give up this control over my life, to pursue career, or just enjoy being free to pursue travel or anything else that comes along?

Ok that's my 2 cents! REally interesting topic btw. :-)

Christina said...

I think a lot of my friends in their 20s want to wait for something first -- usually a marriage that's weathered at least a year or two pre-kids, or making a significant dent in student loans so they can afford child-related emergencies.

Just my two cents. :-)

Happy SITS day!

Jess @ Frugal with a Flourish said...

I have to say at 29 that I am now ready to start a family - where before I would have felt like I was "rushing it" since the hubby and I had been married less than 3 years. We too, like another commenter, wanted to be married for awhile. Of course, we also waited until we had been married 2 years to have a shared cell contract. We take it slow! :)

But at the same time, I don't feel behind. My mom was 31 when she had me and 35 with my brother (which in the early 80's was rare!). Sure she was older as we got older but she was more active and more involved than a lot of my friends with younger parents. It is all about perspective and what you put into it.

BTW - happy SITS day!

parentingBYdummies said...

I had my first when I was 23 and this shop has officially closed after 3 boys by age 29. I can't imagine waiting until now to start. I can't tell a significant difference in my energy level, not to mention my approach to life is different. I think the relative naivete of a young person actually helps you stay positive and glass half full-ish. I will admit that it sucked (and still sorta does) being the "young" mom at everything because it always felt like others were looking down on me like some teenage high school drop out. They were always amazed to discover that I had a Master's Degree and seeing their little faces change from contempt to amazement was always fun! People who judge are soooo cute!

The Mommyologist said...

I had mine at 28 and I'm 32 now and can't imagine if I were just starting. That little bugger wears me OUT!

The Mommyologist said...

I am so glad that I had mine at 28. I am now 32 and he is already wearing me out. I can't imagine if I were just beginning.

Michelle said...

This is an interesting topic, one I have thought about a lot.

I had my son at 18. I was married to my son's dad and divorced by the time I was 22 and raised my son most of his life as a single mom. I had to work full-time while going to school full-time and raising my son. As a result I took out lots of student loans and took on a lot of debt.

My husband went straight into the Navy out of high school, was married at 20, and a dad of two and divorced by 23. He also struggled through college as a single parent, going into lots of debt.

Now we are 27 and 30 and parents of three school aged children. While I am proud to say we both graduated from college while single parents, I left my career behind to raise our kids and now work as a nanny while my children are in school. My husband is in his first job out of college and while the pay is ok we struggle to get by due to the debt incured to get us where we are.

We look around at people just starting to have kids in their 30's after their careers are established, they have homes and savings and financial security and it seems like a much easier way to do it.

This came up with the woman I nanny for who is 35 and her husband is 39. She said no, it is not easier to have kids later in life. You are so set in your ways and so used to having your personal time that you sacrifice a lot. I started my adult life out as a mom and loved it but also didn't know any different. I will be 39 when my youngest graduates high school. My boss will be almost 60. My MIL is very ill and probably won't make it much longer. She is only 52, what if you had teenage children at home when you passed away. Plus there is the issue of getting pregnant and pregnancy. I have a couple friends who had children in their early 20's and then didn't have their next child until their early 30's and they said it is much more difficult.

I really don't think there is a wrong or right way. Everything in life is a balance you just have to do what is right for you and you family.

Michelle said...

I think a little bit of the trend is regional. I will say being new to the Baltimore/DC area there are many more moms with small children in their later 30's, early 40's than in Colorado.

I am always the youngest mom by a few years but I am 27 with a 4th grader so I expect it now.

The thing about being a young mom that makes me craziest is when people say stuff like, "you don't look old enough to have three kids." I want to say, "obviously I am old enough since I do have three kids."

Kari said...

