I waited to become a mom and I don't regret it at all
I often wonder what my life would be like if I had chosen to have children in my 20s. For starters, my kids would be teenagers and not a preschooler and a first-grader. I'd most probably have a lot more energy and a lot less patience. Without a doubt, I would've left my budding career in journalism unable to deal with the pressures of a highly-stressful job and the demands of motherhood. Or maybe I would've had to continue to work to make ends meet. And then I'd hate myself for not being able to spend time with my children in their early years. Who knows?
What I do know is that I'm glad I waited until my early 30s and not until my early 40s, like so many women seem to be doing these days.
I'm no one to judge a couple's decision to postpone having children, but after reading an article titled "How Older Parenthood Will Upend American Society" on The New Republic, I'm more thankful than ever that things worked out the way they did, and I had both of my children several years before I turn 40.
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Why? First of all because I can't imagine having to deal with all sorts of fertility treatments in order to get pregnant. Not only are these super costly, but they're invasive and we truly don't know what ramifications they--especially the newer ones--could bring once the children born from them get older. As it is, according to a study published in May in the New England Journal of Medicine, 8.3 percent of children born with the help of assisted-reproductive technologies had birth defects compared to only 5.8 percent of children conceived naturally. That's not to mention all the other health concerns that have been proven to come with having old parents, including autism and schizophrenia.
Although some of the other factors that come with delaying parenthood are probably not as worrisome as those above, they should be considered too. For example, the longer you wait to have children, the more likely you are not to have as many as you originally intended. (I know that was true in my case!) Plus, the older you are when you become a parent, the more likely you are to die when your children are still fairly young.
That one truly sucks, and I speak from experience. My father was 50 when he had me and, although he lived a lot longer than I expected, I still lost him when I was barely 31 years old.
While it's true that the older you are the more stable both emotionally and financially you are too, it's also true that you'll never be completely ready to have children. I don't advocate having them in your early 20s, but I do think waiting until your 40s might be more detrimental than we've cared to admit.