Tuesday, January 20, 2009

What Age Is Too Old?

This is a question for the ladies, with an alternate question for the gentlemen.

In your opinion, and based on whatever criteria you wish to use, what is the oldest age at which a woman should have a baby?  And I thought of another one...what is the ideal age range during which a woman should have a baby?  Basically, how old is too old to become a mother for the first time, and what is the best time?

And for the men...how old is too old to become a father for the first time, followed by what is the ideal age range?

I don't know if I'm going through a very early midlife crisis, or if I'm just feeling liberated to be all I can be since I have branched out to things other than just work.  I don't currently want kids, but I'm also not currently involved in a serious relationship, and I know the baby part could change with time in the relationship part, if I were to be so lucky at some point in the future to have one that I would classify as 'serious'.

Answers, thoughts, advice?  


vq said...

I don't think there's any set answer to that question. Both of my grandmothers had babies after 40, undoubtedly due to the fact that reliable birth control was probably not very available to poor farm folk like they were. My father was the youngest of six children and was born when his mother was well past 40. If her age was any sort of issue to him, I never knew of it.

I'd say it's a very individual matter, depending on the life circumstances of the individual woman. If a prospective mother is healthy and committed to the job of raising a child, then she should have one.

emma said...

what is the oldest age at which a woman should have a baby?

When she still has the energy to keep up with the baby, then when it's a toddler, then when it's a teenager

"And I thought of another one...what is the ideal age range during which a woman should have a baby?"

When she is finacially capable of supporting a baby . . . when she's mentally capable and smart enough to care for a child and when she is ready to give up a good portion of her life to dedicate to a child.

Spidey said...

some women are never "old" enough to have a baby. like the other two ladies, i think being mentally capable is a wise guide line. that goes for being too young or too old. i was able to have children when it was right for me. that age was 24 and 28. that turned out to be a perfect time for me, as i was mentally ready and it also has now given me some time to enjoy my life at the age of 49,now that they have both flown the nest. raising kids is an exhausting job. 24/7. the hardest and best job i ever had.

Ded said...

I fathered my children at ages 32 and 37, which seemed just right for me then and now. It is, as the smart chicks here have said, a very personal, very individual matter. Now approaching 59, I'm mostly glad, even ecstatic, not to have either babies or kids to raise. But still some part of me is curious to know what sort of father I'd make at this point in time. Of course, I'd first have to get reversed the vasectomy, itself now 20 years past. Where did all the time go? And just as important, where did all the seed?

Gail said...

I had my daughter when I was 30 and have thought from time to time that I waited to long but now that I'm 60 and she's been out on her own since 2001, I still have the energy some days to enjoy life. I agree with all the above-being mentally, financially ready for children-they are a full time job if you do it right. As for Ded's question about the seed...can I get back to you on that ? :)

CatBoy said...

I think they have covered pretty well- there isn't an ideal age that works for everyone.

Jilly said...

my mom gave birth to kids at 20, 21 and and 26. She also got other kids through marriage and the foster system periodiaclly, so they are a factor too. all kids need love and take a lot of work.

My guy's momma had kids starting in her 40s. They had and still have a lot more money than my mom ever had BUT they were often asked if they were the grandparents of my guy and his little brother when they were in high school and college. the MIL's friends all had kids younger, so they had grandkids younger and she was going nuts for a grandchild years before she got one.

my inlaws are also starting to become ill and are unable to do the fun things with my daughter since they're close to 70. my parents can do the fun stuff since they're still in their 40s and this causes some tension. buying the love of a kid only works so well.

it is a personal choice of if/when or not at all you somehow get/have a kid, but you can't always have everything and many people these days want it all and don't see the consequences. you CAN have babies in your 50s or later, but should you?

a little known fact is that it took me a long time to get pregnant and we were on the brink of going to a fertility clinic before i got pregnant. Mandolin really is a miracle.

in the research process, we were told that many women over 40 do have babies but 95% of the time, these people over 40 aren't using their own eggs or sperm. also, i had a c-section and was ready to get out of bed 3 hours later. almost all of the other women in the c-section ward were in their 40s and couldn't think of getting out of bed for a few days. at some point, it's harder for your body to recover from all that trauma.

there also is an age where you're just too young. many teenage mother's are really bad mothers. we have the teen parent program at my school and almost all of these girls are clueless. some are good or great, but we're talking 3 out of 50.

The babies often look and behave like the neglected kids in romanian orphanages. plus, these babies are often premature and ill and the mother's are that much better. some of it is genetics, some parenting and some due to socioeconomic factors, but if you had the choice, why set you and your kid up to fail?

many of the teen of the mothers have 2-4 kids in the daycare. overall, the daycare costs 50 a week plus 500 a year fees.

it's really your choice. you were great to your cat, and you're smart, educated, financially and personally responsible, so you'd be a great mom, now or later. i just think that if you're 45 when you do it, you'll be really tired. all of this doesn't matter anyway, because it's an individual choice and what we say doesn't really factor into it.


Blank Field said...

My anecdotal evidence, on which I dutifully basis all my truths, has me having one set of kids, with one wife, at 23, 25 & 30, and another set, with my current wife, at 40 & 44. And there's no comparison as to which set got the better father, because of maturity and material wealth. I wasn't a bad father in my 20s, just poor and ever so ignorant about so many things. But the three older ones all agree that being born was one of the best things that ever happened to them. And I read on the internet just the other day, I think it was on Drudge, that 97.4% of kids born since 1907 have felt that same joi de vivre at some point in their lives.

Getting pregnant is such a personal thing, and I'm sure that I speak for ALL the menfolk who palpitate / populate this site when I say that when you think the time is right, I hope we can all be there for you.

Jenny Robin said...

I appreciate all your comments. If you think of anything else, please post again.

Martha said...

I never anticipated still being childless at 38, but that's not stopping me from my quest. There's no one right time for everyone.

That said, age can definitely be a factor, whether you plan to give birth (after 35 is considered "Advanced Maternal Age" - how's that to make you feel old?), or adopt - many countries have age limits for adoptive parents.

I wish you luck in your journey, wherever it may take you. I know my road didn't lead me where I expected it to, but I know I'm in the right place.