I definitely see the trend of people waiting later to have kids. Personally, I'm glad that we started having our kids (we have four kids) in our early 20's. I will always miss being pregnant and having a little one, but, the thought of going through that again now that I'm 40 is just too much for me. I think it would be so hard at my age. It's a personal decision for everyone, so I'm sure there are others who feel the opposite of me.

Happy SITS day!

A Fist Full of Dandelions said...

I had my first at 36 and plan to have another...eventually...hopefully next year sometime.

I actually feel very old to be just starting a family.

Sherri @ Luv a Bargain said...

Very interesting. I had my 1st at 27 and my 2nd at 35 and the latter was considered high risk because of my age. So does this mean that more people will be having high risk pregnancies or will the doctors re-think that age?

I think the ideal age would be late 20's/early 30's.

Mighty M said...

Not sure what the best age is. Late 20's early 30's sound good to me. I had my first at 31 and my second at 33.

Jessica said...

I say have kids when you want to but as a young mother i feel judged by the older ones! there is no need for that lol

www.atlmomguide.com

Christine said...

I think it's all relative. What's good for me might not be good for the next person. And Vice Versa. I guess the only time I bat an eyelash is when women 49ish & up have babies. And that's because I feel sad for the children that will probably have to say goodbye to their parents too soon.

Kelly said...

I think having babies in your 20's is way more than acceptable.

tara said...

i just had my first (he's 5 months too!) at age 34. my career definitely benefitted by my waiting.

Crafty Girls Workshop said...

OK, hold on a minute here. I just turned 30 yesterday and have been grappling with the issue of not having had any kids yet (because hubby isn't "ready"). I feel like my biological clock is winding down! I've heard all sorts of rumors that it's difficult to concieve even in your 30s and I would have loved to have had children a lot younger. My friend who is 44 has been trying to concieve for 4 years, including IVF which is $$$. Now they are just starting the adoption process. When their child gets old enough for college they will almost be 60!! I wonder if there is any study out there that has looked at the increase in age of monthers and the increase in various health problems with children such as ADHD and Asperger's Syndrome or Autism. There's something for you to check since you like those stats so much. (I used to teach kindergarten but all the parents were younger than me and I was in my early 20s.)Also, most of my friends who are just turning 30 already have kids and my sister who is 26 is talking about kids, so I feel totally OLD, oh and my 21year old sister in law has a baby too. By the way, happy SITS day and congrats on being the FB! I think your blog is great!

Anna

Grandma Cat said...

Wow, my mom had 4 our of 7 kids by the time she was 21. I had 3 by the time I was 21. Our family motto is 'Have them young, while you have the energy!' I was a stay at home mom until the divorce, then I had to work to support them, but I worked for the school district they attended and had all the same days off they did and was very lucky to buy a house on the same block as my parents. Mom watched the kids after school until I got home. Now I am helping to raise 5 of my grandkids which are 5 years old and under. I will say that the difference I feel from being in my early 20s and now my early 50s is that I savor the experience so much more. I write down the silly songs my granddaughter makes up, each child has a trunk at my house full of artwork, special toys, even silly things like the first jar of baby food I ever fed them. So my advice to the young mothers is to take a few moments at the end of the day and write down something special that happened with each of your little ones...an unprompted kiss, a new word or silly phrase, baby powder emptied all over the living room couch. Age doesn't matter in birthing babies...as long as it is safe for you and the baby. If you are too young, you'll grow up fast.

Kimmy C said...

We adopted our first child when I was 21,she was three. My husband and I were only married 8 months, and I still had one semester left for my undergraduate degree. But I was more than prepared to have this child, as was my husband. I worked 40 hours, went to school, and took care of my child. Can every 21 year old do that? No way. But I also get sick of the looks I get from old biddy's who think i am too young to have a 9 year old child and always check to see if I have a ring on my finger. You should see their faces when they find out I am 27 and my husband and I have been married 6 years.... for all of those who judge - there are circumstances that you may not know about!!! Sorry - back to the post - my husband and I waited for a few years before having another child to give our daughter a chance to have parents all to herself, but we knew we wanted to be done having kids by the time I was 27 and we succeeded. We had two more (boy 2 and girl 5 mos) and have completed our family. They will all be grown by the time I'm in my early 40's! I'm from a big family (6 kids ranging in age from 30 to 11). My dad is 59 with an 11 year old. I knew I didn't want to be there. It works for my parents, but I want to have my golden years to enjoy my husband, my grown children and their children!!! :)

Whew! Your post definitely provoked a lot of thinking!

