As a woman starts approaching her mid to late twenties, she often wonders when should she have children? What is the best age to have children? The biological clock is ticking on one hand and on the other there are factors like, does she have partner/spouse with whom she can have children? What are her career aspirations? Is she financially stable? So when would she be ready to have a child?
Age is definitely a factor
A woman should have a child when she is physically fit and during the most fertile phase of her life. I do know nowadays women are freezing eggs and having children later on in life, but that is not right! If a woman decides to give birth to another life, it is her duty to make sure she can give her child a good health (whatever is in her hands) as well as the time. If a woman decides to have children after 35 years, she won’t be at the peak of her fertility, neither will she have the stamina to “run after the child”. Ask any parent, how much energy consuming it is to bring up a child!
Make space for your child in your life
A woman should be responsible enough not to misuse this boon of the universe for her own selfish needs! She should also think if she will be able to give the time to her child. It is not fair on the child,if a woman was just to produce the child for her own needs and then hand the baby to the “nanny” so that she can “continue” with her life!
Motherhood doesn’t just mean producing a child, it also means bringing the child up with the right amount of love and attention! To know further about motherhood please refer to my post Motherhood and Me.
Do not have children to please the society
You should not have children just because you are married for ‘x’ number of years or because “everybody” keeps asking you ‘when are you having kids?’ Having a child is an enormous responsibility. You should have a child only if you think you can fulfill all your duties as a mother.It is a lifelong commitment.
According to medical experts, the right age to have a child is between 26-35. With a reason the universe has made a woman’s fertile age in this range. If you have a child any later than that, you would be compromising your child. If you decide to have a child at a very young (before 26), you would not have the maturity to deal with the child. You would not be equipped to take the right decisions for your child .
To have a healthy child is the topmost desire of every expectant mother. At 35, the complications start increasing. The chances of having a healthy child start dwindling. At this age if you conceive a child with physical abnormalities, do you feel that it is fair on the child? Will the child live a fulfilled life? Will you be able to look after a disabled child?
I know that extremely healthy women, who produce children in the right age range of 26-35, also give birth to children with defects but that is not something in our hands. It is out of our control .
Before you decide to have a child ask yourself this question, are you ready to commit at least 18 years to another life? Will you give whatever it takes to ensure that your child is brought up in the right way?
How many children do you want to have?
This is a very important question that you must answer. Please refer to my previous post on How Many Children Should You Have? If you do know the answer, then factor that in. You should have the last child before you hit 35. Also decide how far apart you want the children to be in age. For example, You want to have the first child at 30,second at 32 and third at 34.
If you decide to have first one at 34, it will be impossible to have another one before 35. A woman’s body needs to recover in between pregnancies for at least 1 year and ideally 3 years.
Help and support
Every mother would have an easier life, if they have some help and support from the grandparents. If a woman has a child at a very late age, there are fewer chances of grandparents being around to help and nurture the child. Even if they are around, they might be too old to help .
If you decide to have children at a later age, you might find it difficult to conceive. If you are above 35, there are chances you might not be able to conceive naturally or you might not be able to conceive at all. Even if you decide to freeze your eggs, and conceive the child, your (older) body might not be able to sustain the pregnancy. The chances of miscarriages also start increasing at this age.
Having a baby is very expensive. Cost of nappies, clothes,nursery fees, school fees, toys,books etc etc. You will need money ! But do not postpone having a child just because you want to save enough before you have a child. If you are reasonably supported through your job or your spouse’s job, then there is no reason not have a child. Remember, it takes time to conceive a child. If you leave it too late, you might not be able to have one.
Once you have your first child and if you feel that you cannot afford another child, then don’t have another one. Just take a decision and stick to it. Don’t forget the biological clock is ticking. Therefore, it is better to be decisive whether you can afford another child or not !
Remember, I am not a medical expert. I am just stating my opinion here.
Are you planning to have a child? How old are you? Are you having a child because of societal pressures? Please get in touch via comment box.