Young mums or older mums?(16 Posts)
I'm just curious how people feel about having children earlier in life or later. I had my baby aged 20 and by my 30's was pretty much free to do what I wanted career wise and socially while I was still young. Also although I was inexperienced we had a great time because I had almost boundless energy in those days and the small age gap means that I'm more like a really great friend than an authority figure.
I suppose we probably suffered from a shortage of money and possessions but we made our own fun.
I did not miss going to nightclubs and getting pissed for years like my peers.
I went on to do a later life degree for a specific career and loved it.
My sister had kids in her mid 40's and looks permanently knackered and all I can think is that she won't have her life back until she is almost retirement age if at all.
She does have a nice house though and is well off but I wouldn't change a thing now.
I was 19 when I fell pregnant with Dd, 20 when she was born. 21 when I fell pregnant this time and will be 22 when he's born.
I love the fact that when my Dd is 18, I will only be 38 - I will still have plenty of time to do what I want to do and have a life of my own outside of being a mum to small children. Plus the obvious biological bonuses to being a young mum!
But then I'm saddened to think about how skint DH and I are at this stage in our lives, and how if we had waited until later in life to have our children we would be financially way better off....and then I stop and have a word with myself! My kids won't remember whether or not they had the nicest nursery furniture or second hand clothes, or if we drive a nice car!
Had dc1 at 35 and dc2 at 37 so older end of the spectrum. I didn't meet the man I wanted to have children with until my 30s then took ages ttc so it was not a choice as such, if I could have chosen, early 30s would have felt good, in keeping with many of my friends. That said I know plenty of people who had kids in their late 30s and it seems to have worked ok for most.
I think owning a home and having an established career - which lets you work part-time after kids come, help a lot.
A downside of being older though is the kids' grandparents.
They would probably be in a better position to help with childcare if not well into their 70s. But plenty of people manage with little or no grandparent help locally.
Oh and we're not rich at all but by the time kids came along financially pretty comfortable.
Wouldn't give up my child free twenties for anyone, they were fabulous. Nothing about wanting to have more money or possessions, I was just enjoying being young, free and irresponsible.
It's not a case of one being better than the other, it depends on each person's circumstances.
Maybe "getting your life back" isn't as important to other people who have made different choices to you.
Being an older parent also doesn't automatically mean you'll be an authoritarian type parent, just as being a younger parent doesn't automatically mean you'll be less authoritarian.
For me personally, I didn't want to be responsible for anyone other than myself during my 20s and early 30s. I wouldn't change that decision even with the benefit of hindsight.
I think there are advantages and disadvantages to both. I had DS at 21, planned and much wanted. Had DD last year at 28 and would possibly like another one in my early 30's so not getting my life back anytime soon. I think DS and I almost have a brother/sister relationship at times as I've grown up with him. I also had more energy with getting up with him up at night and running around as a toddler. With DD I'm more lazy but more confident as a parent.
The only regret is I wish I'd travelled a bit more before I had him. I'm not a big drinker so not partying every weekend didn't bother me. I managed to get a degree whilst he was young and work part-time so I don't think being a younger mother has held me back too much.
I don't think there is a perfect age, I guess it just depends on circumstances. Some women can conceive at a later age, some can't as easily. My mother had a hysterectomy at 35 due to gyne issues, my older sister (34) is now having similar issues so this also influenced my decision to have kids in my 20's.
My mum had us before she was 25. She was a great mum.
I had my 4 between 37 and 44. I am a great mum
There is no Right Age to have children, just what's right for individuals.
If my circumstances had been different and if I had not had several MCs before I had a successful pregnancy, I'd've been happy to have children earlier. I don't regret having had them when I did <shrug>
I am actually not entirely sure what you are asking??
Life is not a rehearsal, we only get one shot at it.
I don't think I really chose to be an older parent as such, it was just that I didn't feel that I'd met the right person at the right time until late thirties. So glad I didn't have them in younger crappier relationships! However I did have a lot more energy to stay up late/all night in my teens and twenties, so guess I would have found the getting up at night naturally easier to recover from if I'd had kids in mid-20s?
What PacificDogwood said. It really doesn't matter.
