Anna, mother of one from Illinois, says she's a happier parent for waiting until she was older, "My husband and I didn't have our first child until our early 40s. It was a wonderful decision for many reasons. Our daughter is now 13 months, and we are both 43 years old. We couldn't be happier parents!"
But what if, unlike Anna, you're struggling with the thought of waiting, feeling self-imposed or outside pressure to procreate? Nerina Garcia-Arcement, Ph.D. urges women not to rush into having a child simply because others are doing it or because their clock is ticking. "Having a child changes everything, literally."
"There are many pros to waiting, including being more emotionally and psychologically ready for the vast changes to lifestyle and time commitment that children require."
Garcia-Arcement also reminds potential parents that financial stability can come with waiting. "Having a more stable and developed profession so that you are in a more stable financial situation... " Barbara Neitlich, psychotherapist, adds, "If you wait, you can generally put more money aside for your baby fund."
Beverly D. Flaxington, author and mother of three, who had babies at 35, 38 and 42 says, "I felt more confident after going through a number of life situations and developing different perspectives on life." Garcia-Arcement makes the point, "You might have more energy as a younger mom, but older moms have the benefit of more life experience and maturity." Neitlich adds, "As you age you learn more about yourself, your partner and what type of parent you want to be."
Neitlich also says a key reason to wait is to "travel, travel, travel!" and spend more quality time with your partner first. Garcia-Arcement agrees, "Accomplishing personal goals first (e.g. education, travel, attending cultural events) allows the mom to never question should I have waited until... ?"
Sharon Gilchrest O’Neill, a marriage and family therapist, reminds couples to ask themselves important questions before making their final decision.
Want more about becoming a mom later in life? Check out a great read in the new SheKnows Book Lounge — The Good Dream by author Donna VanLiere, a new book about a woman on an unlikely path to motherhood. Head to our new SheKnows Book Lounge now.
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