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Are women aware of the risks of postponing having children?

As college educated women postpone marriage and children longer than before, there are increasingly at risk of not having children... even with advancements in IVF and other medical interventions.

Is it better to wait until one is older to have kids?

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Charter 6 Jan 23
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23 comments

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9

Selfishness is the main reason for not marrying at a young age. This has always been the main reason, but on top of that we can add; an education system that discourages marriage, many churches today do the same, and parents who set bad examples. Myself, a high school at the end of my freshman year married at 21; my first wife, a high school graduate married me at 18 and had our son just over a year later. We were married until her passing after over 50 years. It doesn't take a college education, full bank account, a house, or one's peers approval to marry and fulfill one of the main purposes of our existence; it takes love, commitment, patience, and foregiveness. And most certainly a love of and faith in God.

All true. But your level of maturity at that age appears light years beyond what is the norm these days.

@parsifal No, unfortunately, it wasn't. God had to knock me upside the head many times in the ensuing years. That is really what matured me. LOL

@lawrenceblair I’ve always said “pain is a great motivator”.

@parsifal Yes, and we all need our share to grow up as human beings instead of mere beasts.

@lawrenceblair Yes. Not all pain is a detriment. Sometimes it spurs us to change and change when we don’t want it can be painful. But we can grow. And that is good...

8

I guess it depends on what a person values most and how they prioritize those things. Problem is that women have bought into a false idea that they are A)entitled and B)can have everything they want all at the same time.

Fact is no one can have everything they want and truthfully there are no entitlements. Like it or not, for better or for worse a given person finds their life as it is at a given moment and they fail realize that where and how they find themselves is a direct result of the myriad choices they made up to that point in time.

No one can be free of the conditions and consequences of their own choices.
Women who have babies earlier in life often find themselves wistfully fantasizing about a life free of parental duty and responsibility. Women who find themselves childless and menopause looming just a few years ahead often compare themselves to women who have sons and daughters and wistfully fantasize an idealized vision of themselves surrounded by children and husband etc.

It is human nature to be dissatisfied in the moment and to fantasize about how they might be truly happy "if only" - but the fantasy really has no relationship with reality. Those two things, fantasy and reality are mutually exclusive.

If a woman finds herself "unfulfilled" or unhappy in a pensive moment over babies - no babies she would do well to NOT inflict harm to others by seeking to become pregnant outside of a marital relationship...after all, a decision (assuming that pregnancy does not occur by by happenstance) to have a baby should be made with the future babies welfare and well being as the highest priority.

Any woman who has a baby (at any age) in order to make herself feel better about herself is indulging in an ultimate act of selfishness.

iThink Level 8 Feb 11, 2021
7

Certainly older, maturity is important in being a decent parent.

Perhaps, but I suspect it has more to do with how the parents themselves were actually raised and what their particular views on family are. Well prepared young people can make wonderful parents, and older people who are not well prepared can make terrible parents.

@KeithThroop Valid point, but I personally know of far many more cases of ill prepared younger parents than I do of older ones though. Both of my parents were older when they had me, my father was 41, and by that time they were more situated in life and ready to be parents.

@SpikeTalon Frankly, I don't think there are enough younger parents these days to get a good read on it and make a very accurate a comparison, at least not in the broader culture. I know, however, that in the Christian community of which I am a part couples are marrying younger and having children at younger ages than many in the wider culture, and they are typically well prepared and solid parents. I don't think I would be too optimistic about many younger couples outside our community, though, since they typically do not have the same preparation and outlook. Such has been my experience watching trends over the past 20-30 years. Granted, one would assume that with greater years usually comes greater maturity and stability, but that doesn't really appear to be true across the board. Perhaps there is a difference between Conservatives and Liberals in this regard as well. A bad worldview in an older person is still a bad worldview. Anyway, I'm just sort of thinking out loud and typing some quick thoughts. I definitely wouldn't be dogmatic about it.

5

Depends...

So much of the country has been infantilized that starting a family early can mean starting a family too early. If you come from a part of the country where young people have responsibilities, jobs, exposure to real work---the likelihood of a positive outcome is greater. If you're talking about young adults whose lives have been regimented K- thru- a- Masters- or -PhD, well, that's a different mindset. Our sons belong to both the working and early college categories. We'll see what happens---looks like they'll graduate. But, they've both worked since they were 12.

