Becoming a Mom in Your 30's

The Right Woman for the Job

Haven't we all heard the 30's are the new 20's? Not true if you chose motherhood beginning in your 30's. Chances are you feel your age when you're only getting 4 hours of sleep. Personally, being a first time mom at 32, and looking forward to it again at 36, only reminds me of phrases such as "I'm too old for this" and "I wish my body was 20 again".

The trend is leaning toward many women choosing to wait until at least their 30's to become a mother. Most women are enjoying better health in their 30's than generations before them, but does that mean women should wait? There are other reasons, besides physical, that women may have a tough time starting a family at 30+.

Career: Women are more apt to wait on motherhood because, without children, they level the playing field among men and women at work. The reality is workplaces do not treat mothers equally so without children, we are focused on the job only- just like a man. This mentality really hasn't resolved much about easing the strain women are burdened with by being a mother and employee.

There is no such thing as having a baby and returning to work weeks later as if nothing happened. Majority workplaces only support this mentality; business as usual and no disruptions- except forĀ a handful of family friendly workplaces. In addition, a first time mom has no idea how she will feel about leaving her baby in the care of someone else while she resumes a "normal" work life. Speaking from experience, a photo on the computer or wall at work is not the same. Planning everything isn't the fix it might seem to be.

It's as if women who wait until their 30's are stating the obvious, " I have to live my life first; attain a degree, get a career, travel, explore independence, get settled, and then I can have a kid". If we were able to "do it all", then why aren't we? Fact is, we're not able so we have to segment our life and that's why 30's are becoming family time. This statement alone suggests that women who are beginning families at an older age, will have to give up more or learn to balance more once the baby comes.

What people don't tell you is by the time you're 30, you probably haven't done all those items listed. Or maybe you have, and somehow you believe you can "have it all" and keep the same lifestyle post-baby. It's a completely different life after baby, and frankly I wouldn't have waited as long.

Older, Maybe Not Wiser

Maturity: I think the more life a woman has lived before a baby, the bigger the shock after; it's a difficult adjustment period. Having a baby in my thirties forced me to expect less of myself at a time in my life when I was accustomed to expecting more because of everything I had already accomplished.

Many experts argue that having a baby later in life is best because women are more in tune with themselves and have higher self-esteem. I bet those experts are men. Experts that carelessly make these claims place added pressure on older women for having more "control" and "handling" the situation better than a younger mother. Actually, younger women are more flexible with circumstances.

Older women are more determined to handle or control a situation themselves rather than asking for assistance. Admitting we need help? But we've done everything else on our own.

Most women in their thirties are practical and know themselves and their limitations, but that established inner confidence goes right out the window when you have such a new and different life change. If you were anything like me, I felt silly going to baby groups with other moms who were 10+ years younger than me. I compared it to being a college student in a 3rd grade class- it felt embarrassing at times. Babies should be common sense, but no matter what age you are, it isn't.

I guess what we all learn every decade or so in life, is just when we think we have it all figured out, the rules change. Motherhood is no different.

Age Matters More Than Health

Age: Just a number, right? You may be the healthiest woman in her thirties to ever exist, but you are still not 20. Yes, age matters if not for just one single reason; SLEEP DEPRIVATION.

I can confidently state age does make a difference, but health not necessarily. Sure, it's great to be healthy, but you won't be very healthy initially after having the baby. You may eat perfectly, rememberto brush your teeth, floss, and take your vitamins, and get regular time-outs/meditation, but you will not be sleeping regularly. If you're not sleeping regularly, it sets you up for a tirade of health disasters. When you're in your thirties, you do not bounce back from an all-nighter as easily as you did 10 years ago. Sorry, that's the facts.

I was a healthy woman pre-baby, but now I am no stranger to remembering to brush my toddler's teeth, but forgetting to brush mine or enjoying fine fast-food dining at least weekly, and exercise is hit or miss as well as sleep. All those who have a small child and are in perfect health, really aren't because they're so stressed out from trying to maintain a perfectly healthy lifestyle.