My twenties were spent having a ball and travelling being responsible for no one but myself, ideally I would have liked my kids early thirties but didn't work out that way so I am an older mum, I don't know any different other than I think having more than one child is tiring in itself no matter what age. Not sure I would swap the way round we have done things even if we could. I am in no hurry to retire or get my life back, I'm just enjoying my kids and the way my life has panned out, there's no right or wrong way, different circumstances for different people.
Yes an older mum here (though my Dp wouldn't fit in the category of older parent )
I had longish relationships in my twenties but in my head never really felt they were serious contenders, living in London I had lots of fun, but also little chance of buying a house etc. when I met my Dp I was
finally ready to settle down and was lucky enough that even though I am getting along a bit kids came quite easily
The lack of sleep has been terrible - I think it would have been at any point - I liked to spend a lot of time in bed But I think the kids will keep me more active in my late 40's and 50's than I would have been. They are learning to ride bikes now so I am dusting off my skills.
Overall I am sure there are pluses and minuses but one massive advantage for me has been having them late enough to be quite senior before I started taking time off. I work in a male dominated, project based job and have a reputation as a pair of capable hands who gets the job done. I worked longer hours in the more junior roles - my current role and computers at home mean it is not so stressful now. It would not have been realistically possible or perceptionally possible to have got to the same position having kids much earlier in my career. As a worrier I am glad I can in the worst case financially support myself.
OP: "My sister had kids in her mid 40's and looks permanently knackered and all I can think is that she won't have her life back until she is almost retirement age if at all."
You were probably knackered when your baby was young too. Why wouldn't your sister have her life back until she is retirement age? Once my youngest was 5, I was already on the upswing and ready to commit more to my career, and regain lost ground from my senior position.
Don't feel sorry for your sister, OP: I'm sure she's really happy to have her lovely family even if she is knackered! (You could offer to help out though - bonus of a stronger relationship with your nieces/nephews ).
Someone being happy with their choices doesn't mean that your own (different) choices weren't also right! There are pros and cons to every choice, and we each need to find our own way.
Fwiw, I'm an older mum and I can't really identify with 'getting your life back'. I loved my life pre-DD and I absolutely love
almost every minute of life with her. It makes me sad to think of the day she'll eventually leave home.
I guess I had plenty of time to do what I wanted for myself before having DD so I don't have any pent up ambitions left! It has been nice being able to do some of the things we used to do before having her (like travelling) now that she's a bit older. OK, we have to keep it reasonably child-friendly (won't be doing another trip to central asia for a few more years!) but it's so much fun sharing our passion for discovering the world with her that I don't mind in the slightest. Likewise, it will be nice to be able to focus on work again a bit more once she's a bit older - but really I don't mind waiting a few years.
Basically, I'm just enjoying life - as it sounds you are too. Let's be happy for each other
There's no right time, really. You can be a good or bad parent regardless of your age.
I suppose the perceived general trade off is you have a bit more energy when you're younger and perhaps more financial stability when older? But even then there's probably plenty of bouncy forty year olds and knackered twenty year olds....
I had my first at 36 but I also don't identify with getting 'my life back.' I spent my twenties getting a PhD, postdoc, doing lots of fun things like climbing and diving and travelling. I'm glad I did that. I didn't meet my husband until I was in my thirties so for me having kids younger wouldn't have worked as well. My life is my life now - I'm glad I did all that stuff but I don't really want to do it again. I've also managed to do the shitty entry level jobs and prove myself by working all hours - I couldnt do that now without significant sacrifice.
I am knackered, but that's because ds never bloody sleeps. I've got a decent career, a nice house and a bit of financial stability. But that's just me - maybe if I'd had them younger then I'd be grateful I had more energy?
So for me, personally, it's worked better being older. But that's just me. Many people see the advantage in being younger too, and that's right for them. There's no right or wrong answer here.
Maybe offer your sis a hand though, eh?
Older mum here, had my DD when i was 38. Spent most of my 20's partying etc etc, settled down in my 30's and here i am now in my 40's with a beautiful 5 year old (soon to be 6). Personally, i'm glad i waited until i was older to have children, it suited me. I certainly don't see it as "getting my life back" - this is my life, i have it right now with my family...and its knackering, hard work, frustrating but there is not one thing i would change
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