Should We Wait to Have Kids?

More and more people are waiting until their late thirties and beyond to have children. For some the reasons are financial; others simply want to enjoy life with no responsibilities before parenthood. But is it best to wait until later in life before starting a family?

Yes – Malcolm
My wife and I waited until we were in our mid-thirties before having our two children. I don’t feel we would have enjoyed the experience of parenthood as much if we had chosen to have them when we were younger. By waiting, we were able to ensure that we were secure financially before bringing a baby into our lives and my wife was able to build a successful career – something that she would have found much harder if she’d taken a career break in her twenties.

Many people have children at a young age but then find that their relationship can’t cope with the demands of parenthood and they end up getting divorced. By waiting, you can ensure that your relationship is going to last through all the ups and downs of life before committing to having children together. We also feel that we are calmer and more able to deal with the emotional demands of young children than we would have been ten years ago.

Having children later in life also means that we have no regrets – we have travelled the world and done everything that we wanted to do before our children came along. I think people who have children at a young age must sometimes feel resentful of the lifestyle they have given up. Being older means we’re happy spending days in the park or on the beach, rather than wishing we could go clubbing or partying with friends.

No – Victoria
If you know that you want children, it’s important to start trying whilst you’re still young. Many of my friends put off having children whilst they built their career only to find that in their mid-thirties, getting pregnant wasn’t as easy as they thought it would be. And this is particularly important if you want to have more than one child – if you leave it too late, you may find that you run out of time.

Looking after small children requires a huge amount of energy and you’re just much better suited to parenthood when you’re young, fit and healthy than later in life when tiredness and aches and pains become a daily part of life.

I also think it’s unfair on the child if you wait until your late thirties or even early forties to have children as this can mean you’re more likely to have age-related health issues whilst they are still young. In addition, having children later in life means that grandparents are likely to be elderly and unable to help with childcare.

Many of my friends say that they want to experience life and enjoy things like travelling before having kids but by having children in my early twenties means that by the time they leave home, I’ll still be relatively young and able to travel and enjoy life as much as I like – something that my friends won’t be able to do again until into their late fifties or sixties.

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