These days, a lot of people are having their families later, whether by choice or through circumstances. It’s a personal and complicated issue, which is not always governed by choice, but there are many advantages to waiting until you’re older. Here are some reasons why it can – note, CAN – be better to have your family later.
While some people mature emotionally at a younger age, many aren’t ready for the responsibility of parenthood until later. Being older when you have your children can mean that you have greater maturity, and that you can offer things that you didn’t have when younger, such as patience and time.
It can’t be denied that bringing up a family can be an expensive business, what with the rising cost of housing and childcare, and the lack of job security. Waiting until later to start your family gives you the chance to build up your finances and get yourself established first.
People of any age can make great parents, but many of us like to have fun and enjoy our freedom before we ‘settle down’. Becoming a parent before you have done other things that you want to do may mean that you feel some resentment, whereas getting those ambitions out of the way first allows you to enjoy parenthood as a new challenge.
It’s true that fertility is stronger when you’re younger, and that it may take longer to conceive when you’re older. However, this is likely to make you value the experience even more, so that the children of older parents will be very much wanted children.
Some say that having young children is harder as you get older. I say that it can help you feel younger! What better way to keep a youthful spirit than to have a young child in your life, and enjoy playing with them.
I might be the exception to this, as I get even more impatient as I get older. Many people, though, find that if they have children of very different ages they are more patient second time around, because they are more confident than when they first had children, and worry less about getting things ‘right’.
As well as financial stability, being an older parent means that you are likely to be well established in your career. You’ll be able to take a break without worrying about losing out. Or you may feel that career matters less than being at home.
If you’ve done a lot of things in your life, you may feel that you’ve done it all. You’ve travelled, run a business, studied … what’s left for you to do? Well, parenthood can be the greatest challenge of them all! It can offer a new and exciting stage to your life …
For some people, having their family young was the best thing for them, for others it’s delaying parenthood until later. What is your experience or opinion, either as a parent or child?
Top Photo Credit: Dalla*
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