Happy SITS day.

Creative Junkie said...

I saw that move as well and I thought the same thing!

I think you're old enough to have a child when you stop acting like one yourself. This goes for men and woman alike.

But mostly men.

Julie D. said...

I love that women can have babies at almost any age. Parenting is about the ability to sacrifice. If you can do that, you can be a parent.

aforestfrolic said...

Giiirl, I don't know that either! I think age doesn't really matter...it's more maturity! I've had all three of mine young and wouldn't have done it any different. They have made my life soooo much better and I am so thankful for that!

Jamie :)

Crystalin Dunn said...

Wow, this was so interesting to read everyone's comments; this is obviously an issue that we as women are wrestling with now. Having kids is scary, period, no matter what age that happens at. The shift from focusing on your wants and needs to meeting the needs of little ones is overwhelming. I think that every woman's circumstances are different, and am amazed and impressed whenever a woman decides to raise children. However, I believe that, situation permitting, when a woman has children at a younger age(because, sister, if you have a baby, you are no longer a girl regardless your age) she has more time to learn to adjust to the paradigm shift from her being the center of the universe(hubby included) to kids being the center of that world. I think the older you are, the more set in your ways you've been able to become. But whenever children are able to come to us, I firmly believe that what will make us good parents is 1) the realization that we don't know enough and need to rely on our Heavenly Father for guidance(who does know everything!); and 2) learning to laugh at the most unlaughable things. Without these two things, I probably would have gone crazy way before now. As it is, I think I might have a few sane years left hahaha...

Michelle said...

I see nothing wrong with being 40 and having MORE children...but it jsut seems weird to wait so long. I imagine it's because they are career oriented.

I"m in my 30's and having number 6. Would love to have more.

Lynn said...

I think it's because women have become even more so career driven and entertainment driven. So if you are working all day long and then watching the boob tube at night all you are seeing tv shows about women working hard for the money and then putting off having a family until everything is just right or they have met Mr. Right. Also, could it be the Madonnas, Angelinas, Meg Ryans and Sheryl Crows of the world making it look uber easy to adopt or have children well on in life? Yada, yada, yada...

My best, Lynn
Happy SITS day and I love statistical data too!

Marie said...

It seems like college kids aren't moving out of their parents houses right after high school and are relying on them for money, then they get their "dream" job and date around alot and by the time they seriously think about kids they are in their 30's. Makes sense to me. I do have young parents though and it was great, we all raised each other, ha!

Rook No. 17 said...

Personally, I can't imagine having attempted this journey in my twenties. Sure, I probably would have risen to the occassion, but for me, starting at 30 was perfect! I know mommies who are in their twenties who are pretty darn amazing, and older ones that never should have been parents. I guess it really comes down to the individual. What concerns me about people having children later in life (after 40) are the health risks involved to the baby and mother, but that's not really any of my business. We all come into this parenting gig as rookies ~ my hope is that before we "sign-up" we've had some life experience, fun and adventures, and enough time to ourselves that we don't revert to adolecent narcicism after the baby enters our lives.

Jenn @ rookno17.blogspot.com

Lynn said...

I think it's because women have become even more so career driven and entertainment driven. So if you are working all day long and then watching the boob tube at night all you are seeing tv shows about women working hard for the money and then putting off having a family until everything is just right or they have met Mr. Right. Also, could it be the Madonnas, Angelinas, Meg Ryans and Sheryl Crows of the world making it look uber easy to adopt or have children well on in life? Yada, yada, yada...

