What’s the Best Age to Become a Mom?
I married my husband when I was 28 years old. In the subsequent years, we attended several weddings of other Air Force couples – and then celebrated the births of their first babies within the next year.
Many of these new moms were in their early 20s, having accomplished little more than graduating college, getting married, and giving birth. I couldn’t understand why they wanted to jump into motherhood before experiencing all that their twenties had to offer.
I’ve always believed that your twenties are a defining decade. You’re officially an adult, living on your own and making your own money for the first time. You’re learning how to have healthy relationships. You’re discovering your passions and your style. Why make that time all the more complicated by throwing a baby into the mix?
Then I had my son at age 31, and I began to regret having waited so long. Not because I thought I would’ve been ready to become a mom sooner (I was barely ready at 31), but because I realized how old I’d be when my second and third child were born.
In many respects, I think there are numerous benefits to having a baby when you’re older. No longer young and reckless, you take life seriously. You have more life experiences under your belt that you can pass along to your child. You have a more mature approach to handling challenges.
But getting pregnant when you’re older is more of a challenge itself, and there is a greater risk of complications. Plus, you have less energy to chase around a toddler as a thirty-something than as a twenty-something.
If I were to get pregnant today, I’ll be 34 when I give birth. And if want a third baby after that, I’ll be at least 36, maybe even 37. Dealing with sleepless nights, temper tantrums, and potty training when you’re an already exhausted late thirty-something scares me. I thought I’d be established in my career by 37, not re-learning the ropes of being a new mom.
However, the math is indisputable: The longer I wait, the older I’ll be by the time my husband and I finish growing our family. It’s time to stop regretting what I didn’t do in my twenties and to stop fearing what could be in my late thirties – or to decide if we want our son to be an only child.