Health matters. Love matters. Commitment matters. Maturity matters. The paradox is that having kids is tantamount to jumping off a cliff. You really don't know what you're going to get, let alone what you're getting into. If you're looking for a "risk free outcome," forget it. The paradox is that more mature people tend to avoid NEEDLESS risk, yet embrace the challenges of parenting---young people may find themselves as parents, better capable of putting the hours in, yet less willing to do so.

Another paradox is that almost no one is prepared for parenthood, whatever their self estimation. It doesn't work that way. Parenthood is an evolution. You learn. You fail. You get up the next day and do it all over again. Parenthood is learning on the job with everything on the line every day. Yet, you will never give your children what they give you, the good, bad, and ugly. If you're willing to be taken outside of yourself, it's your final evolutionary experience.

So, there you have it.

As well said as I've heard. Parenthood, like all life, is only as good as what you bring to it.To truly live life is to embrace and affirm all of it- the good with the bad- because they don't come exclusive of each other. The key to happiness in the adventure of life is to be able to joyfully participate in all of it regardless of whether or not what happens is what one would prefer.

@Geofrank
How many you got?

@Terence57 Just one...he'll be 46 soon.

@Geofrank You'll never be the same w/ a kid---and you'd never want to be. T

@Terence57 Yeah they change everything and from my perspective mostly for the better.

Very well put. Biggest issue I see is that a large number of men and women are not wanting the first part of being a parent and that is to accept working with another person in living life. we have an extremely self centered society these days. I try as best I can to teach our kids better than that. as once you see beyond your self there is a lot that can be done.

That and teaching them to discern, learn, and be responsible. they are coming along very well and surprise me daily. they also try us on a daily level, but that is having kids.

@M_MarinoDC
Ain't it the truth.

5

I don't have any kids, but most people I know who waited until later in life to have kids tell me that their biggest regret is that they didn't have their kids when they were younger and more energetic...

I'm pretty sure that their responses are partially "the grass is always greener".
There is no perfect solution for everyone, and when you can't experience the other side, you assume it was much better than the situation you're in. (this is a generic "you", not you-you)

If it's a matter of energy, I'd have to agree. On the other side of it, the "applied energy' is more directed (focused), generally, when you're an older parent. As well, Patience is a factor, a really BIG factor.
Of course, everything I'm offering may be subsumed by, for instance, the new paradigms of BLM's movement to destroy the nuclear family (not my take, theirs) and the broader devaluation of persons, generally.

I have two adult daughters that were born about 9 years apart. I was just over 22 for the first, almost 32 for the second.

There are so many variables to take into account that it is unrealistic to compare the experiences.

For the first I lived near to my parents who helped me greatly with advice and babysitting. She was a colicky baby with health issues, was three weeks premature, born by Caesarian. An all around challenge for a first time mother.

For the second, there was no family that lived nearby so I did it all on my own. She was robust and healthy, born naturally. Nowhere near the challenge that my first was.

I could say that having a baby in my thirties was easier, but it wouldn’t be a realistic assessment. If the births had of been reversed, easy first, difficult second, my experience would have been much different.

What I can say is that I am quite happy that I finished having my children when I was still fairly young. I have many years yet (hopefully lol) to enjoy my grandchildren and I wouldn’t change being without children in my home at this time of my life for anything.

5

There are arguments for both, waiting till one is older will likely result in increased maturity, but at a risk of increased health complications for mom and child.

5

Delaying marriage and child bearing is part of the delay in growing up and assuming responsibilities so the good times of youth can roll on. That’s a choice people have a right to make, of course. I’ll submit it could also be an unrealized result of late 20th century efforts to encourage population control.
Having waited until our 30s to have children, my wife and I will undoubtedly have less opportunity to enjoy the lives of both our children and, especially, our grandchildren.

Garsco Level 8 Feb 11, 2021
4

It was not uncommon throughout much of American history for women to seek a husband that was older and established; the idea being that he could provide amply for her and their children with a minimum of risk. That marrying solely for love and desire was a risky, if not flighty, proposition.

But this has slowly disappeared over time. Even in my mother's era, the rule was that the younger partner - typically the woman - needs to be with half the older one's age plus seven. In my era, the criteria seems to be even more stringent, maybe plus/minus a year or two, but not much more than that, the idea being that they should've been in high school at the same time. Today? From what I've gleaned, you have to basically be the same age.(1)

Clearly, this is a consequence of the rejection of the previous cultural norms of man as provider and woman as homemaker and mother. That one should marry primarily for love and desire and not for stability, protection, or to provide benefits to the children. Draw your own conclusions about which is better in the long run, not only for the partners, but for their children.