My best, Lynn
Happy SITS day and I love statistical data too!

T~T said...

I had my first baby at age 34, second at age 36 and third at age 39 we have been hoping to have another - but alas, at 42, no luck. I didn't try because I wasn't married. I didn't get married until I was 33. I was too busy getting my career in line and off. The most hilarious thing is that as soon as my son was born - there was no way I was returning to work!!

Tanyia said...

Wow, well, I have serious feelings on this due to my own experiences, but they are totally not objective and certainly do not stand for other people. I could care less when other people have kids as long as they love them and care for them!

Myself, though ... well, I am now 34 and have 3 the eldest of which is 16. I would not change being a young mother for the world. I grew responsibly, turned into a good mom, I am going to have plenty of my life left to grow old with the man I love most in the world. My mom did not have me til she was 41 and it was miserable, she was SO out of touch with my generation and I could not relate to her at all. ugh!

But...to each his own, live and let live!

One Cluttered Brain said...

I'm visiting from SITS and I actually think 33 is about right for your first child. I had my first in my 20's which was great for me but some people like to wait or can't have any right away or whatever the reason. You know A WHOLE heck alot more in your thirties than your twenties. But truth be told it's still your first child, you will probably still make mistakes. So that's my opinion.

LOVE your blog!! I am definitely following YOU!!!!

Small Sprouts said...

Happy Sits day! I am 51 and had my last child at 45, never too late!

Andi said...

I think in your 30's is a good time. You have had your 20's to figure out who you are. And in your 40's I think you get "tired" that it is hard to have an infant. 30 seems right to me.

Rebecca said...

I'm 30, childless and don't plan on changing that in the next couple/few years.

I don't think I'm too young, I just know we aren't ready yet - if ever.

I think there's more than just a number, I have plenty of friends who have kids (varying ages) and some were 'old enough' and some were 'too young'.

I think it's more about are you ready for the changes that are going to come to your life?

Happy SITS Day!

foxy said...

I think it all depends on the person. You can't really put an age to it. Some are ready early in life... and others are NEVER ready for kids. Me personally? 36 came before I knew it and now I'm finally trying to get pregnant. This wasn't what I expected, but it's how it turned out. C'est la vie!

foxy said...

oh, and happy SITS day to you!!

Rebecca said...

I'm 30, childless and don't plan on changing that in the next couple/few years.

I don't think I'm too young, I just know we aren't ready yet - if ever.

I think there's more than just a number, I have plenty of friends who have kids (varying ages) and some were 'old enough' and some were 'too young'.

I think it's more about are you ready for the changes that are going to come to your life?

Happy SITS Day!

Bella Crafts said...

I think that it is best to have your children while you still have your youthful stamina, because it makes it easier to deal with the rigors of daily parenting. I feel sorry for parents who had children late in life and look like they are the grandparent, not a young and vibrant parent. But life is different for everyone, so far be it from me to judge.

Marilyn (A Lot of Loves) said...

Most of my friends had kids over the age of 30...or are still thinking about if they will have kids and they are over 30. I certainly don't think that a 30-year-old is young and immature. We didn't have kids until I was 31 but that was because we had trouble getting pregnant. If it had happened how I planned it we would have been parents at 25. In my group that would have meant we were practically babies with babies but I think it would have been just fine.

MariLee Parrish said...

My own opinion is that children deserve to have young parents, if at all possible.

Now I know some women who try and try and can't get pregnant...and then they finally do a little later in life and that's GREAT!!

I believe in God's perfect will and timing.

However, I know quite a few people (I'm not generalizing here...I know several woman who have done this on purpose!) who just wanted to concentrate on themselves first. And for a while....I think it's necessary to focus on your marriage and get to know your mate better! But really, 13 years of climbing higher and higher on the ladder of success thinking that kids can wait, is a bit selfish in my mind.

