I want to start this post by saying one thing. There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to starting a family. These are purely my thoughts, as my husband and I did choose to start in our 30s.
Ok, first things first. I didn’t always want to start in my 30s. In fact, I had a very detailed plan when I was 17 that was all about how I would be done having babies by the time I was 30. HA!
But then I met Vishnu, went to grad school, started a job that had me moving around the country for two years, got married, and supported my husband on his medical school and residency (and soon-to-be fellowship) journey. In all fairness, there was no way we could’ve juggled a kid with all that we had going on for the first 4-5 years of our marriage.
I like to think that while I once wanted kids in my 20s, Kaiden came to us at the perfect time. I was 33 when I had K, and Vishnu was 32.
And when I say right time, I don’t just mean age. I mean financially, I mean in terms of my career and Vishnu’s, I mean in terms of who we are as people now vs. in our 20s, etc.
With that being said, I do think there are some benefits to starting earlier if you want and your situation allows it. You have more energy in your 20s (and trust me kids require lots of energy). You also have time if there are complications in getting pregnant. There are probably more pros for this that I’m not thinking of.
But personally, since we started in our 30s, I can look back and be comforted by the fact that (FOR US!) it’s a good thing we had K when we did. I’m so much more patient now than I was a decade ago. I also have more control over my career and am making more money than I was in my 20s (which is helpful because daycare costs in Chicago are astronomical!). I also feel like with Vishnu’s career being more final in a way (with med school being over and done with), it’s one thing we don’t have to think about too much. This helps us keep the focus on K versus other career-related worries. Vishnu and I are also much more grounded in our relationship now than ever before. And I didn’t know it until we had Kaiden, but this is so important when you have kids.
And not that it matters what everyone else is doing, but the majority of my friends started their families in their 30s. Some sooner, some later, but because they put their educations and careers first, it just worked out this way. It’s kind of cool because now our kids are all around the same age. In fact, four of my close girlfriends and I had kids with 6-8 months of each other.
I should also share that I have a lot of friends whose siblings had kids into their early 40s. I know this isn’t possible for everyone, but if you’re not quite there yet with the whole idea of having kids, if you’re still trying, if you’re having trouble, please know that not all is lost at 35 like some people like to remind you.
I know this is sort of a rambling post, but I wanted to share because I think it’s important to talk about these kinds of things. It’s easy to think that you’re the only one experiencing something or the only one who doesn’t have everything figured out, but trust me, you’re not!
The decision to have kids is a HUGE one (at any age!), and while it’s true that no time is the perfect time, I think it’s totally ok to start when you and your partner feel ready.
Stepping off my soap box! Have a great day.
P.S. Trust me, I know that some people want to start in their 20s, but because of complications and infertility aren’t able to. My heart goes out to those people, and please know I’m not in any way downplaying that. Again, just sharing my experiences with the hope that by doing so I’m helping someone.