If I had a quarter for every time I heard someone say something negative about having kids when you are older, I’d be able to pay for IVF in cash! And that’s about $20-35K in quarters.
Am I right!?
Instead of letting this bother me, which I have done in the past, I’ve turned it around and thought of positive reasons why it’s good to become a parent later in life. Although “later in life” is different for everyone, I am referring to the fact that there is a stigma around being over 35 and starting a family: the “geriatric pregnancy” as they call it.
Those of us older moms have heard it all! Over 35 is considered high risk, not ideal, your clock is ticking, you better start soon, you might have trouble conceiving, you’re so brave for starting over, you want your kids to know their grandparents, the list goes on and on. What we need to realize is this is someone else’s opinion projecting on you and all this is doing is putting more pressure on people to start a family within a “preferred” timeframe. In reality, this commonly held opinion really doesn’t apply in today’s society when women are choosing to do other things with their lives before starting a family.
So here are a few reasons why I think being an ‘older’ parent is ideal!
1. Financial Stability: Generally speaking most of us gain money and savings and are more stable in our careers as we get older. Early on, when right out of college, we are paying off debt, learning to budget and trying to make it in the real world. Having more years to save, stabilize a career, buy a house and get ourselves financially grounded is so important before starting a family. We all want to be able to give our children as much as we can, so a secure financial situation is helpful in this situation.
2. Happier and More Fulfilled: Honestly a lot of us may not know what we want to do with our lives, but we are still able to find ourselves. We find happiness in the things that really matter. It no longer becomes a competition as to who gets married first, has the best career etc. We find our own sense of self worth and happiness.
3. Independence: This is a big one! Taking care of oneself before being able to take care of someone else is crucial. Being independent, traveling alone, living alone, and just being alone allows you to be secure in the fact thatyou can do it alone if it comes down to it. No matter what happens, you got you and that’s who you need to count on.
4. More Life Experiences: The more you do, the more you learn; the more you experience, the more you can share. They say to become a master of something you need to do it and teach it. So learning and growing through our own life experiences gives us the tools, the stories and the knowing.
5. It Keeps You Young: Who doesn’t want to still be opening Christmas presents and doing fun little kid stuff for as long as possible? You stay young because you have to stay young and because you are doing young stuff with your little ones. Running around after a toddler, playing make-believe, telling stories and dreaming of big things all help to keep us young. Having littles allows us to re-live certain life experiences through our children and see the world through their eyes. They are innocent, dreamers and doers!
So the next time someone says, “You are 40 and pregnant!?” … just give them a little wink and think about playing dress up, living your own journey and why being an older parent rocks!