Tuesday, March 31, 2009

How Old Is Too Old?

Out there in the world, people have babies at all different ages and some people prefer it that they have their children older. Some people would rather have their children younger. This was all sparked by me realizing that Tim Allen has welcomed a new baby into his home at age 55. He already has a 19 year old daughter from a previous marriage. Thinking of it this way, he'll be 80 years old when she is 25.

With having your children later in life, what's the sacrifice? Lessened time with your kids, maybe not being able to catch up.... but on the flip side, people who are older most often have the financial security and find it easier to provide for their families.

When you have your kids at a younger age, whats the sacrifice there? Maybe you're not so financially stable, maybe you need to give up your "party years" but on the other hand, hopefully you'll be able to enjoy your kids well into their older years, maybe it would be easier to keep up with them running at the park?

This post isn't difficult for me to write, because I can see both sides. My husbands parents were older when the had him, his mother in her late thirties, but his father was in his fifties. Now my husband will be 31 years old and his father is in his eighties. There was a plan there. They figured out their lives and decided when it was time. But when my husband hit his crazy, rebellious teen years, they couldn't keep up. They knew he was doing wrong, but the teen years for them were so far gone that they didn't remember how it was to be 15 years old.

My parents on the other hand, along with my grandparents, and myself, we've all had our children earlier in life. My mother was 20 when she had me, I was 22 when I had my daughter, my grandmother was 23 when she had my mother. We've always been able to do more active things together, yet money was always tight for my mother, just as it is for me. Not neccessarily does this mean that its due to having a child at a younger age, but I'm sure its a component. But at 10 years old, my mom and I used to hit the batting cages and race go-karts together, she was only 30 years old and we could keep up with each other, it was almost at times that we had the same interests.

Now at almost 27 years old, with my mother only being 20 years older than me, we're able to have more of a friendship and we are VERY close. I do occassionally wonder what it would have been like to have an "older" parent, like most of my friends growing up, though I wouldn't change anything for the world. I'm enjoying being in my twenties with my children, yes, it did change our financial situation, yes, it did change my schooling situation. Was it worth it? Absolutely.

What do you think? Where does the line get crossed for you? What age would you never want to have children before or after? Do you think you've benefitted from having older or younger parents or do you think your children have benefitted from having you as a younger or older parent?

8 comments:

Angie Marion March 31, 2009 at 12:47 PM  

I'm a young mother too (had my first at 17 - Oh! The Horror!) and I definitely believe in having em young. Definitely by 35.

Misadventurous Mommy March 31, 2009 at 1:00 PM  

I had my first @ 19 (2 days from 20) and I will always stand firm in my belief that 20 and anything less than that is too young...I was not ready and if it were not for my mother I would have never known what to do. I had my last @ 29 (and 2 more in between) and I think that somewhere in the middle (24-27) are good ages.

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Mel @ ShimmerMeBlue March 31, 2009 at 1:26 PM  

I had mine at 21 and 23. I'm glad I had them young, but at the same time maybe I should have set myself first. We've had our fair share of troubles, financial and otherwise and I think that alot of it would have been different had we waited. For one, we still rent and I'm 30 years old!

But on the other hand, it was good to have them young so we all grew together and we still have fun playing with them. As long as we don't have anymore, we should be on our own in our 40's and then we have the rest of our lives to do what we want.

Minxy Mimi March 31, 2009 at 1:28 PM  

I had my first at 37, my last at 39 yrs old. I think that here is not a perfect age. Each age brings with it its own pros and cons. And just because I am 40, doesnt mean I cant run around with my boys, or play with them. All in all I find that to be the least important aspect of parenthood. The most important is to love, to teach, to set an example. In my honest opinion I would rather have 20 yrs with an old parent full of wisdom, empathy and kindness than 50 yrs with one who is just youthful. I hope my kids feel that way too.
Interesting subject you have brought up.

Seeryus Mama March 31, 2009 at 1:54 PM  

I had Johnny at 21 and Pea at 29. Boy howdy! I can tell a difference! I really look up to older moms, because I don't know how they do it! I'm exhausted!

A Family Completed... March 31, 2009 at 3:38 PM  

hmm this is a hard one I do think anything less than 20 is too young. I had my daughter shortly after turning 21 and firmly believe age doesn't determine the type of mother you are. I had my son at 25 and feel it was perfect but it maybe because I had already gone through it. Now at 27 I think I'm too old, lol. I know I'm not but for ME I wouldn't want to be a older mother but also wouldn't have wanted to be a teen mom either. At 21 I had glares from people like I was a pregnant 13 year old and I was married and everything!

Nicole Feliciano April 1, 2009 at 10:18 AM  

What a thoughtful post. I have thought about a third. But at 38, I think I am bordering on too old (for me--I wouldn't judge a mom at 45 or older). It has to do with energy. I don't have limitless supplies. But I am glad I waited until later (34 and 37) to have my girls. I wasn't in the right spot in my 20's.

Anonymous,  April 6, 2009 at 1:20 AM  

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