While sitting with other parents at an elementary school I noticed how young most of them were. Do you think it's better to wait until your late 20's or 30's to have children, or would it be easier when you were younger?

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Lily Bradic Profile
Lily Bradic , Parents were 26 and 37 when they had me, answered

I think it really depends on where you are in your life, and how settled you are. I'm not a parent, and don't plan on being one for a while, but I can see that there are benefits to having children when you're younger and when you're older.

Reasons It's Good To Have Children When You're Young

  • Your body can cope better with less sleep
  • Your metabolism is faster and you recover more quickly when your young, and so it'd be easier for the mother to get back in shape after the birth
  • Less risk of health complications (for both mother and child)
Benefits Of Having Children When You're In Your Late Twenties or Thirties
  • More likely to be financially stable
  • More life experience and practise in dealing with stress and change
  • You've had a chance to do what you want with your life
  • You have a better idea of who you are
  • More health-conscious
I know a few people who had children in their teens (one as young as fourteen), and most of them are still living off their parents. The fourteen-year-old was a drinking, drug-taking smoker who never practised safe sex and had a different boyfriend each week. Although I haven't seen her since she gave birth, I'm hoping for the child's sake that she's grown up and started taking responsibility!
Most people I know who got pregnant young — when they were essentially still children themselves — were too egocentric and self-obsessed to look after a baby, but luckily most of them soon adapted to parenthood with the help of their own parents.
I do know one girl who got pregnant when she was seventeen, and to be fair, she's a great mother, and has sacrificed so much to make sure her daughter has all the care, love, and attention she needs.
I think it really depends on the person and their attitude towards parenthood. Some young people can make great parents if they're willing to sacrifice things like going out partying, getting a job (or an education) and having money to spend on themselves. I don't think you should be a parent unless you're willing to put your child before everything else!
Unfortunately, I know far too many young mothers who still want to put themselves first, have no income, no partner, and still live with their parents.
Personally, I wouldn't want to have a child until I was confident that I was financially and emotionally stable, and had a safe home environment to raise a child in.
I'd want to live my own life before having a child, too. There's more to life than procreation, and there are so many things I want to do that would be near impossible with children.
Ultimately, I think it's better to wait until your late twenties or thirties to have kids, even if it might be more draining on you as a parent. You have a chance to form an identity of your own, and you have far more life experience, which may make you a better parent. I think it's fairer on the child, too.

2 People thanked the writer.
Andrea Heatherington
Your views echo many of my own. You will find though that when you are pregnant, or after the birth, you start to think very differently about options you thought might be closed off after parenthood.
It's empowering to be a parent, if you take to it like I do, and you tend to place that ambition into everything. That's just me. Thanks for the input, really great stuff!

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