A recent poll on LilSugar asked a number of women what decade is best for becoming a mom between our 20s, 30s, and 40s. Truly, it's an impossible question to answer given the variables for each individual woman. But the overwhelming majority (61 percent) said the "right age" is your 30s.
It makes a lot of sense, right? You are old enough to have established a career, fallen in love, and had your time alone together. But you are still young enough to have healthy pregnancies, bounce back quickly, and keep up with your little ones. But if there is one thing motherhood has proven to me, it's the fact that there is no one "right" answer to any question. It's all so individual.
For me, personally, I became pregnant with my daughter (my first) at 28 and with my son at 30. I sometimes wish we had done it a little earlier.
The late 20s was a great time health-wise. I became pregnant easily both times and had zero problems with any of my labor or deliveries. My babies were perfectly healthy. But career and money wise, it was actually a hard time to have a baby.
Both my husband and I had really just started our careers after years of college and graduate school. My husband was still in his PhD program and I was just figuring out what direction my career was going. Though I got back on track, it was a hard time to have a baby. Sometimes I think if we had started a little earlier, say 26, I might have been able to get on track faster and I might have lost less ground. While my friends were being promoted, I was changing diapers. Now, I feel just a touch behind even though I am thrilled to have already had my kids.
Meanwhile, the 40s are another problem. Forget the fertility and all those other issues that basically make or break this decision. Even if a woman can get pregnant safely and easily without medical intervention, there are more dangers to the baby, and also, it's just a harder time of life.
As a new mom, I knew many women who were 41 or so and had babies the same age as mine. When I am their age, I am assuming my 13-year-old will be much easier to care for and will be less physically demanding than a baby.
Of course, what the study ignores is the fact that, for most women, when they have babies isn't entirely up to them. Some people don't meet a partner until they are 30 or 35 and then they are in a category they may not have seen as "ideal" when they were 20 and naive. Other women struggle with infertility even if they start trying very young and they end up not conceiving until their 30s.
There is no one RIGHT answer as to when a baby makes sense. But there is the right answer for every individual and for me, that answer is 26. It isn't too old and not too young. Perfect.
What is your perfect age to have a baby?
Image via Will Clayton/Flickr