What’s the perfect age for making babies?
Is there really a perfect age to have a baby? If you have your babies in your teens, you’re too young. Early 20s? You’ve still got so much to see and do – people will tell you to finish school, travel, establish your career, get some life experience. All of a sudden you cross that threshold. You’re living your life, enjoying your career – there are promotions on the horizon and you’ve developed a lifestyle.
Once 30, those that have coupled up and condo’d up are being asked when the wedding will be – how they’re going to fit a baby into their one-bedroom hip city condo. Those that are single at 30 are now feeling the pressure from friends, family and society to just find that perfect partner. Mr. Right, Mrs. Right, just couple up – you don’t want to miss out.
Those that make it childless to their late 30s are now pitied. “There’s still time” people will offer, trying to be nice, working out the timeline: Find a partner, 18 months you’ll get married, another year and you’ll have a baby, you might actually be able to fit in a second if you find one right away!” And then you hit 40 and people start telling you there’s still time. You can do this on your own. Fertility clinics, IVF, IUI, frozen embryos.
It’s too bad society can’t stop challenging people to become parents at the perfect age.
I finally figured out the perfect age – there isn’t one.
I went through it myself and I hated when people would give me their opinion. I didn’t want kids young – I wasn’t ready to settle down. I was 29 and recall a friend offering to set me up with a guy who “Wasn’t that bad.” It felt like, at 29, I’d already missed out on top tier potential partners but could still pick one out in the scratch-n-dent partner section.
At 32, I started dating my hubby. The first time my father met him, he asked him when we were getting married. Before hubby could stop choking on his tongue, my father said “Don’t worry about getting married, just have babies.” Although we joke about that one to this day, it was clear that I was falling behind on the schedule of life.
When I got my BFP at 36, my doctor responded with the term “Late Maternal Age.” Like that’s the new “congratulations” of the late 30’s crowd.
My friend had her first a few weeks before she turned 40. Her Facebook announcement of her pregnancy was “We’re so excited to let everyone know we’re getting #1 in before 40! Due in April!” Like 40 is a deadline. Like 39 is somehow magically much younger than 40 – but a few months more will change EVERYTHING.
Late maternal age worked out well for me. It’s true, there are concerns that come along with age – egg health, physical health. But it comes with benefits – life experience, stability and that wisdom they say comes with age. Maybe.
Is parenting at 40 the perfect age? It’s not for everyone, but it’s worked out well for me.