Fact is; The body isn't the same when you're 30+. Women can expect to be considered high risk pregnancies after 35, increased risk for birth defects, higher chances of c-section births, and the body doesn't bounce back as quickly after having the baby. Secondary infertility is at a high rate in your 30's, especially if you plan on having more than one child in your 30's.

Bottom line is there isn't a perfect age for starting a family. I found it personally difficult later in life because I remember the many years of personal freedom before baby . It is just as hard for me at my age to find balance; time for myself or to enjoy my old hobbies, then it would be if I was 20. People told me to wait, I did, and I got a college education and a career, only to be staying at home with my 1 1/2 year old now. Funny thing is, I did everything right to set my life up for starting a family only for a baby to unravel all my carefully laid plans. I admit, though, wouldn't have it any other way.

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Comments 54 comments

lafenty profile image

lafenty 7 years ago from California

I had my first at 28 and my 4th at 36. I personally found having them later worked out well, because I got to do a lot of things during my twenties that I wouldn't of had the opportunity to do if I'd started my family earlier. But regardless of when you start, it's worth the sleepless nights and the unbrushed teeth, and everything else that goes along with motherhood. Good hub.

Triplet Mom profile image

Triplet Mom 7 years ago from West Coast

I had my children when I was 30. I enjoyed the time I got to spend with my husband (6 years) before we had children. And even though I feel that you are never truly ready for children I was much more mature and ready to handle the situation. Great hub.

Tom Rubenoff profile image

Tom Rubenoff 7 years ago from United States

I can't speak for my wife, but it seems a trade off. We had our kids later, and it was very good for me, because I was no where near ready in my twenties. Still, on the other end, I'm 53 and my eldest is 21, my youngest 13. I'd have a lot more energy for them if I were still in my 40's. It's not like we decided to wait, though. We did not meet until our late 20's, so the first child didn't come until we were in or almost in our thirties.

izettl profile image

izettl 7 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

lafenty~ You got good energy if having them in your mid thirties was better. My daughter never slept as a baby (only a slight exaggeration). I remember pulling all nighters without even a blink of an eye in my 20's. I had to do some of that for college and I think I would have liked to have used that energy for a baby because a baby is more difficult than college.

Triplet mom~ How a woman feels about having a baby later probably depends on what her 20's were like. You had a good amount of time with your husband before kids. I had about 2 years with mine before a baby- and even less time before his first daughter (my step daughter) was living with us full time.

Tom R~ Many men aren't ready for kids in their 20's so you have a great point about a woman may receive more support from her man if he is older and more mature. I have a friend who has a 20 year old and is 42 with a 1 year old. She was a great resource for this hub and she said energy is number one benefit of being 20ish, and having a baby later has changed her and her husband's retirement plans : ))

Lgali profile image

Lgali 7 years ago

very nice hub lot of good info

Linda 6 years ago

I completely relate to this article. My husband and I realized after having our son at 30 that we were definitely ready and better off having him at 25.

I also agree that one of my biggest challenge, aside from constant sleep deprivation, is remembering my freedom from my pre-baby years. I am still adjusting and learning how to make my son part of all the things I enjoy.

Christina 6 years ago

I had my 1st very young. I was 19. He is now 15. I found it very easy. I didn't take life to seriously, nothing really stressed me out, I was care free and lived in the moment. I am now 35 and I have started over. I have a 1 year old and a 3 year old. I personally find it much more overwhelming. I have many more responsibilities and things to juggle. Mortgage payments, career, husband, and kids. I remember as a young mom people would say to me all the time "oh it can be so hard" I thought it was weather talk, I had no idea what they were talking about. No as a mom at 35, I KNOW what they are talking about. It can be REALLY TOUGH!

izettl profile image

izettl 6 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

I agree with you Linda and Christina~ It is more of a challenge and that came as a surprise to me because people always said it's better to wait. Like you Linda, I was better off at 25.