Someone who is very close to me has done this and by the time her child graduates High School, she will be pretty old!

I had a friend in High School who's parents were actually elderly! This friend had to literally go home every day and help his parents do everything (including give baths and eventually change diapers) because they were old! How awful is that? He had to grow up way too fast because his parents wanted money and success before children.

That's my 2 cents. I'm only 31 and I'm wishing I would have started having babies earlier. I have a 2 1/2 year old, but we have been trying to have another and I've had 2 miscarriages already. I'm getting nervous that my most fertile time is over.

Sorry this is a book...I just feel passionately about this subject!!! LOL!

Two Normal Moms said...

Enjoy your SITS day!
I'm 42 and my son will be off to college in 3-1/2 years. I can't imagine having one in diapers right now, but that's just where I am in life. I think you just adjust to when you start. I have friends from high school who have just had babies in the last year or two!
***Ally

Date Girl said...

I've been seeing the new trend of over 35ers having kids, and even in their 40s. I blame the movie stars who are finally having kids after they've had their great careers. I personally don't think it's a very smart move. Pregnancies are high risk after the age of 34, and not to mention the child being at risk to have birth defects or developmental problems.
I personally would like to have my two kids before I'm 32, if I can help it. But if life gets in the way, then I think by that age I'll probably adopt. But that's just my opinion.
PS It also cracks me up these movies with the romantic comedy where it's their first real relationship at 40, and they act as if they're just new to dating. What is that about??

Trish the dish said...

Hi, I'm from SITS. I read/skimmed most of the comments and mostly concur with what other people are saying- esp. Samantha. Not that I think everyone is/could be a good mother at age 19 but sometimes you gotta give people the benefit of the doubt. Not everyone is a reckless young adult at that age.

I'm having my first baby now at age 26 and I think I am just fine. Sure I have things to learn, but I don't have to reach perfection before becoming a parent. I'm on the journey and doing my best.

I do think that those people in society who think that the ideal age to start a family is in your later 30s are not so smart. Not only do you have greater risk factors with overall health of the baby but how do you relate to a young kid when you are so so much older than they are? (not that kids should be raising kids) I just mean when you have some youth left, like in your 20s then you have more energy to chase around little ones. Much of the population in America in their 40s and 50s are overweight and don't have that kind of energy.

Anyway, I think it is smarter to have your family first and then go back to school when they are older if you want to do the career thing. That is, if you have the choice. (because you have a husband)

MommyD said...

Certain places in the US definitely have younger moms. Yes, I'm talking about Utah. I think it depends on how much a certain culture values family life over career, social life, etc...
Most people where I live feel old if they haven't started a family by 25. I think it's good to get married, be together a couple years, finish school or have some work experience, then have a family. I had my first at 24, and now I'm 26 and have 2.

Lindsay Rudolph said...

As a 28-year-old mother, I am the only one in my college and high school friend group that has children...and only a couple of them are married! They are more focused on careers and having fun, not having a family. There's nothing wrong with that...it just seems to be the cultural shift that is happening. But in regards to the movie, 33 is not to young. But the movies tend to blow things up sometimes? Great post topic! I am interested to see what the other ladies think.

Monique-aka-Surferwife23 said...

I have to admit I like the idea of older moms for one selfish reason. It makes me feel younger! LOL! I was 25 with my first and I am by far the youngest mom in his class. I can deal with that 'young mom' title! ;) Though I have always found it so odd that 25 was considered so 'young' to become a mommy.

Divine Mrs D said...

Happy SITS day!

I live in NYC and the fact that I am under 25 and married BLOWS people's minds. I had a boss who was as old as my father (my father is REALLY young) and who could have been my father. He had a two-year-old.

Everyone here says that 40 is the new 30...

