What do you think is the best age to have kids, given a choice?

posted 1 year ago in Waiting to TTC
Post # 2
Member
306 posts
Helper bee

I personally don’t like to subscribe to the whole idea of “when I’m x age, I have to have kids and be married” I think it can be damaging thinking especially for women as life rarely works the way we want it to and it can cause so much stress and feelings of inadequacy if you’re in your 30s and not married and no child. I’m almost 33 and have neither, and really not worried about it. Yes, I’d like to have but if it doesn’t happen naturally for me, I’d adopt- one doesn’t need to birth a child in order to be a mother. That being said, I know a lot of people want to have their own, I completely understand & support that. I think it depends on each person and couple- instead of age I’d say be in good economic standing and solid ground in your marriage, I think that’s more important than age because we see too often women who try to rush it by their late 20s with partners who wouldn’t be that great of a father because they’re afraid they won’t be able to. I’ve also seen young friends struggle with infertility so it does not discriminate. If you feel ready and have concerns from precious family experience then it would be great to talk to your partner about it. If you really wanted an exact answer on age, I’d say mid-thirties since you’re more secure of yourself and have had experiences to make you well-rounded. 

Post # 3
Member
32 posts
Newbee

I don’t think there is a “best age” to get pregnant since that age would be different for different people. I got pregnant with my first (surprise pregnancy) at 27- but I had already completed my masters, bought a house, got my first dog and was already 4 years married at that point. Like you, I wanted to do an elaborate vacation in Europe before getting pregnant, so that didn’t happen. However, I did go to Europe for 2 months on a mother-daughter trip with my then 3 year old and she loved it. It was one of the best experiences of my life! My husband stayed home since he wasn’t keen on visiting Europe. I am 33 now and gave birth to my second child a month ago and I think for me this age and gap made most sense. 

Post # 6
Member
3380 posts
Sugar bee

It’s different for everyone. I didn’t meet my husband til age 29 and didn’t get married til 31. We started trying pretty soon after the wedding and I had my first at 33. 35 now and trying for our second! #geriatric

 I’m glad I had my 20s to live freely and without much responsibility, and honestly wouldn’t have minded a few more years of that type of life. But there’s a history of infertility in my family so I was anxious to try. Fortunately i did not have the same problems my mom had (she had secondary infertility after going through early menopause in her late 20s). But yeah you never know what your journey will look like until you’re in it!

eta: also, pre Covid we traveled a ton with our baby. She had been on over 30 flights by her first bday including two international trips! It’s totally doable though obviously not as easy as when your child free. 

Post # 7
Member
1200 posts
Bumble bee

I don’t think there is a set answer to this. It depends on your aims and goals and life. If forced to push, I guess I would say 33 or so– late enough to be stable and have had lots of chances to do things in life, early enough that you can expect to be healthy and active quite long in your child’s lifespan. (That said I am having my first now at 38 and I have no regrets. 33 year old ME would not have been in the right place.)

Post # 8
Member
32 posts
Newbee

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@danijay:  my daughter is amazing to travel with and I have already been to 18 countries with her. She is a great travel companion (she is almost 5). However, I do understand that not all kids are that easy!

Post # 9
Hostess
4581 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 2016

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@danijay:  D.H. and I have been together since we were 18, so we could have chosen to have children much younger, but did not.  We are 31 and planning to TTC in a couple of months; we’ll be 32 when we have our baby if we get pregnant right away.  I’m personally very career oriented (attorney) and while there’s never a great time to take a few months off of work, I do feel like I’ve worked my way up to a point where I won’t take a big hit being on maternity leave (I plan to be a FT working mom). This would not have been as easy to do early on as I was building my professional reputation and working very long hours to prove myself.  D.H. also recently changed careers, which is great because his last career was much less flexible.  We own our own home, have a dog, have traveled a good bit, are knocking out our ($$) student loans, and really feel ready for the change.  Being both financially and emotionally ready were the top two requirements for us, and we’re finally there.  Definitely can happen at different ages for others than it did for us, just sharing our rationale. 

Post # 10
Member
9439 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2016

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@missinthecity:  Same. My husband and I started dating at 18. So we could have chosen to have kids at any time throughout our 20s. We didn’t feel ready to take that step until we reached 30. So I’ll probably at least 31 by the time we have our first (maybe only) kid.

When I was young I thought I wanted to be done having kids before I was 30. But there was no point in my 20s when I actually wanted to have kids so I’m just here at 30 laughing at my younger self.

Post # 11
Member
271 posts
Helper bee

This is very similar to the question OP asked, but why is it better to travel/have fun in your twenties than it is when you retire?

My husband and I are 23 and 26, and we probably won’t have children for another 5-6 years (when I am 29/30). I have already traveled quite a bit, but there are a number of places I would like to go before children.

My SILs didn’t necessarily start having children young (they were maybe 25?), but it was within a year of getting married and moving in with their husbands. Both of them haven’t traveled much at all and will talk about how “well, we will just do that when we are retired”. I am sure their children will probably move out before ours based on them having children earlier.

We will travel when we are younger before children and they will travel when they are older after children. Is doesn’t seem like it really matters?

Sorry if that is a dumb question.

Post # 14
Member
9439 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2016

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@alexam:  Neither is better, it just depends on your preference. Also, you can do both? My mom had me and my brother in her 30s and my parents have been doing SO much traveling since they retired. They didn’t need to have kids at 25 in order to be able to enjoy their retirement. I don’t know where that idea comes from. You can also travel when you have kids. We traveled quite a bit with my parents growing up but also sometimes they dropped us with the grandparents for a week and did a trip for just the adults. I have no idea why people are so hung up on “but when will I travel?!” Whenever you want. 

Post # 15
Hostess
4581 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 2016

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@alexam:  My parents did that – had us all young and are empty nesters with a lot of disposable income.  Even though my parents could afford to travel a ton, have the time, and are young (under 60), they still tell me they just don’t have the energy to fly far and go on adventurous vacations.  Other parents have adult children who live with them, are caregivers to their parents, or otherwise don’t have the resources.  Sometimes the career decisions you make when your young really impacts your long term earning, making savings for travel out of reach.  So to me, the idea of traveling before kids is that it’s the sweet spot between having your own money, lots of energy, and less responsiblities.  D.H. hope to travel after we have kids, but daycare is over 2k a month here and our disposable income will be severely decreased when we have that expense.  

ETA: My grandparents had both of my parents late (early 40s) and lived into their 90s, so we still had a lot of time with them.  

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