wannabwestern profile image

wannabwestern 6 years ago from The Land of Tractors

I just came across your hub and found an honesty there that is rare in mothers of any age. Motherhood is one of the most difficult jobs in the world and being older at the outset creates a unique set of circumstances. I had my first at 26 and then experienced 8 years of secondary infertility. Now have had three between the ages of 33 and 38. Being a mom of very young children in your 30s has had the experience for me of setting back the clock in people's eyes. People who are maybe a year or two older than me who have older teens (because they started their families right out the gates) seem to have a complete disconnect about us being similar ages. I crave the companionship of women my age, but striking friendships in this age group is more difficult with younger children. Anyway, rated up up up and up! :)

izettl profile image

izettl 6 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

wannabwestern~ You definitely know the difference firsthand between being younger and older with small children. Also being in my 30's my friends have disappeared because they are now mothers AND career women. Women in their 20's are not as career oriented and friends are more of a priority. Also congrats on finally having more children after the period of infertility. Thanks and nice to meet you on here.

Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 6 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

Interesting hub! I chose this one to read because I became a single-parent father at the age of 27 which is nearly 30!

izettl profile image

izettl 6 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Bard of Ely~ That's very to young to become a single parent. A very real crash course in parenting I bet.

Winkidinkerunt 6 years ago

I'm turning 30 next week, got married last year at 28/29. I read the article because my husband and I will be starting a family soon, and I wanted to know what other folks thought about the ordeal circa 30. My husband wouldn't have minded starting a family right out of the gate, but I prefer him working long hours while we don't have kids. We both have loads of ivy league education, and I'm glad we decided to make education a priority, and then kids. Both being the children of single moms, we know what its like to live from hand to mouth, so--we preferred to have our lives be stable before bringing kids into the mix. Just our approach. Plus, we've had more time to have fun, discover ourselves, build our own relationship, travel, explore. Because we have a solid education, we'll be able to provide for our kids even if we're not spending 40 hours a week on a job. No way I would've been able to raise a kid and do all I did in my 20's. Call me selfish, but I'd rather have a kid at 30 than be trying to go to school/finish school, go to work, be mother to a 5 year old, and wife to a husband at 30. And then, only dream about taking a vacation to Paris.

izettl profile image

izettl 6 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

winkidinkerunt~ I think you did everything in a logical order. Now comes the illogical part of your life, a baby!! I did everythign in that order too and for many it works out even after you have a baby, but for me, it was exhausting. Nobody ever told me the truth before I had a baby. I went back to work after taking time off for baby then my daughter got sick all the time at daycare. I had not back-up for someone to stay home with her while she was sick. My husband worked out of town sometimes and no matter what his job took presadence over mine even though we had the same income. It just works out that way. When my daughter was done being sick, I would then get sick and show up for work exhausted and sick all the time. Eventually my employer said I had to choose between my family and work. THat was a horrible thing to say but many employers are not family friendly.

I wished I had my daughter earlier in life because I had the energy to do it all back then. I waited because I wanted to get all my ducks in a row, like you, but learned that you can never prepare for a baby on your life. You can buy the crib and read the books, but it is totally different.

poojabrahmi profile image

poojabrahmi 6 years ago

Wonderful post.

I think once you become mom the maturity and responsibility comes automatically. No matter at which age you are becoming a mom. Having said that it's equally important to do something productive in life to gain that satisfaction level of having something of your own. It's not an easy job to work and handle kids, especially when you don't have your family support and living in a nuclear family.

Having kids in 20's or 30's has it's own porn's and corns. Even after building your career in 20's when you decide to have kids in 30's you do need a break from your career. And sometimes that gap of a few years become big.

izettl profile image

izettl 6 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Thank you poojabrahmi~it's almost as if we have to dedicate several years to raise our kdis when they are small and everything else gets put aside no matter what age you are. Women who had their kids early tend to want to have more fun when their kids are older. Women who started a career earlier still have to put it on hold sometimes to raise kids. There are also more single mothers than ever before so it's tough whatever age.

