13 Reasons Why You Should Wait Until You're 30 to Have a Baby
Having a baby is a decision millions of people make every year, one that brings a beautiful tiny new human into the world and makes many people happy. However, there are many, many wonderful things about waiting a while before having your own little sproglet. This article gives thirteen great reasons why you should wait until you're 30 to have a baby. A lot of these apply not only to women, but men as well.
The biggest reason, of course, is money. Babies are tiny but they're so expensive. Diapers, clothes, cot, buggy/stroller, toys - then when they get older, more toys, more clothes, a bigger stroller, then as they grow you need to get school uniforms, stationery... the list goes on. The average cost of raising a child in the UK is £230,000 ($350,000 USD). Think of what you could do with £230,000!
Avoiding having a baby too early means that, financially, you can:
- Spend more money on yourself
- Buy things spontaneously, like that expensive pair of shoes you like or a bargain holiday
- Pay off any debt, such as student loans, way faster
- Actually start saving for a baby
If you are seriously thinking of having a child, why not save up for one? When you finally do become a parent, it'll be good to have that nest egg ready. In the meantime, you can hit up sales in the shopping centre, book a spontaneous trip with your friends and splash out once in a while without feeling guilty.
Before you have a child, it's important to work, figure out what you're good at and follow your dreams. Being single and childless means that:
- You can work late at the office if needed, and not have to call home and apologise to your spouse and child(ren).
- You can go on business trips and work events without the hassle of having it clash with home life.
- You can accept promotions, have a heavier workload and more hours without it getting in the way of your parental responsibilities.
- You can follow your career dreams - you can move to Japan to teach English or transfer to Europe without having to think of the baby.
- You can figure out what you're good at and change jobs if you need to. No need to stick to the "safe" job because you have a family to think about.
Many people struggle with balancing work and family life. If you postpone having a baby, you can enjoy your work and let it become a big part of your life.
3. Dating, Whether You're Married or Not
Divorces and separations happen, and there are many people out there who are single parents. Child or not, they get lonely, and get back into "dating" when the right time comes. Without a child, you're much more attractive (although most people won't admit it), especially if you're young. You also don't have to call for a babysitter when you go out on your date.
This also applies to married couples; many people get married and have a baby pretty quickly afterwards. If you're married, it's still good to wait at least a couple of years before having a child. This way, you have time for dates, surprise romantic candlelit dinners and days out together without having to bring the baby along.
4. "You" Time
When you're a full-time parent, "me time" goes from being a frequent normality to a rare treat. Babies are lovely, spending time with friends and family is great, but we all need that hour or so (for some, a day or two) alone doing "me" things, whether it be playing video games, spending time exercising or reading. With a small child that needs constant attention and care, "me" time kind of goes out of the window. You need to book way in advance for a few precious hours of no-other-people time, and even then you have to find someone to look after the child in the meantime. Pamper yourself a bit whilst you can!
You also have more time to get to know yourself and to grow as a person, not to mention improving any skills you have, like running, painting, writing or swimming. If there's a time where you're free to grow, it's now, as a young adult. Take advantage of it.
Whether you're more of a "get wasted and karaoke" or "slow and steady" type of partyer, everyone likes to spend time with their friends and relax. This time gets cut seriously short once you have a baby. After work, taking care of your child and visits from your in-laws, time you can spend with your friends is often limited to a quick lunch on a monthly basis.
If you like to drink, you have an even bigger reason to avoid having a baby at the moment. Have you ever tried nursing a hangover whilst looking after a screaming baby? I haven't either, but I'm thinking it's not much fun.
6. Freedom to Go Anywhere, Anytime
If you've ever seen Michael McIntyre's stand-up comedy sketch about having children, you'll understand that even physically leaving the house becomes difficult once you have a baby, not to mention things like spontaneous trips as mentioned earlier, or even shopping. You either have to find a babysitter if you need to go out somewhere, or take them with you and risk tantrums, distraction and limitation on what you can do and how long you can stay.
Without a child, you can get your grocery shopping done in half an hour, hit the shops and splash out if you feel like it, and go on a three-day camping trip with your friends. Freedom!
In your opinion, what's the best age to have your first baby?
7. More Time for Friends
Meeting "the one" and having a baby are usually a good way to lose friends, not because it's a bad thing, but because that's life. Holding onto good friends and waiting to have a kid is a great thing. Without a baby, you can:
- Can have friends round and have a full conversation with them without your child interrupting.
- Stay up all night talking and/or drinking.
- Go to your friends' houses and do the same there.
You also have more time for your family, whether it be parents, siblings or distant cousins. You can also get a kitten or a puppy if you want to.
Travelling is my passion, and I think absolutely everyone who can should travel as much as they possibly can. When you're young, single and have the money, travelling is easy, fun and with the right preparations, inexpensive. When you have a child, travel is possible, but it's in a more rare, child-friendly way. If you go travelling whilst you don't have a baby to think of, you can:
- Be spontaneous. Book, re-book and change your trip anytime.
- Stay in youth hostels (many hostels don't accept small children).
- Try things like bungee jumping, kayaking and exotic foods/substances.
- Go travelling during school terms!
9. Watch R-Rated Movies
Without a baby, you can go watch a scary r-rated film with your friends, or hit the midnight premier. Of course, you can hire a babysitter if you go to the cinema. However, what about film nights? You can have an all-nighter marathonning your favourite TV show or watch horror films at a sleepover. In fact, you can watch any movie without your child interrupting you!
10. Free time
Many parents complain about never having enough free time. If you're working a full-time job, the chances are that you get at least a day or two off a week. What do you like to do on these days? Any time spent relaxing, playing with friends or working on personal projects would be cut short if you had a baby. This "me" time mentioned earlier would become "family quality time". Not a bad thing at all, but something that should be thought about if you cherish your free days off like I do.
11. Your Body
Aside from time, career and money, your body takes a pretty big beating when you have a baby too. If you wait until you're 30 before having a baby, you can enjoy your twenties free of stretchmarks, saggy breasts and extra baby weight. If you're a man then of course this isn't an issue, but you can still get bags under your eyes from getting up twelve times a night to feed the screaming baby!
When you live alone, getting sick means grabbing medicine, eating soup and resting until you feel better. When you have a baby, getting sick means trying to take care of them, dealing with their noise and simultaneously trying to avoid getting them sick too.
Not to mention that if you're prescribed medicine, almost all warning labels say "don't take when pregnant or breastfeeding". If you're not a parent, you can allow yourself to skip over this warning, and only worry about yourself during your sick days.
13. Not having to care about things like...
There is a plethora of things you don't have to worry about if you don't have a child. Just to name a few:
- The quality of local schools.
- Potentially dangerous things to children on the internet, media, etc.
- The rising prices of baby food and diapers.
- "No children" policies in public venues.
- The future in general - what the future will be like for our children.
There are many things that I just skip over because children are mentioned and none of that applies to me; an example would be the medicine labels mentioned earlier.
So there you have it - thirteen great reasons to wait until you're 30 years old to have a baby. This article isn't condemning having children any younger. If you're married, and you're both physically, financially and mentally ready to have a child, then by all means go for it! Any suggestions or things to add? Comment below.
© 2015 Poppy