What's funny though is that, because my mom is considered so young, and only my younger brother still lives with my parents, when she goes to the school, they expect her to have babies at home. They hit the floor when she says her oldest is married!!

Aimee @ Ain't Yo Mama's Blog said...

I got married at 29 and had my first (and only) child at 31. To me, that was a perfect age. I always planned on having my 20's to myself to have fun, get educated, build my career, and have no responsibility to anyone other than myself. That said, I'm still on the "young" side among my friends and I agree with others that it tends to be a regional thing.

I've mostly lived in big cities and my friends and other women I know wait to get married and/or have kids. My friends who get pregnant are all over the age of 35. For example, I have a friend who is 40 and expecting twins and another friend who is 44 who just had twins. In case you're wondering, both used IVF.

I know some people wonder why they waited to so long. If you ask them it's because they were busy becoming successful in their careers and didn't find suitable partners when their biological time was right. Some of us are lucky in that we find wonderful partners/fathers for our kids while we're still good to go, reproductively speaking. Other women aren't as lucky. I don't think it's an issue whether you get pregnant at 22 or 42, whether you get pregnant at the drop of a hat or need some medical intervention. What matters is that you found a good partner to help raise your kids. What matters is that you want those kids badly enough that you'll wait until the perfect time for YOU and your partner, even if it's not the perfect time for your body.

K a b l o o e y said...

Had my first at 40, not by choice, but by... life, I guess. I think in "real life" no one would consider 33 too young -- I think that's Hollywood movie nonsense. Script probably had a younger mom, but then casting changed things. I know some older moms around me, but most are right in that early 30's wheelhouse. Then again, I'm in 'burbs, not city, where there are quite a lot of grannymoms. Don't flame; I'm 45 and gray. Talking about myself.

Pam said...

I am 45 with two children, ages 17 and 14 and I can honestly say that under no circumstances would I want to be having a baby now. There is no way I have the energy to be a mom to a baby or a toddler. Woman having first babies in their 40s are in for a big surprise.

As for why that's happening, I think there are many reasons. But certainly people in their 20s are mature enough to have babies. And they are certainly more energetic and less set in the ways and comfortable lives.

Jen said...

this is a very interesting topic. I had all my kids in my twenties, 4 kids by the time I was 28. Yeah, I got busy.
But if I had to do it over again, I might have waited a little bit and enjoyed my youth ie being newly married.
But I don't think that there is anything wrong with having kids in your 40's just as long as you know the risks. It is all a balancing act.

Connie Weiss said...

I didn't have my kids until I was 35 and 36. I wanted them sooner but wasn't able to have them....but I'm glad it took this long because I know I'm a better mother at this age than I would have been at 20ish.

I would love to have *just one more* but I'm feeling too old lately. But this could be due to have two toddlers that are 10.5 months apart, not because I'm 39.

I think now days...many women wait until their careers are established to have kids.

Cathy said...

Personally, i had kids at 24 and 26 and feel like it was a perfect age to have kids. I'm still young enough to chase them and play with them. If it is by choice that people are waiting to have kids, then I would tell them they don't know what they are missing.

Heather said...

For me, I don't think I've consciously decided to wait to have children until later in life (I'm 36), but the decision has been thrust upon me. I've never been married and I think the job of parenthood is far too big to try to go it alone.

I do think that waiting to have children can be a good thing sometimes, but it depends on the person. If I had had children at 25, I don't think I'd do as good a job as I might today. I have had life experience and learned about myself and to love myself in the intervening years. I think so are assets that were missing in my mother because she had me so young.

Just my 2 cents.

Visiting from SITS.

Sara's Whimsy said...

I agree, 33 is plenty old enough. I'm 32 and my biological clock is just a tickin'! I've always told myself I have to have a baby by age 36. After 40 would just be too much for me.

Meg said...

I don't know...I'm hoping to be DONE have kids by 33. Of course I'm getting married at 22. Maybe that makes a difference for some people?