Becky532 profile image

Becky532 6 years ago

This article is very interesting. I am 25 and have always insisted I will not have a baby till I am 30! And I did this with the reasons you talked about - making sure I have my life together. But you do make very interesting points, and I definitely have more time to have a baby now than I probably will in 5 years. But I still need to wait for more money and marriage. I am not gonna tell my boyfriend I want a baby, ha!

izettl profile image

izettl 6 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Becky532~ there is never the perfect time to have a baby. What the older women may not let you know is that many have fertility help from doctors so you may not be able to afford that later in life if you choose to wait. There are pros and cons to young or older,and it's best to decide which of those benefit you the most.

chuckandus6 profile image

chuckandus6 5 years ago from The Country-Side

Great Article I actually had my first baby before 30 but my daughter she was born when after I turned 30

izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

THanks for the comment chuckandus6

WandasHomePlace profile image

WandasHomePlace 5 years ago

I decided to become a mom in my 30's and it's the best decision that I ever made. Thanks for this well written hub.

izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Wanda~ glad it worked out for you. I think there are definite benefits to having them a little older.

bobowha 5 years ago

This article is pointless. It's written for people in their 20s, but the only people who would bother reading it are already in their 30s (or older!) Given that fact, all the article really does is make us "old fogies" who are 30 and 31 feel hopeless about having kids.

BTW, I'm not pregnant yet, but I have a TON more energy now than when I was in my early 20s when I was unhealthy and burdened by the stress of academics. Life has been so much better since I got out of college! I'm in a much better position to start a family at 31 than I was at 22!

izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

bobowha~ the article is pointless to you, but you don't even have kids yet so how do you know how much it really applies to someone with kids in their 30's. I had one child at 32 and am pregnant with a second at 36. I think I'm a better judge for this subject than someone like you with no experience in this area, but thanks for stopping by. Come back when you have a kid. You think you are in a better position for having kids in your 30's, but physically you are not. Tell me about staying up all night in your 20's compared to 30's- you'll find out when/if you have a child.

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Giselle Maine 5 years ago

Hi Izettl, interesting hub and lots of great points to support your ideas.

However, I happen to agree with the *second* half of Bobowha's comment (but also the last sentence of yours). Like bobowah, I too feel like I have lots more energy now in my 30's than in my 20's... and back then, yes I could stay up all night, but even then I still needed a long sleep-in at some point to compensate (which as moms, we don't get!) Right now, as a mom of 2, having had both kids in my early 30's, I feel fulfilled and happy... besides, I hadn't yet met my husband when I was in my early 20's, anyway!

I would have to say though that you make some good points regarding lack of sleep. I was lucky to have my 2 spaced close enough together than the oldest was still taking a daily nap while the youngest was born. If not for that, maybe I would have found myself wishing for myself to be younger. As it is, I'm glad my husband and I had a few years all to ourselves before the kids and that we didn't rush anything just to be biologically younger for childbearing.

Anyhow, I wanted to say that I liked the fact that you had an overall point you wanted to make and that you backed it up solidly, very well written... just that my *own* experience of motherhood at 30 didn't leave me wishing I'd had my kids younger.

izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Giselle~ thanks for taking the time to share. It's certainly a personal experience and one those that has a lot of pros and cons. As a child to an older mother (she was 31 when she had me) all my friends had young hip moms and I wished for that- friends would tell me my mom is "old". Also now that I am a mom later in life (31 with my first and 36 pregnant currently) my husband and my parents are getting up there in age and it's quite hard for them to help out as much as a younger parent could have. i think I see more effects later down the road rather than immediate. Being pregnant at 36, the effects of being older makes it a higher risk pregnancy and the reality of those effects are quite eye-opening.

freecampingaussie profile image

freecampingaussie 5 years ago from Southern Spain

Hi ! I had my first daughter at 19, then 22 + 27 ! we took our girls on holidays & traveled around England & Europe with them etc. I am now 46 & a nana to 2 kids .

As they are all independent I am now loving traveling around Australia doing what I want to do and seeing them occassionally . I was young enough to be a fun Mum ( they told me I was a "cool mum " which made my day ! )taking them swimming etc .

Everybody does it to suit them however it is good not too be to old when waiting at the school gate for kids !

izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

THanks for stopping by and sharing your story. There are definitely benefits to being a younger mom. When I am 46 my youngest will be 9- YIKES!

