Saturday, 6 April 2013

What is the best age to have a baby?

It's an age-old question and one that I already know has no definitive answer alongside endless contrasting opinions.

What is the best age to have a baby?

You may think that, as a mother of two, I should be past worrying about this stuff, but it intrigues me, more than anything.

I gave birth to Jasmine two months after my 21st birthday and to Sonny before I turned 23.
Newborn Jasmine
Physically, we are told, this is the prime age to give birth.

You are often full of energy and likely to be free from the chronic conditions that can strike during later years, apparently.

But it is the best time socially?

Possibly not.

From chatting to other mums, I would say that the majority of women are still waiting until around 30 to have their first child.

Why is this?

The factors are various.

Money, relationships, stability...they all have an effect.

Traditionally, we procreated at a young age, but times have changed and I can see the sense in waiting.

I realise that I have missed out on a lot.

I don't have a degree.

I don't drive.

I've not forged a career.

I have spent my early 20s raising small children, and will now spend the latter half of said 20s doing more of the same.

Don't get me wrong, I have no regrets.

I may not have reached any of the aforementioned goals YET, but I still intend to.

My children are everything to me, and James and I are creating our family at a time that suits us, not society.
Beautiful siblings
So, while it's undeniable that I sacrificed the carefree youth that my peers are still enjoying, I don't see that being a younger mum has to spell disaster.

Some things have been difficult.

For instance, friends from school did not settle down at the same time as I did.

They studied, got jobs, went out, got drunk, travelled; had free time and disposable income.

These things are mysteries to me!

I found myself tagging along with the slightly older generation of already-settled mothers.

The ones who'd done the studying, the partying, the career-building; they were married, owned their own homes and cars and then had children.

I belonged in neither camp.

I couldn't (and probably still can't) relate to my school friends, nor wholeheartedly to my mummy friends.

Truth be told, I still feel a little lost at times.

Financially, too, it has been difficult to be a young mum.

So what about older mums?  Or the mid-range?

How easy is it for you?

Physically, I have been told, it is more demanding.

Harder to keep up.

Financially, you are often, but not always, more stable.

But is it easy to give up the child-free lifestyle you've grown fond of?

Would you do it differently, if you had the chance?

I wouldn't.

Despite all the negatives to being a young mum (I hated getting stared at in the street, for one), I adore having two little people in my life.  Children are remarkable, magical - never more so than when they belong to you.

Cheeky Sonny
I am excited at the prospect of learning with them - we are growing up and maturing together.

We hope to add to our family as well.

Another baby.

Or two.

But at what age?

Not immediately - there are too many projects I want to complete first.

By 30?

Before 35?

As late as possible?

What is the best age to have your first baby?

And by what age should you have your last?

As you can tell, I have no answers, just more questions.

But I would be interested to hear your thoughts.


  1. I've had my two in my early 30's. It's just the way it worked out for me. We were married and said we would be married a couple of years before we tried for kids. I guess if he'd got his act together and proposed earlier rather than waiting 7 years then I would have had kids in my 20's lol! I think there's a range of factors at play. A lot of people do wait now to get their careers established and money set aside, but also think it's people meeting partners later in life of settling down later ie like travelling etc and want to get their 'single' lifestyle or 'party' lifestyle out the way first too.

  2. There are a few things I would have liked to do first, but I met someone and it was what we both wanted, and what we both still want. I think I assumed that all the other stuff - the wedding, the finances, the studying - would sort themselves out pretty quickly, but it is a lot harder to organise things like that once you already have the children. However, for me, the kids are the pinnacle; the actual cake. Everything else is just icing :) Thank you for commenting.

  3. I fall into the group of slightly older mothers, I did the studying and the travelling before settling down. I didn't do much on the career front though, although it was always in the back of my mind that I would be having children at some point, so perhaps I didn't push myself enough. It's interesting what you say about giving up the child-free lifestyle, yes I do miss that very much sometimes and I guess I wouldn't if I'd never experienced it!

    1. Well I think that's the assumption - you can't miss what you've never had. But I do feel I miss it, at times. I look at child-free people my age and see what they have (and, I suppose more pertinently, what they do) and, while I know I'd not trade lives for the world, I can't pretend I wouldn't enjoy a taste of that lifestyle. x