Maria Rushe gives her thoughts on why there is no right or wrong age for pregnancy.
The recent pregnancy announcement of one of the pretty Princess People in London has caused quite a stir, not only because everyone loves a royal Baby as much as a royal wedding.
This one has caused a stir because Princess-of-the-other-one will be deemed to be having a “geriatric pregnancy” because she is over 35.
Geriatric? The woman looks about 21. And yet, this is a medical term, much used and much accepted across the medical world.
So, what age is the best age to have kids?
Well now that is really the same as asking how long a piece of string is, or how much wine is too much wine? Erm…
My own parents have done it all! I was born when they were 20 and 21, the baby of the family being born as they both turned 40. They tell me that each of us (and there are 6!) brought our own challenges. I don’t think they’d say which is best, because they wouldn’t change a thing. (I think!)
I remember when my Dad turned 30. At the wise old age of nine, I thought he was ANCIENT! And as I now hit hard on 40 myself, I often consider how wonderful it is that so many of my generation were born to such young parents (and I am grateful to have them both still young and thankfully well).
In the 80’s, it was the absolute norm for Mums to be 19 or 20. It was perfectly acceptable to be married at 18 or 19. I remember hearing my Aunty proclaim, on her 21st birthday, that if she wasn’t married by the time she turned 25, to sign her up to a certain religious institution… And yet now, most don’t even consider settling down until late 20s/early 30s and most of us are having our kids in our mid to late 30s.
Having babies young has its benefits as well as its cons. And waiting until later brings different struggles and joys.
As a Mammy who had Baby one at 30 and Baby two at 35, (Yup! Geriatric Mammy right here!), I can honestly say that the energy levels I had for number two differed desperately. As did my physical recovery.
But again, everyone is different. 30 was the right age for me. I was settled in my own skin, in my career and in my relationship. And yet my friend who had her three kids before the age of 23 will tell you that she loved having them when she was younger and had more time and energy.
When you have your babies, really has no bearing on the life of anyone else does it? You are not ‘better’ if you have kids at whatever the national average is. You are not ‘better’ if you have your kids young than the woman who is 41 when she gives birth.
Every one is different and as with all things parenty, there is no right or wrong.