Deciding when to have kids

Many friends whom I know, including myself, would love to start plan B (B for Baby) after they have enjoyed their marriage for about 2 years.  That’s a reasonable time before committing themselves to parenthood for life.  Well, statistics show that many are putting off marriage till early 30s or mid-30s.  That could only mean that plan B will start mid-30s and late 30s and there comes increasing complications, particularly in health.  Not to mention that waiting for a successful pregnancy may be longer.

What is in store for those who start plan B late?

1. Fewer kids

If a couple were to have their first baby at the age of 32, they will be less likely to have more than 2 kids.  It is more ideal that there is a space of at least 18 months between 2 pregnancies for the womb and body to recover from childbirth stress.  Family planning will see that the 2nd child be delivered at the age of 34 and beyond, and the 3rd will be over 35 which the woman will fall into the high risk category.  Exceptions will probably be those delivering twins or triplets.

2. Energy level goes down with age

Those who have children will know that children’s energy levels will always surpass that of their parents.  It’s tiring to keep up with the kids’ energy level.  From day 1, they demand night feeds which really zap energy like a thirsty hippo.  In toddler days, the wobbly walking and head over heels running will keep you on your toes behind them, back bent forwards with arms outstretched to anticipate falls.  When they master running, you wonder why they hardly walk anymore.  I often imagine XX and YH’s feet fitted with rockets.  Whenever we return from my parent’s house for dinner, we have to walk through this long corridor at about 830pm.  Then their “rockets” start to propel them down the corridor despite countless fore-warnings to walk quietly.  Kel and I wonder if the opposite would happen if we have shouted “RUN!  RUN FASTER!”.

3. You may be mistaken as your children’s grandparents

Unless you upkeep your image, you may be mistaken for your children’s granny or grandpa if you are not careful.  By the time your youngest child reaches 20 years old, you could be near 60!  My parents were already grandparents when they were 50 and 55 years old.  But those were the generation of early marriage and parenthood.  This would only get worse with each generation procrastinating plan B.

4. Complications in pregnancy and health

There are many risks with getting pregnant beyond the age of 35.  Rates of miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy go up with age.  In fact, these women will have to go through genetic counselling and genetic testing to screen or diagnose for birth defects.  Of course, all pregnancies may come with birth defect risk, but age factor raises this risk substantially.  The older you are to get pregnant, the higher the risk of getting chronic disease, such as high blood pressure and diabetes.  You can visit babycenter for more information on this.

5. Better handle kids when you are older

This is perhaps the only positive reason I can think of for having children at an older age.  Being older may mean that you can handle babies and young children with more patience compared to when you were in your mid-20s. You may be at a more matured mental state to handle crying babies and demanding children and you’ll be able to enjoy your children more. I find myself handling my 3rd baby better than I did when I had my first child.  Experience plays a part, but I am calmer and more at ease to face the challenges of child-rearing now than before.  Financially, you may be more stable and that eliminates one major stress factor, making plan B more affordable.

Considering the above factors, I think it is good to start plan B as early as possible into your marriage.  When I delivered XX, my first child, I was 26, YH when I was 28 and now YT when I was 33.  I could feel lots of difference when I was pregnant in my 20s compared to my 30s.  The greatest difference was my energy level. It was much lower when I was pregnant with my 3rd baby.  I got tired easily and was sleepier than before.  I was not as agile as my first 2 pregnancies and walked with much difficulties during the last 2 weeks before I delivered.  Even the delivery saw me push 4 times before the baby was out compared to 2 times with my other 2.

Have children early and never think that you are not ready for them.  The moment the crying newborn is put into your hands, you are a MUM or DAD.  There will be no doubt that the baby trusts you entirely for his happiness.  If such a little one can trust you, you can do it!

What’s your ideal age for having kids?

6 thoughts on “Deciding when to have kids

  1. Site looks fun. I enjoyed your introduction. If your interested I recently took a Human Ecology class and talks about the demographics in the US and around the world especially some great graphs and statistics on population, birth, etc. Give me a shout if your interested. Your opening statement resonated with me.

    To answer your question. When your ready and have a stable foundation in your marriage. I do disagree with 2 & 3. But agree with the rest. 2 is all about your perception and our society perceives that as we get older our energy level diminishes. Positive people and positive people rarely have this issue, those that remove stress from their life and don’t battle the clock but rather focus on their moral compass and whats important in life remain vibrant for many years. We reduce our energy by not taking care of ourselves and not staying centered on our principles.

    Number 3 is another stigma that will change with time. As young people we see looks as a sign of age. My stepfather had grey hair when he was 10 years old. Genetics. As more people in their 30’s take to having kids and the trends change. Those stigma’s will slowly dissolve. I personally decided to have kids in my twenties because I love them and have always had little feet in the house growing up. I was the oldest of 4 with a 14 year age gap between myself and the youngest. I am now remarried and staring another family. Baby will be here in 3 weeks. My wife in her late 20’s is on board with having a few children sooner than later so we can party into our golden years without having to raise children. We plan to have a active retirement life. Leaving no stone unturned.

    Site looks great. Keep working at it and some success I found was explore other social media platforms. Reddit.com was a big hit for me last week.

    • Thanks for dropping by Kirby! Your thoughtful reply is insightful and I am bought over by your argument on positive thinking! It really depends on taking good care of oneself to stay happy and young and energetic. Congrats on your coming newborn and enjoy fatherhood once again!

  2. Very interested to read your thoughts on this complex matter, Simple Mum. I gave birth when I was nearly forty; one of my sisters, by way of contrast, had her first two in her late teens! I think 3 is a valid point, though I hope that I remain sufficiently young at heart (if a tad withered around the outlying regions!) for my son not to have to disown me more than once a day!
    I look forward to reading more of your posts. Alienora

    • Thanks for your comments! If we do upkeep our image and health, Pt 3 will not be valid. And you are right, young at heart is truly important too! I’m sure you will not be disowned! 🙂

      • Bless! Well, the dear lad is now fifteen and finds us both excruciatingly embarrassing! Par for the course, however: I felt the same about my mother – and she was a mere whippersnapper of forty one when I was fifteen! Enjoy! x

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