Older Women Make Beautiful Mothers
There are many books and articles about whether to have
children after the age of thirty. These books deal with the
physical or health aspects of having children later. Few,
if any, deal with the emotional aspects of the decision.
None of them tell you at what age you are too old. In other
words, you have to make the decision yourself. After making
that decision myself, I have to say that 38 years old was
not too old for me.
I think that having a child later in life has many benefits:
- Most people are more stable financially in their 30's and
40's than in their early 20's. With fewer financial
problems to worry about, couples can devote more time to
their children. A financially stable family can also afford
to send children to better schools.
- An older couple has had time to mature. They will be less
likely to feel that the child is in the way. Young people
are still searching for their own identity and find it hard
to share their lives with a demanding child.
- An older woman has had time to develop job skills or a
career and would have more flexibility on the job. Even if
she chooses to quit and become a full time mother, she
won't feel she has given up her whole life to have
children. Both my sisters had children when they were 20
years old and the only jobs they have held since then were
as daycare workers. They often complain of never getting to
talk to adults.
- Men and women who postpone having children usually make
the decision carefully. If they decide to have children,
they are more likely to feel that parenting must be done
well if it is to be done at all.
Of course the benefits listed above apply not just to the
parents; they filter down to the children as well. A child
who is loved will grow up to love others.
There are some risks to waiting until you are older to have
a child. The chances of miscarriage and retardation
increase. Getting pregnant may take longer or be more
difficult. Common problems of pregnancy such as backache,
nausea, varicose veins, and constipation may be increased
You may also be set in your ways. I know I had a hard time
imagining where we would fit a baby in our house. At first
I was thinking of just clearing out a corner for her crib
but realized that she would be a part of the family and
deserved more than a corner in a room.
After weighing all of the pros and cons to having a child,
my husband and I decided that we wanted to have our first
baby. This was about three years ago. I was 36 at the time.
We read several books and talked to our doctor. We were
told that our age was not a problem.
In June, 1993, I became pregnant. At 16 weeks, I had an
amniocentesis to check for any genetic defects such as
Downs Syndrome. This is routine on women over 35 because of
the increased risk of retardation. No defects were found
and after that the pregnancy went normally. In March, 1994,
we had a beautiful baby girl.
After spending the most wonderful 9 months of my life (I
truly enjoyed the last 6 months of pregnancy, also), I am
convinced that we made the right decision.
Bing, Elisabeth. Having a Baby After 30. Bantam Books,
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