Reading this article from the L.A. Times annoyed me:
Survey: Majority of Americans say women should have first child by 25
When should a women have her first baby?
A majority of Americans said age 25 or younger would be the ideal, according to a new survey.
Gallup recently polled 5,100 people and found that 58% said women should start having children in their early 20s or late teens.
Only 3% of respondents said 31 or older is the ideal time for a woman to have her first child.
[…] …. Exactly who thinks 25 is “ideal”?
While 72% of adults 65 and older said that women should have kids by 25, 60% of adults ages 18 to 29 agreed.
Via L.A. Times
SERIOUSLY?! I WAS NOWHERE NEAR READY
At 25, I was barely out of college, didn’t even really have my career confirmed or started, and while I was making a good salary, I was traveling 100% of the week, working 60+ hour workweeks, and totally exhausted.
It was only by circumstance and luck that I got out of my $60,000 of debt in 18 months which was nearing the end of my 25th year, but had I not made it out of debt, I would have needed until at least 28, if not the age of 30 to clear my debt.
There was no way in hell I would have been ready or prepared to have a baby at 25.
FOR ME, THE IDEAL TIME IS LATE-20s, EARLY-30s
Circumstances, situation and willingness taken into account (I do want children, and I want more than one), my idea timeline would have been in my late 20s or early 30s.
I always thought: Before the age of 35… because reading pregnancy books, going to see the doctor and basically getting scared about all these medical facts about how the chances of your baby can contracting this disease and that syndrome are higher before the age of 35.
It’s not that your baby WILL get those diseases or syndromes, but there’s a higher risk once you cross the 35-year old threshold.
I KNOW FRIENDS WHO WERE PRESSURED INTO HAVING A BABY EARLY
I have a friend who was pressured by her partner to have a baby at 26. I know another woman who had her parents nag her to have a child (she had 2) before the age of 26.
After I said my heartfelt congratulations, they decided to ask me when I was deciding on having kids.
Her parents (whom were co-workers), turned to me and said: Well if you want kids, you better get crackin’ before the age of 26, 30 at the latest. Otherwise, you might as well kiss the opportunity goodbye.
I mean, talk about giving advice where it was not welcome!
The partner who pressured his girlfriend to have a baby at 26, told me that he didn’t want to be an old father, so he wanted his kid ASAP.
I mean.. really?! Shouldn’t it be a joint decision? They should BOTH agree on it.
(Not that I should say anything as I didn’t plan on this pregnancy, it was a happy surprise.)
Furthermore, considering that if I was pressured in such a similar situation, I would have never had my career established and stable the way it is now, and I’d have basically stunted it, if not ruined it for the next 40+ years of working because the early years are the most important in my industry.
Still… it kind of annoys me that no one wants to even consider or ask the opinion of the woman who will be carrying this little passenger for 9 months, what she wants.
(Culture and customs aside, as some cultures demand that you marry very young and start a family ASAP.)