Where am I going with this?

How many children are born each year in homes that are not ready to support them? I mean young, barely making it parents that both have to work, living in a tiny apartment, and suddenly baby comes along. That was my own mother's case and I'm not going to mince words when I say that it definitely impacted me and shaped me, not for the better. And I doubt she faired any better for having to endure it.

Our "rules" today say that a man must marry his own age, but by the time many men are finally financially established, women are either out of their childbearing years, or dangerously close, meaning increased risk to both her and the child of complications. But if say, a man in his late 30s/earlier 40s tried to court - yes I'm old-fashioned - a woman in her 20s, he'd be called a "dirty old man," irrespective of whether his intentions were perfectly honorable.

TLDR: So for me, this discussion isn't so much about whether it's "better" for the woman to have children earlier or later, because with our current social norms, the vast majority are going to experience trouble, either way. Either they are going to have to deal with instability at home due to financial reasons or time constraints (younger) or they are going to have to deal with increased pregnancy risk and risk of complications to the baby (older). How do you choose which is "better?"

(1) I am reminded of an attempt on my part to date a woman - after my Mrs had passed and I'd grieved long enough - who was 36 at the time and I was 38. She refused, saying that I was "too old for her."

4

Fertility lowers significantly after thirty. If you postpone conception it gets progressively harder to achieve.

for women especially...early 20's women pairing with early/mid 30's men seem to be the ideal situation..gives the man time to mature and become financially secure, and the woman being at peak fertility

4

If there partners are older too the increased risk of undesirable mutations should be considered.

We could use some better, non political, biological education.

wolfhnd Level 8 Feb 11, 2021
4

Age and miscarriage

Charter Level 6 Jan 23, 2021

Yep, it gets harder and harder to conceive after thirty.

4

Another chart with likelihood of pregnancy and infertility by age.

Charter Level 6 Jan 23, 2021

Source?

3

Yes because Republicans continue to vote against any and all healthcare assistance.

A birth costs $30,000 and getting a low interest credit line to pay that off is impossible. Insurance is a scam and the free market has failed to fix any of this.

Do not get me started on evangelicals who celebrate rape culture by proudly broadcasting their scriptures about concubine sex slaves.

So move to Venezuela where you can have your kids and eat them too...literally

@parsifal My Republican friend named Erik Desando (who worked for Trump) can confirm that it is a paradise in Columbia. You are missing out.

@Mikewee777 Was my spelling off? My bad. I didn’t realize Columbia was spelled V-e-n-e-z-u-e-l-a.

The main reason birth costs $30,000.00 is that the medical profession has allowed pregnancy and birth be pathologized along with the marginalization of midwifery. Imagine what the population of the world would be if it had cost paleo or neolithic families the equivalent of $30,000.00 to have a child.

@Geofrank, Yep we have had homebirths and the cost is no were near $30K. Sad thing is that folks actually listen to a group that gets it wrong and then lies about getting it wrong. I know a lot of good MD's but they don't like the current system either. Sad thing that the MD's are getting screwed these days as they are being told what to do by those who have a profit interest above a healthcare interest.

Just think how few human there would be IF the allopath's had formalized their education and political structure before the end of the 19th century (pushed by the early Pharma companies to "insure" better education). One only has to go back and read the articles on both sides to see that the real goal is almost realized with Pharma controlling the industry for their profit.

2

Waiting until you are in your 30's may be best. I had 3 with my 1st wife when we were 25 to 28 yrs old; then 2 with my 2nd wife when we were both 36 to 39. I have always worked (born in the 50's) and having children was just a very natural thing to do. But I was less mature in my late 20's and with the stress of working shift work, plus the dope smoking/drinking community we lived in; we could not go the distance. After our divorce, it was rocky for my 3 kids at first, but as they grew and I quit the partying altogether, they turned out ok. I was transfered around a lot but kept in regular communication with them. My 2nd set had a more stable, enriched environment, and they have tended to "act out" far less. But oddly, my 1st 3 kids (all late 30's/40) all have their own children; my 2nd 2 daughters (28 & 26) have announced they won't have children, I believe mostly because they fell it would disrupt their current lifestyle. Bottom line; grow up, become an adult capable of supporting a home and family first.

skaarda Level 7 Feb 21, 2021
2

The opening scenes from the movie Idiocracy has an interesting take on it:

2

It's better to wait longer unless good health in your 30's-40's isn't very possible...

