This post has been rattling around in my head for a while now, and I was keen to get people’s thoughts on this particular topic too. I was originally going to call this post ‘the joys of being pregnant at 21’, but I didn’t want you all to think I was encouraging 21 year olds to run out and have kids. I decided that talking about ‘when is a good age to have a baby’ might be a better angle.
I was actually 21 when I was pregnant with my son, and it didn’t really dawn on me at the time how young I was. My pregnancy was easy and labour was really straight forward. I certainly coped with pregnancy a lot better back then.
My son will be 21 on his next birthday, and while if he were to become a Dad at that age I know he would be great and take his responsibilities seriously, the reality is he has only been an adult for a few years. He’s got his university course to finish and he wants to get a foot on the career ladder before starting a family, I’m sure.
There is a trend in the UK for having babies later in life, and the average age for having a baby is rising year on year. Lots of ‘parents to be’ are wanting to tick a few boxes before baby arrives, which I completely understand. They want to be at a certain place in their career and maybe own their own home, but what is the hidden cost of putting off having a family? What are you really missing out on by having a child later in life?
I’ve seen having children from both perspectives. I was pregnant with my son at 21 and he was born when I was 22 years old. My last child was born when I was 39 years old, and in my day to day life I see lots of women having children in their late 30’s and early 40’s. For some people this happens just because the circumstances they were in just weren’t right before that age, but some people deliberately leave starting a family until later in life, and I wonder if they are missing something in their decision making process.
Until you have had a child of your own, I don’t think it’s really possible to understand how they are going to change your life and your mindset. The love you feel for this tiny little person you’ve created will just blow you away. All of a sudden, your first priority is looking after your child, and everything else moves into second place. Even your own needs will move down the ladder to make way for your new arrival. They become the centre of your world and you are constantly assessing what they might need, how they might feel and how to help them along in this this journey called life.
Having been at both ends of the parenting scale, one thing really stares me in the face about having children younger in life. I have seen 20 year’s of my sons life already, he has grown up and become an adult and is starting his own path. All being well I will see him graduate from university, get married perhaps and maybe even have his own children. I could easily become a Grandma before I’m 50, and that’s a whole other blog post in itself!
It feels like there’s quite a different outlook for the girl’s, who are just 3 and 5 years old. I’m very aware that I will not see as much of their lives as I would like to. When Indie is 20 years old and beginning her journey into adulthood I will be 57. Her brother, in comparison, will be 35 years old and will hopefully be in a fairly settled stage of his life.
I wonder if it’s my own age and mortality that’s creeping up on me, but when I think about the things in Indie’s and Brook’s life that I might not be around for it makes me really sad. I’d like to think I will be going strong in my 50’s and 60’s but lets be honest, life might have other ideas for me. To say I have young children, old age seems far to close at the moment. I try my best to ignore it by dying my greying hair, and keeping a young outlook on life, but the numbers don’t lie do they?
I just wanted to share my thoughts on this just in case you were wondering when is a good age to have a baby. I’m not saying that 21 was ideal, it certainly wasn’t the smoothest of rides, but now I’m in my 40’s I can see the bonuses of having children in your early 20’s.
I certainly don’t regret having the girls either, I just wish I had the energy I had in my 20’s to keep up with them. If things had panned out differently, I would rather have had my children closer together and wish the girls had been here a few years earlier. Perhaps now I’d be having a lie in on a Sunday morning instead of being woken up at 6am by an enthusiastic 3 year old who thinks it’s an acceptable time of day to start playing with her toys.
What age did you have children? Do you have any thoughts on when is a good time to have a baby? If you are an older Mum, do you have any regrets about waiting to have your children?
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