Why are women choosing to have children later in life????(22 Posts)
Sorted my career out first. Then because I'd put my personal life on hold to sort the career out I found that most of the blokes I knew were married/co-habiting etc. Met dh when I was 31, married 33, dd when I was 34. Find I'm much more patient than I was in my 20's. Also when I was in my 20's I wanted weekends away and nights out- I'm much more of a homebird now
I would say that its not choice for many of the women I know. Many have only just met the right man, its not as if they've all been married for 15 years then just thought about it. Also 2 friends took over 10 years because of miscarriages, ectopics and ivf.
The thing its only in the last 40 years that wonmen really planned their babies. Before that they had babies as long as they had sex and they physically could.
For me it was a combination of putting career 1st and not having met the man I wanted to father my children until I was in my mid 30's.
If I could have my time again, I think I would have preferred to have had children in my mid 20's.
There is more choice now. Women can go on in their education. I think that a lot of women want children within 10 years of finishing their education, and as women these days are staying on, that can be as late as 35.
If you have a good job, you don't feel the urge to do something "more fulfilling", like you do if your job is boring, repetative and ill-paid.
House prices have risen sharply compared to peoples wages, and it is taking longer to get on to the property ladder.
With the rise in availability of infertility treatment (compared to 50 years ago!), there is no longer such a panic at approaching menopause.
Personally, I think women used to have babies early because there was nothing else for them to do.
When I announced to my friends and family that I was pregnant at the not-exactly-prepubescent age of 22, they were horrified. When I made the same announcement to the elderly residents at the nursing home i work in, a lot of them asked if it was my second!
I think attitudes have changed, and a university-educated young woman these days must fel a little guilty if she isn't "using" it!!
Personally, had other things to do with my life before having children. Wanted to get a career going, meet the right man, go out and party all night, all that. Had ds at 34.
Generally I'd guess it's because we can we've got effective contraception and the right to further education, or work, or explore a whole range of possibilities. In the '50s, for example, as an adult woman you were expected to marry, have kids and either be a housewife or do menial work depending on your background.
In previous generations, working class women often waited until their 30s to have children anyway, because they had to save up to get married. It's the middle classes, and the wealthy, who married while women were young. They aspired to making women idle - no work in the home (servants) or out of it. A wife who had no role, either in traditional women's work or in the wider world, was a status symbol.
Would have liked to have children at 26 or so when i met and married my xh. He didn't want children at all and eventually had a vasectomy as he was afraid I would get pregnant and refuse to have an abortion. It was all horrible and hideous at the time but now, of course, I am delighted not to have an 8 year old who is just like my xh....
DH is the only man I have ever been out with who definitely wanted children, although not as early as we had them (I was pregnant by the time we'd been going out four weeks - not deliberate, honestly! well, not REALLY deliberate). I have had fairly recent news of every other man I have ever been out with and not one of them has children although they are all in mid 30s or older.
I guess that's more common for men though. One of the things that used to scare me when I was with xh, before the vasectomy, was that we would be together until we were 50 and then he would meet a 21 year old and have four kids with her.
For me, it was mainly money. I just didn't feel I had enough money to have children until I was in my early thirties. My career wasn't secure, housing prices were a joke, and the option of moving out of London to somewhere I could afford just hadn't occurred to me.
I would much have preferred to have my children younger (in my mid to late twenties) but my income and housing just wasn't up to it at the time.
Must add that I do hate the word "choosing" in this context.
My "choice" was determined by factors over which I had no choice. We may make free choices, but we don't choose the circumstances in which we make those choices.
For me there was a lot I wanted to do before having children. DH and I married when I was 21, he was 22 but we always said we would wait until 'the time was right' for kids and it took ten years!
What did it take for the time to be right? We both finished our degrees, built up careers, travelled a great deal and lived in another country for a year, did a lot of partying and met all kinds of people. My thinking was that I didn't want to resent my children. My brother had a baby quite young and I saw how it affected and limited his life. I wanted to grow up and figure out who I was and what I wanted out of life before I had another little person to think about.
It worked well for us. No regrets. Now we're trying for our second (and probably last). I'm 34.
well i did both i had my ds and dd1 v early on... then a huge gap and then dd2. so i got to try both sides of the coin i guess. with my first two i was very easy going and full of energy. with the last one, i am much more of a worrier, and have now read far to much to be easy going about anything ..... however i have more money and a better standard of life now, and that makes life easier in that sense,... i do like the fact tho that i will stil be younger than most when mine have grown up. but also glad to have tried it later too, and be older and wiser kinda thing....if i could go back, knowing what i know now, i def would of waited. i'm prob not helping your assignment here but wanted to show you 'both sides'
It wasn't a priority in my twenties. I think higher education plays a part - many of us don't really emerge into the world until we are in our early twenties, unlike previous generations. Then there is the issue of getting established in careers. I think most men in their twenties now don't want children. When I met dh I was 35 and we both wanted children (or more children in his case) and we were extremely compatible in what we wanted from life. Yes, I would have had my children earlier had I been with a man who wanted to marry me and have children and I had reciprocated that feeling (previous boyfriend wanted to marry me eventually but I didn't want to marry him!). But that wasn't how my life was. Very pleased with how it is, though.
Also none of my friends were having children...so it didn't seem appropriate, if that makes sense. There always seemed plenty of time. Now I'm just part of one big baby boom with friends, though some of my friends are younger than me, having children of similar ages is more of a bond than being exactly the same chronological age.
I agree Aloha, most of my friends waited too and that probably made a difference though we did love and appreciate our childlessness for the most part. If my closest friends had been having babies it might've made me think about it.
I would have loved to have children earlier, I was 33 when I had dd1 and 35 when I had dd2. But we went through eptopics and IVF and saving all the money in between treatments took time
hi sally, I think in my case I didn't really feel grown up in my head ( and still only just getting there) until I was about 35. I had an anti-social job working long hours and most nights, also spent a long time working with older, mostly married men. Was also encouraged by my parents not to make age an issue and to think that life happens the way it happens, no set patterns. I'm very grateful for that. Lots of relationships didn't work out when I was younger but I felt very blessed when my tired old body produced a beautiful boy at 38 and am loving it all. sorry for this alte night ramble and good luck with your assignment. x
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