The Red Headed Mama said...

First off, HI! I'm visiting from SITS!

Second...I don't think there is a magic number b/c the maturity of one person vs. another can be so drastically different. I know 30 year olds that still act like they're 19 (on a good day) and vice versa.

I had my first son at 22, I was young and totally unprepared but I wouldn't change it for the world. If I had to do it all over again, I'm not sure I'd change anything. I had my second son at 27, and I learned SO much in those 6 years about being a mom and about myself.

As for the movie (which I haven't seen)...at 33, you SHOULD be grown up enough but well, that's not always the case :)

Christian Mommy Writer said...

Happy SITS day,

I think that people are waiting longer because they are trying to establish careers first. I had my first at 28 and I felt like it was a good time for me.

Angela said...

I had my first at 24 and the second at 25. I didn't really mean to do it that way, but i had already been married for 3 years and experienced enough of the "you are too young" advice for getting married so young.

I LOVE having that season of life behind us. We were young enough to enjoy and have energy to keep up with 2 babies. Not to say that older moms don't. There is no "right" age for babies. This is just my own personal experience.

Now that we have kids who are a little older, we are able to dedicate our energy to teaching newlywed couples and engaged couples about marriage and how to protect their marriages. It is a passion that we share, and we would not have fully rounded perspective if not for our kids. It seems like we weren't too young after all.

carma said...

I would think younger is probably better in this case as the risk of genetic problems gets worse with age.

LivingInspired said...

My husband and I are 25. We've been married for a year and are waiting until next year to start our family. When I was younger I used to think I'd have children at 22. As it came and went I couldn't imagine me having a kid at that age! Nowadays I feel as if we've finally gotten there. We haven't killed any pets, have taken care of ourselves and are buying a house. Weird. On the other end, I refused to begin having children at the age of 30. Just seems too old to be starting, for me that is. Gosh, you sure have gotten me to thinking! Thanks!

La Belle Mere UK said...

This is a really interesting topic for me. I do feel sad for young girls who have kids young because I think they miss out on a lot. I know they often think that that's what they want but they haven't experienced anything else so how do they know? I'm 33 and I don't want any kids. Basically, the older I've got, the more I've learned what else there is to life and the more I've gone off the idea. I love the freedom I have, the spare cash, the holidays, the tidy house, being able to eat in nice restaurants, not having to be constantly cooking and cleaning and doing laundry..... nah.... I think more women should consider that they have an option to NEVER have kids and that we're not just here to reproduce.

McMom said...

I had my last at 33, and even then I felt like I was getting a little too old to be pregnant. I don't know how I'd have the energy if I were any older!

Cole said...

I had my first two kids at 19 and 21. My thrid baby came along earlier this year when I was 26. I can definitely see advantages to both sides of the age thing. However, I think it all comes down to the individual. At 19, I was ready for the responsibility of parenthood, but many people aren't. I do not judge those who wait until later to start their families, just as I hope that they don't judge me for starting so early.

Amber Page Writes said...

Great topic. I just had my first baby at 33 - after being married for ten years. And let me tell you, when you're married without children for that long, people start to look at you funny.

I'd always planned to have kids earlier, but life just kept getting in the way. I'm glad we waited, though. I think I'm a better mom than I would have been in my 20s. I know I'm a better woman.

The Girl Next Door Grows Up said...

I had my oldest at age 27 and yes, I was treated like a child by the hospital staff - the fools. Then I had my second at age 34 and everyone was so nice... go figure!

Texan Mama @ Who Put Me In Charge said...

Wow, when I first started reading your post I thought I read it wrong... 33 too YOUNG? That seems weird to me. Because, yes age is just a number. one 33 year old could be very immature, whereas another 33 year old could have been emotionally ready for kids 10 years earlier. It all has to do with personal sacrifices, readiness, and sometimes just dumb luck.

Happy SITS day!!!