Additionally, many women who go to college have an anti-children attitude and are very critical (like their parents were to them) about high achievements... so if they were to have children then they may be mocked & criticised for walking for the first time, throwing a ball for the first time, etc...

1

I was married at 17 I had four kids by the time I was 20 marriage didn't work out but we tried again 7 years later and I had another son the relationship still didn't work out LOL whatever! I have 15 grandchildren and one great-grandchild so far. I am young enough to enjoy them except for we live very far apart at the moment. Life is full of experiences I would have had 10 more kids had it worked out that way. Personally looking back probably could have gotten married at fifteen LOL and had a few more. I love my kids they're really great and thank God in these times we are all on the same side.

1

It highly dependents on your personal situation but in present western society, I would say that women wait too long. Please do not wait until you're like 35. Early twenties would be my choice. Also think of medical risks, like down syndrome.

MarcW Level 5 Apr 11, 2021
1

Depends on what your idea of "older is", if you wait until you can afford them, feel you can share your lives with them it may never happen. Do what fits your needs.... if as a father and grandfather if I would pick an ideal time by age alone I'd say early twenties to mid thirties. I know many happy families scraping by with their first born while in their late teens, same for early forties. My wife is 2 years younger than me, we didn't meet and get married until our late twenties, had our first when I was 34, last when I was 40.

azjc Level 7 Mar 20, 2021
1

Does it really make sense to start a family when you're not financially stable?
Also, why does it seem like adoption isn't even an option?

ktpinto Level 7 Feb 13, 2021

It is sad to see a selfish woman caring solely for her own comfort. I do not recommend adoption in this case, the child needs a mother who cares more about his comfort than about her own.
Having a baby means 15-20 years of full-time work. I'm not sure if you can handle it.

@El_Uro Well, aren't you an obnoxious and uptight little thing!
I have no idea why you decided attacking me was the proper response to my intellectual and logical comment, but as long as you now feel morally superior...
Now go away before I kick that soapbox out from under you.

@ktpinto I am very scared

Millions of poor nonwhites have kids they can't afford. Poverty is not an excuse for white people to not procreate. Adoption preserves genes that are not your own.

@WhiteDebbil I am confused by your comment. Are you saying that you should have children even if you're in poverty because other people do it? So, if nonwhites jump off the Brooklyn Bridge...
You also have a horrible way to look at adoptions. But you do you.

@ktpinto adopted kids are usually kids taken by force?

@ktpinto if you want a kid why not have your own instead of stealing other people's kids?

@Beachslim Cite it or bite it. 🙂

@ktpinto do you honestly believe people just give away kids voluntarily?

@Beachslim

@ktpinto source: common sense

@Beachslim Which means no, you have no resources to cite, so your comment means nothing. Thanks. 🙂

@ktpinto it means you have no common sense. Do u need a source to tell you grass is green?

@Beachslim Actually, only healthy grass is green, and can be various shades of said color, since "green" is a generic adjective, and grass comes in many varieties. Grass can also be different colors due to various problems, including yellow, red, brown, blue and black.
You know how I know this? I looked it up and am able to cite it. Crazy, right?
[finestlawns.com]

Bored now...

@ktpinto well I didn't need to look it up or cite it, isnt that crazy?

@Beachslim Well then from now on stick with that level of intellectual conversation, since that's what you can apparently handle and understand - that would be elementary school, I'd imagine - and stop trying to interact in the grown-up conversations, since you think random opinions of one dimension carry any weight. 🙂
Now, do me a favor...

@ktpinto well, I guess I got a superpower called common sense, which you don't have

@ktpinto cite your source that we are engaged in elementary school conversation and not grown up conversation. There isnt one. BuRNnnnn!

0

Unless you are a mindless animal running purely on instinct, there is more than life than children.
I'm no feminist but the fact that woman are the carriers give them an inherent disadvantage in the workplace.
Some people would rather live a good life for themselves than devote their lives to another.
I'm one of them. Screw kids. Never liked them & there are more than enough people fulfilling that role for it to be an issue.
Its not that they don't know. They simply consider other things in life more important.
Perhaps they change their mind as they get older, typically around 30, & feel that desire for legacy & meaning. But we all go through that at some point. I'm a guy & I've had those thoughts at times.
But its pure biology & humans are capable of more than base instinct.

0

Better not to have them.

0

Well I'm a man and I am so I just assume most women would be aware.

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