Liz 5 years ago

I am struggling with the "to have or not to have" question, which is how I ended up here, reading your posting. I am 35. Would you suggest, then, that since I am this old, I should just hang up my hat and have a happy life sans children?

izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Liz~ I jumped in with both feet. I say that because I've always been someone who overthinks things, espeically important decision like having children. I can't give you advice to have or have not, but I know people who have lived life sans children and had no regrets. If you have children you miss out on things and if you don't have children you also miss out on things so it's tough to decide. Statistics show that people with kids ar no more happier than people without so it's pretty even playing field on whether to have or have not. Is traveling and freedom more important? Then sans children might be better.

I am 36, pregnant with my second. I had my first at 32. I have given up so much but looking back I can't imagine my life without my little one. And it has made me a better person, honestly. I am setting an example for another human being- that's huge!

I guess the best question for you, that I asked myself before kids, is would you regret not having one? I wasn't sure I wanted kids, but I was sure that I would regret it if I didn't.

jamie 5 years ago

I came across this hub,and I will say its got some good points.

jamie 5 years ago

whoops...I hit the send button to quick.I had my son when i just turned 19...I was so much more laid back,and free spirited,had TONS of fun and energy for my little man.Im 35 now,and he is 17,And I have been asking myself "should I start all over "now??

Well,I have decided not too.First off,because (this may sound selfish)I enjoy my freedom back,I missed out on my "party years"cause I was so young.I would do it all over agin .THEN.But not nw.I find myself so much more impatient,and annoyed with younger kids now,I cant even explain it.

my son is so independent now,senior year is this year,I couldn't imagine having to start all over again,with the way I have changed today.I think Ive set my ways,but Im just being completley honest.

I also feel as thou my son would be thinking.."why is mom JUST now giving e a sibling"?i dont want to raise another only child.Its not fair.I love love LOVE kids...but I can tell,with age,I was sooooooo much more tolerant in my 20's.I would be crazy to start alllllll over again.No way.

izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

I'm still puzzled why women are waiting so long to have babies. I never planned on it so I didn't purposefully wait. I'm in it now and didn't want to raise an only child (I was one) so now at 37 I'm having my second child soon while I have my 4 yr old. These are my motherhood years and I am so thankful I had my twenties for myself. I couldn't imagine raising a child in my twenties then starting over later in life too. In fact I have a friend struggling with this. She has a 22 yr old and now in her 40's now has a 3 yr old. She realizes she definitely lacks the patience for starting over. THank you for your comment!

amber 5 years ago


I love your comment you are so honest.Can you tell me more about what it was like to have a kid that young?

@izettl,your frined sounds brave!!! wow to start allllllllll over agin!!!! Is she happy with her decision?

izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

amber~ my friend's baby was unplanned at 42 and she states she was more involved in being a mother when she was younger. We think we have more patience when we're older but I don't think that's quite true. She preferred being younger with her first child and thinks its tougher being older with the second. Her and her husband are into traveling since they turned 40 and it's tough with a little one.

Anna Evanswood profile image

Anna Evanswood 4 years ago from Malaysia

I became a mother at 34, it took me a long time to meet my husband. I am very pleased that I waited! I have friends that didn't wait and they chose the wrong men. This in my opinion is worse than having a baby later in life. I also think that it depends on the type of baby. Some people have difficult children and suffer more with being an older mum. In my support networks, I am a middle aged mum there are mums older than me and younger. Kids don't change though and we still have a lot in common. Having a baby is a life changing event, if you have a baby to tick off an imaginary list, its the wrong reason and you shouldn't be surprised when its hard. I am pleased I waited!

Adelle 4 years ago

I have wanted a baby for years now and its been unbearable this past year or so. My husband and I are both nearly 28 and have been married nearly two years. We have been together since we were 18. We havnt had a lot of time to enjoy the relationship and definatly not the marriage as much as we had hoped as we both have health issues. My husband has kidney failure and has had two transplants during his lifetime (the first at 12 and the second just after we got married). He's always had depression and anxiety and right now he is off the scale with depression. Its a long story but he's on meds and seeing councillors etc and has been for a while.