Melanie said...

I totally am with you here. Love reading your nerdy facts since I hate looking that stuff up. Why does society seem afraid of letting 20 somethings have children? Why are 20 somethings so afraid of it? I had my first child at 23 and loved it. I often Joke that we have grown up together but I don't feel that my immaturity at 23 caused me to fail him in any way. Each challenge created growth in me as I rose to meet it. I was infertle by 25 and we finally decided to adopt at 34, while I am a different and more mature parent now I don't know that I am necessarily a better parent simply because I am older.

Kristin said...

I don't think there is any perfect age. Everyone is ready at a different stage in their life. I had my first at 29 and it's worked for me. : )

Tasha - Bellazizas Favorite Things said...

I'm 32 and done having kids sooooo, I guess I was seriously too young by some people's standards! I think when you're ready, you're ready! Age is just a number. Unless you're like 16, there IS such a thing as too young!
Over from SITS.

*Mirage* said...

WOW! 33 is too young? Lol! I'm 26 and have 2 kids already and my sis is 23 with 2 kids. If I waited until I was 33 to have kids I'd have been married for 14 years. Then again they say getting married younger than 30 is too young too.

I think the perfect time to get married is when God puts you with the one He wants you to spend the rest of your life with. And the perfect time to start having kids is anytime after you're married to Mrs./Mr. Right. If you are married to the right person then I don't think 19 is too young to have a baby, let alone 33.

*Mirage* said...

P.S. I wish I'd started sooner. I had my first at 23 and my second at 25. I want more kids but at nearly-27 now I am starting to slow down alot and feel old and tired. The reason we didn't start sooner was because my hubby was in the military and we wanted to raise the kids together. He was gone so much they would have not known who he was and I would have gone and lost my mind alone with the kids for 6-8 months at a time. So I really wish we'd been able to start sooner so I could have 3 or 4 kids by now.

My mom is 53. She had me at 23. If she'd waited until she was 33 I'd be 16 years old right now. My brother would be 11. And my mom is dying. She's had breast cancer for 8 years and the Lord could take her home to heaven any day now. It would be horrible being 16 with a 13 year old sister and an 11 year old brother waiting for our mom to die any day. So I'm really glad she started "young."

AmericanTribal said...

I think, just like most things, that this is a circumstantial subject. I know a few 33 year olds who are definitely too immature and selfish to have kids, a couple of 18 year olds who would probably do better than those 33 year olds. However, I know many people who are older that would make wonderful parents.
I really feel that it depends on the health and the stability of the individual. If a 40 year old woman has enough $$ to have proper medical treatment (should she have a difficult pregnancy) and to ensure a safe baby (not that you can ensure these things, but you get my point), than why shouldn't she?
I guess my point is that I think the maturity, stability and health of a person is more important than their age when dealing with pregnancy.

Michelle (hometc) said...

Wow, I waited until I was 29 to have my 1 and only (she came out so perfect I didn't feel the need to try again) and I thought I was pushing the age issue. Appearantly not!

Vickie said...

Being in your 30s is not so young. I am considered an "Old" parent at my school and I am only 38 with my youngest being 3. I would love to have one more baby.

Unknown Mami said...

I think the perfect age to have children is when you are ready and that will be different for everyone.

I don't find it that strange that women in this country are waiting to have kids. There are far more opportunities available to women than ever before and many women want to explore those options before becoming a mother.

Little Miss Baker said...

Well I am 23 and about to get married next year (I will be24.5 when I do haha) and I think I am at a perfect age. I think 33 is great to have kids. Maybe a few years old than I would like but hey it's all about opinion. That's kind of a weird thing to portray in the movie though? Either way, HAPPY SITS DAY!!! :)

Shannon said...

I will be 28 next month and plan to try to have a child within the next year and a half. The only reason we've put off having babies is financial difficulties; I think that would kind of prove that I'm not too immature. But what do I know!