If you haven’t had kids yet, you might be wondering if it is a good idea or not. There seems to be a plethora of articles out there that both encourage and discourage having kids later on in life. It’s hard to know what to believe. There are several myths out there that can create confusion around the decision to have kids later in life or not. Let’s debunk a few of those myths today…
14 myths about having kids later in life (debunked):
- Women who delay having kids are selfish (especially about their careers).
- Older parents won’t be around for their kids.
- Children with older moms won’t fit in socially with peers.
- Miscarriage only happens to older women.
- Older moms find parenting tiring.
- You will need IVF to get pregnant after the age of 35.
- Older parents miss out on having grandkids.
- Having children later in life puts the child at great risk.
- Older parents are a burden on the children.
- Younger moms are more “with the times”.
- Older moms won’t be able to connect with younger moms.
- Younger moms have more patience and energy than older moms.
- Pregnancies over 35 are “geriatric” pregnancies.
- Giving birth is far more difficult later on in life.
Having a child later in life is a personal choice. Before you decide whether it is the right choice for you, simply take the time to consider both the pros and cons of pregnancy later in life. There are several myths linked to having kids later on in life, and today we are going to debunk 14 of them. To learn more about these myths and why they aren’t entirely true, read on.
Debunked Myths About Having Babies After the Age of 35
So you’re 35 years old or older, and you’re thinking about another baby or your first baby. Is it a good idea? The answer to this question is never easy as the situation is different for everyone. Some people enjoy being older parents, while some would probably be better at it in the prime of their youth. It comes down to who you are as a person. And of course, having a child requires a great deal of thought, regardless of how old or young you are. Below are 14 of some of the most common myths about having a baby late in life – debunked.
1. Women who delay having kids are selfish (especially about their careers).
Career-driven women are often seen as selfish because they would rather focus on their jobs and earning money. The reality of this is that the world has changed. Women are no longer “kept” and need to position themselves in good careers in order to provide for themselves and their children. It is far more socially acceptable nowadays for a woman to work hard and establish herself in her career before having a child. Children cost money, and it’s acceptable to want to afford the best for your kids. Are women who have kids later on in life because of their careers selfish? Absolutely not!
2. Older parents won’t be around for their kids.
You might think that if a woman has a child at 40, she will be at least 60 when her child starts her first real job. This means less time spent with kids, doesn’t it? Well, not necessarily. Over the last centuries, the average lifespan has increased considerably. Also, a study featured in “Time” shows that women who have children early in life live shorter lives than those who have them later in life. Now that’s interesting, isn’t it?! Is it true that older parents won’t be around for the kids? Not at all – it really all depends on individual circumstances.
3. Children with older moms won’t fit in socially with peers.
When it comes to socializing, it is suggested that children of older parents won’t be able to connect with their peers because of a non-traditional or unusual upbringing. Older parents might have different focuses and values, but there’s no reason to believe that it will negatively impact on the child. In fact, children with older parents often feel more secure and settled as the parents are in steady long-term marriages and have their finances under control. Are kids of older parents unable to fit in with their peers? That sounds unlikely.
4. Miscarriage only happens to older women.
A lot of moms experience a miscarriage – both young and old. Younger moms can’t escape the risk of a miscarriage, but a mom over the age of 35 years has a 20% chance of a miscarriage, whereas, at the age of 45 years, the chance of a miscarriage is 80%. Are you at a higher risk of a miscarriage if you have a baby later on in life? Yes, but if you are healthy and listen to your doctor’s medical advice, your chances of having a successful delivery should increase.
5. Older moms find parenting tiring.
Most people assume that as they get older, their luster for life vanishes, and they become old and tire. This is just not the case. Some young parents are just as tired as older parents would be. It all comes down to how healthy you are, how fit you keep, and how much time and effort you are willing to put in. Do older moms find parenting tiring? Not particularly. It’s really a personal thing.
6. You will need IVF to get pregnant after 35 years of age.
If you want to get pregnant after the age of 35 years, you don’t necessarily need IVF. Fertility does decline after 35, but it does not simply become impossible overnight. You simply need to have the right prenatal care to ensure that you are ovulating to the maximum potential. You can definitely get pregnant naturally after the age of 35. Will you need IVF to fall pregnant later on in life? It depends – many older women get pregnant 100% naturally.
7. Older parents miss out on having grandkids.
Many people think that a woman who has a child at the age of 40 won’t get to meet and enjoy her grandkids. This simply isn’t true. You might become a grandmother late in life (at the age of 70 to 80), but it doesn’t mean that you won’t ever have grandkids. Who knows, perhaps your kids don’t even want to have children of their own in the first place – in which case you would miss out on grandkids anyway.
8. Having children later in life puts the child at great risk.
Two of the biggest risks that older moms worry about are Down syndrome and Autism. It’s correct that risk of Autism and Downs syndrome increases with maternal age, but it must be said that the actual rate of increase in risk is often grossly over-exaggerated. Will the health risk to you increase if you are an older mom? Yes, but the truth is that it’s not nearly as risky as people think it is.
9. Older parents are a burden on the children.
Many parents worry that if they have children later on in life, they will become old too soon in the young child’s life, which will be a burden. Young children who have to take care of older parents might feel stifled or overwhelmed. Does this mean that older parents will definitely become a burden on the children? The truth is that you don’t have to become a burden to your child at all. There are many options for assisted-living from the age of retirement. Your kids don’t have to be burdened at all.
10. Younger moms are more “with the times”.
There’s a misconception going around out there in the world that a mother needs to be young in order to understand the needs of a child. The reality is that the internet and TV will take care of that for you. As long as you can use those two features in your life, you should be able to keep right up with what children are interested in. Are younger moms more with the times? Maybe they are with the times, but that doesn’t mean that an older mom can’t be too.
11. Older moms won’t be able to connect with younger moms.
Many women think about how they will connect with the other moms in their child’s childcare or school group. As an older mom, there’s the worry that the younger moms won’t connect with you. The reality is that many women are having children later in life. It is becoming more common! You might find a few more older moms in your child’s parent group than you expected. Should you worry about not connecting with the younger moms? You shouldn’t worry at all.
12. Younger moms have more patience and energy than older moms.
The idea that younger moms are more energetic and patient than older moms is outdated. How much energy and patience you have, really has little to do with your age and more to do with your life experience and personality. Is it true that younger moms are more patient and energetic? No, that’s simply not true. It all comes down to you, who you are, and what sort of effort you are willing to put in with your kids.
13. Pregnancies over 35 are “geriatric” pregnancies.
Older moms might hear the phrase “geriatric pregnancy” and balk at the idea. This is something that is born out of the healthcare industry. The word “geriatric” is incorrectly used. The actual definition of geriatric is “an old person, especially one receiving special care”. Is a pregnancy over the age of 35 years really a geriatric pregnancy? No – unless you are having a baby when you are older than 65 years of age! Don’t let a mere word/phrase scare you off from living the life that you want.
14. Giving birth is far more difficult later on in life.
Many people assume that older women struggle to give birth. If you are a fit and healthy woman, you could be able to give natural birth. Modern medicine has improved greatly over the years – you could opt for a C-section, which will eliminate a lot of the risk and ensure that giving birth is quick and easy.
Having kids later in life comes with its risks and challenges, but it’s definitely not as bad as many people think. Consider the above pointers before you make a decision.