Sunday, 11 July 2010

Is there a right age to have a baby?

This subject is one i have given much thought over the years. Out of my groups of friends i have a real mixture of ages that they fell pregnant. Some have had children young, swapping the clubbing and vodka drinking years for nappies and pushchairs. Others are still planning families for in the future.

These days i don't feel there is a pressure on women to have children at a certain age. It is generally accepted that it is a very individual choice.

I have lots of experience of working with young parents over the years. I am in awe of the way some young parents rise to the challenge of balancing work/education and parenting when facing so many pressures. I have also seen older parents who have painfully planned their arrivals then buckle and break under the strains of raising those children.

I always wanted children in my twenties, and set my life up accordingly. Through lifes twists and turns this never happened. I wasn't blessed with Tabitha-Lo until i was 34. This gave me the chance to have grown more as a person. To have built my career to a higher level, to have experienced more of life and got things i had wrong, right. I am very grateful for those twists and turns.

I think each age group gives positives and negatives to parenting. One age will suit one person and not another. Some will excel and others struggle. But is age the relevant factor?


  1. I guess there is no right or wrong age because until you become a parent you don't truly know how you are going to cope or what being a parent really means.
    Like you I did not mean to leave it as late to have a baby (I was 35) but c'est la vie. It does mean that because I spent my life before holidaying, enjoying many good nights out, working etc... I am content now to concentrate on bring a SAHM and don't feel I am missing out by not going out anymore. Like you said we have maybe more life experience we can pass on. My mum was half my age when she had me so like so many other young mums I am now in awe at how well she and they cope.
    However, women who give birth in say their 50's and 60's I think is too old and is not fair on their babies because you just can't have the energy at that age to be able to cope with the pressures of motherhood.
    My only regret at being an older mummy is that if Burton waits to be a parent until he is my age, I may not get to be a grandma for as long as I would like and that makes me sad!

  2. I would say that it depends on individual circumstances - the best prepared thirty-something with money and a career for security can still get overwhelmed, whilst a teenager who is determined to crack on with things will flourish. I would say that it's more factors like stamina (esp the ability to cope with sleepless nights, a sore spot for me at the mo), and a loving environment that help people through.

  3. I agree there is no real right age but having started at 18 then finished at 27 popping a sneaky one in or should that be out at 21 . I can honestly say that we have both enjoyed being parents far more the third time around. We now have far more confidence in ourselves and can show the children a definate direction.

    We are proud of all three of our children and I think they are of us but Little Toby gets the best out of us, as his poor brother and sister have been the ones where we have been super strict just to prove that we can bring up decent kids despite our age! We are a little more laid back now. It is very bizarre having a 16 year old son when it feels as though I'm not that much older!

  4. Its very true that each age group brings its own pressures i think many young parents feel they are judged more harshly by others about how they raise their children and perhaps struggle with the confidence to go with their instincts over elders advice. I certainly know people who have struggled with this.

    Its really interesting Tracey that you feel you and your husband are more able to direct your children as older parents and that you were stricter with the first two.

    Family Vie i think you hit the nail on the head with saying its about the loving environment. I think this applies to child and parent its about your support groups, your extended family, your coping ability and this can be good or bad irrelevant of age.

  5. Unrelated: Hi Mumra it is I, Kate (& Florence)! Your blog is so is mine: I must say I was inspired to get back on the bandwagon when you told me about yours as you know I'm not on FB so everyone needs a little outlet & I like yours x

  6. Hi Kate, Thanks i will check yours out too x