We live in a very noisy council area and we have had trouble here for years. We are looking to rent a private house, and even though I don't want to move for a few reasons I am welcoming it and am very excited. We live in a flat ATM and I'd love a house. Our trouble is finding one that accept pets and benefits that isn't going to present us with the same problems or worse.

Anyway with all that in mind, I am freaking out over how much time we have left to have our first baby. Time goes by so fast, and we also don't know when my husband will be back on dialysis either. Now is the time to get out and make the most of our time alone before all this happens. I'm hoping my husbands right as in a new home will take a lot off his mind and we will be starting a family soon. The only reason I'm looking for a place really is so he can get better and feel happy again and we can finally have a future.

I am a recovering anorexic and the baby pushed me to get better quickly. I put so much effort in and we have both been through so much.

Doesn't it seem the right time when we get settled into a new home to have a baby? I keep wanting to decorate an empty room into a beautiful nursery!!

izettl profile image

izettl 4 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Anna~ my major complaint is that being older I have definitely have less energy...well less patience for less sleep. getting less sleep effects me more. I was 32 with my first and she was a fussy baby and now being 37 with my second, and he is colicky, I get more tired and less patient with him. Depends on the baby just as much as the age of the mother. Easy baby is easy at any age the mother may be.

izettl profile image

izettl 4 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Adelle~ keep in mind your health issues. I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arhtritis two years (at age 34) after having my first baby. I decided to have one more and am now 37. It is so much harder that I have a health issue. Babies are not just pretty nursery decorations. Please take note of WHY you want a baby. They are hard work and with health issues it is even tougher. My husband has/had depression (major depressive disorder) and we waited to have a second after he got all of that under control for at least a year. After we had our first he was not on medication and it was stressful for me because I did not trust him with the baby so I did a lot of the work. Just because you get a place doesn't mean it is the right time for a baby. You MUST have a good support network- people who can help with taking care of baby since your husband has health issues. Being prepared for a baby is more than decorating a nusery- it is being able to sacrfice a lot, social outings, health going downhill with lack of sleep. My second baby I had two months ago is colicky and is ver ydifficult- you never know what type of baby you will have. Best of luck.

Debbie 4 years ago

Izetti, thank you for posting this, definitely provides an interesting perspective

I will be getting married and turning 31 in a few months. I plan on not trying until I turn 32.

I completed my M.B.A. while working full-time just as I turned 26 and during the 5 years that followed, I forged a very successful career in my respective field. I'm now studying through another program that will add another notch for me. Although this is easy in comparison to my M.B.A., it's taking me a lot longer to study and understand the material that's before me. I then think back during these last 5 years and the thought of repeating the same level of effort and motivation now as I did then makes me sick a little.

Point being, we talk about a small window of opportunity as it pertains to our biological clock and the optimal time for our body to have a baby. The same holds true when we talk about motivation and the ability to learn and absorb new information.

The reason I chose the path that I did was difficult as it will be, I will have no choice but to find the inner strength to keep on going. An innocent and delicate baby will depend on me. I have to. I must. There is no "spreading" out raising your kids. If I did it the reverse way, I don't know I'd have the same level of urgency or heightened need to go 120%. What would have taken 5 years probably would have taken 10-15 and that additional program I'm doing would've been a "maybe". To your point though, it comes with sacrifice.

Seeing both underscores a very important point, women are dealt with a sh*tty hand. Glass ceiling is very much alive due to the societal pressures from the past and expectations of the modern woman today. It's definitely caused a bit of polarization between women of both camps, often with some form of resentment.

izettl profile image

izettl 4 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Debbie~ most important thing is find a family friendly place to work or there won't be much wiggle room for having family and career. That happened to me- yes, I am woman and was able to get my education but majority of companies are not family friendly or flexible. Women may have gotten far in society because of scoeity progress and feminism but mothers still have it shitty.

I had time coming to me for time off from my job but they still frowned upon it when I took it off due to my baby being sick at daycare all the time. Women are still forced to make decisions they shoulnd't have to...and mostly choices between work and family.

Lauryallan profile image

Lauryallan 4 years ago

I love reading your hubs Izetti, they always paint the real story. I think a lot of people romanticise the idea of having a baby. The realisty is completely different.

