The Best Age to Have a Baby: Thirties

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mama and baby

photo by xiemoon

What's the best age to become a mom? There isn't one. A recent study shows that older moms and younger ones can do the job just as well. And as we all know, it's a tough job. Still, being a young mom has its advantages and its disadvantages, as does being an older mom. I interviewed moms of different ages to see what they had to say on the subject so we could all appreciate each other a little more. All this week in the Baby Buzz, you'll hear from women who became Baby Mamas in their teens, their twenties, their thirties, and their forties. And you'll find we're not so different after all. We're moms who love our kids no matter how old—or how young—we are.

This week we've already met women who became moms in their teens and women who became moms in their twenties.

Today: Meet five fabulous women who had babies in their thirties.

Meet xiemoon, mom to 22-month-old Addison, and group owner of Over 30 and Just Starting

How old were you when you had you first baby?
I was 32 when I gave birth to my daughter. I can't say it was a conscious decision to wait until after my 30's to have a baby, but after 8 years of marriage and infertility and a constant barrage of medicines and treatments, my husband and I sought out adoption. A month later, I was pregnant! I'd actually stopped taking birth control when we got married. A lot of women in my group, however, have made that decision to wait for a number of reasons. Some wanted to settle into their own lives before bringing a child into it. Some suffered infertility such as we did. Some just didn't want kids until now.

What were the advantages to becoming a mom at that age?
For us, having a child later made us appreciate it more, I think. It gave us many years to think about how we wanted it to be when we had kids. It also gave us time to mature more. I'm sure if I'd had my daughter 10 years earlier things would have been quite different. I don't think I was emotionally ready at that age. Also, the anticipation of waiting made us realize what a gift having a baby truly is. We appreciate our daughter and every stage she goes through because we waited so long to have her. We don't take anything for granted.

Were there any downsides to having a baby at that time in your life?

The pressures from peers and family about when we were going to have a baby. Society still expects women to have children in their twenties. It was very painful for us to have people asking why we didn't have kids yet, when they didn't realize the constant pain and disappointment we were going through. Even if we had decided to wait, for whatever reason, it's still no one's business but our own. Of course, now that we have one, people constantly ask when we'll have another. We're not sure we want another, but we've got plenty of time to decide.

 

mom and kids

photo by Cafe Kristen

 

Meet Cafe Kristen, mom to three-year-old-twins Annabelle and Estelle, and 15-month-old Soren

How old were you when you had you first baby?
I was 31 when I got pregnant--with twins. I was very into my career and my life in my twenties. I was also in an ill-fated marriage with my college boyfriend. I just didn't want kids with him. We had too many issues. Once we broke up, and I met my new husband, I wanted kids immediately.

What were the advantages to becoming a mom at that age?
I'm so glad I waited. I was immature, impatient and didn't have a very good sense of myself in my twenties. It just took a little while for me to mature and stop being so selfish about work and partying and all the things I was interested in. The advantage is that I'm a much better mom and wife, too.

Were there any downsides to having a baby at that time in your life?
I had just sold my first hardback young adult novel when I got pregnant. It was so hard to finish it during a twin pregnancy when I spent so much time in the hospital. I got a year's extension on the book, but it didn't help that much because I got pregnant again very quickly. I finished that book when my third baby was born. Now that my kids are out of their baby stages, I'm back at work.

 

Meet Lv2sons, mom to 5-year-old Tanner and 2-year-old Gavin

How old were you when you had your first baby?

I was 32 when I had Tanner and 35 when I had Gavin. I had actually been pregnant twice before, once in early 2001 and again late that year. I miscarried at 12 weeks the first time and at 6 weeks the second. I would have been 31 if I had delivered the first child. It took a while to get preggers after that. Plus, I married when I was a bit older at 28. We wanted a few years together before we started having children.

What were all the advantages to becoming a mom at that age?
Many of my friends already had children so I had a great resource pool to call upon! But I was still just as clueless as any first-time mom. Maybe I handled some of it with a bit more maturity than I would have, says, five years earlier. Also, I’m a tad more financially stable at this age.

Were there any downsides to having a baby at that time in your life?
Most moms with kids the same age as my children are a bit younger. Sometimes I'm out of touch with my life-long friends because they are at a different stage in life. Overall, I absolutely love being a mom. Since it was so difficult to get Tanner we truly appreciate what a gift our children are. We do not take them for granted ever. They have taught me so much about being a genuine person, and have given me the gift of unconditional love and pure joy!

