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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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...
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.
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.