My father taught me to be independent and have my own career. I put off having kids believing there'd be time for it later. Also, other family members have kids and spending time with them almost seals my womb shut every time.

I really don't know why women say it's the best thing that ever happened to them. I see these babies and toddlers screaming, crapping their pants and generally causing mayhem. It's very difficult to control that and communicating with babies is almost impossible.

When I look forward to the future I find it hard. I wonder how women are supposed to do it all. If you concentrate on your career and never have kids, then you will likely end up alone in your old age and the company you gave your life to really won't care.

On the other hand, have a family and there are a whole host of problems to deal with now for potential rewards in the future.

izettl profile image

izettl 4 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Lauryallan~ so much fakeness in today's society- you defintely won't find that from me and I'm glad you appreciate it. Know exactly what you mean- honestly i didn't like too many kids before I had them, but that has more to do with parents and parenting. I was a waitress for many years. I saw kids at their worst.

Don't believe all that you hear about being a mother. I will still say, if I had decided not to have kids, I wouldn't have known any better or missed out on anything. Of course I love them but you mut give up your life for their first five years of life. Silly me, I had my two kids almost 5 year apart so here I am with a 5 month old and 5 yr old. I was so shocked how much mothers don't talk to other women about! You have no idea what sleep deprived is until you've had kids! But my decision to have kids came after a cancer scare- I thought to myself have I done everything i wanted to and having a child was nagging at me. Then when my daughter was 2 I got Rheumatoid Arthritis and again I felt aware of my mortality and wanted to leave her someday with a sibling. It was a hard pregnancy and a hard baby this time around and needless to say hubby is getting snipped next week.

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Lauryallan 4 years ago

Izetti, I think I understand better now. I agree with you about giving your life up for them. I don't know if this is something I'd really want to do. I'm not saying I am selfish, but I am saying that once the choice is made I'd have to commit fully and you really can't ever change your mind.

I have to admit to having a harsh mother who constantly reminded me how she gave up her life for me. Part of my fear is that I would copy the mistakes made by my parents.

I know I have grown and changed but it's tough to beat conditioning!

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izettl 4 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

lauryallan~ it's the responsible people who acutlaly take the time out to think about having kids- I knew it would be a sacrifice, most good things are. Even if some days it's hard ,i would never put that onto my kids or blame them for what I've given up. I figure the first 5 years of their life is really about them- i accept that and enjoy most parts. kids just add something to life- the most rewarding challenge- the most beautiful part (maybe selfish for parents) but ast times we get to re-live joys and discoveries from our childhood and through our children's eyes. Before I thought I would ever have children, I worked with a man who adored his kids...thoroughly...such an inspiration and I thought back to him when I began weighing the decision to have kids.

It's tought ot beat conditioning but another one of those rewarding challenges- my rebellion against my parents was to not be like them and it's worked out in my favor.

beth 4 years ago

stupid pointless article....

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izettl 4 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

can you back that up with something?Some thoughts? Something? Anything? Thanks anyway for your pointless opinion.

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troisenfants 4 years ago

I appreciate this respectful forum that you have created surrounding this deeply personal decision. You have brought up many points that have certainly crossed my mind. I have had my three children between 30 and 35. Would I have been a better parent in my 20s? My own parents had their children between 23 and 29. I was the last and feel that I definitely had the better parents. Was it because of their age or their experience? Who knows? They were good parents but not perfect parents. My paternal grandmother had her children between 30 and 37 because whilst she was in her 20s their was a WORLD WAR going on. She also didn't meet my grandfather until later in life. She was just darn grateful to have her children and to be alive. She was an amazing grandmother, wife and mother. She was also far from perfect but she always looked at her glass as half full. Myself, I always wanted children and a family but never met my husband until I was 27. I would have absolutely chosen to have my children in my 20s (for many of the reasons that you have pointed out) but am darn grateful to have them now. It's not what I had planned but find it's working out just fine. I'm the average age on the playground. Some mom's are younger and some are older. I will admit that I envy the younger mom's especially on my more sleep deprived days. I'm crossing my fingers that, like my grandmother, my children will be able to have my grand babies while they are in their early 20s. However, what I pray for my children is a positive attitude and an ability to surrender control. Life is messy.

