I was surprised to learn that some of my friends consider me a “young” mom. At 38, with two kids and a career, I don’t feel very young anymore! I mostly feel old and tired. 🙂 But as my older (almost 50) friend M. patiently explains, when you have your first child at 28 and your second at 30, that’s considered pretty young in today’s standards.
Indeed, more and more American women are delaying childbirth until after they have established themselves professionally. For a college-educated woman, this usually means waiting until she’s at least 35 before she even starts considering the idea of becoming a mom.
While some doctors say this is biologically problematic, since our bodies, unfortunately, are not adapting so fast to the new standards and our fertility still peaks when we are much younger, other experts point out that a healthy woman can easily become pregnant at around 35-40, and that there are many advantages to being an “older mom.” Some of them:
- Older moms are often more patient. I can actually see that in M. She’s devoted many years to her career, has established herself professionally, and feels truly at peace with taking a few years off now to raise her children (while still working part time as a consultant and keeping in touch with her colleagues). Older moms seem to be really good at enjoying their kids.
- Financial security. Older parents are often more financially secure than younger parents are and are better able to provide for their children financially.
- Older moms are great role models. The older you get, the more comfortable you are in your own skin and the more confident you are as a person. Which makes older moms great role models for their children, and especially for young girls.
Of course, there are many benefits to being a younger mom too (more energy for sure!), and the decision of when exactly to have children is extremely personal and depends on many factors. Regardless of how old you are when you have your children, no doubt you will love them with all your heart and be the best mom that you can possibly be.