 

photo by cegtook

Meet cegtook, mom to 4-year-old Jasper and 2-year-old Magnolia

How old were you when you had you first baby?
I was 34, just a month shy of my 35th birthday. I always knew I wanted to have kids. I put roadblocks in front of myself—I guess tests to make sure I was ready for the responsibility of having children. I wanted to be out of school debt, I wanted to own an apartment. But by 34, I felt like I was becoming used to not having to worry about anyone else but my partner and myself. I was becoming very comfortable. I felt like I was at the final frontier for introducing a child into our lives. Any longer and it seemed like it might be "too late." It was so easy being childless. So I knew it was time.

What were all the advantages to becoming a mom at that age?
Becoming a mother at 34 was wonderful! It was such a blessing and one I appreciated greatly—still do! I felt like I had all the romantic movies and dinners, and traveled, and worked for all the years of my life prior to that moment, so I didn't miss any of that for a minute when I was up at night with our son and exhausted from working and being a mom.

Were there any downsides to having a baby at that time in your life?
Having too much world experience. My mom and dad had me when they were just 20, and it always sounds like they were just winging it and doing the best they could. And that's what we were doing too, but worrying over every little thing—the crib, the high chair, does he have a cold or pneumonia, etc. We probably over-thought some stuff instead of just enjoying it and riding it all out. Also, we are tired. I think at 20 I would have had some more energy! I wish I had started earlier!

 

mom and kids

photo by Cafe Melisa

Meet Cafe Melisa, mom to 4-year-old Jasper and 2-year-old Magnolia

How old were you when you had you first baby?
My partner [cegtook, above] had our first child at 34—I had our second when I was 38. It took me a while to come around to the idea of motherhood— didn't always know I wanted to be a mom or be pregnant and give birth, so it was a process!

What were all the advantages to becoming a mom at that age?
I felt like I had checked a lot of other things off my list—I had traveled, worked, really been fortunate to have time for myself. And I enjoyed that time. I had done all of that and was ready to focus on family and take on new and different challenges.

Were there any downsides to having a baby at that time in your life?
My energy level is lame! Sometimes I definitely feel my age when it comes to that. My mom had me when she was 19 (19!) and I can appreciate how she must have been game and interested and motivated in ways that I now find challenging. Also, I bet I worry more about things than my young mom did—and worry is fruitless.

Meet moms who had their first baby in their forties.

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Willy... Willywonka06

I think there are pros and cons to having a baby when your younger or older. Although come on 30's? not old!! it wasn't until recently it seems women have been getting preggo younger and younger

Mamma... MammaMia72

So far the only con to being mama to my second is this pregnancy is way harder in my 30's than my 20's! I have twice as many issues as back then.

Lindax4 Lindax4

I had my first baby at age 45 and second one at 47. I had two miscarriages in my twenties. Not exactly my idea to wait til then, but it was God's idea and it was His timing. My kids are such a blessing to me and i wouldnt trade the experience for anything in the world.

Katie... KatieCrandall

I think this is my favorite age group so far, I can really relate to their feelings about things!


Though I definitely do not think 30 is old anymore!  20 years ago, it was a different story, you had reached mid-life, but now people are living so much longer!  Had I not met the guy I was going to marry so early in life, I probably wouldn't have had kids until I was 30 as well!

kjjsm... kjjsmommy

I had all my kids in my 30's I was 32 with my first daughter 33 with my 2nd. daughter and 37 with my twin boys. Im glad I waited I enjoy it so much


Colleen

happy... happySAHMmomof2

I had my first at 31, my second at 33 and my third at 34.  I would never do it another way.  I know more who I am and what I want my kids to have, know, learn and do.  If I would have become a parent in my early 20's my kids would have been raised differently. They of course would still have an awesome mom but the things I am passionate about now, like breastfeeding and a healthy home developed in me as I aged and experienced the world more. 

tscritch tscritch

I had our dd 1 month before my 33rd bday. I am currently pregnant with #2 and I will be 35 when I have him/her. I am glad I waited for a lot of reasons. I am definitely more mature and patient then I was in my 20's. For me, I experienced what I felt I needed to when I was younger and am now much more able to focus on my daughter and family. I wouldn't have it any other way!!

djsma... djsmama904

I had our son, DJ, a few months ago and I am 37 years old.  The pro's are that I feel I got a lot of stuff out of the way by not having him sooner; my life was out of control when I was in my twenties!  Cons: I did much better on no sleep in my twenties and had a lot more energy.  In the end, I think everything happens when it does for a reason and the bottom line is that I finally have the little angel I always prayed for.

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