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izettl 4 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Thanks for sharing troisenfants. I share your saem sentiments. Having my second at 37 has been much harder than my first at 32...even on my husband who is 40. We're just not 20 anymore and Hollywood says 30's the new 20 but they also have chefs, drivers, and nannies.

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Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas

My mother was 38 when she had me. Before birth control was available women had babies as long as nature allowed. Now that birth control is available it is suddenly a disaster and a medical emergency when women over 30 or even 40 have babies. I have a dear friend who was 37 with her first and only child. I have niece who was 40.

Frankly, not getting enough sleep really does me in, but my daughter is 24 and living on her own, so I can't blame her. Thyroid disease is the culprit in my case. There are lots of reasons why people don't always get enough sleep, some controllable, some not.

I disagree that age is more important than health. A healthy woman before she gets pregnant, is more likely to deliver a healthy baby if she maintains her good health during the pregnancy.

I think it is personality and temperament that determine if a person is up to the hours a new baby requires and chasing a toddler all day. I know people in their 70s who have no trouble keeping up and I know people in their 20s who prefer a sedentary lifestyle.

I know my friend was a better mother because she was an older mother. As a young woman she had no patience and a horrific temper. Fortunately she mellowed as she got older. I think God in His wisdom purposely prevented her from having children until she had calmed down.

I can tell you that I, too, have mellowed considerably as I've gotten older. Once upon a time I could never have worked with special needs children as I do now. Older doesn't always mean set in one's ways. Sometime it means realizing that imperfect won't destroy the world. Young people are far more rigid in their thinking, it seems to me, than people who have lived long enough to have learned what really matters.

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izettl 3 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

I see your points Aufait. Age matters because we know that more kids with birth defects ad miscarriages occur when a woman is 30-35 and beyond. Our eggs age from the time of puberty. Older men can also contribute to birth defects. And I believe that's why we can get away with doing all sorts of bad things to our health in our 20's that we can't get away with in our 30's.

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Maggie.L 2 years ago from UK

I agree with you that there isn't a perfect time to start a family. Every woman's experience will be different depending on their circumstances. I think every mother's experience is different depending on so many factors, including your levels of energy (some people in their 30s have a lot more energy than those in their 40s), your financial situation (if you're financially secure and don't have to worry about going back to work that makes all the difference). I had my three children at 28, 30 and 39 years old. I was most exhausted with my first child which I had at 28, than my second and third. I put this down to being a new mother, having a particularly difficult baby that barely slept and having to return to work when she was only one month old due to our financial situation. Roll on 11 years when I had my third child at 39 years old. I can say that I was very worried about how I'd cope but it was by far the least exhausting experience for me due to a number of factors. Firstly, I had two older children (aged 11 and 9) who couldn't wait to help out with the new baby - fetching diapers, rocking the cradle when baby cried, etc. ~Secondly, I was pretty laid back with it being my third and so was a lot less stressed. Thirdly, I was in a better financial position, and was able to take a year off work. I would also say that I'm blessed with a lot more patience and tolerance than the average person, probably due in part to my own upbringing by lovely Mum which has helped tremendously - thanks Mum! Thanks for writing an interesting and thought-provoking article.

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mothersofnations 2 years ago

I had my first two at a young age, went to college when they entered school and got right back on the ball. Through God's grace I was able to do it all somehow.

Fastforward: had a little one at about the age of 30 - changed everything. I did notice the pregnancy was more exhausting than it was at 20. I don't bounce back from lack of sleep as easy as I did back then either. And I might get a few more colds than I used to get, too.

But you said it best when you said:

"I did everything right to set my life up for starting a family only for a baby to unravel all my carefully laid plans. I admit, though, wouldn't have it any other way." So well said!

Life is just crazier & busier than it was before -- but I realized the chaos is mostly in my own mind lol

God bless you...

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Farawaytree 16 months ago from California

Definitely felt it at 35! Fantastic idea for a hub, wish I'd thought of it

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